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Live streaming events have become an integral part of the event industry. As an event manager, providing a flawless streaming experience is crucial to engaging your virtual audience and avoiding streaming failures. However, relying solely on a venue’s unstable internet connection often leads to poor video quality, lag and intermittent stream disruptions. This is where internet bonding and cellular solutions come into play to redefine live streaming.
With the rise of hybrid and virtual events, live streaming has evolved from a “nice to have” to a “must-have” for event planners. But internet connectivity issues continue to disrupt streams worldwide. Nearly 60% of live streams experience failure, from minor glitches, to complete stream crashes.
As an event manager, you cannot afford to have the live stream of your keynote speaker or panel discussion go down unexpectedly. This is why internet bonding services are becoming an event production essential. Bonded cellular solutions provide reliable, redundant internet connections to reinforce your existing internet service. Rather than depending on a single unstable internet line, bonding aggregates multiple Types of internet for superior reliability and bandwidth.
This blog post explores how bonded cellular technology redefines live streaming for events. We’ll cover:
- The limitations of relying solely on wired internet
- How bonded cellular provides redundancy
- Key benefits of Internet bonding services
- Tips for improving overall streaming quality
- The solutions available to integrate bonding into your event
By the end, you’ll understand how internet bonding and cellular solutions can help you deliver flawless streams at your next hybrid or virtual event.
The Problem With Wired Internet Alone
Venues often provide internet service through a wired ethernet connection for presenters and event production equipment like live streaming encoders. However, relying on a single wired line comes with inherent risks:
Venue internet bandwidth can fluctuate wildly, leading to pixelation and buffering during streams. Bandwidth is impacted by:
- Overuse: Too many devices connected to the network congests bandwidth.
- Network interference: Microwaves, cordless phones and other devices create interference.
- Distance limitations: Long cable runs lead to packet loss and latency.
- ISP throttling: Your ISP may throttle bandwidth during peak usage times.
Single Point of Failure
With only one active internet source, your stream has a single point of failure. If the wired connection goes down, your stream goes down with it. Outages can occur due to:
- Power, cable or hardware failures
- Network configuration issues
- Cyber attacks like DDoS attacks
- Overuse and congestion
Wired internet offers no redundancy if your primary connection falters. Changing venues means starting over with a new unknown network. And public Wi-Fi is too unreliable for streaming video.
How Internet Bonding Provides Redundancy
Internet bonding aggregates multiple internet connections to reinforce your stream:
Bonding combines multiple internet types:
- Wired ethernet
- Cable modem
- T1 lines
- Public wi-fi
- 4G/LTE cellular
- 5G cellular
- Satellite internet
The advantages of bonding:
- Provides redundancy if any one connection fails
- More aggregate bandwidth capacity
- Consistent Quality of Service (QoS)
- Lower latency and jitter
- Seamless streaming redundancy
With bonded connections, your stream stays active if the wired line goes down. Traffic is dynamically load balanced across all links. If a connection degrades, bonding automatically shifts traffic to the better-performing links.
Key Benefits of Internet Bonding
Combining multiple internet links provides tangible benefits for event live streaming:
Bonded cellular delivers 99.999% uptime for live streaming, offering far greater reliability than wired internet alone. Instead of a single point of failure, you have redundancy and automatic failover.
With a single wired connection, you achieve 99.9% uptime at best. That still means over 8 hours of downtime per year. But bonding 4 connections together can achieve 99.999% uptime, minimizing downtime to only 5 minutes annually.
While wired internet may give you 100 Mbps one moment, it can drop to 1 Mbps the next, wreaking havoc on your stream quality. Bonding combines bandwidth for a more stable capacity to support HD video streaming.
For example, bonding a 50 Mbps wired connection with two 30 Mbps 4G modems yields 110 Mbps of total bandwidth. As needs spike during a stream, additional capacity is available.
Consistent Video Quality
With more redundancy and bandwidth, bonded streams maintain consistent quality without buffering or pixelation issues. Bonding transmits across all links simultaneously while pacing packets to avoid congestion—dynamic load balancing shifts more traffic to the cleaner connections when relations degrade.
Bonding can achieve sub-second latency thanks to more efficient packet transmission. Packets take the shortest path across the aggregated links, minimizing delays that lead to lag.
When your wired internet cuts out entirely, bonded cellular failover is triggered instantly to avoid stream interruptions. Viewers experience no outage since cellular takes over within a split second.
Failover is seamless when streaming protocols like SRT, Zixi and RIST are integrated with bonding. The protocol handles packet reordering and retransmission across links.
While wired internet requires expensive hardware upgrades to improve quality, bonding utilizes more affordable existing internet sources like 4G. There’s no need for costly network infrastructure changes.
Improving Your Streaming Quality
Beyond bonding, there are a few additional tips to optimize streaming quality:
Use a dedicated streaming device
Laptops with variable CPU and memory usage can lead to poor video quality. A dedicated hardware encoder ensures consistent processing power for encoding your video stream.
Hardwire your encoder
Connect your encoder directly to the venue’s ethernet router or switch via ethernet cable. Avoid unstable Wi-Fi that’s prone to interference.
Position antennas optimally
Place external antennas in a direct line of sight to cellular towers to get the best signal strength for bonding. Avoid obstacles like thick walls or metal that degrade cellular signals.
Reduce motion and scene changes.
More movement and scene changes in your video content require more encoded data. Minimize transitions, panning shots and flashy visuals.
Fine-tune encoder settings
Dial down settings like resolution, frame rate and bitrate to reduce bandwidth needs if internet capacity is consistently constrained. 360p/30fps at 1 Mbps offers a nice balance.
Solutions To Integrate Bonding
To add bonded cellular capabilities to your event production workflow, you have a couple of options:
Utilize a bonding service provider
Companies like Teradek and LiveU offer end-to-end live-streaming bonding solutions designed explicitly for EVENTS. Their hardware bonders aggregate the connections and work seamlessly with your encoder.
These bonded encoders are all-in-one, portable solutions that combine encoding, internet aggregation and stream distribution. Most integrate directly with streaming CDNs like YouTube, Facebook and WOWZA.
Monthly plans provide access to cellular data with unlimited bonding. For large tier 1 events, service providers can bring in satellite trucks or other transmission equipment as needed.
Add a standalone bonding device.
Alternatively, standalone bonding appliances can be combined with your existing encoder setup. Options like the PepLink MAX BR1 Mini offer plug-and-play cellular bonding in a small form factor.
The bonding unit aggregates the connections via auto-failover and policy-based routing. This reinforces the wired internet to your encoder over ethernet.
Bonding devices work with standard encoder hardware and integrate with most streaming platforms. You supply and manage the SIM cards to create your pooled cellular plan.
Reliable, high-quality live streaming is now a baseline expectation for events rather than a bonus. Yet wired internet alone remains prone to bandwidth fluctuations, congestion and unexpected failures.
Internet bonding offers event managers a streaming stability solution by combining multiple internet links with failover. Aggregating wired and cellular connections provides crucial redundancy to avoid outages while boosting bandwidth capacity.
With real-world results like 99.999% proven uptime, sub-second latency and seamless failover switching, bonded cellular redefines reliable streaming. Simply put, bonding means less stress and fewer surprises on the event day.
Whether you utilize a dedicated bonding service or a standalone device, it’s time to take your event live streams to the next level. Give your virtual audience the flawless viewing experience they expect by reinforcing your wired internet with bonded cellular.