[How to] Optimize Stream Quality

Optimize Stream Quality

Knowing how to optimize stream quality is crucial to any avid LIVE Shopping streamer.

As you prepare to go live, you might notice a stream quality index in the top-right corner of the preview window. This index will categorize your stream quality under 3 tags:

  • Excellent: No issues
  • Good: Minor issues
  • Poor: Major issues that need attention

The ‘Excellent’ tag means that your stream is completely received by the Livescale servers. In other words, we are receiving every single frame.

The ‘Good’ tag means that your stream is almost entirely received by the Livescale servers. In some instances, it might forget to send a frame once every few seconds, but this shouldn’t be really noticeable.

The ‘Poor’ tag means that your stream is hardly received by the Livescale servers. The feed is choppy and your network has a hard time successfully sending over your frames to our servers.

To address this issue, we need to optimize the connection between your streaming device and the Livescale servers.

Here are 3 ways to optimize your stream quality:

    1. Limit the number of users of Wi-Fi on your network.

      Imagine you are a student in a classroom trying to showcase its work to the teacher. If it’s only you and the teacher, it will be super easy to discuss. Add 25 other students in the classroom, it might be a bit harder but you should still be able to talk. Now, imagine these 25 other students start talking to each other while you are trying to showcase your work to the teacher, it will be hard, won’t it?

      The same principle applies to Wi-Fi. Your stream reaches our servers more easily if you stream on your Wi-Fi alone. Add 25 other users on the network, it might still work, but if they start downloading and watching movies, it’ll soon be difficult to stream without any issues. So, start by limiting the number of users on your Wi-Fi network to improve your stream health.

    1. Reduce the bitrate of your stream

      In your desired streaming application, there should be a setting to adjust the bitrate of your feed. The bitrate determines how much information is sent every second. The higher the bitrate, the higher the quality, but also the size of the stream. Start by setting your bitrate to at least half the speed of your Wi-Fi. Let’s illustrate with an analogy.

      Imagine you have a conveyor belt moving car parts from one end of a factory to another. The conveyor belt can only have 2 car parts for every meter of belt. You decide that you want to move more parts at the same time, so you start piling the parts up. The only problem is now the conveyor belt is moving at a much slower rate due to the weight of those parts, so the people at the other end of the factory have to wait for the parts to come for a much longer time. The same applies to bitrate. You might want to send more information to your audience by increasing the bitrate. However, doing so only results in a delayed delivery of video frames which leaves your audience waiting for the next video image.

    1. Increase your Wi-Fi bandwidth

      Instead of overloading your conveyor belt, simply upgrade it to a more powerful model. Increasing the bandwidth of your Wi-Fi network will allow you to stream with a better quality while avoiding dropped frames.  This will allow you to have a larger margin of error should anyone decide to sneakily hop onto your Wi-Fi network and start watching their latest show. You can test your Wi-Fi network speed anytime to assess how much more bandwidth you need!

In a few words, Limit, Reduce, Increase. Limit how many users are on your Wi-Fi network, reduce the bitrate of your stream, and finally increase your Wi-Fi bandwidth.

You’re now ready to stream with an optimal stream quality!