Location, Location, Location: How to Sidestep Signal Interference During Wireless Livestreaming Before It Happens
Oh shoot! Interference during a livestream can really put a damper on what should be an exciting event. You may have done everything right while setting up, but something is preventing a strong signal.
The popular saying in real estate, “location, location, location,” also rings true in this scenario. Read on for things you should consider including the location you picked and where you have placed your equipment.
Location of Your Shoot
Look around your environment for obstacles when setting up to see what could potentially cause interference. For example, if you are livestreaming a sporting event the press box you’re in could be an all metal shipping-container type box.
Keep in mind that huge crowds can also block wireless signals. The signal may appear adequate if you set up in a conference hall or indoor basketball court while the venue is empty, but your signal will suffer as soon as it fills up with hundreds of people. Human bodies are mostly water after all and could be the equivalent of putting up a couple of walls.
Location of Streaming Device
Always mount your hub on a tall tripod and elevate it six feet or higher, if possible, whether you see obstacles or not. Simply putting the streaming device on the table alongside other equipment, cables, hardware, and audio mixers may not kill the signal quality but could decrease it by a few percent.
Once you are set up, test the Wi-Fi health of your system by checking the distance between the video sources and the hub, any interference with surrounding networks, bit rates selected, and physical barriers in between.
Location of Video Sources
The type of video source (iPhone, Android phone, etc.) used can have an impact on your wireless range but if you have as many devices face the streaming device as possible it will help a great deal.
Remember there is an overall limit to any Wi-Fi hotspot bandwidth. Even if all your video sources are close to the unit, too many connected to the hotspot could overwhelm the available bandwidth. Reduce the distance of one or more video sources from the hub or remove a source completely to improve video quality and connectivity for the entire setup.
And finally, if you happen to bring your best friend along to your shoot make sure to keep track of HIS location. You don’t want him to cause interference by stealing the show (and your equipment) like this!