Bitrate Recommendations

When using the Web Broadcast Panel to stream via a browser, we take care of negotiating optimal encode bitrates and quality based on your network connection. This keeps things simple. If you’re using an RTMP-based encoder, you’re going to have to dial in the settings manually.

Before we get to our recommended settings, there is one required setting that will ensure smooth streaming. B-Frames setting should be disabled on your encoder. B-Frames diminish the quality of the low-latency WebRTC feed to the viewers, and can sometimes cause stuttering. Some encoders have B-Frames disabled by default. Others have a checkbox, or an ‘options‘ area for you to type in any options (usually ‘bframes=0’).

We also recommend a constant bitrate (CBR), as this will prevent frame drops caused by high bitrate peaks from fast camera motion.

As for the bitrate itself, this is more subjective. The bitrate you choose should always take into consideration the network quality between the encoder and SetStream, as well as the quality of network between SetStream and each viewer. Setstream is a global network with servers around the world. But we can’t control the “last mile” connection between clients and SetStream.

The following are ballpark guidelines to give you a starting point to figuring out what works for your use-case.

Optimal Network Conditions

broadcaster and clients have high-speed physical network connections

  • 3-4Mbps
  • HD 1080P

Wireless Network Connection

broadcaster and clients are connected via a strong wifi signal

  • 2Mbps
  • HD 1080P

Cellular Network Connection

broadcaster or clients are using 4G LTE connection

  • 1-2Mbps
  • HD 1080P or 720P