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Maximum video quality?

Alex West Jan 05, 2019 02:51AM EST

TL;DR: What are the maximum settings you accept for streams?

I represent the Folk Project, and we've been trying to improve our video and audio quality, but we're bumping into a number of issues.

We're uploading 2500kbps h264 video and 320kbps AAC audio at 1280x720 at 30fps. We can't seem to push 720p60, or even 1080p30, let alone the full 1080p60 that our setup is capable of.

Additionally, the much more important issue is that our audio quality is SEVERELY dropping after being transcoded by Concert Window. I've seen claims that you publish the original input stream for desktop users and transcode a separate lower quality stream for mobile users, but that is simply not what I'm seeing. Our audio bitrate is being reduced to something in the neighborhood of 96kbps or 128kbps. It sounds really bad compared to not only our house feed, but even the actual stream we're sending at 320kbps. I could easily provide the before/after if you'd like.

I'd also really like to be able to send at least 1080p30 but whenever I try, the preview window doesn't seem to display anything.

System setup:
Mixer: Roland M200i
Camera: Sony HXR-MC2500
Capture card: Elgato HD60 Pro
Streaming computer: AMD Ryzen 2400G, 8GB RAM, Windows 10 Education
Internet speed: 100mbps up, 100mbps down, wired
Streaming software: OBS 21.1.0 x64
Video dimensions: 1280x720
Video framerate: 30fps
Video format: h264
Video bitrate: 2500kbps
Audio format: AAC
Audio bitrate: 320kbps

I've seen countless viewers claim in our chat that our stream has the best video and audio quality they've seen on Concert Window, but (imo) I feel like it could easily be so much better. The video quality isn't as big of an issue as the audio quality.

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Concert Window Support Jan 09, 2019 02:19PM EST Concert Window Agent

Hi Alex,

Sorry this has taken us some time to respond to. Trying to push full HD quality streams at 1080 won’t work for all but a few users. There is a sweet spot in quality and usability on the user end. In terms of bitrate, most viewers won’t be able to handle much more than 1000 kbps. Also, you try dropping audio down to 192 kbps and fps down to 21. It’ll take a little experimentation but you can deliver a beautiful stream by tweaking these settings and optimizing things for your setup. I also think that the current version of OBS has a feature that will analyze your setup and suggest settings for optimal performance. Good luck.

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Alex West Jan 09, 2019 06:58PM EST
That does not help me at all.

Ignoring video quality, assuming we're still going to be stuck with 720p30, why does our audio sound so bad? We're pushing 320kbps audio to Concert Window and it seems like CW is transcoding it to something like 96kbps. I've taken a direct clone of our output and compared it to the feed that appears on CW, and there is a NOTICEABLE drop in quality. We could be delivering so much better for barely any additional bandwidth, and yet we aren't able to because of some setting on your end.
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Alex West Jan 09, 2019 07:00PM EST
To help clarify things - it is NOT a configuration problem with our OBS instance. When we use these exact same settings to stream to another platform, like YouTube, our audio is still transcoded, but they do it at a much higher bitrate so it sounds fine. It is some configuration problem with Concert Window's Wowza transcode server.
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Concert Window Support Jan 10, 2019 09:12AM EST Concert Window Agent

Hi Alex,

Thanks for clarifying. I’ll have our developer look into whether there is something that can be changed.

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Alex West Jan 11, 2019 02:52AM EST
Thanks, that would be great.

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