Our platform is designed for an ultra-low latency livestream feed and uses a different technology than typical online live streaming services (i.e. YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, etc). For best results, it REQUIRES different settings than you may be accustomed to using for other platforms.
Higher latency platforms are able to provide a reliable stream at high resolutions and bandwidths by buffering the broadcast before viewing - they prioritize high definition feeds which can be viewed on large screens and buffering allows them to be more resistant to small variations in bandwidth and packet loss.
Our platform is designed to support real-time bidding, led by an auctioneer and uses browser-based WebRTC video technology. To provide a real-time livestream - browsers must be able to play the feed without buffering. Consequently, the settings we specify are based on the average preferred settings for the major browser providers rather than those recommended by a platform such as YouTube. Because our platform displays a relatively small livestream window (it is either viewed on a mobile device or on a computer, in a space typically using about 25% of the available screen) - the lower settings needed for a real-time stream will be indiscernible to the majority of viewers.
Specified Settings for External Software/Services:
Main Video Settings
- 720p video
- Video Bandwidth = 1.5Mbps
- Audio Bandwidth = 128kbps
- Frame/s = 20fps (preferred) - 30fps (if necessary)
Advanced Video Settings
If your software uses the x264 encoder (such as OBS) use these additional settings:
- Rate Control: CBR
- CPU Usage: veryfast
- Profile: baseline
- Keyframe Interval: 1 second
- Tuning: zerolatency
- No B-frames
Note: If we haven't yet convinced you to use our specified settings - you should be aware that while higher settings may appear to work well for you, many browsers will request and receive a lower quality stream (which has been re-encoded on the fly) - resulting in reduced quality and additional latency for many, or even most, viewers.
To ensure the success of ANY livestream:
You MUST use a well-powered computer(s) with up-to-date operating systems and browser to broadcast.
- Tablets, chromebooks, or any device running Internet Explorer are NOT suitable for livestreaming.
- Livestreaming will consume a significant portion of a typical laptop's CPU. If it exceeds 70% of CPU, you can expect the quality and reliability of the livestream to suffer.
- If your streaming software supports a graphics card, we recommend using one (typically an NVidia based card).
- The broadcast machine should ONLY be used for the broadcast - no other browsers, windows, tabs, or applications should be running while livestreaming.
- If you are broadcasting to more than one location (which we don’t recommend), you MUST use software in combination with a machine rated for video/livestream broadcasting. Using an online service, such as Streamyard is safer as they have dedicated video hardware to handle multiple streaming.
You MUST have a strong, reliable, high-speed connection to the internet for the computer(s) you are broadcasting from. We HIGHLY recommend using a wired ethernet connection for this machine.
- Most Wi-Fi setups, locations with moderate connectivity, Hot Spots, buildings with deadzones are NOT suitable for livestreaming. Because Wi-Fi is a shared resource, it is not as reliable and adds additional latency.
Make sure the firewall at your broadcast location does not block your broadcast. This is especially critical if you are broadcasting from a campus or institutional location.
- We make use of third-party services. In addition to our domain: *.northworld.com,*.schoolauction.net*.tofinoauctions.com*.partysupporters.com*.nwstreaming.com,*.elev.io, *.wepay.com, *.gravatar.com,webrtc.github.io, We also including social media integration with *.facebook.com, *.twitter.com We reserve the right to add and remove services as needed to provide new features and services.
Restrict the number of other devices/windows connected to the livestream in the broadcast room/building to the minimum necessary.
- Be aware that each device/window/tab in the broadcast room/building that is connected to the livestream will consume 1.5mb/s of the bandwidth available. This may not sound significant, but many people assume their internet speed is much higher than it actually is (see below). You may be paying for 1gig speed, but if your router only supports 100mb/s, you probably only have (at the best of times) 70mb/s - so having a few more laptops, each with several tabs open to different streaming pages will add up quickly.
Test actual internet speeds at your broadcasting location:
- Conduct several speed tests at your broadcast location(s) using multiple services such as http://compari.tech/speed or http://speedtest.net. Keep in mind that these services are designed to measure your "best case" bandwidth rather than average or reliably achieved bandwidth.
- Remember that the actual speeds delivered by your internet provider fluctuate based on current bandwidth usage in the wider neighborhood - so be sure to conduct tests at the same day/time as your broadcast. Try to anticipate and make allowances for other events that could affect the bandwidth availability during your event (eg March Madness, weather related outages, another event in the building/complex, etc)
Testing Your Livestream
You MUST conduct at least two tests of your livestream:
1. Well in advance of your event to confirm compatible production software and equipment, adequate bandwidth and the quality of the livestream across a broad spectrum of devices/connectivity. Conduct your test at the same location you will use for your actual event broadcast.
We recommend testing the livestream itself at least one week prior, then running a "dress rehearsal" at least one day PRIOR in the location(s) and using the same equipment you'll be using for your event. Trying to pull it all together the morning of your event creates unnecessary stress, dramatically narrows your options for adjustments and our ability to assist you.
2. Within 90 minutes of your specified start time. Your event site will be moved to a dedicated, live server two hours prior to the start time you specified in Site Settings > Virtual Event > General. It takes 5-15 minutes to spool up to the new server - so you should avoid testing during the server transfer AND conduct a quick test on the new server to confirm there are no cacheing issues. IF you notice and glitches or synching issues on the Live server - reboot the machine you are broadcasting from to clear any caches.