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One of the things that anyone who wants to stream asks themselves is about the bandwidth needs that this activity will require. In this article we are going to offer answers to that question, or at least give you the guidelines so that you can calculate the ones you would need, according to your audience forecasts and the type of devices.

The calculations that you have to do to know your requirements, the truth is that they do not have much difficulty and if we know, more or less, what are the accounts to carry out, it will not cost us much to use the calculator to obtain concrete answers.

We must start by differentiating between the transmission requirements of the video producer and the streaming server. On the one hand, you will need a computer that produces the video signal and sends it to the streaming server. On the other hand, there will be the streaming video server, which is the one in charge of multiplying and sending the signal to all the clients who are watching the streaming video . In this article we will dedicate ourselves to estimating the bandwidth needs of the computer that produces the streaming video.


But before starting to make calculations, we must clarify a concept that may be new to the reader, the bitrate . The bitrate, or the bit rate in Spanish, is the number of bits per second of your streaming video signal. Of course, the higher the bitrate, the better the quality of the video that is distributed over the Internet and the greater the need for bandwidth, since the video will occupy more.

The bitrate is independent of the size of the video, in height and width. Of course, the higher the resolution of the video, we will require a higher bitrate to preserve the quality. In other words, two videos with the same bitrate, that have the same duration, should take up more or less the same amount of space on the disk.

Of course, from the above it follows that, for videos of the same resolution, the one with a higher bitrate will look sharper and with higher quality.

For our calculations we will use the bitrate unit KBPS which is “Kilobits per second”.


For now we are going to estimate the bandwidth needs of your Internet connection, that is, the Internet output used by the computer that sends the video to the server. This computer is what we will call the producer of the video signal.

Well, this part of the calculation is very simple to perform. You simply have to decide what type of device you want to dedicate your signal to. That is, what is the quality of the video you want to send? Should it be sized for mobile devices? Do you aim more for desktop computers? Maybe both? Want to stream in HD?

Once these questions are resolved, we can make some estimates.

  • If we want a video quality that looks good on mobile, we could aim for a bitrate of 200 Kbps.
  • If we want to address a public of desktop computers, we would need a higher quality video, so we could advise a bitrate around 400 Kbps.
  • If we want a video of optimal quality we can think of a bitrate from 800 Kbps to 1280 Kbps.
Note: these bitrate measurements are estimated in a general way, but could vary depending on your interests or the actual quality of the video you want to broadcast. As always, the higher the bitrate, the more quality the video will have.


Fine, but should we settle for sending one type of signal?

We are going to assume that we are ambitious and that we want to send our signal in HD. Great, among our audience, those who have enough bandwidth to attend the HD broadcast will see it perfectly and thank us for the effort.

But what about people who don’t have enough internet connection to watch the video in all that quality? Well, they won’t be able to see anything, or they will experience so many cuts that the experience will be unpleasant for them.

However, you also do not want a group of users who have a poorer quality connection to sacrifice the quality of the video of your event for the rest of the attendees. No? For these cases we can produce our video with multi-bitrate using the Transcoder service.


The first thing we should know is that the broadband connections that are sold generally have a different download capacity than upload capacity. To transmit the video signal to the streaming server you need to upload data to the Internet, so the speed that will count is your upload speed.

Note: Internet connection providers generally advertise the speed by mentioning the download speed. For example, my 10 megabyte connection refers to the download bandwidth I have. However, upload only gives me half a mega, or what is the same 512 Kbps. Gugle “speed test” to access various services to measure both your download and upload speed.

Now we have all the knowledge and data to be able to carry out the calculations of the Internet connection that we will need.

In simple bitrate schemes, the accounts are very straightforward. That is, if you are only sending a signal, you need an Internet connection that is higher than that bitrate.

Note: As you may know, Internet connections are also measured in Kilobits per second (not Kilobytes, 1 byte=8bits). So the bitrate of your video has the same measurement as the bitrate of your Internet connection. If you have 1 mega upload, it is equivalent to say that you have 1024 Kbps upload.

connection speed fluctuates, due to the characteristics of the Network. That is why you should never try to transmit at a bitrate very close to the speed limit of your Internet connection. Also, when they sell you an upload speed, your connection will never really reach that contracted speed.

That is why you should settle for transmitting at 75% of your upload speed . For example, to stream video at 300Kbps mobile quality, a 512Kpbs connection should be more than enough. With a mega upload, you can successfully transmit a video signal between 500Kbps to 750Kbps.