How to Improve Stream Quality in 2022?

Video Streaming apps
Video Streaming Development
Без рубрики
31 Oct
Eugenia Nemkova
Background

Live streaming is an increasingly saturated market. More and more industry players are looking to attract viewers to their content. Live streamed videos are being heavily used in marketing, education, entertainment, politics and more. All this creates an environment of increased competition. This means that slow streaming, sound difficulties, low-resolution issues and other streaming quality issues should not be the case for someone who wants to excel in this area. 

According to some estimates, if the quality of live broadcasts is lower than desired, the business risks losing up to 25% of revenue. Unless you’re going to test your audience for unconditional loyalty, the following tips for improving your video stream quality are a must.

10 Tips to Improve Streaming Quality

If you’ve ever wondered how to get better streaming quality, you’ll definitely find the answer in the 10 tips below.

Check Upload Speed

A high-quality stream has a need for speed. It’s a mandatory condition. The higher quality video you want to stream, the higher the Internet speed you need. If an internet speed test reports an upload speed below 7.5Mbps, you won’t be able to delight your audience with high-quality 1080p streaming. You will either be content with 720p quality or fork out for your ISP’s premium plan. However, to compete with other streamers aiming for 4K UHD content, you will need to invest in ultra-fast upload speeds that are around 24 Mbps – 61 Mbps.

Use Ethernet Cable

We all strive to get rid of wires as much as possible: first it was a cordless phone, then a wireless computer mouse and keyboard, a laptop, airPods, and other devices not on a leash. Cables and wires are not aesthetic at all and cause inconvenience and even the possibility of injury. But in order to get the best performance out of consumer-grade devices, some cables will have to put up with.

When it comes to streaming, an Ethernet cable provides a direct wired connection between your router and your device. This means that this type of connection is more stable and able to provide a better quality stream than using Wi-Fi, which has a number of technology limitations and is prone to interference.

Choose a Professional Online Video Platform

Another important factor is where your audience will meet your content – a video platform. Today, the function of streaming video does not surprise anyone, they are available on almost all popular social networks and they are absolutely free. But is your target audience there? And does this service offer technical capabilities that would ensure proper quality and sufficient functionality? In addition, such third-party platforms have full control over the hosted content, limiting the actions of its copyright holders. That is why reputable brands and companies often prefer professional enterprise video platforms. In addition to providing the best quality, as they are designed for professional streaming, they can be customized to suit your needs. You can also set up multi-streaming to several locations, such as YouTube or Instagram, to reach a larger audience.

Don’t Skimp on Good Equipment

It’s no secret that quality streaming equipment, such as a camera and microphone, is expensive. However, if you want to succeed in this business, you will have to fork out. Viewers will immediately spot a sharp image and clear sound without background noise. Conversely, a streamer who did not want to invest heavily will be immediately recognizable by the quality of the media content being created.

It is difficult to name the exact amount that needs to be spent on the purchase of devices for streaming. It all depends on the scope, quality of the video and the content itself. 4K or HD video will require more resources than broadcasting to Instagram-like social platforms, for which a cell phone with a good camera is enough. Music concert streaming equipment, which should be especially good at audio capturing, will be different from that used in streaming online shopping.

Optimize Your Browser

This is perhaps the easiest and most powerful way to improve the quality of the stream. Since running tasks at the same time affects performance, you need to make sure that all add-ons are disabled and that only the tabs and windows you need are open. Also, deleting the cache and cookies will ensure that there are no processes running in the background that would slow down the computer. All of the above simple steps can be the answer to your “how to make video buffering faster?”

Adjust Optimal Bitrate

The bitrate value displays the amount of information transmitted per second. The bitrate should be adjusted depending on the resolution of the video being streamed: for Full HD 1080p video, the optimal bitrate is from 4000 to 6000 kbps, while for 720p 2000 to 4000 kbps is sufficient. 4K video requires a higher bitrate around 8000 kbps. In addition, when setting the bitrate settings, you should take into account the capabilities of your CPU, as well as the recommendations of the streaming platform you are using.

The viewers of your stream have different Internet bandwidth, and this is important to take into account. In order to provide everyone with a decent broadcast quality without playback delays, there are multi-bitrate streaming and adaptive video players that adapt to the properties of the Internet of viewers. So if you’re a professional streamer, this is the solution for you.

Choose Optimal Resolution and Frame Rate

Sadly, sometimes you have to choose between video quality and stream quality. Naturally, you want to please your viewer with an ideal and clear image, but if the video lags at the same time, this is no good. This means that sometimes a quality stream requires a compromise. Moreover, it is worth considering that not all viewers will be able to afford 4K. Therefore, even if you have favorable conditions and good equipment for streaming video of the highest resolution, you should choose the one that will be optimal for your viewers.

Most streamers choose 720p or 1080p resolution depending on available resources and bandwidth. In addition, to improve the quality of streaming, you should also pay attention to the frame rate. Ideally, it should be at 60 frames per second (fps) so that viewers can watch a clear and smooth broadcast.

Adjust Your Encoder

Another important step to the ideal stream quality is encoder setup. A video encoder formats the video to make it compatible with streaming and to transmit it lossless through a streaming platform directly to your viewers. There are many recommendations for optimal encoder settings, collected in special guides, which are worth reading for anyone involved in streaming video. Your encoder setting affects various aspects of your live video, including resolution, bitrate, frame rate, and more.

Your live stream should be encoded in the appropriate size and format depending on your upload speed and the download speed of the viewers. Therefore, most professional streamers adopt a transcoding solution that provides adaptive streaming.

Experiment with Time and Location

Each region has peak hours for live streams that are best avoided for airing so as not to compromise quality. You can try to go live not only at different times, but also on different days of the week. Naturally, broadcasts need viewers, so doing it when they are asleep, even if the connection is very good, will not make any sense.

If you’re using a Wi-Fi connection (rather than an Ethernet cable as recommended earlier), move your router closer to the device you’re streaming to to improve connection stability. With a more stable connection, you will have fewer streaming issues and better video streaming quality.

Test Streaming

Under the right conditions, the tips above will undoubtedly benefit the quality of your streams. However, since what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution in settings and hardware configuration, it’s best to test how it works after all changes during a private stream trial (this feature is offered by some platforms). And if you’re happy with the outcome, go for high quality live streaming.

Conclusion

The above tips are the basis for a quality stream. Video streaming technology is constantly evolving. Today, with the help of good equipment, professional software and the right settings, you can win the hearts of the audience, giving them an unforgettable experience and impressions. However, getting the hang of technology is not always easy, and constantly keeping up with trends, new updates, and approaches can be challenging. That is why many companies use the services of a video streaming app development company. This way they can focus on the content of their product, leaving the care of its quality in the hands of experienced professionals.