Tackling Top Issues (Part 2): Battling With Bandwidth


Today’s Tuesday Tips post is part two of the five-part series, which will focus on how to tackle some of the most common issues our broadcasters face. Kayla D’Alonzo, one of our Customer Success reps, will be sharing advice over the next five weeks, starting with buffering issues within stream and how to avoid it.

Battling With Bandwidth


   When it comes to broadcasting to your Ustream channel page, the most important thing you should always have is a reliable Internet connection. When you are watching your broadcast and experience buffering, choppiness and at times a blue spinning wheel, don’t panic! Here are key items you should follow before every broadcast.

BEFORE every broadcast, we strongly recommend the following:

  • Hardline Internet connection is recommended when it comes to reliable bandwidth during your broadcast. If wireless is the only available option, make sure you are the dominant user.

  • Run a speedtest from the computer you are broadcasting from. Please visit www.speakeasy.net/speedtest and select the San Francisco server to check your upload speed. The most important part of this test is the upload speed.  If your goal is to broadcast in HD, you must have at least 2.5 mbps and above for your upload speed level. If you experience lower than 2.5 mbps then SD is your only option.

  • When you are encoding your broadcast settings, make sure to match it with your bandwidth level. For example, if your upload speed is at 1 mbps then the highest bitrate should encode at is 500 kbps, because the bitrate level will fluctuate during the broadcast. If you exceed your available bandwidth the stream will buffer and die.  Please review the chart below for appropriate bandwidth and broadcast settings. Very helpful!


Recommended Encoding Settings

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 4.52.43 PM

  • If buffering still occurs throughout your broadcast (test as early and as long as possible), try lowering the bitrate on your encoder to match with the available upload speed

  • Ustream Producer offers a great feature! During your broadcast, keep an eye out on the frames per second (located above preview and live display box). It should stay between the numbers 29-30 fps.


Check out our helpful knowledge base articles about bandwidth! Encoding Specs and Stream Settings, Recommended Broadcast Settings in Producer, Streaming to Ustream from the Newtek Tricaster.

Have fun and happy streaming! Next week, I’ll deep dive into broadcast delays (from shooting to stream).


Subscribe to updates