This tutorial by Jan Ozer of Streaming Media Producer, explains how to boost your streaming throughput by sharing signals from up to four iPhones with the Teradek VidiU Pro via ShareLink In this tutorial, we’ll look at a solution to a problem shared by many live event producers. When Ethernet and WiFi aren't available, how do you get a high-quality signal from your encoder to your streaming server? The solution: the Teradek VidiU Pro, featuring a new service from Teradek called ShareLink. Teradek VidiU Pro (Figure 1, below) is the latest encoder in the VidiU series, and the first to offer cellular bonding technology usually reserved for much higher-end and more expensive units for reliability and performance.
Figure 1. The Teradek VidiU ProIt’s got inputs for HDMI audio and video, stereo audio, and a headphone jack for monitoring (Figure 2, below).
Figure 2. Inputs on the rear of the VidiU ProYou drive the unit via controls on the panel, or via the VidiU app for Android and iOS, which you can see in Figure 3 (below).
Figure 3. The VidiU app for iOS
Streaming with SharelinkThe unit can transmit to a number of integrated services, like Ustream, YouTube Live, and Wowza (Figure 4, below), or you can manually enter the necessary addresses and credentials to connect to any RTMP server.
Figure 4. Built-in streaming services supportVidiU Pro can connect to the internet via Ethernet, WiFi, a USB modem, or using the bandwidth from your mobile phone, or it can use several of these sources via ShareLink (Figure 5, below).
Figure 5. Click the ShareLink option to combine your signal sources.When one source isn’t sufficient to get you the bandwidth you need to get a high-quality stream onto the web, ShareLink lets you combine the bandwidth of up to four iPhones, in addition to Ethernet and a separate cable modem. With most 4G services, this should boost the combined bandwidth to levels sufficient to carry a full-resolution 1080p signal. Figure 6 (below) shows three iPhones, all connected to the VidiU Pro via its wifi access point. You activate ShareLink on one phone, and download the VidiU app on all of them.
Figure 6. Three iPhones running the VidiU app. Click the image to see it at full size.I’ll start transmitting on a single phone. Then I’ll activate the others by clicking Link My Phone (highlighted in Figure 6). Click Stats to check the strength of your signal, as shown in Figure 7 (below). I have good service where I’m testing, so a single phone can carry the complete 5 Mbps signal. But as anyone who’s shot events in different venues knows, signal quality varies dramatically, which could mean dropped frames or even temporary loss of service.
Figure 7. My current signal strength
Adding More FriendsWhen I click Link My Phone to activate the next iPhone, Vidiu Pro shows two friends (Figure 8, below), which means the two phones are pushing the signal. You see the signal kick in on the Stats screen (Figure 9, below Figure 8).
Figure 8. Two “friends” (i.e., 2 iPhones) now pushing the signal
Figure 9. The Stats screen shows 2 iPhones connected via ShareLinkNow, the next phone. ShareLink load balances the signal across all devices. When throughput on one unit drops, ShareLink compensates by transmitting more on another. In the location where I did this testing, it makes the stream smoother and more robust, as well as providing signal redundancy. If overall service was poor, ShareLink would combine the signals to increase bandwidth and enable you to transmit a higher-quality stream.
Maximizing Your Streaming SignalShareLink provides the signal maxing and redundancy previously available only on cellular bonding units that cost thousands to buy, and hundreds a month to operate. ShareLink costs $19.90 a month for up to 50 GB of transmission, and $49.90 a month for unlimited use. Vidiu Pro, costs just under $1,000, and is available now at Videoguys.com. For more information about ShareLink or VidiU Pro, contact us, Videoguys.com, at 1-800-323-2325.