After lots of research, you’ve finally decided to start live video streaming. Let’s just say you’ve chosen BoxCast as your video streaming expert (wink, wink).
You have everything you need to produce a great video stream: a BoxCaster, a camera, and an Internet connection.
Here’s the problem — If your network isn’t optimized for live video streaming, the quality of your stream will suffer and you'll be left with some pretty unhappy viewers.
If you want to avoid the streaming headaches caused by a bad network, check out these three ways to ensure your network is up to the task for high-quality live video streaming.
1. Test, Test and Test Some More
The first step to optimizing your network for video streaming is to understand your network’s status quo performance. Test your network to understand what the live video stream will look like, as well as have enough time to identify issues and fix them. A dry run test should be performed at least two weeks before your first streamed event.
Note: Network performance typically follows time of day and day of week cycles, so tests should be performed at the same time of day and same day of week as the anticipated usage.
We highly recommend you use an online tool such as www.speedtest.net to see your current upload and download bandwidth capabilities. Pay close attention to your upload bandwidth, as that is what you’ll be using while you stream.
2. Evaluate What You Have
Once you’ve tested your network speed, you need to evaluate the equipment and Wi-Fi availability.
The age and performance of your modem can be the culprit of poor network performance. A reliable internet connection is highly dependent on the Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) on-premise equipment, which is why you should buddy up with your ISP (see #3 for more on this). If you know your modem is old, ask your ISP to replace it with a new model. Before letting the technician leave, make sure you test the new modem.
Although all BoxCasters are Wi-Fi ready, streaming via a hardline internet connection is far more reliable than a wireless network connection.
Beware of open Wi-Fi (Wi-Fi that’s not password-protected), as it can pose a risk to live streaming if not limited. A large number of Wi-Fi users can saturate the airwaves and starve your stream of bandwidth, potentially causing a live stream to fail.
3. Buddy Up With Your ISP
Your ISP is your friend. I repeat….Your Internet Service Provider is your friend.
A big step to ensure your network is optimized for live video streaming is maintaining a strategic relationship with your ISP. They could end up being the difference between a good stream and a great stream.
Notify your ISP that you will be streaming video. If you don’t know it already, ask your ISP what plan you have and how much upload speed that plan allows. Be mindful that acceptable ISP connection speeds may require an upgraded service plan.
You should have a bare minimum 1.5Mbps of upload to even consider video streaming.
Anything less than that and you run the risk of disruptions affecting the quality of your stream. We typically recommend at least 5Mbps of upload speed, especially if you want to consider streaming in HD.
When in doubt, reach out to your video streaming provider for help. At BoxCast, we want the very best for our customers, which includes the very best network performance. We realize that our customer’s network performance is an extremely important aspect of what makes a BoxCast stream look great.