I, myself, bought a very-high-end, tri-band
access point/router touting the latest Multiple
User Multiple In and Multiple Out (MU-MIMO).
It’s supposed to talk to multiple devices at full
bandwidth as if each were the only one on the
access point. Only after not getting great results, and then doing a lot of research, did I find
that MU-MIMO is for output from the access
point only. It doesn’t help ingest multiple wireless cameras at all.
The alternative is to have multiple access
points that only a couple of phones are sending
video to. This way, phones A and B connect to
AP- 1, while phones C and D connect to AP- 2, etc.
This means that your access point doesn’t have
to be amazing at all. But external antennas do
help. In certain situations, directional antennas
specifically pointing at distant cameras can be
the difference between success and failure.
Lastly, you may find yourself streaming from
a spot where wireless simply is not a workable
solution, such as an exhibit floor where there
are hundreds of devices all trying to use wire-
less connectivity. You need reliability for your
video stream, so you need to put all your devic-
es on a wire. For the iPhone solutions I men-
tioned before, Apple makes an Ethernet adapt-
er that enables you to connect each phone to a
hub with an Ethernet cable, which puts your en-
tire production on the reliability of a dedicated,
purpose-built, wired network made solely for
your video traffic.
Short of that, my standard practice is to at
least put my iPad on the LAN with an ethernet
adapter. This means that if I have four cameras,
the Wi-Fi access point has to receive only four
cameras. That’s it. If you put the iPad on Wi-Fi,
then the access point has to receive four camer-asand send those four streams back out to the
iPad, doubling the bandwidth. Then the iPad
has to send the stream back to the AP to go out
to the internet. If you’re using AirPlay for a video feed, then you are essentially sending up to
10 streams of data through one access point instead of just four.
Getting your video mixer on a wire into the
LAN takes away a lot of wireless traffic and helps
ensure the clearest path for your camera feeds.
And, usually, you can position your iPad on a table with the LAN, the audio mixer, and related
hardware, resulting in sort of a mobile “control
room” that you build on-site.
Bond. Must Bond.
If you’re going to be broadcasting from a
fixed location, you can generally work with
the IT manager of the facility to get a dedicated cable with a dedicated amount of bandwidth (QoS) carved out for your upload stream.
Generally, 5 to 10Mbps upload for each stream
that you’re going to push would be the starting point. I have worked on broadcasts that
have required two streams, where the second
stream was coming from a second laptop and
basically being a redundant “fallback” that the
streaming server could pick up if the main
stream died. This could potentially happen if
the laptop running the video mixing/streaming
However, all of that does not help you if there
is an interruption in the connectivity after your
device. This is where bonding comes into play.
Bonding splits up your stream and uses multiple pathways to the internet at the same time.
points in WiFi