What causes a broadcast to buffer?

A "buffer" is a temporary storage location on your encoding device that is populated when your Internet connection cannot keep up with the configured bitrate.  

For example, if you have your broadcast bitrate set to 2.5Mbps and your upload Internet speed is 2.0Mbps, the additional 500kpbs required for your broadcast will load into your buffer until your Internet speed exceeds 2.5Mbps.  

This causes "stops" in your broadcast for your viewers while the buffer is populated. To prevent buffering, simply set your maximum bitrate to at least 50% less than your upload Internet speed.

To run a free speed test, simply click here.

  • Your upload speed should always be at least 50% greater than your bitrate for your live stream.
    • For example, if your bitrate setting for your live stream is 1.5Mpbs, your upload speed should be no less than a constant 3Mbps, anything less can lead to buffering and latency for your viewers.
  • Wired connections are more stable and lead to better results than wireless connections.


To learn more about how the Broadcast Quality works in StreamSpot, see the links to the other Knowledgebase articles below: