How to Stream Even with Slow Internet?

Despite the availability of high-speed internet and vast improvements in technology, the old issue of buffering and waiting for content to load continues to plague users in many parts of the world. For live streamers, this could result in the loss of fans, especially with the falling of attention spans. While there is little that can be done if the streaming service is slacking, streamers can adjust their setup, equipment, and environment to reduce interference, improve streaming quality, or even use a workaround for the problem. In this article, we will explore some DIY tactics to stream even with bad internet.

Can Users Stream at Below Minimum Recommended Speed?

Although it is never advisable to stream content with a poor internet connection, understanding how video transmission works can help optimize the settings in OBS for live streaming.

While transmitting video, data is created when pixels change color. So, as the number of frames and the corresponding changes in the pixels increase, the data generated also increases. The data so generated is compressed on different platforms. If the pixel quality is poor, compressing this data results in pixelation. So, users can stream data with OBS below the recommended internet speed provided they can ensure that the pixel quality is good.

How to Improve Pixel Quality While Streaming with Bad Internet?

The number of pixels that are transmitted depends on the frames per second (fps) and the resolution. If there is no solution to increase the upload speed, lowering the settings can help extract the best quality out of the highest bit rate at which users can reliably stream with a slow internet connection. Here is what you can do to improve stream quality with a poor internet connection.

  • Enable the dynamic bitrate feature from Settings > Advanced > Network to automatically reduce or increase your bitrate based on internet speed.
  • Add white bars at the top and bottom of the screen. This would ensure that new data is not generated for these pixels, and the rest of the frame would be of higher quality.
  • Reduce the area of the gameplay by using an image for the webcam in a smaller frame. This would reduce the number of pixels that are moving and improve the quality of the image.
  • Use a lower resolution for streaming if you know that most of your audience prefers to watch your streaming content on devices with smaller screens.
  • If you are not live streaming adding a stream delay can increase the fidelity of the content.

Apps4Rent Can Help with OBS Streaming Server

Dropped frames/disconnection issues are not always the result of poor internet connection. Issues with the ingest servers can also result in unstable connections. With over 18 years of hosting experience, Apps4Rent can provide dedicated OBS hosting servers in our top-tier SSAE 16 data centers in New York and New Jersey.

We are also a Tier 1 Microsoft CSP who can host OBS on Azure for low-latency streaming, and a Citrix Partner who can provide Citrix Virtual Desktop Solutions with HDX technology that deliver a high-definition experience for OBS streaming on any device and over any network. Contact our virtualization specialists available 24/7 via phone, chat, and email for assistance.

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