Tips for better streaming video

If you want to have the best streaming experience, here’s a few things you should do. The quality of the stream depends on all the people involved in the stream. I worked with large corporations and even those participants can have stuttered video! Sometimes we just can’t control our Internet speed. Share these tips with your participants and have them try these things before you start your Live Stream.

Check your Internet Speed

You want to make sure you have a nice solid upload speed. Go to www.speedtest.net (Ideally we want at least 8Mbps up – but 4Mbps should be the minimum). I pay for 1Gig down and 40 up from Xfinity, and as you can see the download and upload is nowhere near that. On the right is a screenshot from my 5k iMac connected via an Ethernet connection.

Use an up to date computer

There are 3 main computer components that can affect your live-streaming performance:

RAM: How many apps and windows can you have open at once? For participants, limit your apps to the Zoom/Skype and one Browser window.

CPU: How fast can your machine can process video and audio. This matters more for the host.

Disk: The speed of which your apps are loaded into RAM, and how quickly they can be streamed. For host computers, you should have a Solid State Drive – SSD.

How to improve Mac Streaming Performance

Update your Software

Make sure you are using the latest version of Slack / Zoom or other conferencing software. They often fix bugs and do their best to improve the experience.

Reboot Your Computer

Limit the number of apps open on your computer (Just Skype and your notes) – This reduces device background activity and network usage.

Reboot Modem or WiFi

When I unplug the modem that is supplied by my Internet Service Provider and plug it in, I sometimes get huge speed boosts – check www.speedtest.net again to compare. If you aren’t getting the speed you are paying for, sometimes talking to support will prompt them to send commands to your router to re-provision the speeds.

Reboot the wifi if it is separate from your ISP router above. Ensure your wireless has full bars. Get close to your Wi-Fi router (same room) and choose the 5g connection if you have a choice. Make sure no one uses the microwave.

Connect via Ethernet

Try to avoid WiFi as much as possible. WiFi signals are slower than wired connections.

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Check if your cell service is faster than WiFi

You might be surprised, but sometimes LTE cell connections can be a lot faster than what you can get on your WiFi! So stand near a window if possible to get the best reception.

Ask everyone in your home to not use the Internet

Ask everyone in your home to avoid the Internet (especially YouTube / Netflix) – or other streaming services. You will have to share the bandwidth with everyone else.

Record your sessions in Side by Side gallery view

If you are recording a Zoom interview to be incorporated into a live stream, be sure that it is recording both the interviewer and the guest side by side with the heads framed similar (You don’t want one head bigger than the guest for example).

Just be sure to have them set their video at 1080p HD quality, have clear sound, and good lighting. Having good sound is more important than good video, so avoid large rooms that may have echos. Using headphones with a microphone helps. Once the participants record their video, have them send it to an online drive platform of your choice. Dropbox is great because they have a request files feature. This allows them to upload files to a folder without seeing any other files. This keeps the event a surprise.

Enable HD or the Highest Quality settings in Zoom or Skype

For the time being, standard video, not HD video, will be activated when 3 or more participants join a Zoom group meeting. HD video (720p) will be activated for 2 participants or when a Zoom Room or Conference Room Connector joins a group meeting. HD video (1080p) will only be activated for selective use cases such as large format broadcast events. Be sure to Enable HD.

Have good lighting

Your computer may be trying to compensate for low lighting. Use front lighting towards your face: A large window or 2 lamps. Don’t have lights behind you unless you have accent lights (avoid being a silhouette)

See my gear recommendations

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Contact us today if you need help running a remote live stream

If you read this far, it means that you’re destined to do better than 99% than your competition who is only looking to do basic streaming. You want your organization to stand out. Be rest assured that we will provide the highest level of service.