MetaCDN - StreamShark

Troubleshooting Your Live Stream [Read First]

Troubleshooting Live Streaming

This document contains helpful information when live streaming is not working as expected and provides steps to undertake in order to solve most of the issues we've experienced so far.

Q: Where can I find my publishing logs and find any issue obvious from there?

Usually, live streaming publishing applications will be able to provide a encoding log for user to diagnose any publishing issues. These logs will also be very helpful should you have any incident during live event and need us to investigate further.

FMLE: You can specify the log directory in the "Encoding Log" tab.

Wirecast: 

WinXP: C:\Documents and Settings\$USER$\Application Data\Wirecast\flash_log.txt
Win7/Vista: C:\users\$USER$\AppData\Roaming\Wirecast\flash_log.txt
Mac OS: ~/Library/Logs/Wirecast/flash_log.txt

For other applications, please refers to relevant user manual.

Q: I'm having some problems with synchronization of audio and video.

A: Most likely, your input rate is not equal to or divisible by your output rate. For instance, if your input is 59.94 fps we recommend 29.97 fps as the output frame rate, since it's divisible by two. If your input is 60 fps we recommend 30.00 fps as the output frame rate, etc. If your input is 30 fps then keep the same rate as your output. In all cases we recommend an output frame rate of 30 fps or less.

Q: I'm publishing but I can't see anything on the player or it disappears after a few seconds.

A: Most likely, there is a mismatch between streams set up in StreamShark and the tools you are publishing. Your publishing settings need to EXACTLY match what is set up in StreamShark. Any deviation in bitrate (e.g. audio or video) or number of stream qualities will cause a mismatch between your publishing software and the player.

Q: Why does my stream not play on iOS devices?

A: Make sure you have HLS enabled. If HLS is disabled, then it won't play on mobile devices. 

  • This can be enabled in the stream settings page in the portal. Over the API, the corresponding property is named mobileStream, set it to true. Once you have made this change, mobile support may take up to 10 minutes to become active. 
  • When HLS is enabled, a parameter called 'adbe-live-event' is added to the FMS stream URL, for example: &adbe-live-event=myteststream_
    This part makes sure that a HLS stream is being generated on the fly when you push your live stream. Once HLS is enabled, make sure you re-download your XML configuration (if you are using FMLE) or manually copy the FMS stream URL(s) for Wirecast and other hardware encoders.

Q: I'm publishing the live stream but the stream won't play on iOS devices?

A: When using FMLE to push the live stream to the publishing point: make sure you do not re-publish the stream in rapid succession, i.e. stop the currently running stream and start it again. When you stop and start the same stream, make sure to wait at least 10 minutes after stopping and before restarting to let the system clear out old sessions and stale data. When you wish to stop publishing your live stream, make sure you shutdown the stream cleanly. You can do this by clicking on the large red Stop button on FMLE, then clicking on the Disconnect button. You should see something like this in the Encoding Log.

Screen_Shot_2013-08-23_at_5.54.39_PM.png

Before republishing again, remember to wait at least 10 minutes to avoid any issues.

Q: My stream does not play back smoothly?

A: make sure that the live stream configuration matches the configuration you are pushing out by your encoder. Check the following:

  • do the bit rates match? I.e. do the bit rates matched by your live encoder match the bit rates specified on you SteamShark live stream?
  • are video and audio enabled properly? I.e. if you want to only stream video, have you disabled the audio stream in your encoder?
  • Is your computer powerful enough to transcode the stream qualities you have specified?
  • Does your upload link have enough bandwidth to transmit the stream qualities you have specified?
  • Is your upload link reliable (bad wireless connection?)

 

Q: My audio sounds awful (choppy/glitchy etc) on iOS devices - what can I do?

A: If you have enabled mobile (iOS) support on your live stream, you must use AAC audio when publishing using FMLE for best results. Using MP3 audio will result in extremely poor sound quality. On Macs, AAC is included with FMLE as it is native to the operating system. On Windows, AAC support requires a paid plugin. It is included in other publishing software such as Wirecast - you may consider investing in Wirecast instead of purchasing the paid AAC plugin by itself.

 

Q: I'm getting dropped frames, disconnections or dropouts with FMLE when publishing my live stream.

A: When using the default publishing point, StreamShark directs you to the closest location. However, this is not always perfect. If you wish, you can manually select the best publishing point by replacing the provided RTMP URL publish.live.streamshark.com with the RTMP address closest to your current location. Our network offers the following publishing points at this stage:

Region RTMP Url - Publishing points
North America - Ashburn rtmp://dca.live.streamshark.io
North America - Los Angeles rtmp://lax.live.streamshark.io
Europe - Amsterdam rtmp://ams.live.streamshark.io
Australia - Sydney rtmp://syd.live.streamshark.io
Europe - Frankfurt rtmp://fra.live.streamshark.io
Asia - Hong Kong rtmp://hkg.live.streamshark.io
Europe - Stockholm rtmp://arn.live.streamshark.io

Remember, if you are trying multiple different publish points to decide which performs best for you, remember to disconnect cleanly from each server and wait at least 10 minutes before republishing to a different publish point.

A lack of CPU horsepower and/or bad upload links can cause dropped frames.

 

Q: I've imported the xml configuration file you offer into (broadcast software that isn't Adobe FMLE) and it doesn't work.

A: The xml file is intended for FMLE only and contains placeholders that FMLE will replace with the correct values.  Other packages (wirecast, MXLight etc) might be able to read the file, but they don't replace the values in the xml file so you will end up with incorrect settings.

Your best bet for other packages is to configure them manually using the settings taken directly from the portal display (Live Streaming > Select desired stream > Overview page).

This will show the stream settings and you can then use them to configure your broadcast software.  For example:

  

Q: Can I live streaming from a pre-recorded video file?

 A: This is really depending on the software you are using for broadcasting, and as long as the software can load the video file as a source, there is no problem for StreamShark to streaming that file just like streaming from a camera. 

Wirecast has a very simple and easy way to live stream from a static file, which we have documented in the Wirecast guide. Please refer to the section "Live Streaming from a pre-recorded video file" (http://support.metacdn.com/entries/58658656-How-To-Broadcast-A-Live-Stream-Using-Telestream-Wirecast) for instructions.

 

Q: Can I set up another publishing point as a backup?

A: Yes!  Subject to the limitations below:

Certain encoders, including Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder (FMLE) 3.1 and higher, support the
use of a backup (i.e., secondary) publishing point. The purpose of encoding media to a backup
publishing point is to allow the secondary publishing point to take over the task of publishing
the stream when the primary publishing point experiences technical issues.

Keep the following items in mind when deciding whether to use a backup publishing point:

* This type of configuration will cause the publishing software to establish two streams.

* Users will be directed to the closest publishing point location. For example, if you are
publishing to both Los Angeles and Frankfurt, then users in the Americas will be served
from Los Angeles, while European users will be served from Frankfurt.

* If the encoder experiences limited bandwidth or network connectivity issues, then it is
possible for only a single stream to be affected. This may cause issues that are only
experienced in the region where the symptomatic stream is being served.

* It is our recommendation to only use a backup publishing point when you are confident
that your bandwidth capacity will be able to easily support uploading two simultaneous
streams

Tip: A backup publishing point can be defined in FMLE through the Backup URL option.

 

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