Keeping with the unofficial “Video Streaming 101” theme, it’s time to examine bitrate, and more specifically, your streaming bitrate. This may be a complex subject for beginners to delve into and will also significantly influence video streaming capacity, so we’ll cover the essentials in the sections below.
What exactly is ‘Bitrate?’
Bitrate refers to the quality of the video or music sent to your selected platform (or platforms if you’re using any specific Studio!). The bitrate is expressed in kilobits per second (kbps), which indicates the number of ‘bits’ of data being transmitted and at what ‘rate’ (i.e., speed) they are being transmitted.
Generally, audio bitrate is fixed at 160 kbps while streaming; thus, when people talk about streaming games and bitrate, they’re referring to video bitrate 99 per cent of the time.
Bitrate is greatly dependent on the speed of your internet connection and the ability of your streaming PC to encode video effectively. Choosing the appropriate encoder is a separate topic, but for now, let’s concentrate on the bitrate at which you should stream your video.
What is the most excellent bitrate for streaming?
Live video streaming consumes a significant amount of bandwidth. The amount will vary according to a variety of variables. While encoding is critical, the streamed content is also critical. Platforms, as well as the resolution (in pixels, or p) and frame rate (in frames per second, or fps) of your broadcast, all have a role.
As an example, suppose you wish to live stream an interview you’re doing. You have the option of broadcasting live on Facebook, YouTube, or Twitch. Given that all of these services allow live streaming video in 720p quality, we’ll follow each platform’s recommended bitrate:
* YouTube Live suggests a video bitrate of between 1,500 and 4,000 kbps, with an audio bitrate of 128 kbps.
* Facebook Live recommends a video bitrate of up to 4,000 kbps, with an audio bitrate of up to 128 kbps.
* Twitch recommends a video bitrate of between 2,500 and 4,000 kbps, with an audio bitrate of up to 160 kbps.
If you stream live video at 720p and 30 frames per second, you may upload up to 4,160 kilobits, or 4.16 Mbps, of data each second. Therefore, having an upload bandwidth of roughly 4 Mbps be enough.
Not exactly. You will need to upload up to 4,160 kilobits of data per second continuously. Because these speeds change, it’s a good idea to keep a buffer of 35% to 40%. This equates to an upload rate of around 5,700 kilobits per second or 5.7 megabits per second. However, if you are confident in the stability of your internet connection, such a delay may not be necessary. Bear in mind that a reliable connection is just as critical as upload speed!
Due to various factors, the upload bandwidth announced by your ISP and the upload speed you can obtain with your connection may be significantly different. That is why it is always a good idea to check your upload speed utilizing internet speed tests. If you intend to stream 720p video at 30 frames per second, the result of these tests should be up to 5.7 Mbps.
How to derive an effective upload speed for streaming?
Calculating the upload speed you seek is one thing; obtaining that speed is quite another.
Your upload speed is limited by the service packages offered by your Internet service provider. Download speeds will always be faster than upload speeds for residential customers. The best method to achieve harmony between the two is, if feasible, to subscribe to a business-level service. It will always ensure that you upload at the ISP’s advertised speed. This results in increased stability and dependability, ensuring that live feeds run smoothly.
In terms of relative speed, the good news is that internet connections are growing faster on a global scale. Increased speeds are coming to your company or home via fibre-optic internet – that is if fibre is available in your region.
Thus, the first step in obtaining a sufficient upload speed for streaming is to change your Internet service provider. However, you should anticipate paying a premium for increased speed. Additionally, inquire about the service’s quality from others.
As a live video streamer, the quality of your content is contingent upon the broadcast’s quality. This is unquestionably true. You can possess the finest abilities in the most popular games, the best banter, or the most incredible sense of humour. However, if viewers and listeners cannot see and hear you well, they will leave your broadcast.
Upload speeds have a direct impact on the quality of your broadcasts. Utilize a connection that provides a sufficient upload speed for the sort of content you intend to broadcast.
Remember that you should not automatically go for the fastest upload speed. It is only required if you intend to stream at an extremely high bitrate. And would remain proportionate, thereby fulfilling your objectives.