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Old May 19th, 2016, 11:07 AM   #1
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What is the best data rate for encoding a stream?

This was a good question for me since the Monarch unit can pump out a combined 30Mbit/sec from its encoders. (it has two of them for output so you can send one signal to two different streaming services, such as both YouTube and Facebook's Live services).

I was tempted to throw 20Mbit/sec at YouTube simply because I could. It's a nerd humour thing, and I may still do it ... but probably not for a proper event where I need it to work for sure. It's bound to be in excess of what you need to use on a practical level, and may even be too much for the amount of CPU in a server that YouTube applies to any given stream to be reprocessed for output.

You can take a look at the YouTube recommendations here: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2853702?hl=en

If you look at 'regular' 1080P they list a data rate of 3-6Mbit/sec. It's only when you go to 60fps HD that they recommend 9Mbit/sec as the top end of the range.

So naturally I will be going at 10Mbit/sec for regular 25P 1080HD footage. Because I can. LOL

Also, Monarch tech support tell me that they have seen some absolutely crystal clear HD that was encoded out at 10Mbit/sec. I'd believe them after seeing what the Monarch can do with just 2Mbit/sec.

Would going in excess of this bork things over at YouTube? Their top rate for 60fps 2560x1440 footage maxes out at 18Mbit/sec ... so clearly they have some gear that can handle data rates in that vicinity. Best to leave that burning question for another day. :-)

Andrew
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Old May 19th, 2016, 01:21 PM   #2
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Re: What is the best data rate for encoding a stream?

Disclaimer: I'm a bit old-fashioned in this.

To have everything work well from origination to distribution, I'd use the *minimum* bitrate that gave me acceptable quality. I pulled down the clip of your YT test and found that the 1.5Mbps 720p was of outstanding quality. That's a very fine encoder, that Monarch is!

This approach reduces bandwidth needs through the entire chain. And helps with latency, packet loss, freezes, and buffering through the entire chain.

But I came to webcasting in a time of internet bandwidth scarcity, and tend to think about the end-user with limited access, and the undependability of venue connectivity at the origination point.
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Old May 24th, 2016, 11:20 AM   #3
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Re: What is the best data rate for encoding a stream?

I'm with Seth, I would not be over driving that stream one bit more than I needed to for the intended quality. It is not a perfect world and bandwidth variability is still extreme. You may know how much you have leaving the building but your routing can change and hit bottlenecks along the way. Your throughput is only as good as your test at the time of testing.

Here in the states our resort internet experience is quite variable too. We can run in to a situation just like you did Andrew where no one seems to understand it or it might be just the opposite. There might be a true IT pro on site to take care of you.

You never mentioned cost. Some resorts here will absolutely rape you for dedicated bandwidth in a ballroom. The highest I have paid so far was $1,500.00 a day for a ten meg dedicated wire. I always run dedicated out of ballrooms. At hotels everything can test fine on the guest side of the system. Then at three in the afternoon another conference group comes back with four buses full of people that were out golfing. You go down in flames when they all log on to check e-mail!

Kind Regards,

Steve
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Old May 24th, 2016, 11:31 AM   #4
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Re: What is the best data rate for encoding a stream?

Andrew, How did your broadcast go on Saturday?

Steve
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Old May 25th, 2016, 09:41 PM   #5
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Re: What is the best data rate for encoding a stream?

(cable modem bit the dust, and I just got a replacement - sorry for delay in responding)

The conference went very well, considering that I was running two cameras (main + locked off wide), monitoring the stream, and taking stills when required. I also had a speaking slot about the new web site and membership management system being developed. It was a busy day!

The stream did very well, and was running at 10Mbit/sec. It did drop out in the morning, and because I was monitoring off a laptop, it was only down a minute or two before I noticed and restarted it.

Before restarting, I dropped it down to 8Mbit/sec just in case that made the difference. Didn't notice any difference in quality for the viewer and the stream was stable for the rest of the day.

I had actually requested to have 15Mbit/sec quarantined bandwidth, but when I got back after the conference I noticed that the email (and a few others) had not left my out-box due to an issue with another email in the queue .... so the hotel and the IT people never received that final request in time. Guess I can't have words with them over it. :-)

Our cost for the streaming and data was $88 which was pretty much an admin / handling fee. The hotel already has a huge whopping internet connection and Microsoft have previously run events there with 50Mbit/sec in use for their combined data needs.

We didn't have as many watching the stream as I would have hoped for, but it was only advertised a day or two before as to not cannibalise the bums-on-seats traffic, and for a few other reasons. The feedback has been very positive regarding the quality, and one of the American speakers was able to give her husband a heads-up, and he in turn was able to watch her in action (from home) via the stream. We got a bit of a kick out of that as it was such an adorably neat thing to be able to do with this technology.

Andrew
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