Before streaming, you will need to make sure your router or hotspot has an outgoing internet connection. For streaming in 720p HD, we typically recommend 3-5 MB of upload speed. You can check your upload speed here using Speedtest.net.
If you don’t have enough upload speed for HD video, your stream may not broadcast or viewers may experience extreme buffering as the video player waits to receive information.
You can resolve this by adjusting the quality preset of your video to Low, Med, or High in the event creation process.
If you are streaming via RTMP, there is an option inside of Switcher Studio to run a speed test and automatically adjust your resolution and bitrate based on the results of your connection.
Don’t be afraid to lower the quality preset of your live video. Most viewers are more interested in the quality of your content than the picture quality from a gear head perspective. In fact, even if you are able to broadcast in HD, many viewers will see their video quality downgraded on the playback side if their own connection isn’t fast enough. This is automatically managed by the platform providers like Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, etc.
If image quality is important for your video, or if you plan to make additional edits in post-production to upload later, we HIGHLY recommend turning on Director Mode in Switcher Studio. This will allow you to stream at any resolution/bitrate and still have a full-quality capture of your video regardless of any hiccups or glitches over your local WiFi network. You can learn more about Director Mode by clicking HERE.
For those of you just getting started or looking to expand your network setup, we have outlined a few sample setups below:
- Using Your Hotspot
By using the hotspot on your phone or from your wireless carrier, you can do a pop-up production from just about anywhere as long as you have signal. The biggest limitation with this type of setup is the distance between devices. If you are using the hotspot from your phone to pair other devices, be sure to position the hotspot at the center of your production and limit the distance between devices to 3-5 meters. It’s also important to note that hotspots typically don’t perform well in large crowds or poor weather. If you have a mission-critical event this might not be the best solution. Consider using a traditional WiFi solution, and be sure to coordinate with the organization or venue IT in advance.
- Using A Home Router
Home routers will work with Switcher in most cases, but proximity is very important. The same guidelines listed above still apply: Keep your devices close to the center of your wireless connection and use a 5GHz router if possible. The Apple AirPort Extreme ($199) is a good router for getting started and is easy to configure; however, it’s unclear how much longer these routers will be in production with recent reports from Apple about discontinuing its networking hardware product line.
- Wireless Router With Access Points
The best way to improve performance and ensure a strong connection between devices is to invest in a dedicated networking setup for Switcher. By starting with a router and a single access point, you can take a modular approach to expand your network setup. Ubiquiti makes good networking gear at an affordable price point and has recently released some mesh networking solutions that make setting up WiFi with multiple antennas and even coverage easy.