here’s what I’ve learned about lagging, pixilation, and bad streaming….Background: I’ve been having issues on SM with all of these issues for months now. I thought it was the External Encoder at first and tried everything that their support suggested and had zero results. Then I thought it was my computer. I spent hours researching types of computers, processors, video cards, etc…
I talked to computer experts who informed me that yes processors can have an affect but when it comes to streaming that looking at your download/upload speeds are what really have the biggest effect on your streaming. I wasn’t just having issues on SM but also on the other sites I was on including some issues when I was on Skype not getting a really strong signal. I went to speedtest.net and ran several speed tests. My download speed was regularly anywhere between 18 kbps and 25 kbps but my upload speeds ranged wildly between .35kbps and 6kbps. Streammate’s encoder FAQ says you need a minimum .6kbps upload speed to stream well but this is false! After talking to every expert on the planet, tons of tech assists at my cable company, and Google’ing everything I could about upload speed, I learned that anything under 5kbps on your upload speed starts to degrade the quality of the stream.
Now I have had excellent streaming anything above 4kbps but below that it starts to get bad. Most of the articles I read stated that your “bitrate should never exceed 50% of your upload speed”. I don’t know about most of the sites you girls work on, but on SM when you use the encoder you have the option to make adjustments to your bit rate (even though SM FAQ will give you the bit rate you should use, you CAN adjust it!). This definitely made a difference for sure but it didn’t solve the problem. Here’s where it gets interesting. So I called my cable company for the 10th time (all previous calls in an attempt to solve my issues resulted in nothing. I had techs come to my house, bring me a new modem, bought a new router, tried hard wired instead of wifi, and even changed out some of my older cables I was using). None of this changed my upload speed.
I got a tech on the line who pinged my cable box and told me everything looked good (as usual). I explained to her that I worked from the house and did web “meetings” and that my stream kept having issues or being dropped and that I had learned that upload speed was my issue. She told me that the high speed package I had with them was their 2nd tier package that only had a max upload speed of 2Kbps!!! She said if I upgraded to the next tier for an additional $10 a month it guaranteed me a minimum upload speed of 5kbps! Instantly I said UPGRADE ME WOMAN!!!!
All of this took about 5 minutes and I did another speed test. HOLY CRAP I was getting download speeds of 35kbps and upload speeds in the 25kbps!!!! So after hours of frustration, tears, hissy fits, BUYING A BRAND NEW COMPUTER, and rants to various techs…..all it took was $10 f****ing dollars to fix my issues! Now no matter what site i’m on, encoder, no encoder…my stream is always great. So my friends….call your cable/dsl provider and ask them what kind of upload speeds are you paying for, what is being guaranteed as your minimum and make sure you are paying for what you get …..and happy streaming. If you need further explanation or if I can help you walk through your settings give me a shout.