Articles on: Live Viewing

Understanding Live Viewing

This Guide will present you all the basic knowledge needed about viewing and understanding the terms of Live Stream Viewing.



Bitrate, measured in kilobits per second (kbps) or megabits per second (Mbps), is the rate at which data is transmitted during live streaming. Bitrate plays a crucial role in determining the visual quality of a live stream. Higher bitrates result in clearer and more detailed videos. Higher Bitrates have better quality but consumes more bandwidth and storage


Video encoding is the process of converting raw video data into a compressed format that can be stored or transmitted more efficiently. A video codec is a software or hardware implementation capable of compression or decompression to/from a specific video coding format. Some video coding formats are documented by a detailed technical specification document known as a video coding specification. H.264 and H.265 are the popular video codecs being used in surveillance industry.


Resolution refers to the number of pixels in each dimension that can be displayed. It's commonly expressed as width x height. The most common resolutions for IP cameras include 2 MP (1080p), 4MP (1440p), 5MP (1920p), and 8MP (4K/2160p). The higher the resolution, the more pixels an image contains, and the clearer the image will be. it is important to consider the resolution that best suits your needs. For instance, if you want to read license plates or identify an intruder’s face, a higher resolution camera is recommended.

Most popular Video Resolutions

The Live streams in LiveReach App supports following resolution configurations.


Resolution: 640x360 pixels
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 (Widescreen)
Bitrate: 320 kbps
Description: Suitable for extremely lower bandwidths, There is a compramise in video quality.


Resolution: 854x480 pixels
Aspect Ratio: 4:3 (Fullscreen)
Bitrate: 480 kbps
Description: Also referred as Basic Standard definition in media industry. Quality is slightly better than 360p.

600p (SD)

Resolution: Adaptive Standard Definition
Aspect Ratio: variable ratio
Bitrate: 600 kbps
Description: Adaptive resolution to provide an optimal streaming experience under varying network conditions. 
Balances quality and bandwidth usage.

720p (HD)

Resolution: 1280x720 pixels
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 (Widescreen)
Bitrate: 2.0 Mbps
Description: High definition starts from this range.
Offers better quality than SD, but need more and stable bandwidth and storage.

1080p (FHD or Full HD)

Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 (Widescreen)
Bitrate: 4.0 Mbps
Description: Full High Definition (Full HD) quality for users with robust internet connections. 
Delivers the highest resolution and clarity for an immersive viewing experience.

Source Quality

It refers to the original quality of the video stream as it is provided by the camera or source device. Users can manually select the source quality if they want to view the stream in its original resolution & bitrate, regardless of their network conditions.

Higher resolutions come with higher bitrates, demanding more from your network bandwidth. Ensure your internet connection can support the selected resolution without interruptions.

To know more about camera settings - How to change Camera Settings

Why Bitrates, Resolution matters

Higher resolutions demand more data to transmit the increased pixel count. The bitrate must be sufficient to support the chosen resolution. Inadequate bitrates can lead to compression artifacts, pixelation, and a loss of detail. Higher resolutions with matching bitrates deliver a clearer and sharper image. Viewers can discern finer details, making the overall experience more engaging. Below snippets demonstrate how an object quality is heavily dependent on bitrates and resolutions.

Zoomed image pointed to an object at 360p - 320 kbps Bitrate

Notice the Text on object, Its pixelated and unclear

Zoomed image pointed to an object at 600p

Notice the Text on object, Its still pixelated and barely readable.

Zoomed image pointed to an object at source quality 4K - 5.8 Mbps Bitrate

Notice the Text on object, Its clearly readable.

Note : It is highly recommended to use decent resolution & bitrates for cameras for critical cameras such as License Plate Recognition (LPR) , Damage Claim purposes. Please consider, as an overall strategy, ensuring that network bandwidth and storage are sufficient to maintain a balanced and efficient system.

Understanding Network Requirements

Lets assume you have a single IP camera in your network with these configurations set : Bitrate: 2 MB (assume using H.265 encoding), FPS : 15, Resolution: 1920 x 1080

Bandwidth Requirements

Server-Side (Source / On-Site): At least 2 MB upload speed at the server side for one live stream
Client Side (Remote location): At least 2 MB download speed per viewer's network to view the stream without any delay.

In case of concurrent viewers, If five viewers need to access the same stream simultaneously, there should be at least 2 MB * 5 = 10 MB
Upload speed at the server to support concurrent streaming for all viewers. Each viewer should have at least 2 MB download speed to ensure a smooth viewing experience.
Standardizing this, upload speed on-site must be atleast = combined camera bitrates x no of concurrent Viewers
The download speed at viewer's end should match : combined bitrates of number of open live streams

Upload speed is critical when viewing live streams over the internet because it directly affects the quality and reliability of the viewing experience. A slow upload speed at the server can result in buffering, pixelation, and delays in the live video feed.

How to change quality of Live Stream

You can modify the quality of your live streams in LiveReach App.

Log in in to your LiveReach Account
Select Live Section of the page.
Select any camera you want to view
Click on settings/ gear icon at the bottom panel of feed section.

Change Live Stream Quality

Click on Quality and select your desired video feed quality

Change Live Stream Quality

Please make sure you have sufficient bandwidth needed at both servers network and your local device.

Note : This change is not persistent on cameras and will go away after reloading the page, If you want to change the quality of streams to set any default options, then reach out to LiveReach Support.


Updated on: 02/04/2024

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