Streaming Do’s and Don’ts

Streaming is easy to do, but sometimes the simplest thing can turn into a big headache.  We put together a few do’s and don’ts to help keep those headaches at bay.

DO:

Invest in a new computer, even if it has fairly basic specs.  You can generally get a stream-worthy machine for around $400.

DON’T:

Repurpose your sales person’s old computer to run the stream.

Just like people, computers get tired.  After heavy use things start breaking down.  From viruses to fragmentation to multiple program installs… things just don’t work like they used to.  This is not good for your stream.

MIDDLE GROUND:

If you have to repurpose an older machine, consider putting some more memory in it and reinstalling the operating system to start fresh.


DO:

Make sure your key processes run on dedicated machines.

DON’T:

Use one machine for everything.

You don’t want streaming to interrupt a terrestrial broadcast and vice versa.  It’s generally a bad idea to mix the streaming software and your automation software on the same machine.  To go a step further, the streaming computer also shouldn’t be used for surfing the web, checking email, instant messaging, or other non-streaming activities.

MIDDLE GROUND:

If you have to use a machine for more than one purpose, over-buy on the specs.  Make sure it has plenty of RAM and processor power so the software packages don’t interrupt each other.


DO:

Check it regularly for updates, viruses, and make sure everyone at the station knows what the machine is for and how to restart it if necessary.

DON’T:

Put the streaming computer in a closet and forget about it.

Many people setup their streaming computer in a back room to keep it safe from employees who might use it to surf the internet, or to keep it from taking up space, or because of wiring constraints.  We’ve seen a few issues with this:

  • In case of a power/internet outage, a reboot might be required.  Often the employees that don’t work with the stream won’t know where the computer is and the stream will remain down until they can find someone who knows where the computer is.
  • A computer gets a virus on it that no one notices and it slowly takes over the computer or network, leaving the streaming computer locked up.  Instead of just running a quick anti-virus to find and remove the issue, the computer needs to be totally reinstalled, causing more down time than is necessary.

MIDDLE GROUND:

If you have to keep your machine hidden away, make sure your employees all know where the machine is and what it is used for.  You may even want to put a note by the machine with SurferNETWORK’s contact information so they can reach out directly to us if they are unsure of what to do in the case of an issue.

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