Optimizing Stream Quality

Stream quality depends on many factors, and causes of problems can be difficult to identify. This article describes how to approach improving the quality of your live broadcasts.

Note: This article is about stream quality. If you're looking for help with creating compelling content or improving the conversion rate of your shopping stream, you might be looking for our planning resources and merchant launchpad.

First and foremost, follow the recommendations in Checklist: Things to Check Before you go Live.

They are vital and mandatory. That is always going to be the first place we point you if you are experiencing low quality streams.


Monitoring Stream Quality

It is important to understand that the quality you see in the studio doesn't always match what viewers are seeing.

What causes quality loss? The scene builder displays the original feeds or media assets that are composed together to create your stream. That video will get processed, compressed, and transcoded, possibly multiple times over before it reaches your viewers.

Some of these steps are "lossy" (meaning not every pixel is the same before and after). These are typically what you see as lower quality.


There are a couple ways to monitor the resulting quality of your livestream.

The Stream Health Monitor shows you the frame rate, measured in FPS (frames per second) for your stream in real time. FPS is the best indicator of your stream quality.

You can find the Stream Health Monitor below the Live Monitor.

Interpreting the Stream Health Monitor

Even before you're live, the color of the monitor button indicates the stream health status:

  • GREEN (Healthy): you're ready to stream and your quality should be great.

  • YELLOW (Moderate): you can stream, but your stream quality may be compromised.

  • RED (Poor): Your stream will be obviously degraded. Review the recommendations on Checklist: Things to Check Before you go Live, or contact support for advice - we're happy to help!

Tip: The Stage TEN Pro Studio can broadcast in 720p or 1080p. If you are attempting to stream in 1080p and the Stream Health Monitor is showing YELLOW or RED, consider lowering your resolution to 720p to improve stability.

You can also Click the Stream Health Monitor button to toggle the Stream Health Details visibility. This displays a few statistics, including:

  • Frame Rate (FPS) - This is output frame rate from your Stage TEN Pro Studio

  • Resolution - The resolution that is being output from your Stage TEN Pro Studio

  • Live for - This is the amount of time you have been live to your destinations


Watching on your Interactive Player or Destination

The other obvious way to confirm the stream quality is to watch it yourself. You can open your Interactive Player, or visit the social page you are multistreaming to, and see what it looks like there.

However, be careful with this. Watching your stream itself consumes some of your precious bandwidth and computer processing power, and if you're running close to your computer or network's limits, this will (ironically) impact your stream quality.

This is a great and easy way to identify major problems during rehearsal, but unless you can use a different device on a different network, we don't recommend it during your show. In fact, if possible you should ask anyone else who might be sharing your network to avoid streaming or otherwise congesting your network too.

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