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Support troubleshooting guide

Oh help. Your streams seem offline or stutter. What to do?

1) Test in time#

Make sure that your setup is tested in advance, days before you go live. If something fails, there is plenty time to change configurations, equipment or connections. Once your setup is tested and accepted, don’t change anything.

2) Rely on our experts#

Our experts are available during business hours, and in evenings and weekends too, to help you test your setup, workflow, encoders, connections and player publishing, before you go live. Our engineers are also available during your mission critical live event. We have over 25 years of experience in live streaming and we have written this document to guide you quickly through the steps to find the cause of your problem as fast as possible. See contact details below.

3) Deduction#

If your stream isn’t working as expected, we strongly advise to use deduction to rule out the many options in the chain between the camera and viewer, starting at the beginning of the chain. Rule out each part of the chain and work your way up to the last part. Test the chain up site down as well.

  • Source
  • Encoder
  • Connection
  • The Internet
  • Jet-Stream intake servers
  • Jet-Stream core servers
  • Jet-Stream overflow servers
  • Jet-Stream MultiCDN services
  • The Internet
  • Viewer connection
  • Viewer device
  • Viewer software

4) In 70% of the cases, it’s the upstream connection.#

In general: do not use WIFI, cellular or shared networks. Use a dedicated connection. Don’t use the connection for anything else but upstreaming your live stream. Make sure that you have plenty upstream capacity (25% Mbps on top of the encoding bit rates)

Checklist:

  • Is your internet connection up?
  • Do a speed test: do you have at least 10Mbps stable upstream capacity?
  • Do a ping test: is the line stable?
  • Do a traceroute, is there a routing issue on the internet?
  • Share your speed tests, pings and traces with our engineers and ask them to perform the same tests to your encoder so they can help you find the cause.

5) In 20% of the cases, it’s the encoder.#

The Jet-Stream platform accepts a wide range of cameras, hardware encoders and software encoders. In general: use professional encoding hardware or software on a reliable device with enough CPU power. Sometimes vendors put products on the market that claim to be compliant, but send out unreliable streams. Test and verify first before you buy.

Checklist:

  • Are there reliable audio and video sources coming into the encoder?
  • Close all other applications
  • Disable all other processes (such as alerts and updates)
  • Check if the encoder is actually streaming without dropped frames
  • Check if the Jet-Stream platform confirms that the encoder is up
  • Use H.264 baseline or main
  • Use AAC audio
  • Do not use VBR encoding, always use CBR (constant bit rate)
  • Use 25 FPS with 2 fixed keyframe per second
  • Don’t use excessive bit rates
  • Check the CPU load of the encoder
  • Check username and password
  • Check if you are streaming to the right publishing point
  • Check if your encoder is sending correct timing headers with unique numbers (important for redundant live streaming)
  • Use 2 encoders, using 2 separate uplink connections to stream to our primary and secondary intake servers
  • Note that some encoders need 10-30 seconds before their output stream is stable

Share your CPU load, encoder settings files and encoder setting screen shots with our engineers and ask them to check the parameters, so they can help you find the cause.

Advised Encoder settings#

Some problems may be caused by your encoder settings, or a weird convergence of circumstances. These are our advised encoder settings.

  • H.264 baseline of main (high is not supported on all devices and services.)
  • AAC Audio
  • CBR instead of VBR
  • 25 FPS with a keyframe every 50 frames/2 seconds
  • Realistic bitrate
  • RTMP input(from an encoder)
  • A good strong internet connection, preferably wired.

A high bitrate can make it so that the stream inst watchable for viewers with a slower internet connection, this is also why we advise CBR instead of VBR because a peak in the bitrate with VBR can be so high that it is simply not possible for the networks of all viewers to keep up.

Bitrate settings#

QualityResolutionVideo BitrateFrames Per SecondVideo ProfileVideo LevelKeyframe interval
Low480x270 (270p)400kbps25Baseline3.22 Second/50 Frames
Med640x360 (360p)800 - 1200 kbps25Main3.22 Second/50 Frames
High854x480 (480p)1200 - 1500 kbps25Main3.22 Second/50 Frames
HD 7201280x720 (720p)1,500 - 4,000 kbps25High4.12 Second/50 Frames
HD 10801920x1080 (1080p)4,000-8,000 kbps25High4.12 Second/50 Frames

6) In 9% of the cases, it’s the viewer connection.#

Even though the entire chain is working fine, end users (including you) may experience personal interruptions due to local circumstances.

Checklist:

  • Use a modern PC, Mac, Tablet or Smartphone with enough CPU power and memory
  • Make sure you run the latest OS and browser updates
  • Avoid crowded WIFI networks or mobile networks
  • Do a speed test: do you have at least 10Mbps stable downstream capacity?
  • Do a ping test: is the line stable?
  • Do a traceroute, is there a routing issue on the internet?
  • Are you running browser plugins or ad blockers?
  • Don’t use the same device to stream out and watch the stream at the same time
  • Don’t use the same connection to stream out and watch the stream at the same time

Share your device brand, model and configuration, OS version and browser version with our engineers, so they can help you find the cause. Make a screen recording of your findings and share this with our engineers too.

7) In less than 0,01% it’s the CDN.#

The Jet-Stream network and platforms are highly redundant, actively monitored and automatically pooled. Incidents are rare, and if they occur, the system will automatically reroutes streams and viewers. If not, engineers are automatically alerted. However, rare issues might occur that are hard to monitor.

Checklist:

  • Check if the encoder is connected to the right live publishing point
  • Use 2 encoders and the secondary intake for maximum availability
  • Check if your account is active or suspended
  • Check if you have live streaming rights
  • Check if your live publishing point is available
  • Try creating a new live publishing point
  • Check if the test VOD in your account is working
  • Check if our reference VOD stream is working
  • Check if our reference live stream is working
  • Try switching to the secondary intake
  • Note that when live streams do not reach us in a healthy state, the effect on viewers can be emphasized when we do real-time HLS transmuxing. A minor issue in the encoder or the upstream connection could cascade into larger effects in our delivery platform, such as missing chunks, not updated playlists or ghost cached media.

Document and share your efforts and findings with our engineers so they can help find the cause.

Jet-Stream Tiered architecture.

  • The Jet-Stream platform is tiered. Your streams are sent to our intake server(s), which are purely for getting live streams into the CDN. Viewers are load balanced over tiers. You can deduct the cause by enabling and disabling tiers manually.
  • Go to your publishing point and use the ‘distribute’ command. Deselect all and save. Retrieve the RRR URL from the player and watch the stream (preferably natively in Safari). You will be dynamically load balanced to one of the core servers.
  • Repeat this several times to see if the stream is working ok on the Core level.
  • Now go back to ‘distribute’ and add the overflow servers. Use the RRR URL again and you will see that you are now watching from the overflow tier. Check to see if the stream is working.
  • Now go back to ‘distribute’ and add an optional CDN. Use the RRR URL again and you will see that you are now watching from the MultiCDN tier. Check to see if the stream is working for this CDN.
  • Repeat this for the other CDNs.

Document and share your efforts and findings with our engineers so they can help find the cause.

Test stream and Test asset#

This is a test stream to check if the livestreaming is working correctly. this camera is located in the Jet-stream office, please keep that in mind that this is not a perfect testcase due to maintenance.This is an asset and can be used to check VOD streaming.

8) In less than 1% of the cases, it’s the Internet.#

The internet is a patchwork of thousands of networks globally. Routers can fail. ISPs can reroute links. Networks can become congested. Unfortunately, there is no end to end service guarantee on the internet. Sometimes, it’s just bad luck. Jet-Stream has taken much more efforts than regular CDNs to offer high performance and uptime, through global networks, by using multiple CDNs, by running many active monitors, by developing top of the bill active load balancing mechanisms and algorithms. Despite all these efforts, we still need to rely on the Internet.

9) Contact us#

We are here to help.

Call +31508003333 during EU business hours Mail us on support@jet-stream.com.

If you have a 24*7 Exclusive Support, use this form for emergency support: https://jet-stream.com/exclusive-support/ The engineer on duty will contact you as soon as possible.

If you think there is a CDN wide issue, please login to your account on: https://vdox.streamzillacdn.com Go to Support, and enter the Emergency Support form. The engineer on duty will contact you as soon as possible.