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Common live streaming problems and how to solve them

Live video is an effective way to increase the profits from your business by attracting new viewers. Last year, Statista conducted a study of how the number of viewers in the US changed from 2019 to 2024.

2019 - 126.7 million people.

2020 - the expected figure is more than 150 million people.

by 2024, statistics predict growth to 164.6 million viewers.

Live streaming is a valuable source of revenue and audience loyalty, and there are many technical solutions available to implement this strategy. How come this method is still mostly used by the "big fish" of business? Well, there are a lot of technical details that come into play.

In this article, we'll break down seven of the most common problems with live event streaming and how Callaba solves them so you can focus on generating quality content without being distracted by the technicalities.

1. Buffering of the stream at the most inconvenient moment

This happens for a variety of reasons.

  • First, there is a possibility that your Wi-Fi network is not designed for such a load and its work becomes slower.

  • Secondly, the reason may be the Internet connection. It is not always powerful enough to keep up with the flow of incoming data.

  • The third reason may be in the provider, which is too slow in transferring data to your device.

Can something be done? Yes. Reduce anything that interferes with the flow.

Try disabling network devices that you don't need at the moment. You can also check your router and modem for damage and model updates. It may not be able to cope if the old model is not updated.

Feel free to contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for network status information. Find out if there is traffic overload or technical problems on the line?

We recommend figuring out if these issues are relevant and addressing them beforehand.  You can also try airing at off-peak times. But this is only good if your event is not too large.

How Callaba solves the buffering problem

Callaba provides flexible adaptive broadcasting that allows you to continuously transmit a signal in good quality. To avoid buffering, we use an improved and reliable mechanism of delivering video fragments, with the joint use of HLS and QUIC.

2. Fast internet, but slow streaming

For live streaming, connection speed matters. It is not always obvious why your upload is slow. For example, the Internet is fast, but data packets still arrive with buffering.

In this case, it's probably a ping speed issue. If the response time to your internet request is more than 30ms.

This problem can be solved by replacing Wi-Fi with a direct connection via an Ethernet cable.

Before you broadcast live, make sure you have a reliable internet connection set up.

How Callaba solves slow streaming problem

First, Callaba helps to figure out if any issue is taking place. There are several useful system tools that allow you to monitor and troubleshoot network problems.

  • Network analysis using an intelligent system for diagnosing network problems.

  • Monitor critical metrics such as bitrate, packet drops, RTT (round trip time), fps and server resource consumption in real-time.

3. Keeping the quality of streaming

The higher the quality of your broadcast equipment, the more attractive your content will look.

Make sure you capture the action with a suitable 4K or FullHD camera with audio inputs.

You can find a detailed overview and recommendations for choosing in the article: Best cameras for streaming

Streaming quality can be increased by:

  • Capturing original images in the highest resolution;

  • Video encoder that compresses video and audio without losing quality.

If you are just starting out, use a software encoder. It will work based on the processing power of your computer.

As a pro, you are most likely aware that you prefer a hardware encoder since it takes the load off of your computer and you can use its computing power elsewhere.

How Callaba deals with the encoding problem

Callaba provides maximum compatibility with various equipment, hardware devices and software encoders. 

  • Out-of-the-box hardware compatibility with any edge device. Callaba is fully compatible with hardware encoders, decoders like Matrox, NewTek, Makito, Teradek, KiloView etc

  • Callaba Cloud supports OBS Studio, Larix Broadcaster, vMix, WireCast, Zoom, Haivision Gateway, Restream, etc.

4. Improving your router

We recommend using a dual band device. The advantage of this technology for your streams is that it automatically switches between bands. You will therefore be protected from buffering during peak traffic periods.

Tips: Standard Wi-Fi has an average range of 2.4 GHz. This is usually not enough. For quality streaming, you need to get to 5 GHz.

But before looking for the best router, try repositioning your existing one just in case. Sometimes if the router is on the ground, at the far end of a room or house, and there are doors, or a closet, or other objects between the router and the device - all of this can affect the speed of its operation.

5. Checking your modem

But what if your modem can only handle a slow connection? 

Check the connection to see how it goes. 

  1. Disconnect the Ethernet cable from the router and connect it to your laptop or PC in order to do this.

  2. Restart the modem and wait for the computer to join the network.

  3. Find any program that tests the speed and run the test.

  4. Compare the speed that the program issued with the one declared by the provider at your rate. 

If they do not match for the worse, contact your provider. Perhaps there is a better tariff or it's time to change the service provider. Also, let them know you have already done all the initial tests, so they won't be able to blame something else on the problem.

If everything seems to be working fine with your modem, you may need to look for the cause in your wireless router and Wi-Fi. 

For this situation, you can also use the speed test. But do not forget that for an adequate result, you need to be 2 feet from the transmission device. The speed in Mbps should be at least 10. Otherwise, it's time to change the device, it is no longer suitable for streaming.

It is also possible to amplify the network signal by using mesh systems to distribute data transmission.

6. How do I fix streaming crashes?

There are simple steps that might help you:

  1. You can try the good old “turn it off and back on again”. For some issues resetting the settings is enough to make them go away.

  2. Another option is to change the live streaming resolution in your streaming service settings. Yes, the picture quality will get worse, but data transmission failures will disappear. Do you have room for compromise?

  3. Another life hack is a simple update of video card drivers.

  4. To keep your stream running smoothly, stay tuned for updates for your devices.

How Callaba will support you here

Callaba comes into play at a second stage of the game : Callaba gets input that is coming from somewhere. The platform has the ability to deliver content to any device at any scale in 80 countries around the world. Callaba supports all modern browsers on any platform: Linux, Windows, MacOS, Android and iOS. 

You can organize events of any scale : from large stadiums to small local events, broadcast to audiences as small or as large as you need. You can choose servers of any capacity for the expected audience size, use scaling and CDN to broadcast around the world (serves 245 countries and territories). Flexibility allows you to reach every viewer and make sure you don't use more resources than necessary.

7. Technical compatibility

Keep in mind that different streaming platforms have different quality and speed requirements.

In other words, if your transmission is set up for 1080p, but the platform has only 720p, you can exhaust your data resource.

Don't forget to test before streaming.

What can you do with Callaba

The platform is designed in such a way that you can transcode, route, record streams, create players, adjust sound channels, add overlay and other elements.

You can fine tune bitrate, frame rate, keyframes, video and audio quality, container type and size on the fly.

What if something goes wrong?

You can reach out to us directly from your instance. Our technical support always has your back.

If you did not find your question in this review, you can write to us and we will suggest what we have for your situation.

If you are interested in trying us out, we offer a free 5-day trial period on AWS.

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