Live Streaming & Webcasting

Common Live Streaming Challenges and Solutions

Live-Streaming has made some massive strides in the past few years. Marketers swear by live-streaming & its ability to draw out viewers from every corner of the world. There is proven research that live-streaming increases your audience base & takes the number of people engaging & interacting with your online videos higher. 

Video live-streaming & storage providers have taken their services to new heights, helping clients enhance their viewer base through the multi-faceted benefits of live-streaming. With many top social networking sites launching their own live-streaming social networks, the market is full of enterprises hoarding to utilize live-streaming for expanding the online reach of their businesses. Services like live-streaming CDNs are quickly becoming more known & popular within marketing circles. 

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Brands also utilize live-streaming to hook up a large number of customers in their product or new service launches, through Live Stream on Websites. Experts predict that this rise in the popularity & usage of live-streaming services will continue unhindered throughout this decade. The same prediction has been made about live video streaming APIs as well, & all other application software & services that make use of live video streaming. 

However, when it comes to the real-time implementation of live-streaming, there are some technical & on-ground challenges that even the best live streaming services face. 

In this article, we talk about the most common challenges in professional live streaming, & their workarounds. Read on to know. 

Requirements For Live Streaming:

Before we start talking about the challenges in professional live streaming, we gotta talk about the equipment needed to carry out a live-streaming. For live-streaming, video live-streaming & storage providers need:

  • Cameras(one or more depending on the situation & the nature of the live-streaming).
  • A speedy, reliable Internet Connection with an upload speed of 2-5 Mbps.
  • Live-Streaming encoding software or a hardware encoder with a computer to process the live-streaming video bits.
  • Last but definitely not least, a live streaming social media platform to live-stream the video to users worldwide.

Even when you have procured all the necessary equipment needed for professional live streaming, there are still some challenges that loom ahead.  We’ll talk about these common challenges that video live-streaming & storage providers face while live-streaming in detail, one-by-one.

Live Streaming challenge

Challenge #1: Bandwidth Issues

While live-streaming highly public, popular events like music concerts, games, product launches etc. where many people are using the Internet simultaneously, there might be problems with the bandwidth of the live-streaming.  

Video live-streaming & storage providers traditionally require a massive bandwidth to live-stream videos smoothly without any hiccups. 

At huge events that attract a large public, instances of bandwidth disruption are quite common. 

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The Solution:

The solution to getting over this bandwidth issue is to secure a reliable source of Internet, like carry-around dongles, Ethernet cables, etc. & that provide a solid speed even with bandwidth-hogging, & to maintain a solid data backup plan in case of sudden changes in the Internet.

Most professional live streaming services offer backup services for data during the live-streaming so as to not incur any losses during any jolts in the bandwidth, resulting in a loss of the Internet.

Backups are really an important part of live-streaming preparation & a well-maintained, properly synced backup can help contain a lot of troubles from bandwidth issues, Internet disruptions, camera problems & computer reboots, etc. 

Challenge #2: Inconsistent Streaming Quality

Unstable or inconsistent streaming flow is the standout sore spot for even the best webcasting solution providers. Inconsistent streaming quality frustrates the viewers & makes many of them leave live-streams entirely. 

If you wish to compete with all the other live-streams taking place across all live streaming social networks, & engage the audience with your live-stream, your first goal has got to be providing uninterrupted, consistent live-streaming to your viewers. 

And so, inconsistency in your live-streaming can prove to be a real bummer for you & your audience. 

The Solution:

The first solution is obviously, to ensure your Internet connection is in top form all throughout the duration of the live-streaming. You need to secure an Internet connection that isn’t only speedy, but also consistent regardless of any network conditions that prevail at the time of live-streaming. 

Backups are again a crucial solution to this problem, one that will help your live streaming CDN continue even when your Internet connection gives out. 

Another practical solution can be using adaptive bitrate streaming solutions & systems that enable quick reconnect in case of disruptions on the Internet. 

Today, many adaptive bitrate streaming solutions let you choose among  MPEG-DASH, HLS, Adobe HTTP Dynamic Streaming, and many others mean.

Challenge #3: Choosing The Best Encoder

Another thing professional live streaming service providers have to work hard on is choosing the right live video streaming encoder for their live-streams. The challenge here is to find the right encoder that is compatible with the video producing devices. 

The encoder also has to do its encoding, processing bit perfectly & fit well with the other hardware equipment needed for the live-streaming. 

The Solution:

Video live-streaming & storage providers should always be on the safer side by choosing an encoder service that is compatible with most live-streaming devices; smartphones, computers, tablets, professional cameras, etc. 

To ensure the encoder device works in tandem with other live-streaming equipment, it’s best to always to test-runs before the actual live-streaming. 

This way, even if any issue arises, you’ll be able to troubleshoot it before the live-streaming goes live. 

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Challenge #4: Issues With Playback

Your live-streams are likely to be viewed by users on a variety of devices. If your live-stream supports some devices while not supporting others, users will be frustrated & your live-stream will receive a lot less traction. In professional live streaming, playback issues can really play a spoilsport & throw a wet blanket over all of your live-streaming goals. 

The Solution:

The solution is to ensure a multiplatform playback for your live-streaming, so that every user, regardless of the devices they use, is able to view your live-stream smoothly.

Like the previous encoder scenario, it’s best to run test live-streaming sessions on multiple devices to check if there are any issues in playback, & to curtail those then & there. 

Challenge #5: Audience engagement

Significant audience involvement is incredibly difficult to arrange for during a live streaming event. Most individuals prefer in-person events since they give the chance for networking and sharing essential information in real-time. If you want to keep your audience following the live broadcast, make your event engaging and interesting.

You may use an interactive live streaming platform to keep your audience engaged in your online session. Live streaming platforms contain a variety of interactive tools and features, such as live conversations, polls, Q&As, surveys, and more. By offering these, you can entice attendees to stay online and watch your live stream.

There are definitely live-streaming challenges faced by even the best live streaming services around, but with proper planning, smart execution & efficient problem-solving skills, you can easily make your way around these. 

Pushpak Kacholia

A passionate writer and a keen observer of industry trends in technology, With over nine years of experience in managing technical projects and teams, Pushpak is currently the CTO and Business Head of Dreamcast & Webcontxt. With experience across both "products" and "services", he brings in the new innovations to each project. Specialities: Managing Engineering, Product Management, Product Strategy, Talent Acquisition, Innovation.

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