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Fixing / Improving Our Live Feed - Printable Version

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Fixing / Improving Our Live Feed - Robbie Ferguson - 07-27-2017

As live viewers know, we use LTE (4G) Internet service to broadcast live from our studio. This is because there are no high speed Internet options at our building. It often drops out once or twice per show, but on Episode 514, there were significant issues (most viewers could not watch live).

I see a few options, all of which cost money. Would you vote, and vote considering how you would help with such a venture (eg., if you choose to go with Ubiquity, would you send a donation to help with the cost?)

Here are my considerations:


  1. Drop LTE altogether. Buy a Ubiquity wireless (5.8GHz) tower to put on our roof and get Internet from Robbie's house. We would need a lot of community support to afford this.
    Pros: Internet connection is 50 Mb/sec up and there are no bandwidth costs (unlimited), a set cost for monthly Internet bill (currently it sometimes spikes during 5 week months or when usage is high).
    Cons: The towers, transmitters/receivers will cost $1,000+. This is risky: we can't really be sure until trying it whether this is a more reliable solution than LTE. Wireless is wireless: it is susceptible to drop-outs due to weather, interference and bandwidth.
  2. Drop Kodi/Plex/Roku live feed and switch to YouTube Live.
    Pros: YouTube live has better buffering than our current solution, so it's possible that in event of signal loss, the buffering would assist with faster recovery.
    Cons: No more Roku, Kodi or Plex live streams (HLS would be gone as YouTube does not support these) although technically you could watch on these devices using the official YouTube app.
  3. Move to a new studio where Internet is better.
    Obviously this would be a great solution if we had higher revenue. Right now our rent is ideal because we're in an industrial complex where rent is cheap. It's a bit of a catch 22.
    Pros: Solid Internet.
    Cons: Likely higher rent and possibly higher Internet cost. HUGE amount of work and expense to move and renovate a new location.
  4. Use a transmuxer to try to push the feed to all endpoints (Kodi, Plex, Roku, YouTube Live).
    Pros: Would add some of the advantage of YouTube Live.
    Cons: We would still be susceptible to LTE drop-outs, and the feed to the transmuxer would go down.
  5. Stop broadcasting live and just do on-demand so we can focus on the content and quality rather than continued technical issues.
    Pros: Put out content without concerning ourselves with broadcasting.
    Cons: Lack of viewer interaction, live is more fun, still susceptible to Internet drop-outs and unable to access the Internet during that time.
Yes, in case you're wondering, we have contacted local ISP's. It'd cost > $20,000 to have them install Fibre.

Please share your own suggestion(s) too, if you think they're better than my ideas.


RE: Fixing / Improving Our Live Feed - garywhite - 07-27-2017

The issue is that everything except #2 & #5 would cost a lot of money, while #2 would probably make it harder for people on Kodi/Roku/etc. to get the stream if they can't get a YouTube app. Finally, #5 would probably lose a significant viewership cause most of the people in the community all join when the live show comes on.


RE: Fixing / Improving Our Live Feed - Robbie Ferguson - 07-27-2017

Honestly, part of me is simply glad that you "get it". Know what I mean? Yes, to improve things costs money - though we really (!!) want to make Cat5 accessible for all. So what can we do to make it better, and improve live access?


RE: Fixing / Improving Our Live Feed - solbu - 07-28-2017

Option 1 sounds interesting. A friend of mine did that once. He had a wireless connection from his parrents house to his aunts house several kilometers away, and provided her with internett access.
A reason for doing it is that even if at some point the ISP installs fiber or you later move to a studio with fiber already installed, you can use the wireless solution as a backup.

I'm not sure I understand what option 4 does.

But I would advice against shutting down the live stream. That will result in loss of viewers.


RE: Fixing / Improving Our Live Feed - meep - 07-30-2017

5 would work for me as I don't watch live due to timezone (Ireland). Probably a minority though and I do see the attraction of live interaction for both the audience and crew.