Video Quality Issues with Software Encoders

Check out this guide to learn more about recommended settings for your encoder and setup checks that can help improve your stream's health.

Updated over a week ago

Some common issues you may encounter when connecting your streaming software to Restream over RTMP are quality lags or the stream looking better on one platform than it does on another.

But why does that happen?

  • Your streaming setup may be presenting issues connected to settings, CPU, or network.

  • Different platforms support different video qualities. While Restream doesn’t change the quality of your incoming stream in any way, some destination platforms could modify the incoming stream to adjust it to their requirements.

For example, YouTube and Facebook transcode your stream and do not preserve the original feed. While other platforms, like Twitch, use your original video feed as the highest quality stream and use transcoding to provide lower resolutions.

Try the following steps to identify the issue:

Pro tip: If you use OBS, we recommend checking OBS Analyzer for an insight into your diagnostics. This tool will assess your settings, connection, or general stream health and alert you of critical issues or warnings that you can address before you run additional tests.

  1. Check your encoder's settings and make sure they are in line with the recommended settings for the platforms you stream to.

  2. Check your CPU while streaming. Your streaming setup may be too heavy for your device. If your CPU usage reaches 80%, consider

    1. closing unnecessary apps running in the background,

    2. rebooting,

    3. lowering down encoder settings (bitrate, resolution, FPS, slower encoder preset) until the stream becomes more stable,

    4. upgrading or finding a computer with more processing power.

  3. Check your internet connection. Your upload speed may not be high enough to support your bitrate or you may not be streaming to the best possible server for your region.

    1. Visit our speed test page and test your upload speed to the three servers with the lowest numbers of "ms" ping. Select the server with the best upload speed under your encoder's stream settings. You can copy the server RTMP URL directly from the speed test page.

    2. Ideally set your bitrate to half your upload speed. For example, if your upload speed is 10 Mbps, you can best support a bitrate of 5,000 Kbps. However, do NOT exceed the limits of your target platforms (an upload speed of 70 Mbps doesn't mean you should set a 35,000 Kbps bitrate). Stay within the best settings per platform.

    3. Keep in mind that a base upload speed of 7-10 Mbps is recommended for stable streaming. If your upload speed is too low, consider contacting your ISP.

  4. If none of the above helps, please contact Restream Support to receive further assistance

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