What You Need To Know About Steaming

First, a bit of background information so you know a little more about what we're trying to do when you stream across the Internet. This will help you troubleshoot any issues you might experience.

One of the first things you need for the ability to stream is an internet connection with at least a 1mbps upload or throughput ability. Remember most internet service providers allocate much more download than upload speed.

When you stream via SOS-Streams or any stream service, a single 128kbps stream leaves your computer and travels across the net to our server. Our server then takes this stream, and retransmits it to your listeners. The whole process takes less than a second, as there is a constant stream of data travelling from your computer to our server, and then immediately back out to all your listeners. To stream successfully in Second Life or any other virtual world, you must have a "Broadband Connection" provided to you by your ISP (Internet Service Provider) there are many types of broadband connections, to find out what kind you have see our "Types of Broadband" section.

If the stream of data from your computer to our server is lost, interrupted, or not all of the 128kb arrive, your listeners might be disconnected, as our server would have nothing to send them. For this reason, it is somewhat important to know about your Internet connection and what you can do to guarantee you can keep up a constant stream of data.

Most home and business broadband connections around the world are asynchronous. This means your ability to push data onto the Internet is much less than your ability to pull data off the Internet. The big speeds you see advertised, 5mb, 10mb, 50mb etc, relate to your ability to pull data off the net ('download speed'), not your ability to push data onto the Internet ('upload speed'). Imagine a highway, with 50 lanes in one direction, and two in the other. This represents your Internet Connection.

A typical broadband connection might have something like 16mbps download speed, and 1 mbps upload speed. That's a 1 megabit uplink - it means you can push only 1 megabit per second onto the Internet. To stream a 128 kbps Internet stream, you must push 128kb onto the Internet every second. With a 1 mbps upload, you can easily achieve this. However uploading is also affected by other computers in your home connected to the same modem/router. Consider your ISP (Internet Service Provider) like a water supply to your home, if the kitchen faucet is running, the flow will become less if you start to fill the tub. If you have a cable connection, the flow of data out can also be affected by other people (neighbors) who are using the same ISP (Internet Service Provider) that you are using. In most cases of cable ISP’s, neighborhoods are all connected to the same.hub or node, therefore when there is a heavy use or load on the ISP from others in your neighborhood, your download and upload speeds can be affected.

While streaming in SL you also need to understand that SL itself is also using your bandwidth. Other examples of these activities include sending an email and uploading photos or video to a website like Facebook, Flickr or YouTube. As more users have a higher need to send large emails and post higher resolution photos and videos to websites, upload is telling a larger part of the whole story. Another increasingly popular use of upload is peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing programs, such as BitTorrent, where upload is required to continually send co(Back to Help)ntent in order to have the privilege of downloading. VoIP, Video Conferencing and Online Gaming also require upload throughput for the bi-directional interactions. Unknown to most people, all computers run background services, depending on your configuration, these services can also minimally affect download and upload speeds. For this reason, it is important to be aware of the limitations of your broadband connection, and be careful what you do while you are streaming, needless to say, any of the above activities can and will affect your stream, so monitor what is occurring on your computer and other computers connected to the same router/modem.