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Bandwidth Tester Guide for Broadcaster

Melvin Dichoso
February 17, 20162 mins read

This entry shows you how to use the Bandwidth Tester.

1. Go to Broadcast menu & Right Click the Specific Channel to which you Wish to
Test your Data-rate

When you right click a channel, the settings dialog will pop up. This corresponds to the action
Broadcast – > Edit Channels – > select and press the edit button.

(So now you know the shortcut. 🙂 )

2. Click ‘Test Bandwidth’ in the Settings Dialog

In the settings dialog, click the ‘Test Bandwidth” button to start the bandwidth
test which will run for approximately 45 seconds.

How the Bandwidth Tester Works and Why you Should Always Use it?

Correction: The bandwidth tester also take dropped frames into account, but some slight adjustments may still be needed.

Even if you may have a huge general upload bandwidth assigned by your Internet Service Provider, you have absolutely no guarantee of the data-rate (bandwidth) you can maintain to a particular target server. That is why general bandwidth testers are next to useless if you need to make sure you can maintain a particular data-rate to a particular server.

The XSplit bandwidth tester reads the configuration of your streaming settings, and more specifically your video max bitrate (MBR) setting and your audio bitrate (ABR) setting. Based on those settings, the bandwidth tester will try to maintain a stream of constant MBR + ABR to your target server. This is why the XSplit bandwidth tester is reliable (and any other method is next to useless).

If your video bitrate setting is generally low (<500 kbps) then you will often find that the bandwidth tester overshoots the target by a small margin and if your bitrate setting is equally high (>2000 kbps) then you may find that the tester slightly undershoots the target of MBR + ABR (don’t ask why).

If more than 2 bandwidth readings fall into below 96% of the target bandwidth test, the tester will respond with RED signal and suggest a lower bandwidth setting or alternatively to redo the test. If one reading falls below 96% and/or 2 or more readings fall below 97% but above 96% of the target bandwidth, the tester will respond with a YELLOW signal indicating that the bandwidth is probably sufficient but will still recommend to redo the test. If all bandwidth readings are above 97% of the target bandwidth then the bandwidth tester will respond with a GREEN signal indicating that you are good to go for now! (But remember that it just may be different tomorrow. 🙂 )

Please note: During the testing, XSplit will automatically set the frame rate to a maximum of 30 fps which is the maximum recommended frame rate for live streaming. This is to ensure an absolute constant frame rate can be maintained which is required to achieve accurate test results. You should be aware that the actual scene which was active when you started the bandwidth test will be streamed to your target.

Melvin Dichoso

A basketball junkie, blogger, headphone enthusiast, aspiring chef, and traveler wannabe. Does social media and various other stuff for XSplit.More from this Author