In this article, we look at a number of use cases for BR Live and dive into why audio can drop-out, with the goal of enabling you to choose the best technology for your outside broadcast depending on your scenario.
BR Live, like similar products, is built using the same technology that powers browser-based phone calls and video chats. This technology is known as 'WebRTC' and it is functionally very similar to how 'IP' (internet) phone systems work.
The web browser itself controls how much delay to work with, meaning BR Live doesn't have any control over how much (or how little) latency (delay) there is between you and the studio end.
Like most telephony systems, BR Live works best on a strong/wired internet connection. However, data has to pass through a number of different 'hops' to get from your home to the studio, and the public internet can be a very unreliable place.
You may have experienced momentary drop-outs using e.g. video calling software on domestic broadband. Unlike other products, BR Live uses a system to send a redundant copy of your audio. The result is a much more reliable connection versus similar products.
However, this still means that if your home connection becomes unavailable for more than a hundred milliseconds, you will likely hear a brief drop-out.
Is It My Internet?
As a general rule of thumb, if you experience occasional drops, that last no longer than a couple of seconds before things return to normal, this is very likely as a result of your internet connection. You can make this less likely by sitting closer to the Wi-Fi router, by using a wired connection from your PC/laptop to the router, or by using the Myriad Anywhere browser.
Compared to other countries, broadband infrastructure in the UK is fast becoming outdated, and is still primarily reliant on copper telephone lines (even for "super fast fibre"). These copper cables are generally decades old and are susceptible to interference from electricity supplies, phone calls, and even neighbours, all of which can cause momentary drop-outs on domestic internet connections.
However, if the audio becomes robotic/garbled and never returns to normal, the root cause is likely to be something else.
Known Issues on Windows 11
Our support team have observed that some Windows 11 installs do not allow you to apply the "Max" performance plan correctly. This seems to be the particularly affect systems that have been directly upgraded from Windows 10.
To solve this:
- Open the start menu and search Control Panel (and click Control Panel, not Settings)
- Find the Power Options and click it
- Make sure the Max Performance power plan is selected.
- Press Apply
- Click Edit next to the Max plan
- Press Change Advanced Power Settings
- Expand the Sleep section
- Disable Hybrid Sleep
- Expand the USB section
- Ensure that USB Selective Suspend is Disabled
- Expand the Graphics section
- Ensure any "Power Plan" settings are set to Maximum
- Expand the Multimedia settings
- Ensure the Sharing Media setting is set to Prevent idling to sleep
- Press OK
- Restart BR Live
Additionally, you can tune Windows to prefer performance over graphics:
- From the Start Menu, search for Advanced System Settings
- Under the Advanced tab, click on Performance
- Choose Adjust for best performance
- Press OK, and restart your computer
Known issues with Rodecaster Pro II USB
On some older computers, the Rodecaster Pro II's sound card can become garbled or robotic-sounding when used with Google Chrome/Microsoft Edge.
This typically occurs when the MIDI functionality is turned on, and it is caused by the Rodecaster sending too much data for legacy USB 2.0 to handle, leading to audio loss.
To work around this without upgrading your computer, you may either:
- Disable MIDI in the Rodecaster Pro's system settings screen
- Use the second USB port to connect your computer.
Remotely Contributing Music
Although you may use BR Live to send music on a reliable connection, we don't recommend using BR Live for this unless you are connecting through a Local Area Network (i.e. from elsewhere in the same building), have a fibre to the premises connection at both ends, or have no alternative available.
If, for example, you have a presenter broadcasting an entire programme from their home studio, we instead recommend setting up an alternative Streaming 'Mount Point', and configuring an encoder at the home studio (such as the free B.U.T.T.).
You may then, for version 5, use the Broadcast Radio Stream Player to play it out - or in version 6, create a new Stream Media Item.
The Streaming method will add several seconds of delay, but will give a significantly more reliable programme for music-based shows.
We mainly recommend this because Chrome-based browsers (such as MS Edge) are designed for speech and provide no mechanism for us to use settings 'best for music'. As a result, newer versions of Chrome will sometimes slow down and speed up your audio to compensate for internet lag/delay, instead of inserting a pause. This generally doesn't affect voice but it is very noticable in music.
You may also choose to use the Myriad Anywhere desktop client, or Mozilla Firefox, to avoid pitch changes.