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Old May 4th, 2017, 09:19 PM   #1
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Redundant data links for live streaming

Does anyone have experience with redundant data links for when you are using 4G / cellular connectivity?
I've had a request regarding this for the streaming of sports matches to YouTube.

(For higher level partner-ish things, YouTube has the ability to have two separate data transmission paths from the encoder targeted to the one stream ID, and if it detects a dropout of the data from the first path then it automatically switches over to the data coming to it from the second path.)

Curious if anyone else has had this request, and how you go about achieving it. The networking side of this would have to be slightly interesting to say the least.

Andrew
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Old May 5th, 2017, 12:45 AM   #2
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Re: Redundant data links for live streaming

Hi Andrew

You have now befuzzled my brain. On Livestream Studio I have bonded options where I can have two 4G routers and have them set up so if one fails the other will take over or I can use both routers to spread the data evenly across both connections.

Does this system use just one 4G router and it is split by You Tube?? From what you are saying it sounds much the same thing?
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Old May 5th, 2017, 11:26 AM   #3
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Re: Redundant data links for live streaming

Definitely not bonded cellular, including having SIMs from multiple carriers in the unit. It's not a 'sharing the load' arrangement either.

You have the one output going through two 4G routers/modems at the same time, each transmitting the same data to YouTube. It's redundancy for the 4G over-the-air data path to YouTube failing that they were asking about about, with the solution requiring that both 4G units would be transmitting data throughout the match.

(Imagine having a satellite transmission truck for your signal with a 4G modem running at the same time as a hot backup link in case the first one goes down.)

Andrew
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Old May 5th, 2017, 11:51 AM   #4
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Re: Redundant data links for live streaming

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Smith View Post
It's redundancy for the 4G over-the-air data path to YouTube failing that they were asking about about, with the solution requiring that both 4G units would be transmitting data throughout the match.
So you want two fully separate media, and you want them in frame sync so you can switch back and froth between them? Yeah, good luck with that. The various latency issues would probably eat you alive. I'm thinking bonded cellular (what Mr. Harding says) is the only realistic answer, simply because live remotes from news crews are increasingly using it. If it's good enough for them...
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Old May 5th, 2017, 12:38 PM   #5
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Re: Redundant data links for live streaming

I too feel that a 4GX or bonded connection should be good enough. Yes news crews do use them, but for much shorter periods and not for an hour or more of sport.

Thinking of sending an email stating that I've talked to a heap of video streaming buddies and it's not a thing that anyone has done.

Andrew
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Old May 5th, 2017, 07:43 PM   #6
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Re: Redundant data links for live streaming

Hi Andrew

Our Gold Coast Branch of Video House (that's my mate Alan) does a lot more funerals than we do and his streams are typically an hour or more with no hassles at all. Is your concern that the network may be fine at 2:00pm on a Saturday afternoon but start getting busier at say 3:00pm and your data rate slows right down at a critical point in the match ?? We have had no network issues but plenty of wifi issues at weddings where the camera to router stream back to the switcher is flaky ,,,that was quickly solved however by scrapping any wifi links and using cable instead. However I can see your issue over an AFL game where you need to stream over at least 2 hours to cover each of the 4 quarters and simply cannot have a stream fail in the dying minutes of a game with scores drawn!! Is there any other option?
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Old May 6th, 2017, 06:27 PM   #7
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Re: Redundant data links for live streaming

The concerns aren't mine, as such. Maybe they are valid for the limitations of standard 4G technology and trying to do a stream with it, but 4GX is a step beyond all of that (give or take local tower support for the latest technology).

I'm feeling that it's partly the YouTube rep doing some due diligence on the stream coming to them, partly that YouTube have this (receiving dual link) feature within their platform, and partly to ensure that they can't possibly look bad if the worst case scenario of a stream going down should happen. For higher profile streaming events YouTube's brand has some skin in the game when it comes to the quality of delivery.

There would be a hypothetical option to use some network type gear to send the one data stream to two different locations which in turn would cause two separate 4GX modems to transmit the data independently of each other ... but it's a bit more work and a total PITA to set up. Probably not worth it.

Andrew
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Old May 7th, 2017, 07:55 AM   #8
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Re: Redundant data links for live streaming

I have done a local talent show that was just over 5 hours of a stream (2 one to facebook and one to you tube at the same time) which was done over 4g and I had no problems at all.

This was all done with the following.

2/3 cameras via video mixer then to laptop (software was vMix) to 4g modem. This was all cabled togeather there was a feed from the video mixer to tv and projectors in the ballroom as well all feed from the video mixer.

I am now looking for a simple device that I can use to stream a camera feed to facebook or youtube or even take a feed from my video mixer without having to take a laptop with me.
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Old May 7th, 2017, 08:15 AM   #9
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Re: Redundant data links for live streaming

I'm doing a wedding tomorrow lunchtime with just one camera and my livestream broadcaster encoder plugged straight into the 4G router BUT that only goes to Livestream. I do believe the Live Shell unit broadcast direct to FB or YT
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Old May 7th, 2017, 10:49 AM   #10
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Re: Redundant data links for live streaming

Hi Chris,

Thank you for the info and I have been doing a lot of reading on the liveshell. I like it a lot as it can every thing I would like but one things is record to usb or memory stick.

I have also come across a unit from datavideo that streams and records but it can't be mounted on the camera.

I am going to be spending some money this week by the looks of it on a Liveshell unit
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Old May 7th, 2017, 03:52 PM   #11
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Re: Redundant data links for live streaming

the fallback stream option is a youtube feature that is free to use.
the only difference with the regular youtub streaming, is you need to create an event (a scheduled transmission) in the console. Then the option for the second stream is available.
it means you need a second pc with a video input (could be a spare one too, since the fault could be not the stream but the video source) and a 2nd link to youtube.
again, using the same type of connection as the main one could be a bad idea since the problem could occur at the antenna, and then, you would experience trouble on both link.

the ideal situation is when you get a connection (ADSL) and be able to double with a mobile one just in case.

the link bonding is a very costly option that is usually not made for fault tolerance but more for bandwidth expansion. What is not often told, is this technology requires not only special equipement, but also a special service from a server to glue together all the data you split to different channel. This service is usually awfully expensive (thousand of dollars for an event).
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Old May 7th, 2017, 11:02 PM   #12
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Re: Redundant data links for live streaming

I think the content of this discussion pretty much says it all. The practical reality of streaming via 4G is that it's not likely to be an issue.

I've also been doing some other thinking and the easiest way to generate the redundant stream that they are talking about would be to split the SDI etc output from the mixer and to then send copies of the outgoing program to two separate encoders with their 4G modems (completely separate to each other in the networking sense). Unfortunately it's going to double the cost .... which will give the end client the opportunity or motivation to see things our way.

Andrew
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Old May 8th, 2017, 02:20 PM   #13
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Re: Redundant data links for live streaming

if you do a setup like this , it is pretty risky.
only one video source for both encoder is a risk.
same 4g connection on the same anteanna is a risk too.
if the antenna is struggling with bandwidth, adding a 2nd connection would only risk to impair the first one.

my idea of redundency is more if you got a pretty big setup (pc tower with 4 SDI input for example) , you would add a laptop with one or two webcam and 4G connection, so if something goes wrong (main power going off for example) , the laptop can run on battery , just enough to get the problem solved.

in case you already work with a small setup, a simple smartphone could do the job.
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Old May 8th, 2017, 03:28 PM   #14
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Re: Redundant data links for live streaming

The 4G modems have their own inbuilt antenna so no problems there.

With the single source of video feeding to both encoders, vision mixers are sufficiently robust enough that they aren't regarded as a potential failure point. You can have backups for them, but the need to is greatly diminished compared to that of the 4G data link.

For a sporting match at the local club being streamed, a loss of electricity will affect the entire event and not just the stream. Also, we're using standalone 4G modems (with ethernet connection ports) and not computers with a 4G USB modem / dongle attached.

Andrew
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Old May 9th, 2017, 01:38 AM   #15
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Re: Redundant data links for live streaming

when i say antenna, i speak about the antenna tower that manage your 4G connection.
this is a point of failure since there is no way to know the health of this element.
it could work during reharshal, but when the place is crowded with hundred of people using their smarphone to chat, send picture, place call etc... you could be surprised that the bandwidth allowed to your 4G is considerably lower.
so using it for main feed could already bu pushing it to the limit and adding a second feed could only have the adversal effect of killing the first connection.
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