How to reduce video lag while live streaming




If you are just starting your online career, whether you’re online streaming, streaming from Xbox on YouTube, having a job interview in Zoom, or just broadcasting something online, you know how annoying it can be to have a laggy livestream. At some point in our daily life we will come across this issue and in this article I’m listing some tips I have tested personally, and hopefully will help you smooth out your livestream by minimizing your streaming issues and also speeding it up.

Even though I personally use Mac for work and streaming, the tips I’m writing will also work on Windows devices. You do not necessarily need to have a professional setup in order to run smooth live streaming. I’ll explain.

Plug in directly into your modem

This might look like the most obvious one, but the thing is that out there we have thousands of young live streamers, and even people like me who have been in the business for quite some time, sometimes we forget to plug our device directly into the modem.

Overloading your PC or having issues with the internet connection. These are the two problems that occur most of the time and laggy streams are the result of them.

Because the internet is stronger and more reliable in general in terms of security, it is preferred that you plug your device directly to the modem.

In case you are using a MacBook, you won’t have an ethernet port, so to plug your device directly into your modem you will need external dongles. Thunderbolt to Ethernet Adapter will do the job. And on the bright side, it will cost you less than $30, not very expensive.

Sometimes the internet connection drops, there are many reasons why that might happen but the distance from your device to the modem is the reason in most cases. However, there is a solution to that. To solve this you will have to buy a mesh WiFi System. This not only will boost your wifi signal x6, but it will also extend its range. It is a bit costly though, these devices will cost up to $200.

Check Stream Settings

Sometimes the problem is not on your side. Sometimes it is the internet providers who are responsible for the issues, and there is not much that you can do. In order to live stream a high definition video, you need internet speed to be at least at 4Mbps.

If the internet speed is below that, you will have problems with your image. To check your internet speed you can go on Google and find different websites where you can measure the internet speed. If those websites show your internet speed below 4Mbps, then you might consider choosing a different internet provider or upgrade your plan.

But just for this case, let’s just go with OBS, which is one of the most popular live-streaming apps and it’s free, plus it allows you to change the video settings. OBS doesn’t have any pro-level computer requirements.

OBS is a live streaming app that is free and it doesn’t have any pro-level PC requirements. If you are facing the issue of lagging during live streaming while using OBS, you should go to the settings department and change the output setting to 720 pixels, and the resolution to 1280 x 720. To be honest with you, most of the YouTubers are streaming now in 4k, but most of your audience will not even notice that your video is in 720, that’s true also. Especially in a livestream. But everyone would prefer a 720 pixels video over a sloppy production.

In addition to that, one option could also be to lower the bitrate. The definition of bitrates is essentially they are how many bits you’re sending + host fast are they going. The higher the bitrate the smoother the picture is. The ideal bitrate amount should be 35000kb per second if you are streaming in 720p. By this time, the image should look perfect. These settings will also help your PC’s processor performance, besides helping you with internet issues. The same settings will work even for different applications.

Using an external drive

Last month I had a call with the product team at Western Digital and after doing some research to see what was the best external drive that would perform better. I found that G Tech G Drive USB C is one of the best external drives. The most common use of this drive is backup storage and video production as its performance is very high, it is very reliable, and fast. But as far as I have seen they can be a bit expensive. The price ranges from $100 to $200. A more cheap option would be MyPassport which is a portable HDD. It only costs $50.

External drives:
● G-Technology G-Drive USB-C ($149)
● SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD ($79)
● Western Digital MyPassport HD ($65)

Delete useless stuff

Just like the first tip I wrote about, this tip also might seem very obvious but what if I told you that there a lot of app running in your device’s background right now and you have no idea about them. Your device would appreciate it if you could close all the apps running and the background apps as well. The apps you need for work should be the only ones that take space from your memory.

About this guest author

Asher Fergusson is a Full Stack Developer with 8+ years of well-rounded experience in development, object-oriented, and user-centered design. Adept at studying system flows and data usage to develop and maintain the software according to production and quality standards. He built products for desktop and mobile app users meeting the highest web & mobile design standards, user experience, best practices, and speed

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