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Random Playback Glitches & More

We’ve been using Wowza for years as our video server software vendor, but unfortunately we have had nothing but problems in recent years with their software. One of the most noticeable problems is the horrific buffering of HLS playback. We found a better solution and will be implementing it later this year.

Found a glitch which tries load stream name “null” instead of the actual stream name. This appears to happen if the sApi takes too long to finish connecting which results in the stream seeming to take longer to load. Working on a fix for that, no ETA.

Video embeds have been updated to the new Flash player along with some various fixes. Still a few more issues to resolve but for the most part works as intended.

Along with a better HLS playback solution is the sub second latency streaming solution which will soon be replacing the default Flash player on all of our sites. We will be posting updated recommended encoder settings as we get closer to releasing this new HTML5 playback solution.

Chat is nearing completion of its conversion from Flash to HTML5. More information on that can be found during Mark’s daily live streams ( https://vaughnlive.tv/mark ).

That’s it for now, if you have any questions or need assistance with your stream, please stop by Tech Corner and one of our awesome volunteers will be glad to help you!

https://vaughnlive.tv/tech_corner

Is your stream buffering?

Our video system has stabilized (finally) and we are making great progress on squashing various issues related to it. But there’s something else that needs to be addressed: your encoder settings. A lot of our broadcasters have gotten comfortable with encoder settings that work with the Flash player, but unfortunately those same encoder settings don’t always work correctly with our new HTML5 video player. As a result you will see a lot of buffering and choppiness. So what can you do? We’ve updated our recommended encoder settings.

Here are some suggested settings to try if your stream is buffering for you and your viewers:


  • 640×360
  • 600 CBR
  • 900 Buffer Size
  • 30fps
  • Keyframe 1
  • Profile: Main

If you still get buffering with the above settings, change your Keyframe to Auto (Keyframe 0 in OBS Studio, Default in XSplit)


If you want to try and push the limits of your internet and computer & your viewers internet and computer, then give these a try (not recommended if you have buffering issues):

  • 852×480
  • 800 CBR
  • 1300 Buffer Size
  • 30fps
  • Keyframe 2
  • Profile: Main

Against our better judgement, because some of you like to crank things up to 10 thinking it should work no matter what, here are the 720p settings. Do not use these settings if you’re having problems with your stream:

  • 1280×720
  • 2500 CBR
  • 3300 Buffer Size
  • 30fps
  • Keyframe 3
  • Profile: Main

A critical part of streaming is selecting the ingest server that is physically closest to you. You cannot select just any server and expect to stream without issue. For example, if you’re in Boston then obviously the New York ingest server would be your best choice. Or if you’re in California then Denver ingest server would be your best choice, and so on.

Selecting the wrong ingest server can cause buffering issues even with the lowest encoder settings. We cannot stress enough how important it is to use the correct ingest server when broadcasting. You can find the list of available video ingest servers under Settings -> Channel on our website: https://vaughnlive.tv/settings/channel

If you need further help, please visit Tech Corner

Video ingest servers upgrades

It has been an interesting week of video issues for us. As of late last night the datacenter has completed upgrades to our Chicago and Denver ingest servers. These servers now have double the bandwidth allowing more to broadcast without issue. Having said that we are going to be adding more video ingest servers in the coming months to accommodate current and future growth of our websites.

Also with the added protection system we have implemented across all of our video ingest servers we have seen a great increase in streaming stability across all websites. However a side effect of this will prevent you from connecting to an ingest server if it is at capacity. When this happens you can keep trying to connect or try a different ingest server. Alternatively VIP members have priority and are able to connect to any ingest server as long as it’s physically online. You can find the list of ingest servers under Settings -> Channel. Simply click your name in the top right corner, click Settings and then go to Channel.

If you need any assistance, please come to Tech Corner and one of our awesome volunteers will help you out.

 

* Video ingest server is the server a broadcaster connects to in order to broadcast on our websites.

** Video edge server is the server a viewer connects to in order to watch a broadcast on our website.

Video buffering issues

In the last 24 hours we experienced too many people trying to broadcast at once. As a result this maxed out the connections on our video ingest servers causing buffering, freezing, and a lot of dropped frames. This was primarily an issue on the Chicago and Denver ingest servers.

A few moments ago we pushed an updated to our video ingest servers to protect them from being overloaded. If you are a streamer (broadcaster) and you cannot connect to an ingest server, this is most likely because that server has reached its threshold and is denying your connection to prevent it from overloading and crashing. As a side note, we made it where VIPs can connect to any ingest server regardless of its connection utilization.

I know what you’re saying… “sure, you’re using that as an excuse to make people buy VIP”. You would be 100% wrong. Much like the video servers at capacity message that happens when our edge servers get overloaded, the ingest overload protection retains a certain amount of overhead which can be utilized. And since there are far less VIPs than free users we felt this is safe to be utilized by VIPs without sacrificing stability.

So what are we doing besides denying connections to protect the ingest servers? We’re in the process of doubling the bandwidth capacity of our Chicago ingest server as well as working on adding additional ingest servers to keep up with growth.

 

How to change the Keyframe interval on OBS Studio

Change OBS Studio Keyframe Interval

Changing the Keyframe interval on OBS Studio has been streamlined since OBS Classic, however, some users may experience issues finding the new setting.

1. Open OBS Studio

2. Choose “Settings” from the bottom Right

2 obs mainscreen

3. Choose “Output” from the settings window.

4. Change Output mode to Advanced.

5. Change Keyframe Interval to 2

obs output tab

6. Click Apply and restart your stream.

 

New player, old player?

Hope everyone is having a great Saturday! If you’re impatient and want to watch a channel using the new video player, go into that channel and type !new. It will give you the URL to watch that channel on the new video player! Or you can add /hls to the end of any channel URL.

And if you want to watch a channel using the old Flash player, type !old or add /old to the end of any channel URL.

Here’s how to tell what player you’re using:

Old player = volume scrubber (slider) will have a black dot

New player = volume scrubber will be solid silver/white

At the moment this only works on Vaughn Live. We will update you when our other sites have these options!

New player and video embed update

The morning before the HTML5 player rollout was supposed to happen, we tested it for an hour on Vaughn Live. And the result? Well, it was pretty bad. Our video edge servers couldn’t handle the added overhead of HLS live streaming. We’ve narrowed the issue down to our video server software vendor which we feel is far too bloated and inefficient due to the fact it runs on Java.

Bloated server software + higher overhead per connection = bad

So when does the new HTML5 player come to all channels? We’re in the middle of getting the server overhead issue sorted, which is working out better than expected. No ETA yet!

So, on to the video embeds update (our video player placed on someone else’s website.) The new HTML5 player is released on all Vaughn Live embed players. But we need to have a serious talk about video embeds. Right now embeds are a major resource drain on us, financially and server capacity. We want to give those that come to our sites the best experience possible, so we will be making changes to the video embeds in the very near future.

Here is a list of upcoming video embed changes:

  • Embeds will be disabled by default. The channel owner will need to explicitly enable them.
  • If a stream has more than 100 Live Viewers, the embed player will display a message asking the viewer to either sign in with their VIP account or go our website to watch the stream
  • Introduction of video embed guidelines. Such as no embedding on sites with malware, links to/promotion of illegal content, no placing ads/overlays on the player. This isn’t the final draft of the embed guidelines, but a good idea of what to expect.
  • Violating the embed guidelines will result in the website in question being blocked from embedding.

We hope you all had a very safe and Happy 4th of July!