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What You Need To Know About The Internet For A Live Stream

Venues, before you say “Yea, we have internet for your live-stream”, read this!

If you have an event space, live streaming is going to be a part of your business for the foreseeable future.  And chances are you might not be set up with the best IT infrastructure to handle the needs that your customer is going to have. Before you go ahead and say “Yea, we have internet”, read some of our helpful advice below to make sure you are set up for success.

  1. Just because you have an internet connection, does not mean you can automatically do a live stream. The strength and the speed of the that connection are the most important part of the equation.
  2. Internet service providers (ISP) all have different packages and plans that you can be a part of. You are going to want to call your ISP such as Comcast or Verizon and ask them what is available in your area.
  3. The plans are usually described as something like 100/100 or 300/300 or 300/35. The first number is the download speed and the second number is the upload speed.
  4. The largest plan you can get right now is what they call gigabit speed (1Gbps or gigabits per second). That is the fastest, as well as the most expensive. That just means that 1 gigabit of information can flow through the line per second. To give you something to compare it to, most of us have 100 Mbps (megabits per second) speed at home. So gigabit speed is 10 times faster than what you may have at home.
  5. Some ISP’s don’t always have the same download/upload speeds. Which means you may get 1 gigabit on the download side, but the upload speed is capped at 35 megabits per second.
  6. The higher the number on both sides is important, but the upload speed, the second number, is really important.
  7. We suggest the second number to be at least 100Mbps and the first number to be at least 100mps. Getting your plan to be near the 300/300 level is going to be just fine. However, the bare minimum you would want to have is no less than 35Mbps/35Mbps.
  8. The best way to test what you currently have is to go to the following website https://speedof.me/
  9. This site will run a diagnostic and tell you what your speeds are…(don’t forget to accept the cookies first) You should do this for both your wired and wireless connection. You can even do it right now on your phone. Turn your WIFI on and see what speed you get. Then turn your WIFI off so you are only on your wireless carrier and see what speed you get.
  10. The best strength and the best speeds are going to come from a hardwired connection. A reliable hardwire connection at your venue is essential to successful streams. If you run the speed test and compare them, when you are connected via a hardline connection and a wireless connection you will notice the wireless is slower.
  11. Adding additional hardwire lines could be a good move. The more areas you have for an A/V team to connect to, the less wiring you have to have running across the floor.
  12. We do not suggest you use wireless internet with any live broadcast. Wireless can drop more easily and has the potential for more dead area’s. But if it is the only option, you want to have repeaters set up throughout your space so that you can get strong signals no matter where you are in the building. You also want to make sure that if you are using only WIFI, it should be a hidden network from the public and only accessible by the streaming device at the time. Much like a highway, the more users or traffic on the WiFi bandwidth the slower the speeds
  13. Making sure your network is secure is important. You want state of the art security, as well as proper deployment of the signal. Your guest network and your working network should be separated, and password protected.
  14. Look into getting a new router. The router you have now may not allow you to get any speeds over a certain amount. A new router will allow you to do a lot of customization as well. You can set up guests’ networks, set areas of your building to have faster/slower speeds, monitor signal drops, etc. An IT professional can manage this.
  15. If you really want to give your customers piece of mind, get a second ISP. If you have two different internet providers, you can have two different signals into your building. With todays router technology, you can have both ISP’s running at the same time and if one were to go down, the router would actively switch to the other ISP.
  16. No matter what you do, or how many precautions you take, making sure you let you customer know (in writing) that you can only do so much. If the internet does drop out or there is an outage, you can’t be responsible. We are all at the mercy of the ISP’s.

 

If you have any more questions, our team would be happy to answer them for you. Give us a call at (215) 633-1200 or email us info@sslproductions.com.