View Full Version : streaming over 4g cellular... anyone have experience?

02-10-2014, 12:40 PM
good afternoon all. first time reader. first time poster. so forgive me if this has already been discussed.

i have a client who's interested in doing some live streaming of location video (i.e. where there is no wifi access)

so im looking at a few of the various mobile cellular streaming products.
at the low end, im looking at the cerevo liveshell pro and the teradeck vidiu each connected to a major carriers mobile hotspot

also considering the more robust teradeck cube+bond solution with redundant multi-carrier (probably att+verizon) connection

i understand that the primary concern is there being ANY cell connection in a given area.
but considering there is. im just trying to figure out if the cheaper tools are really even a viable option for quasi-critical streaming.

figured you guys here would be the best place to start for some "rubber meets the road" non-marketing-spun info...


02-14-2014, 09:00 PM
Download speed test app for your phone and give it a try....
Mine gets 5mbps download but only .9mbps upload.....this is 3G mind you...

The upload rate for 4g is theoretically 100x faster then 3G, but you will never see that in real life.....

It depends at what quality your client can accept, a 720 stream at 2.5 mbps will be pretty decent....if your 4g can do it.

A Multi pass encoded VBR 720 can maybe look ok at 2mbps....but you won't have the luxury of 2 pass VBR during live stream.

I do some editing for a client in the Philippines, and it is transmitted over FTP, and the smallest acceptable I can run is about 2.75-3.5mbps 2 pass VBR.....but the image is pretty good with very little noise.

Also depends if it is talking heads, or a concert moving camera ect.....talking heads will compress a lot better because the background is hardly changing.

I suggest rendering out some test footage of the approximate style of footage....with camera movement ect. Don't cheat....if it is talking heads...put someone in there, otherwise the compressor will be very efficient at compressing a static background.
And make sure it is 1 pass CBR (constant bit rate) as you will see the artifacting when it breaks down.....assume the worst compression.....start very low and spot artifacting then compress at a higher bitrate until it disappears or is at least acceptable to you.

Once you see how low you can reasonably get away with....then you can test the 4g upload speed in the area, and maybe half it to be safe.

If everything jives....your good to go, if not you may need to drop resolution...say 960x540 could probably go out at 1.5-2mbps... And then if you had to 640x480

I think it is totally doable if your 4g is a decent connection.

02-14-2014, 09:05 PM
Sorry just looked the the bond system....I was thinking much more low tech....
I know those guys stuff from the DP/film production community...and it is very high quality

I wouldn't worry with that system....it adapts to network speeds.

On the low tech side you could even encode via laptop and stream it through 4g cell hotspot....encoding h.264 is pretty trivial with a modern laptop.

I have done this via wi-fi lots in the past

If your getting a hardware encoder...make sure it is adjustable in terms of bitrate...
You don't want one that's stuck on 10mbps if your 4g can't stream that fast

02-15-2014, 06:33 AM
Just fyi - plenty of streaming experience you might want to tap into in the TriCaster forums as well (further down on the forum page).

02-15-2014, 09:32 AM
thanks guys. ill have a look in the other room too.