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digiview
06-13-2010, 09:11 PM
Hello,
I am new to streaming with the TCXD300 and have poor internet speed with hardwired connections. I have recently borrowed a G3 cellular Router to test and it works very well allowing me to be far more mobile and not bound to hard wired slow speed connections. My speed test indicated Upload speed is 689 kbps and download is 2844 kbps.

Can anyone tell me if my above speeds are good enough to stream HD and is there any known problems using the cellular routers.

Many thanks.

Cabe
06-13-2010, 11:04 PM
Depends on how many second per frame you want, sadly no is the short answer.

My PAL SD F4V broadcasts are at 1000kbps, and Youtube's "HD" videos are encoded in H.264/Mpeg4 at 720 and 1080 with bit-rates of 2000 and 3500kpbs respectively.

Also cellular back haul links are way more contended then hard wired connections. You get a couple of iPhone users on it and be prepared to re-experience dialup.

bbeanan
06-14-2010, 12:17 AM
not even close for HD streaming... not to mention you can not count on 3G as your burst spped may be great but try and stream for more than a minute and most of the time it will not work. with that upload speed the most i would do would be a 25% SD stream no more than 300 kbps.

My normal way of looking at it is take at least 3 different speed tests then take the lowest speed divide that in half and use that as your max stream speed.

digiview
06-14-2010, 02:28 AM
Hey guys thanks for sharing your knowledge I really appreciate your help. To get started what upload speed should I be looking for to sustain Flash 25 fps 640*480 512k HD or SD to stream.

Thanks in advance

joseburgos
06-14-2010, 07:05 AM
Hey guys thanks for sharing your knowledge I really appreciate your help. To get started what upload speed should I be looking for to sustain Flash 25 fps 640*480 512k HD or SD to stream.

Thanks in advance

If I may, I'd like to add to this question. Say I want to know the same thing, 640x480 @ 512K flash push. If I go to the site ahead of time, would I simply stream a clip and then see how well it looks off site? If so, is 30 min's enough of a sample? This plus what digiview is asking. So what would be the est. speed the connection should have (digiview question) and then once I am told it should be that speed or better, how would I sample it to be sure?

PS So far, 5 Mbps hardline has been more than enough for me to sustain 512K Stream but 1 Mbps has me reducing to 256K
Thank you,

bbeanan
06-14-2010, 09:22 AM
So here is the main problem with using 3G or even 4G... It all goes back to one tower that has a single T1 connection (in very high data locations they may up it to multiple T1 connections or higher speed connections) So let's say you do your test on Monday at 12:00 noon and it says you are getting 1 meg. up and 2 down now that would be fine for your event tomorrow that is doing a 512k stream...

But when you show up tomorrow you notice that Steve Jobs is having a party next door and you see a few thousand iPhone users taking pictures and such... do your test again and now you will find you have little to no connection (this is what happened to Steve Jobs during the iPhone 4 release) with any of the cellular services it is a crap shoot it may work it may not work.

The only system I have seen that I would count on is one of the ones that uses 3 or 4 seperate cell cards to make your connection that way if one network is being hit hard you are still good to go.

also keep in mind that party may start 5 min. after you start your stream and bam you are done...

csandy
06-14-2010, 11:38 AM
So here is the main problem with using 3G or even 4G... It all goes back to one tower that has a single T1 connection (in very high data locations they may up it to multiple T1 connections or higher speed connections) ... also keep in mind that party may start 5 min. after you start your stream and bam you are done...

Brett has hit the nail right on the head. He's also right that using a setup that takes advantage of multiple commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) providers is the best way to go. One service I have seen works very well, but locks you into using their content deliver network (CDN).

The number one option in terms of throughput and reliability is almost always a wireline connection

Here's one scenario, however, that may benefit you in a wireless environment - say for instance you were at a Scout or Pathfinder jamboree and you wanted to stream stuff back home. Often, these large camping events are in the middle of nowhere and you might not have a lot of competition for that back haul....

BUT... once the kids find out there is cell service, you just may get slammed anyhow. Let me buttress Brett's comments by saying that cellular adds an x factor you really don't want to worry about on a gig for which are getting paid.

Another option worth looking into is satellite. NewTek has demonstated use ot the TodoCast system and some on the forum own the equipment. A good person to talk to would be Jef Keithley of Pizzaz.

bbeanan
06-14-2010, 11:51 AM
The Todo Cast system is a great option and when Jef and I designed that system (the Mini and our Hummer (that we never built)) it was the best solution. Granted it comes at a price around $30k for the equipment then another $1k per day (if you want to try and put together your own system buying the parts on your own you could have like $2k but then you will spend that in time making it all work).
But there are a few people who rent these systems both car mounted and fly packs but you are looking at around $2k - $4k per day plus the $1k connection fee. Which at that point you are just about at the cost of a full Sat. Truck rental then have them stream it from their downlink center.

This is a cellular option that works but again not cheap...
http://www.livestream.com/platform/livepack

Personally I bought a 4G (from Clear Wireless) hoping to stream with it and so far had 100% failure in the 9 months I have had it (and have paid my $70 per month in connection fees)

joseburgos
06-14-2010, 12:21 PM
The Todo Cast system is a great option and when Jef and I designed that system (the Mini and our Hummer (that we never built)) it was the best solution. Granted it comes at a price around $30k for the equipment then another $1k per day (if you want to try and put together your own system buying the parts on your own you could have like $2k but then you will spend that in time making it all work).
But there are a few people who rent these systems both car mounted and fly packs but you are looking at around $2k - $4k per day plus the $1k connection fee. Which at that point you are just about at the cost of a full Sat. Truck rental then have them stream it from their downlink center.

This is a cellular option that works but again not cheap...
http://www.livestream.com/platform/livepack

Personally I bought a 4G (from Clear Wireless) hoping to stream with it and so far had 100% failure in the 9 months I have had it (and have paid my $70 per month in connection fees)

Two things, does the 'livepak' have analog inputs? I ask because the video demo you pointed to says firewire and we can't output firewire out of the TC.
Thanks for saving me money as I was going to buy a 4G mobile wifi and reading your results has put a halt to it. Although Sprint would have been my carrier and they allow 30 days to return with full refund if you are not satisfied with the service so I still may give it a try.

csandy
06-14-2010, 01:07 PM
Yup, Livestream is exactly the company I indirectly mentioned above. It works great, but again, you're tied into their CDN if you use their LivePack.

Josť, you're exactly right - it uses firewire. You're also right that the TriCaster does not spit out firewire.

Really, your TriCaster doesn't become part of the equation in a Livestream setup. It's your DV camera (or some system that lends wirewire out live) and the LivePack.

I think there's an explanation on the forum somewhere about whey the TriCaster doesn't spit out fire wire, so a search may reveal the answer on that one.

@Brett: those satellite prices are pretty high. My dream is that WiMax or 4G wireless will become so ubiquitous that these important conversations become less and less relevant.

joseburgos
06-14-2010, 01:17 PM
Josť, you're exactly right - it uses firewire. You're also right that the TriCaster does not spit out firewire.

Even a broken wrist watch is right twice a day so you got to figure I'm good for once a day :)
(Bad joke)
So we are back to Tricaster, at least for me and as far as wireless, mobile wifi, livepak (because it uses firewire), wireless data card/adaptor are all out as far as sustained/reliable data rates for streaming at any bit rate since it's always unknown, is that what you guys are saying?

bbeanan
06-14-2010, 01:26 PM
for now yes Jose... but I do know Jef did a live webcast in Times Square for the launch of the TV Show 24 via his cell card and it held up. but it is always a gamble. If it were me I would invest in a service from each carrier and once on site connect all of them and use the fastedt as my main. Then if you are using a router like a cradlepoint you can connect them together as a fail over and end up bouncing to the next best cell card if one drops out.(granted I have never done this so I really do not kown if it would work perfectly or not)

and yes Sat. is expensive (and the numbers I put up there are intentially rounded up. I had all of the hopes for 4G which is why I still pay for it... but so far the fastest speed I have gotten has been 1.5m up and 3m down and that only lasted about 30 min. I average more like 500k up and 1.2m down (and Clear is part of Sprint so it is using their towers)

TakeOneDigital
06-15-2010, 12:52 AM
I'll jump in here and second what's been said here. I have been following the mobile carriers and the ability to webcast on them for a few years now since I have been called to do live shows in remote locations, too.

#1 choice is always a hardline connection. And when looking at speed, it's more art than science. If the location can only give me a 1Mbps connection, I'll take it. I'd rather have a hardline, stable, 500k show than an iffy wifi show... At the end of the day, I've done shows down at 300kbps that clients have been super happy with. So as much as we talk about HD, keep in mind that a lot of viewers will have trouble watching anything over 800kbps.

#2 is wifi for me. While I get antsy if I'm on a college campus wifi net, that's tempered with the incredible bandwidth that they have (250Mbps up x2 at one place!). It is amazing how much of urban and suburban America is blanketed with wifi. "But it's all secured" you say. And I respond, "Money talks." I have walked in to complete strangers' offices, introduced myself and my client, and with a check in-hand negotiated a $100 daily lease on their router. And be sure to take a drive. I've had to go 2-5 BLOCKS from the show site to get a good signal or bandwidth from someone. And that's why I now own a box full of little wifi repeaters (put one in a car with an inverter and stake out a PA to make sure that your little repeater keeps working for the show) and directional antennae. We did a show in downtown LA in a park. Our signal was 5 blocks away. We put a high-gain directional antenna in an office window in LA City Hall and another on the show site on a tall tripod pointed directly at the base unit... worked like a charm! But none of us wanted to put our bodies in-between as an experiment. ;-)

#3 - satellite. Todocast seems to be a great option. I have talked to those guys and they know what they're doing. But as I said to them on the phone, "you're sending your signal to SPACE... it HAS to be expensive!" Another alternative is to get a TV microwave truck (or satellite) and shoot the signal to a base station where they can encode and output for you. I have a local sat truck operator here in LA who will do a short hit (30-60 min) for $500 including sat time.

#4 - cellular of some kind. As said before, this can be tricky because of other bandwidth use, but honestly that can hit the aforementioned items in certain ways, too. BUT, don't let a little thing like a firewire-only connection deter you! You can get a firewire output with a tiny workaround. 1) grab a DV deck, go analog from TC in to deck and FW out, 2) grab a dedicated analog-to-FW converter box (some even on ebay for cheap) and plug it in-line. I think that some computer stores even sell the analog-FW box for people converting home movies and such. Worth a look.

Overall, I have yet to tell a client "no" because of a signal issue. For some, it will increase the cost, but with you "massaging" the video down in bandwidth and being creative about who/where you get your connection, it CAN be done.

digiview
06-15-2010, 07:24 AM
Hi guys I have been testing the CDR-990seu HSPA Cellular Router supporting speeds of 7.2Mbps Downlink and 1.9Mbps Uplink (5.76Mbps upgrade ready). My plan was to have three of these units one on each of the three major carries network and make the final choice on which one to use on the day after testing. The second unit would be used to monitor the video stream from the web site and the third unit as a standby. The secondary antenna would be replaced with high gain antenna 6.5 dBi gain or have a parabolic dish made and pointed to the nearest cell tower. The cellular router could be placed internally or externally to the building subject to reception and then run cat 5 Xover cable direct to the Tricaster. It would appear that you have very good upload speeds in the US on your cable network. The average ADSL2 system here in South Australia that I have tested is only good for about 300 kbps reliable upload, thatís on a good day with the wind blowing in the right direction. Thatís why I am looking very seriously at using the cellular network to webcast. It would appear that I am a bit late in coming to the party, this thread has been very informative and I thank you all for sharing your knowledge and pre warning me on some of the pit falls.

bartolfb
06-15-2010, 11:32 AM
Take a look at www.mushroomnetworks.com. I've heard their gear works well, but is still highly dependent on good signal and user density.

Bruce

bbeanan
06-15-2010, 12:14 PM
Mushroom gear is good but expensive and not exactly what most of us would need as you use their transmitter but on the other end you need their receiver then you would encode your stream... at least that is how I read it in the past when I looked at them...

so for a remote gig you would need 1 TriCaster and 1 mushroom transmitter... then back at your office you would need a mushroom receiver and another Tricaster to encode and stream your video... and a internet connection that can support both the downlink and the uplink.

csandy
06-15-2010, 12:16 PM
This is a really good thread.

TakeOneDigital, I especially like your comment about negotiating with private wifi AP owners. That's the type of rogue outside-of-the-box thinking that makes NewTek users so great.

bbeanan
06-15-2010, 12:17 PM
looks like you can lease the mushroom stuff for like $80 per month then you would also have your 4 cell contracts to pay too at like $50 each... and in the end you are still at the mercy of what connection does the cell tower have and what else is going on aorund you on the cell network

digiview
06-15-2010, 03:46 PM
The limitation that we face with webcasting is upload speed and consistency in signal quality. How do get the ISP to give you a higher upload speed my efforts have failed? I would change providers today if I could find one that would give me the upload speed for my Tricaster.

bbeanan
06-15-2010, 03:56 PM
you have to #1 sign up for a business class service from the ISP which will be a lot more expensive. With that class of service there will be a service level agreement so if they do not give you the speed you are paying for you get money back.

Then monitor your speed level like crazy as soon as you see it drop below call them and complain... then rinse and repeat... at least that is what i have done with my home connection.

I use the cox speed test ( www.test.lvcm.com ) since they are my ISP and if I ever see it drop below 18m down or 5m up I call them and it is fixed right away. But I am paying over $100 per month for the connection.

The other way would be to get a T1 or a OC connection but now you are talking over $1k per month.

...BUT... it may not be your end it could be somewhere between you and the server you are trying to reach if there are any bottlenecks anywhere in the internet it cal slow things down.

TakeOneDigital
06-16-2010, 12:42 AM
Depending on your needs, a T1 could be a great investment. I have a full T1 (1.5Mbps up and down. Rock solid) with CBeyond here in SoCal for $399/mo including all of my phone lines.

Also, don't discount an area telco. We have worked with AT&T for a venue data link with full T1 for a few hundred dollars per day. Lots of places have these with a major local carrier. You want to ask for their event logistics department since these are the guys who set up for the fairgrounds, conventions, etc.

As for the rogue way of doing it, I learned that in Hollywood. Money talks, especially if you have a stack of cash and will pay for service NOW (50% up front with 50% at completion). On the other hand, we have used Starbucks connections, hotel free wifis (from across the street or parking lot), Weinerschnitzls, and others. We always joke that if their network admin was logged on to their control panel he'd wonder what was going on. Risky yes, but I always inform the client so that they've assumed the risk, too. Low cost, higher risk. Higher cost, lower risk... simple equation. You can't eliminate risk on a production. What if the AC power goes out? Do you have a generator for all of the lights, venue, etc?

TakeOneDigital
06-16-2010, 12:44 AM
Oh, and I ALWAYS say that 3/4 of webcast production is the IT end. Anyone now can plug in a laptop, connect a camera, and be on UStream.tv... but does he know how to get a network connection?

digiview
06-16-2010, 12:45 AM
Thanks for that info Brett I will try my ISP again.

pdxJoe
06-16-2010, 11:51 AM
Most larger towns will have a wireless internet service provider. These are not consumer networks. They are fail over microwave connections for corporate networks.

I did a gig last week where Towerstream (http://www.towerstream.com/index.asp?ref=products) installed a wireless link for the location (an outdoor mall). We had 4 mb up and 15 mb down, 10ms delay on the wireless hop. No jitter, rock solid. Everything that makes a streamer happy.

In Portland I go with Stephouse Networks (http://www.stephouse.net/Enterprise/WiMAX).

For reliable wireless service, it can't be beat. But it will be expensive.

TakeOneDigital has it nailed:

Low cost, higher risk. Higher cost, lower risk... simple equation.