The following topics will be mentioned in this document:
- Types of Internet connections
- Hardware requirements
- Encoder Solutions
Before you start
Who can use this guide?
- Site Admin
- Channel Admin
This document is intended to help you with the standard recommendations to ensure your network is up & ready for live streaming.
We also provide RTMP encoder suggestions and other system requirement recommendations that have been verified by our team of experts with the Vidflex™ platform.
Network recommendations that we like
Speak with your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to see what is available in your area
- Wired (preferred) vs wireless. We like to try and stay away from using a shared network as that will take away from the upload bandwidth needed for the stream.
- Your upload bandwidth should be at least double what you’re streaming. Only use up to half of your maximum upload bandwidth for all streams combined. See our Recommended Encoder Settings guide for more information. Some common scenarios below:
- The minimum upload bandwidth for an HD 720p stream is 5 Mbps because the bitrate for that quality of stream uses 2.5 Mbps.
- The minimum upload bandwidth for a true HD 1080p stream is 7 Mbps because the bitrate for that quality of stream uses 3.5 Mbps.
- Fixed bandwidth — talk to your ISP if this is an available option. Try to stay away from variable bandwidth because it does not provide consistency. Don’t confuse variable bandwidth with the encoder settings variable & constant, they are two different things.
ISP advanced optimization
- Multiple ISP (as a fallback but it is expensive) – talk to your ISP
- Redundant Connections (automatic fallback to LTE) – talk to your ISP
- Multiple encoders (only works with multiple ISP’s)
Run a speed test at fast.com and bookmark this in your browser!! This site starts testing your download speed automatically upon landing on its page. When it finishes you need to click on the “Show more info” at the bottom to test your Upload Speed, measured in Mbps (1Mbps = 1000Kbps).
Below are hardware specs that we recommend if live streaming a true HD (1920×1080) live stream. You can run a live stream with less processing power than what’s noted below but anticipate the quality of your live stream to be lower in order to work properly.
Keep in mind, the more light activity and movement being captured (sports game vs. someone standing and talking) will require more processing power from your machine.
Windows 10 | MacBook Pro / macOS the latest Catalina version
- Screen Resolution: 1920x 1080
- Processors: Intel Core i7 Processor 3Ghz+
- Memory (RAM): 16 GB minimum, 32 GB preferred
- Hard Drive:
- 500 SSD minimum
- Secondary 1 TB HDD if you plan to store lots of recordings
- Graphics Card: GeForce
- External Video Capture Card: DeckLink
iOS and Android always on the latest version
- iPhone 7, or newer models
- iPad Air 2, or newer models
- Android mobile, on version Pie or better
- Android tablet, on version Oreo or better (untested)
Software RTMP Encoders
Software encoders can run directly through a computer, utilizing its processing power. Our system requires encoders that are RTMP compatible and user authentication. If you need help determining the compatibility of your encoder, just ask us.
Below are some popular software encoder solutions.You can download any of the encoders by clicking on its link below. Watch an overview video to get a glimpse of how it works.
- OBS download | how to live stream overview — Free (Windows/Mac)
- vMix download | how to live stream overview — Paid (Windows only)
- Wirecast download | how to live stream overview — Paid (Windows/Mac)
There are mobile apps that allow for a smartphone and its camera to broadcast a live stream right from the device itself. The app we’ve tested and recommend is available for both iOS and Android called Larix.
There are some apps that even allow for your smartphone to be used as a camera input with encoders like OBS. One that we’ve tried and like is IVCam.
Hardware RTMP Encoders
Hardware encoders are a good option as they’ll work fantastically out of the box with minimal setup. Their downfall is that they can be very expensive and can become outdated overtime as technology progresses.
Below are some popular hardware encoder solutions:
Cameras with built-in RTMP Encoders
Some cameras, usually at the professional levels, have a hardware streaming encoder built-in to them. These make for a fantastic single camera solution, but they can be expensive.