The live streaming game has stepped up a notch, as it becomes the preferred way for broadcasters and/or businesses to engage with their audiences. Offering your audience a poor quality live stream can make you stand out from the crowd, but for all the wrong reasons.
No one sticks around to watch streams that lag, buffer, or worse, crash altogether. The proof is in the pudding, with 90 seconds being the average amount of time a viewer will stick around to watch a buffering live stream.
As a professional broadcaster or company looking to incorporate live streaming into their online strategy, you should be aiming for exceptional quality every time you go live. Fail to do so, and you risk your poor quality or slow loading live streams having a negative impact on your brand’s reputation.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to improve video streaming quality and provide viewers with live video content that is both reliable and at a high resolution. The main thing to keep in mind is that the higher the quality on your end of the broadcast, the better the viewing experience will be for your audience. While there may be differences in resolution depending on the internet connection and devices used by your viewers, if your upload quality and speed is optimised, you can’t go wrong.
67% of viewers say quality is the most important factor when watching a livestream
How to get the best video streaming quality…
As easy and quick as it may be to pick up a smartphone and start live streaming, it’s practically impossible to achieve a professional-looking stream without proper camera equipment. Smartphones are evolving by the day, but it’s still not possible to broadcast in 4K HD without investing in a suitable camera. Check out our recent blog post where we highlight our favourite cameras for live streaming.
If you want to provide your audience with consistently high-quality live video streaming, investing in a professional set-up is worth every penny.
Encoders are an essential component to every high-quality live stream, transforming audiovisual signals into streamable content. Without some form of an encoder, your video content won’t be suitable for streaming across the web.
Whether you choose to use physical hardware or encoding software, there are certain settings to use that ensure your content is streamed at the utmost quality:
Video Codec: H.264, 4.2 for 1080p 60 FPS, H.264, 5.1 for 1440p 60 FPS, H.264, 5.2 for 2160p 60 FPS
Audio Codec: AAC
Variable Bitrate: On
Frames Per Second/Frame rate: 30 is standard but up to 60 fps
Keyframe Interval: Recommended 2 seconds, not above 4 seconds
Video resolution: 1080p or above
Video bitrate: 4,500 to 6,000 kbps
Audio bitrate: 128 Kbps stereo
Video streaming platform
Another important tip for how to improve video streaming quality is to choose a professional and reliable streaming service. The streaming platform used can make or break your live streams where quality is concerned.
Unfortunately, the quality of an on-demand or live video isn’t only dependent on the broadcasters internet connection and equipment. The speed and resolution of your video content are also determined by the situation of your viewers. If their internet connections aren’t as strong, you need your video to adapt it’s resolution accordingly to allow your entire audience to tune in from any device and location. Make sure your video platform allows for multi-bitrate streaming and transcoding, so your content can adapt in quality, rather than offering a video that buffers or doesn’t load whatsoever.
When finding the right platform to stream with, always keep in mind the features offered. Zidivo’s platform allows live streaming from any device, with any type of encoder, in full 1080p HD, and for any amount of time. The nature of live streaming and the fact it relies heavily on the running of a number of essential components means that things can go wrong. At Zidivo, we pride ourselves on our 24/7 customer support. If you do run into any issues with the quality or processing speed of your streams, you can benefit from our unlimited support!
High-quality live video streaming largely rests on the strength and speed of your internet connection. To make sure your livestream doesn’t disappoint or buffer for your viewers, ensure that your internet speed is at its optimum level.
Essentially, your internet’s bandwidth should be at least double your broadcast bitrate. Some speed is lost in the uploading and encoding process, so the higher you can keep the speed at your end, the better it will be on the viewing side.
There’s a number of ways to improve and maintain a strong internet connection. First of all, don’t depend on a WiFi connection - they can never be 100% reliable. If possible, always use a wired ethernet connection to ensure that your stream quality doesn’t falter or drop out.
Of course, wired connections aren’t always feasible, especially if your live streams involve movement or changes in setting. This doesn’t mean that you have to settle for a slower or lower quality stream though, simply make sure that you aren’t competing for connection with others around you and that there are no other programmes running on your device. It’s also worth clearing any temporary caches - most computers are cluttered with old cached files and licenses that can affect your streaming speed.
When broadcasting, you can never be too careful. You should always test, test, and test again, to make sure no issues present themselves at the last minute. Check your resolution, speed, equipment, and more on multiple devices to give yourself peace of mind and avoid any potentially negative impacts on your reputation by offering a dodgy stream.
Zidivo’s professional live streaming platform offers a wide range of features to allow professionals to broadcast live or stream on-demand video at exceptional quality. Whether you’re looking to broadcast a continual stream on your business’ site, or you’re after a platform to provide reliable on-demand video for a specific landing page, the Zidivo platform is suitable for all video needs.
There are a number of key components that will determine the budget required for your planned live streams. For example, what type of video do you have in store for your audience? Are you planning a live virtual event that will be highly dynamic or a simple sit-down video with one person talking to the camera? The complexity, content and equipment needed to pull off your live stream will all have an influence on the budget you need available.
Whether you’re looking for a camera that allows for crisp and professional-looking streams, or you prefer a camera that allows you to film whilst out-and-about - there are plenty of great options out there. We’re here to reveal our favourite video cameras for live streaming, though of course, the camera that’s right for you will depend on your budget, requirements, and personal preferences.
Our 30 day free trial includes access to all features as well as 5GB to get you started. No obligation and no cards required. Just reach out if you want to discuss any aspect of your streaming project.