Properly estimating your bandwidth can make (or break) your live stream or webcast.
Here’s a cautionary tale and how to insure a happy ending.
A few years ago, a major hospital contacted DiscoverVideo to help them stream a large event. They were convinced they wanted to use our streaming service, Arcus, to stream live video to thousands of viewers.
“Can you say where the viewers might be located?” I asked.
“Oh, right here in our building. We want all employees to watch” she said. “Maybe a few at home too, but mostly the viewers are here on the campus.”
“You really should have a local server in this case” I offered. “Unless you have a ton of inbound internet access, a premises solution is better for you.”
“No, we will just use the Internet. It will be fine,” she said. “Please, don’t inflict a denial of service attack on yourself!” I warned.
It wasn’t fine.
Just 1,000 viewers of a 1 Mbps stream requires more than 1 Gbps of inbound bandwidth (1,000 x 1 Mbps). Their email and other applications slowed to a crawl, and the streaming experience was not good as more and more local viewers tuned in.
For the next event, they installed a DEVOS server which delivered the live streams to local viewers transparently, while viewers outside of their local network got the video from the Arcus CDN.
Now they can deliver live streams to everyone and view on desktops, mobile devices, set top boxes, even Roku boxes, without using excessive internet access bandwidth. What’s more, they can simultaneously stream to Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, and even Twitch.
And remote offices use StreamPump to eliminate bandwidth worries and deliver crisp, live HD video broadcasts everywhere.
Bandwidth is generally free and plentiful inside our enterprise networks, but internet access is not free and often not plentiful. You should use it wisely.
When to Use Which Streaming Appliance?
Here are some tips:
- If your viewers are remote, dispersed, independent, in their homes, or on cellular service, then stream via the public Internet with Arcus or DEVOS Cloud
- If your viewers are local, in the same building or LAN, then stream via local DEVOS server or use DEVOS Cloud with StreamPump
- If your viewers are both local and remote, then use both.
Check out our Bandwidth Calculator to help accurately prepare.