RTMP Best Practices - The Do’s & Don’ts

RTMP Best Practices - The Do’s & Don’ts

To deliver an RTMP stream into webinar.net, you’ll need to start with an RTMP-compatible encoder.
If you have a capable Windows or Mac PC, chances are you have most of what you need already to successfully perform RTMP events.

Below will cover the software and hardware required, with some best practices along the way:

Bandwidth and Firewall recommendations:

Make sure your encoder is hardwired, connecting via Ethernet, and not accessing the internet over WiFi.
If possible, encode your webinar using a network dedicated to your stream.
(i.e. not a network shared with other users or devices).

Check that your upload speed and firewalls are in line with our recommendations below.
As well, be sure to 
test your upload speed prior to your event!

In terms of your encoder's outgoing bitrate & to allow for network fluctuations.
You should set your bitrate much lower than your total available upload speed.

Always keep in mind there are other factors that come into play when producing a stable stream, such as firewalls and network congestion. 
Check out our guide on AllowListing for more information.

Every encoding application/device will have small differences in encoding quality.
Below are some great starting specifications to springboard you into great looking video! 

Recommended Encoding Specifications:

Codec: H.264Keyframe Distance: 2Encoder: Hardware (if available)
Bitrate: Constant
720P (1280 x 720)30 FPS (Frames per Second)1,500 Kbps (Kilobits per second)
720P (1280 x 720)60 FPS (Frames per Second)2,000 Kbps (Kilobits per second)
1080P (1920 x 1080)30 FPS (Frames per Second)2,500  Kbps (Kilobits per second)

These specifications may be modified further based on your encoder’s capabilities.
You should adjust your encoder’s application & settings, to maximize the overall look of your RTMP stream. 

Remember: You may want to increase the overall bitrate of your encoder to maximize quality.
However, you may not stream higher than a total sum of 6,000 Kbps.

As well, you should always ensure you are encoding your stream at a
constant bitrate.

Constant, what's wrong with a variable bitrate?

Your encoder may have options to select between VBR (variable bitrate) and CBR (constant bitrate).
As a best practice, we suggest using CBR when available to maximize the final quality your audience members will experience.
VBR was designed in such a way that during lulls in motion or still video, the VBR stream encodes with a significantly lower bitrate.
However, once significant changes are observed on screen. Your outgoing bitrate can quickly spike (
during movement or flashy changes) causing dropped frames, or unwanted artificating.

A CBR will ensure the data required to provide an expected quality is constant & without fluctuation. Due to this - CBR is widely regarded as the most compatible option when encoding your RTMP stream.

As a best practice, you should ensure that RTMP encoding is your PC’s primary function.
RTMP Encoding software will use up most of your computer’s resources, monitoring system health during your RTMP event can provide insight into how much room for improvement you have. 

Recommended RTMP Encoding Applications:

Encoding an RTMP stream does not require paid software. There are plenty of no-cost or open source solutions able to encode RTMP streams. Below are some of our favorite products:

As you should only run one stream per encoder. Having multiple computers available during your encode will help ensure success. Most RTMP setups include:

  • A primary encoding laptop.
  • A secondary encoding laptop.
  • A laptop to push slides.
  • An additional laptop to monitor stream quality.

Final House Keeping Items:

Test and rehearse:

Regardless of where you are streaming from, what equipment you're using, or your upload speed, test early, test often, and do at least one rehearsal. This will allow you time to make any necessary adjustments, technical or otherwise.

Record a backup:
Should there be a detrimental issue with your encoded stream. It’s important to note that a server-side backup of your recording is not available. - Instead, most encoding applications will allow you to record a local backup.

For Hive Streaming Enabled Webinars
Make sure to have your keyframes set to 2.

For further assistance, contact us through chat or send us an email at support@webinar.net.

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