Worship Channels Seal-Of-Approval  Internet Capacity and Bitrate Settings quote

This is a great question!

What should my church’s internet connection be to adequately live stream our services? 

Most church’s have high-speed internet already.  Typically 10 – 20 megabits per second (Mbs) of download.  But you may not be aware that it’s the internet’s UPLOAD CAPACITY that is important in live streaming, because you are “uploading” your A/V signal to your streaming provider’s servers via the internet.  So, you must pay particular attention to the “upload” levels that you are getting from your ISP (internet service provider).

The numbers in the picture below (in the middle column) are the “highest” recommended settings for any particular Internet Service’s maximum UPLOAD CAPACITY (list shown below is an approximate 3:1 ratio). NOTE: My recommended scenario is a minimum 4:1 ratio of Internet Upload Capacity vs. Encoder’s Bitrate Setting.

Test the church’s internet connection here: www.speedtest.net

NOTE: The “descriptions” in the chart below, on the right hand side column (purple buttons), are definitions that are typically used as “talking points” to describe the end-quality of picture a viewer can expect on the live stream. It’s not meant to be taken literally. Case in in point, per our conversation, you can take an HD signal and encode it at a lower bitrate (500-750 Kbps). It’s just not going to look “like HD” as much as an HD signal encoded at 950 Kbps or higher (2 Mbs range). But it’s still going to look really good, if the encoder software/hardware is good (Live Shell Pro, Matrox Monarch HD, etc.).

See chart:

Test your church's internet connection here www.speedtest.net

Test your church’s internet connection here http://www.speedtest.net

Also note: The world’s perception of HD is picture quality.   In the streaming world, HD means frame size. You Tube, Vimeo etc. defines “HD” as any video that is 720 or higher, regardless of the compression rates created to make the video or live stream.

For example; If you have the right gear or software, you can make a really good “HD-looking” 720p video rendered in HTML 5 / H.264 at a compression rate of 768 Kbps (i.e. “Web Video”), and it will look nearly as good as one rendered in typical “HD broadcast” settings of 8,000 Kbps, 1920 X 1080 (HD Video). The major difference of course will be the video’s “file size.”   One is around 500 Mbs for a one-hour church service. And the other is 3 Gigs or more in video file size.

Written by Shawn West

email: shawn@worshipchannels.com

ofc: 509-981-6883 (call or text)

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