Video Streaming

28 Mar 2017

Video streaming from an event site has some very specific requirements and must be considered well in advance of the event to ensure success. The first question is the level of quality required for the stream which may be SD (Standard Definition), HD (High Definition – 720p), Full-HD (High Definition – 1080p), 2K (1440p) or 4K (2160p). In simple terms the higher the quality the higher the bit-rate required, typically ranging from around 2Mbps at the low end up to over 45Mbps at the top end, possibly even higher for frame rates above 30fps!

The key point is that the bandwidth capacity is required on upload rather than download so it is essential the upload speed is checked as many services quote the headline download speed missing out the all important upload speed which may be considerably slowly. If a two-way video stream is proposed then synchronous bandwidth is essential. Alongside the upload speed, the quality of the connection is also very important. Streaming requires a very stable connection with low jitter and no packet loss.

The latency of the connection is generally only an issue if there is a two-way stream which means for uni-directional streaming satellite is an option. Low-grade ADSL connections do not have the upload capacity for streaming, however, a good quality FTTC service may be OK. Mobile 3G/4G connections, particularly when aggregated, can be OK in low-density environments but there are significant risks in an event environment where the arrival of the audience may well overloads the available capacity causing the stream to fail. For the best quality and reliability, a dedicated point-to-point link or optic fibre connection is the best solution.

In addition to the connectivity, it is also important to understand who is doing the encoding of the stream and configuring the distribution service such as YouTube or Ustream.

Category: Common Scenarios

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