Welcome to the engaging world of live streaming! For most of us we think of streaming as. “just plug in my camera point and go.” When we get into streaming we realize that there is a little more to it than that. You may be thinking that you are going to get this amazing video and discover that, in reality, the quality that you are able to stream is not quite what you are expecting it to be. This can be frustrating, but it does not have to ruin your streaming experience.
The first area that you are going to have to consider is your internet speed. Not your download speed, but your upload speed. What is the difference you ask? Well, the difference is in the fact that you will be uploading your video stream for your congregation to see. Because most people download and do not upload Internet service providers or ISPs have not focused on advertising their upload speeds in their plans. This will be vital in choosing what ISP you decide to go with. For a breakdown on the types of internet, there are and what their capabilities for uploading are please refer to our tutorial on Internet Streaming Speeds and Quality.
There are many video cameras that you can use to record your streaming on. Keep in mind that you will want a camera that is either at your streaming resolution or higher. You never want to use a camera that has a lower resolution and try to broadcast in a higher resolution.
Another factor will hinge on whether or not you are using an RTMP device, or if you are running your feed through a computer with a video capture card using Wirecast. In that case, you will need to refer to the hardware and software manufacturers recommended specifications for what computer to purchase.
Streaming Quality Explanations.
We like to think of the internet being instant, so it is easy to forget that there are physical parts to the world-wide-web. Things like servers and wires running to those servers and the distance that a signal has to run from play a part in what quality stream you can have. We currently have 3 ingest points for streaming that are determined by what part of the United States you live in. We do this to aid in keeping a better quality stream for you to have. Ingest points are server banks where your stream is ran through so that your stream has an IP that can be linked to and watched. And because your stream has to physically travel (albeit super-fast) to these ingest points things like internet outages and unusually high internet traffic may slow your stream down creating a lower quality video. This is rare, but if your stream is all of the sudden lower quality and your upload speed and equipment is functioning properly this could be a reason for a temporarily lower quality stream. This can be determined by contacting our customer support. Again, this is not a typical issue.
One of the highest factors to consider when streaming is your congregation's internet usage. That is right, people using their mobile devices will slow down your internet speed and that could result in a lower quality stream. Not only mobile devices but check in devices, Sunday school or children’s church lesson streaming, online dependent worship presentation software all have a hand in slowing down your internet usage. Think of how water is distributed throughout your house. It comes in from the road and pipes go throughout your house. The first pipe out will get priority for the highest water pressure while the last pipe out will get the lower priority thus the lowest water pressure. And if all of the faucets are in use, the pressure everywhere drops. That is how your internet speed works when using a router. One thing to consider is making your streaming device the highest priority, a more definitive approach would be to get an additional high-speed internet line dedicated for your stream.
Considering all of these options will give you, and your congregation, a better streaming experience. Happy Streaming!