Best practices for optimal wireless video source range

Need help improving the range and quality of your wireless video sources? Take a look here.

When you’re setting up your SlingStudio unit and video sources for a project, you want to get the best range and video quality possible. This means not only the longest distances between your video sources and the SlingStudio unit, but also the best quality video streaming between those points.

This article offers some general tips for placing the wireless video sources that you use with your SlingStudio project.

As a general point: Remember that there is an overall limit to available SlingStudio hotspot bandwidth. Even if all of your video sources are all close to the SlingStudio unit, having too many video sources connected to the hotspot could overwhelm the available hotspot bandwidth and impair video quality and range. This can be true even if any one device isn’t demanding very much bandwidth.

Reducing either the distance of one or more video sources from the SlingStudio unit—AND/OR reducing the number of wireless video sources that are connected to the SlingStudio hotspot—can both improve video quality and connectivity for the entire setup.

The Dashboard, located within SlingStudio Console app, has many helpful tools for helping you optimize wireless video source use and placement. Be sure to use it!

Here are some general tips for improving both range and quality:

Make sure that SlingStudio is elevated to 6 feet or higher.

Elevating the SlingStudio to 6 feet or higher (if possible) can go a long way toward eliminating some of the physical impediments to a good data signal, and therefore, good audio/video streaming. The SlingStudio and its battery both have tripod sockets that can help you do this.

Elevating the SlingStudio unit won’t help the signal go through walls or floors, but it can still help. If you look around right now, look at how many physical obstacles are within six feet of the floor—and how many fewer are above that point!

Make sure that smartphones running the Capture app, and all CameraLink transmitters, are in line-of-sight with SlingStudio.

This is intuitive, but again: The fewer impediments there are to degrade the Wi-Fi signal between a smartphone running the SlingStudio Capture app—or a SlingStudio CameraLink—the greater the range and the better the quality of the streaming signal.

If possible, make sure that smartphones stream with their displays turned toward the SlingStudio.

We have found that this step (which may not always be practical or possible) can help you gain a bit more range and signal quality between a smartphone running the SlingStudio Capture app and the SlingStudio itself.

Make sure to check the SlingStudio Dashboard to determine overall Wi-Fi health and connectivity strength.

The SlingStudio Dashboard is a very helpful feature that offers a wealth of information about your project, including information about connectivity status and conditions. Take a look at it on a regular basis to assess how various arrangements that you choose affect signal range and quality.

Use the Dashboard TROUBLESHOOT WIRELESS SOURCE CONNECTIVITY assistant for even more help.

In addition, tap the ? icon in the WIRELESS SOURCE CONNECTIVITY section of the Dashboard to reveal the TROUBLESHOOT WIRELESS SOURCE CONNECTIVITY assistant, which is another very helpful tool as you set up (or attempt to troubleshoot connection problems).

What devices are best for range and signal quality?

While it can be difficult to compile a definitive list, and technical specifications can change at any time, these devices have been found to offer both good range and good signal quality:

Apple® iOS products:

  • iPhone® 6s
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone 6S Plus
  • iPod touch 6

These devices seem to offer better range than the Apple iPhone 6, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus.

Still having problems?

If you still are having range and/or signal problems, try these things in this order:

  1. Reduce the project's bit rate.
  2. Try to move video sources with low connectivity strength closer to the SlingStudio, if possible.
  3. Look in the SlingStudio Console app Dashboard for Wi-Fi congestion problems.
  4. Remove unneeded camera sources, or connect them via HDMI.

Again, always remember that there is a limit to the amount of signal bandwidth that must be shared between your wireless video sources.

So when it doubt, try:

  1. Checking the current state of your hotspot connections with the Dashboard in the SlingStudio Console app;
  2. Moving devices closer to the SlingStudio unit, and then checking the Dashboard;
  3. Removing devices (one at a time) and then checking the Dashboard for any further improvement.