How to Troubleshoot Your HLS Live Stream
Live streaming has become simpler and easier than ever before. As the technology matures, anyone can begin streaming easily. That’s especially true if you use a powerful, easy-to-use video hosting and streaming platform. However, as with any technical procedure, problems can arise. This blog is about troubleshooting an HLS live stream.
In brief, HLS streaming is an online video media protocol. It’s the most popular streaming method in use and is the default here at Mslive. HLS is reliable and compatible with modern technology such as adaptive bitrate streaming and H.265. It also plays correctly on any modern web browser or device.
7 Steps for Troubleshooting an HLS Live Stream
Here at Mslive, we have experience with hundreds of thousands of live streams. Our tech support team has seen just about every problem there is. We generally follow a 7-step process for diagnosing issues with an HLS live stream error. These steps are:
1. Encoder troubleshooting
2. Check your bandwidth
3. Is your channel turned on?
4. Check the bitrates
5. Firewall and ports
6. Embedded video players
7. Backup streams or starting from scratch
Some of these are complex, while others are quick to check and correct. Let’s dive into the details of these steps so you can get started with troubleshooting your live stream when an HLS stream error occurs.
1. Encoder Troubleshooting
The first step in troubleshooting an HLS live stream error is to check your encoder. Encoder settings can cause a number of different problems. Therefore, this troubleshooting step can be divided into a number of sub-steps. If your encoder displays a message like “Streaming to primary,” your problem must be elsewhere. Move to step two if this is the case.
2. Check Your Bandwidth
That was a lot. This, however, is a quick one. One thing that can cause a live stream to fail is a lack of bandwidth.
Every Mslive plan comes with a limited amount of bandwidth. To check if you’ve hit your limit, visit your Mslive account. In the section “Upgrade my plan,” you will see the bandwidth you have remaining.
If you don’t have enough bandwidth, reach out to support to purchase more bandwidth.
3. Is Your Channel Turned On?
This is another simple fix. In your Mslive account, navigate to your live channels. Select the channel in question, and make sure the channel is toggled to “on.” This is an easy way to fix a stream that isn’t working.
4. Check the Bitrates
If your bitrates are too high for your internet upload speed, your stream will certainly fail. If you are streaming in high quality, or if your internet speeds are slower, this is more likely. In these circumstances, your stream may lag, buffer, or fail completely.
Even if it appears you have plenty of bandwidth, it’s worth testing a lower bitrate to see if this fixes any stream problems.
5. Firewall and Ports
Sometimes, a firewall can cause problems with streaming. This can occur both with the firewall on your own computer, or firewalls that are integrated into the network itself. To be able to stream, Mslive needs ports 80, 443, or 1935 to be open.
6. Embedded Video Players
Another problem that can arise comes with embedded video players. Embedding a video involves copying the code from the Mslive backend, then inserting that code into your website. This code can be copied inappropriately or may have been wrong in the first place.
To determine if the code is correct, first visit the website on which your HLS live stream is embedded. Right-click anywhere on the page, then click “view page source“. Search for the code in your browser using Ctrl+F on a PC or Cmd+F on a Mac. Search the text “Mslive“. This will lead you to the embed code.
Compare this code to that found in the publish settings section of the video content you are using, in your Mslive back office. If they don’t match, delete the old code and try inserting the embed code once again. This may fix your problem.
The wrong embed code is an easy HLS stream error to fix
7. Backup Streams or Starting From Scratch
What if none of the above solutions solve your problem? In this case, we have three last tests to recommend.
Troubleshooting an HLS live stream is easy if you follow a certain set of steps. Otherwise, it’s easy to wander around until you find yourself confused. Did I already change this setting? Did I already test this? Follow our procedure, and this won’t happen.
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