Stream is lagging

Lag is undoubtedly the most common streaming problem. Either the video or the audio is experiencing interruptions, or the playback is choppy. In most cases, this is a user side issue, and you can verify that by making a local recording using the same broadcast software you're using to stream.

If lags appear in the local recording, it means that the issue is on the user side. Here is what you can do to resolve that:

  1. Try watching your stream in another browser or another device. Sometimes compressing the stream takes too many resources, and your primary device can't handle playback of the stream while streaming. Generally, it's better not to have your stream being played back on the streaming device at all.

  2. If that's not the case, try changing encoder settings. Lower resolution, FPS, or increase the CPU preset in encoder settings. Try switching between software and hardware encoders. Sometimes it's a good idea to create a new streaming profile and try recording with default options. If the issue is related to insufficient resources of your streaming device, you will see a difference in your next local record.

  3. If your video on record is looking fine, then it may be a network issue. Try streaming to another Restream server. Head over to our Speed Test page and look for three servers that have the lowest MS Ping ignoring the AUTO server. Then run a speed test for each of those servers to select the one with the highest speed and try streaming to it. It's best to try streaming to each of the top 3 servers with the lowest MS Ping, to see which server you connect and stream to the best. Remember to use not more than 2/3 of your upload speed to each of the servers.

  4. If changing Restream server didn't help, if your stream lags anyways while the recording with streaming settings is smooth - try streaming to other services directly without using Restream. If it helps, feel free to contact our support to tell them about your problems and troubleshooting steps you went through, and we'll try to help.

Stream has bad quality

Your stream may look great on some platforms while looking worse on others with the same settings. Many different factors can be the reason for this, as some platforms, like YouTube and Facebook, transcode your stream and do not preserve the original feed. While other platforms, like Twitch and Mixer, use your original video feed as the highest quality stream and use transcoding to provide lower resolutions.

If your stream looks equally bad on all platforms and you think it should look better, take these steps:

  1. While streaming make a local recording with using stream encoder - it will not add extra stress to your system - and compare your local file with the records you have on your platforms. If the video quality is the same on both record and stream records, you should adjust your encoder settings. Depending on your existing parameters you may want to increase bitrate, resolution, FPS or slow down CPU encoding preset.

  2. If the video quality is still different, try streaming directly to any of your platforms without Restream. See if the video quality gets any better in comparison to local recording.

  3. If the quality is still different, ensure that you're streaming to a platform that preserves original stream, and once again check that you're making a record using stream encoder. Take a note on your encoder notification area - it may be overloaded or have connectivity issues in general. If it's overloaded - keep lowering stream settings; If it's losing packages - make sure you're having a good connection to the Internet (you can read more about it in Network Issues section below).

  4. If stream quality is good only while you stream directly to one of your platforms and is bad if you stream through Restream, please contact Restream support to ask for additional help telling about all troubleshooting steps you did.

App-specific lags

There are the cases when your stream looks good and plays back smoothly for the most time, but sometimes, in certain situations, lags may occur out of nowhere, and appear in both record and stream.
One of the most common stream issues known happens when you try to stream PUBG game on Windows 10 with OBS Studio or Xsplit - you may have been streaming fine in the past with exact same config, but now the stream is lagging without any visible reason. The first thing you need to do is to determine situations when this happens.

You may ensure this is the very same case if you try to have your windowed game in focus while streaming, and then change focus to another window with Alt+Tab hotkeys. While the game is in focus, your whole stream will have a bad framerate, and switching the focus to something else will suddenly fix framerate for the stream, and the game will begin to look well.

This is the rarest and hardest issue to diagnose, but you need to understand the conditions which cause this behavior - in every case, it's caused by different reasons on user-end. You may want to try performing a system restore to the previous stable state to see if it helps, or uninstall recently added programs. At OBS forums they claim there's nothing they can do with it, since it's caused by Windows 10. Previous versions of windows are unaffected.

If you have faced a similar app-specific behavior, you should try to find alternative apps, or consider making a 2-device streaming system with a capture card, so one device is fully responsible for content you stream, and the second one is responsible for stream only.

Stream has black screen without content

Most of the time this is a user-side issue when a user forgets to add a video source to their broadcaster. Sometimes it is an issue on end platforms, so you need to check if a video is missing from several places before you start troubleshooting.

  1. Make a local recording and check if the video is visible on it. If it is not, you need to add a video source to your broadcaster software scene that is active right now.

  2. If your video is visible in your broadcaster and your local recording, sometimes it may not be visible in Restream Preview window. This doesn't necessary means that your stream isn't delivered to end platforms. Some encoders, like LiveU, sometimes give bad metadata, which disables preview player and gives wrong diagnostic data on target platforms. Normally restarting broadcaster helps. You can also try selecting another Restream location in your broadcaster.

  3. If you have a black screen on one target platform only, while other works fine, check with platform's streaming guidelines and make sure your stream is within reasonable specs for this platform.

  4. If none of that helped, contact our support service and describe your issue with as many details as possible.

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