Getting the most out of Wi-Fi

marksbury

New Member
I understand that the preferred and most reliable way to live stream is through a corded connection, and I do this with success on my home network. I also successfully live stream using the wi-fi on my home network when I need to, so I know it is possible. I'm wondering if I can get more out of it.

When I'm out and about, specifically on Sundays for church, I need to use the hot-spot on my phone (in our case, a regular internet connection isn't an option). I spoke to my AT&T about doing this, and with the plan I have, they're convinced that it's possible to do an 1 1/2 hour stream over the phone with lower settings. Yet, the stream almost always fails, sometimes a half-hour in, sometimes 45 minutes in, sometimes a full hour. In a test this week, I was able to get an hour and fifteen minute stream in over the phone, shy of my goal.

I'm wondering what the community suggests adjusting. I've brought the stream down to 640x360, 950 bitrate, 25 fps. My stream is going out to a service that splits it to three platforms, so I only have the one stream going out. I'm also curious if there is perhaps a feature to record/buffer if there is a drop in connection that reestablishes (I see the stream delay but unsure if this works for this). I've attached the log file for any other thoughts you might have. Thank you for your help!
 

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Lawrence_SoCal

Active Member
2 aspects of this:
1. Optimizing OBS... I'll leave that for this who know far more than I
2. Internet access... which has nothing to do with OBS, just a dependency for live stream... which I will comment on
You mention WiFi, but then talk about a smartphone mobile hotspot (which uses WiFi) but the Internet connection itself is cellular .... there are SO many things that can go wrong here. Just a guess, but you are in a more rural area? you should see what a mess WiFi can be in dense urban areas.

I understand why you mention WiFi working at your house... but unless you understand the really complex workings around WiFi, suffice it to say that there is plenty of causes for interference, and without sophisticated monitoring equipment, you'll never see/determine the causes of that interference (though some are more easily determined than others). Things to check into:
a. the specifics of your phone/hotspot, and the cell plan you have. For example, some carriers offer a slower tethered hotspot data rate than the phone itself is communicating with cell towers, and even then different plans at the carrier offer different rates (ex 3g hotspot data rate on 4g connection). However, a dedicated hotspot (vs phone or tablet) not subject to the throttling. So.. it depends, lots of caveats/details you'll need to research
b. do you have anything else connecting to your phones hotspot?
c. is there other WiFi devices in the area (ie other phones trying (don't have to succeed) to connect to your hotspot)? Or another access point?
As you mentioned WiFi on phone, I'm guessing you are streaming from a laptop/PC?
- Have you made sure that computer is configured to NOT use the Internet access for anything else (like OS patches, etc).
- if you phone supports it, can you use a USB connection from phone to computer? avoid WiFi issues entirely... but this isn't standardized, so depends on phone and PC as to how easy/hard it might be to get such working?

When first started our House of Worship live streaming 6 months ago, we regularly had a disconnect per service on AT&T DSL. Things have since improved. So I warned our users to be patient with a disconnect, as OBS (for us) always reconnected immediately (within a few seconds). So I shortened the re-connect attempt in OBS settings from default 5 seconds down to 3 to speed reconnect. Only once or twice did I have to restart a new session (vs re-connecting to existing session). In Facebook, I change default setting so that livestream doesn't end with a disconnect. I'm not surprised at all that you get an occasional disconnect with your setup. Personally, I'd focus on making sure your stream continues after momentary (hopefully that is all it is) pause/interruption. As for a buffer to accommodate temporary streaming connection interruptions, does your re-streaming service offer such?

Also, how is cellular connectivity? how many people at service using same carrier, and possibly using bandwidth at same time?
Some phones will operate antenna at high power level when phone plugged in/charging. Or you may need a cell signal booster (though there are pro's/con's to these as well)
As for bandwidth, when we started, a bandwidth test showed up having 5mb/s upload, and I had problems until I adjusted bitrate down to 3000 kbps. With a newer PC without a huge amount of corporate security s/w installed, and speedtest showing better than 10Mb/s upload, I've now upped out 720p stream to 4500 kbps and have no issues

We looked into multi stream provider, but we are too small to use YouTube's scheduled live streaming feature, and by streaming from a PC (vs mobile device) on Facebook, there is a URL anyone can watch (no need to log on) and browser watchers can see FB comments (though can't comment themselves). So for us, it made a lot more sense to go single platform. The downside is the 720p limit currently, but works fine for us for now.
 
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