Something we cannot forget and that it is very important to mention are the particular requirements in terms of connectivity and speed, that is, we need an internet connection fast and robust enough to be feeding this signal to the streaming server whether we use a private CDN or public networks such as YouTube.
YouTube will need an excellent connection so that, while we send the signal, after that it replicates to our users or spectators.
This is one of the most important points is, what types of connections exist?
Basically we have fixed connections (which can be via ADSL, Cable, Fiber optic, etc.) and wireless connections (3G / 4G / LTE and Via Satellite)
(Note: We also have 5G Connection but we are not going to add it because of the lack of access at this time).
What is the ideal connectivity option for streaming?
Obviously, a fixed connection. Because it is generally much more stable. Let’s talk a little more about this.
In a fixed connection we have fewer problems in terms of signal saturation because generally fixed connections are much faster and have much more power than mobile connections. Now, something also important, you can use a wireless or wired connection to our computer or our equipment with it to do the streaming. From our point of view, whenever we can use cable it is better to use cable, why? Because the cable is not prone to interference like wireless signals, although we know that the wireless Wi-Fi signal has improved greatly with new standards such as 802.11n and 802.11ac.
If we are in an area where there are too many Wi-Fi networks, where there are microwave ovens, trees, 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz wireless phones, where they operate on the same frequencies as Wi-Fi networks, that can cause us interference, which is something we have to take great care.
Then, preferably cable.
Why use a fixed connection and not a wireless one?
The reason is because of the bandwidth.
Let’s see how the bandwidth issue works.
99% of internet connections are asymmetrical, what does that mean, that we have more download speed than upload and to stream, what matters is not the download speed, but the upload speed.
The upload speed has to be wide enough to be able to get this video signal to be transmitted properly.
For reference, an average connection contracted to an operator and marketed as “10 megabytes” since they are 10 megabytes of descent, if it is possible to have 1 ascent.
A connection sold as “100 megabytes” down, when much comes to have 8 megabytes.
Unless they are “symmetrical”, which, as you can see from the prices, are much more expensive. And you may have them in your houses or contracted offices, but it is not something massive yet in countries like Spain or those in Latin America.
This is something we have to consider. When we verify the type of connection that we are going to use to stream, we have to check the upload speed.
Speedtest, an excellent tool for testing
For this, there are tools like Speedtest, to do the test and check how we are doing in terms of upload speed. Speedtest, in addition to having a free website where you can check the speed, has a plugin for Google Chrome and an application for Android and iOS.
You have to do these tests for a certain time because another issue is that internet connections unless they are dedicated links, are shared with more users. This means that internet providers feed a certain amount of signal to the network and obviously if nobody is using the network we have full availability, but at the moment when someone starts using the network, the cake starts to Divide into slices and we have a smaller slice each time the more people are working. Take the test and compare the speed of the network during the week during working hours with weekends. This is very important.
Check the upload speed that we have not only in the public network, that is, with our provider, but in our internal network. What is ideal? That the network we use to stream is dedicated and not shared with anyone. Why? Because if we check that we have, let’s say, 1 mega upload and 10 downloads, for example, but someone in our same network, in our same office and starts synchronizing a file folder in the cloud, obviously, that Mega upload will be split between us and the person who is doing the synchronization. If we add four, five or ten more people to that, that mega is being cut and the speed we have for all of us drops.
In the case of mobile wireless internet (cellular) with 3G, 4G, LTE modems, etc., the bandwidth is different. The fastest connections with 4G LTE technology in certain markets reach up to 50 megabytes, but in return, the cost per mega is very high.
There are modem solutions called bonding solutions, which connect several 4G modems, this is something that television networks use. It is a box to which several modems of telephony providers are connected at the same time and the speed of these four modems is combined to achieve bandwidth and thus achieve a better quality transmission. These are expensive equipment, so much so that there are even companies that only rent them for hours. The largest manufacturer of this equipment is called Teradek and has the solutions. They are expensive equipment and we have to hire four 4G LTE modems with their corresponding megabytes bought in advance.
Right Quality for Live Streaming
Ideally, in most scenarios, if we do not have the budget to enter with a bonding solution and so many 4G LTE cellular modems, it is to use fixed connections and, verify that this connection is dedicated to us and verify the speed going up.
Now, in terms of transmission and in terms of quality, we work in HD 720p and FullHD 1080p for everything we do. However, for the purposes of the stream we have to consider, who is going to see us and the connection speed of the people who are going to see us and our upload speed.
Initially, streaming in FullHD 1080p can be very attractive. However, if people are not going to have the speed to watch that stream in FullHD, it doesn’t make much sense. In fact, in most cases, most people who work in HD go to a resolution of 720p as a cap and the reason is because of the upload speed. And the truth is that it looks good enough.