Back To Top

 Utilizing Well being Metrics to Troubleshoot Streaming Points
June 27, 2022

Utilizing Well being Metrics to Troubleshoot Streaming Points

  • 0

Monitoring the well being of a reside stream will be crucial in stopping a poor viewer expertise. Analyzing your stream well being metrics permits you to precisely predict what’s going to occur so you may shortly right any points with minimal affect to the viewer. For these causes, stream monitoring must be a high precedence for video publishers.

Why? Playback points don’t simply trigger viewers to tune out. A disruptive viewing expertise can affect your model, subscriptions, and injury your promoting relationships. Each viewers and advertisers count on a high-quality streaming expertise and have little tolerance for interruptions.

Research present that 40 p.c of viewers will click on away or drop out if buffering occurs greater than as soon as throughout a video stream. As well as, advertisers who pay to succeed in a sure variety of viewers throughout a stream will go elsewhere ought to playback points trigger a major variety of viewers to go away. The results of a poor streaming occasion can have long-term affect, so that you’ll need to monitor your stream well being metrics and keep away from a possible streaming disaster. Time is of the essence throughout a reside occasion and your metrics can shortly level you to the place the difficulty is.

Streaming points will be brought on by the:

  • Encoder {hardware} or software program
  • Video and audio sources
  • Web and community
  • Stream goal vacation spot

That can assist you monitor your streaming occasions, each Wowza Streaming Engine and Wowza Streaming Cloud present a stream well being dashboard, however shortly resolving a difficulty usually is dependent upon your capability to interpret the metrics.

On this weblog, we’ll assessment the highest well being metrics to intently monitor throughout a reside stream. We’ll additionally study some examples of poor stream well being and focus on the really helpful troubleshooting ideas.


Stream Well being Metrics Overview

For this tutorial, we’ll check with the Streaming Cloud dashboard below the Stream Well being tab.



Right here’s some terminology to get began:

  • Inbound Bitrate – The precise charge of the stream touring from the supply encoder to Wowza Streaming Cloud, in kilobits per second (Kbps).
  • Outbound Bitrate – The precise bitrate of all outbound video renditions, in kilobits per second (Kbps).
  • Body Price – The speed of the video, in frames per second, on the transcoder.
  • Keyframe Interval – The variety of video frames compressed in a bunch of images (GOP) between keyframes on the transcoder.


Wholesome Inbound Bitrate

It may be completely regular to see a small quantity of bitrate variance in a stream based mostly on the motion throughout the video. For instance, in a soccer sport, if the announcer is on the display screen speaking, you’d count on to see a decrease bitrate in your well being metrics as a result of lower in information required to broadcast that a part of the stream. Nonetheless, as quickly because the digicam switches to the motion on the sphere and the gamers are all working round, you’d discover a sudden enhance within the incoming bitrate. The identical rule applies if you happen to’re streaming a countdown clock to the second the reside occasion begins. The second the stream switches from the clock to the reside occasion with extra motion, you’ll discover a sudden enhance in bitrate. When the occasion ends and the digicam fades to a nonetheless picture, you will notice the bitrate drop once more.

Right here is an instance the place a stream switches from a “Stream Beginning Quickly” picture to the reside occasion at round 9:43. Discover the bitrate drop simply earlier than 11:00 when the digicam momentarily switches to a nonetheless picture after which again once more to the digicam. That is an instance of a wholesome stream. The encoder is working nicely because the keyframe interval and body charge metrics are steady all through.


Excessive Variance in Inbound Video Bitrate

If you happen to see excessive variance within the video bitrate, however a steady body charge and audio bitrate, this might point out the encoder and community are working advantageous, however both the motion is altering drastically within the reside stream, otherwise you haven’t set constraints for an higher bitrate restrict throughout the variable bitrate parameter.

Unsure whether or not to make use of fixed or variable on your use case? Fixed bitrate (CBR) encoding is quicker than variable bitrate (VBR), however will lead to a lower-quality video for high-motion content material. VBR encoding adjusts the bitrate relying on the complexity of the stream content material, which produces higher-quality playback. When utilizing VBR for reside streaming, there’s a setting to constrain or restrict the information charge of VBR supply encode to 110% of the goal bitrate to keep away from buffering or dropped frames. If you happen to’re not sure of the bandwidth or community situations on your occasion, utilizing fixed bitrate could also be a safer wager.

For a stream with variable bitrate setting, you’d count on to see a big fluctuation within the bitrate. In case you are utilizing a continuing bitrate, nevertheless, excessive variance might point out a possible drawback.

Right here is one other instance of a wholesome stream that’s utilizing a variable bitrate, so the variance fluctuation is regular and based mostly on the complexity of the stream. Some further metrics right here that time to a wholesome stream are the regular keyframe interval (GOP) and body charge (FPS).



If the inbound bitrate has excessive spikes and drops regardless of a continuing bitrate setting or the stream drops utterly after which reconnects, the bitrate might should be lowered.


Potential causes:

  • The encoder is struggling to maintain up
  • Community or bandwidth problem
  • The video bitrate is about too excessive


Troubleshooting ideas:

  1. Use a continuing bitrate (CBR) for a extra dependable stream.
  2. Decrease the video bitrate within the encoder settings


Unhealthy Spikes in Inbound Video Bitrate

If you happen to see a excessive variety of spikes within the video bitrate when there’s low exercise within the stream, your bitrate is probably unstable and, in consequence, you may even see further issues with body charge and body loss.

Right here is an instance of an unhealthy stream and an encoder that’s overloaded. Discover the issue in sustaining a wholesome inbound bitrate (inexperienced) and keyframe interval (grey). Ultimately, your entire stream disconnects.


Potential causes:

  • Lack of bandwidth
  • Incorrect encoder settings
  • CPU load is simply too excessive
  • Encoder {hardware} problem

Troubleshooting ideas:

  1. Use a continuing bitrate (CBR) for a extra dependable stream
  2. Test your encoder settings for bitrate and frames per second (FPS)
  3. Test the CPU load
  4. Cease all different processes consuming bandwidth and reminiscence
  5. Change to a unique community if doable


Variance in Outbound Bitrate

If you happen to see an uncommon variance within the outbound video bitrate, this might be brought on by modifications from the incoming stream, e.g., a change within the digicam or audio seize. It might additionally point out drops within the inbound bitrate, keyframe, and frames per second (fps). As soon as once more, it’s good recommendation to all the time verify the primary mile of streaming if you see playback points. The issue fairly often originates on the supply, so it’s possible you’ll need to assessment your encoder settings first.

Little to no outbound bitrate might imply your streams usually are not configured correctly to succeed in the content material supply community (CDN) or stream targets. It might additionally imply a difficulty with the CDN itself, though that’s uncommon.

Right here is an instance of extreme points with the outbound bitrate (orange), the place viewers skilled poor playback in consequence. Video high quality will be affected for the viewer if the outbound bitrate drops too low, particularly for a high-definition stream.



Potential causes:

  • Community congestion or lack of bandwidth within the first mile
  • Stream targets usually are not correctly receiving the chunks

Troubleshooting ideas:

  1. Test the supply and all encoder settings
  2. Test if the stream is being obtained by Streaming Cloud within the dashboard — Whether it is, this might point out a difficulty with the stream leaving the cloud for its vacation spot
  3. Test you will have the correct settings and URL construction for the CDN you might be utilizing or any social media stream targets


Drop in Body Bitrate or Body Loss

Excessive-definition gadgets usually seize video at 30 or 60 frames per second (fps), however the usual for video streaming is 29.97 fps within the U.S. and Japan, 25 fps in the remainder of the world. For distant cameras used to seize safety footage, a body charge of about 10–15 fps works advantageous.

In case your stream well being metrics present a drop within the body charge or intermittent body loss, viewers might expertise a uneven stream.



Potential causes:

  • The community is congested and frames are being compelled to drop
  • The video bitrate is simply too excessive for the encoder
  • Lack of bandwidth
  • The CPU utilization is simply too excessive (maybe from too excessive of bandwidth)
  • The transcoder is overloaded and may’t set the correct frames per second


Troubleshooting ideas:

  1. Decrease the video bitrate
  2. Change to an ethernet connection
  3. Disable all background packages working which may be consuming the CPU
  4. Choose the geographic location closest to you in Streaming Cloud
  5. Test you might be utilizing the most recent encoder model


Fluctuating Keyframe Interval 

For reside streams, keyframe intervals must be two seconds. So, in case your body charge is 30 fps, the keyframe interval could be each 60 frames. Notice that too frequent of keyframes may end up in stuttered playback, so a two second keyframe interval is perfect. It’s additionally price noting that for HTTP Stay Streaming (HLS) playback, video chunks should begin on a keyframe.

A warning seems in Wowza Streaming Cloud if the keyframe interval varies from the really helpful charge of being equal to or twice the body charge.

Must you discover inconsistencies in your keyframe interval when analyzing your stream well being, bear in mind this may end up in disruptive playback for the viewer.

Right here is an instance the place the keyframe interval was not correctly set to a hard and fast quantity, leading to unhealthy fluctuations. Needless to say adaptive bitrate streaming requires a set keyframe interval as a search level for the participant.  



Potential Causes:

  • The keyframe interval isn’t set correctly within the encoder
  • You aren’t utilizing a good numbered keyframe
  • The keyframe interval is about above 4 seconds
  • The encoder doesn’t have the bandwidth wanted to ship information to the media server


Troubleshooting ideas:

  1. Set the keyframe interval to 2 seconds on the supply encoder
  2. Test for community congestion
  3. Disable all background packages
  4. Make certain your bandwidth is 2.5 instances the full bitrate



Monitoring stream well being metrics might help you shortly diagnose a streaming problem and decide if the difficulty originates on the video supply. You need to all the time verify your encoder settings first when troubleshooting an issue with playback.

We advocate the next settings to create supply encoding presets in Wowza Streaming Cloud.


Baseline Predominant Excessive
240p 360p 480p 720p 1080p 4K
Body measurement 426×240 640×360 854×480 1280×720 1920×1080 3840×2160
Supported video bitrate 300 – 700 Kbps 400 – 1200 Kbps 512 – 2000 Kbps 1600 – 4000 Kbps 3200 – 6000 Kbps 8000 – 20,000 Kbps
Really useful video bitrate 512 Kbps 1024 Kbps 1600 Kbps 2640 Kbps 4400 Kbps 12,000 Kbps


For added optimum encoder settings in Streaming Cloud, go to our documentation and discover ways to create high-quality encoded supply video.

If you happen to’re unable to see your stream well being metrics within the Streaming Cloud dashboard, your stream will not be taking part in because of a configuration error. You possibly can assessment the steps for sending an RTMP take a look at stream from OBS in our video tutorial right here.

You probably have any further questions on analyzing your stream well being metrics, be at liberty to put up a query in our Wowza Neighborhood Boards. Lastly, if you happen to want a Streaming Cloud Service license to start streaming at present, you will get began with a risk-free 30-day trial.


Do not Be the Lag in Your Stay Stream

Subscribe to Weblog

Further Assets:

  • Monitor Stream Well being in Wowza Streaming Cloud
  • Encoding Greatest Practices for Wowza Streaming Cloud

About Rose Energy

Rose Energy is the developer group supervisor for Wowza Media Methods. Obsessed with constructing relationships with the dev group, Rose strives to ship high quality sources for a constructive consumer expertise constructed on belief. When not working, she will be discovered… View extra

Prev Post

What Is Transcoding and Why Is It Important for Streaming?…

Next Post

What Is Video Encoding?


Leave a Comment

Related post