The 2020 Summer Olympic Games are finally underway in Tokyo. As billions tune in around the globe, it’s safe to say that more people than ever will be watching online via streaming rather than through traditional cable.
In the United States, NBC is streaming live coverage of the Games over Peacock, its subscription streaming service. In Canada, CBC is streaming many events live for free on the web and through the CBC Gem app, as well as on Amazon Prime. In Canada, you can also stream many Olympic events with a subscription to Sportsnet Now or TSN’s streaming-only service.
As millions get their first taste of live event streaming (including in 4K) it’s a good time for integrators and installers to revisit some basics for ensuring reliable, high-quality video quality.
- Be an educator about the demands HD streaming
It’s not enough to simply understand the nuts and bolts of HD streaming, especially when it comes to the demand it places on a home network. As an integrator, it’s helpful if you can effectively educate homeowners about these demands as well. Reliable HD streaming (and 4K streaming in particular) requires significant bandwidth and in many cases you may need to upsell the customer on more advanced solutions, such as structured wiring throughout the home. For a deeper dive into the nuts and bolts of HD streaming, explore our Resolution Confusion series.
- Create hardwired connections where possible
Wi-Fi is convenient but when it comes to HD streaming, far from reliable. Take the time to explain to your customers the benefits of a hardwired Ethernet network. In some cases this might involve straightforward cable runs, in others, installing structured wiring with dedicated Ethernet access points will be required.
- Replace Cat5 with Cat5e or Cat6
As every integrator or installer knows, not all cables are created equal. How many times have you responded to connectivity issues to find the devices connected with Category 5 cabling? Replacing outdated Ethernet with Cat5e, Cat6 or higher will result in higher bandwidth and more reliable streaming.
- Ensure optimal router placement
Sometimes it’s easy to overlook the simplest solutions, such as assessing where the router is located. Homeowners may tuck them into a cabinet, or place them at the back of a bookshelf. Is the immediate area around the router cluttered? For optimal placement, the router should be installed in a Wi-Fi transparent enclosure or have plenty of clearance. It is essential that none of the vents are blocked by other objects or a wall.
- For long-run or outdoor setups, use the right equipment
With the Summer Olympics in full swing, many are experimenting with patio or backyard viewing setups. This means either running Ethernet or HDMI temporarily outdoors—often over a long distance—or more permanently outdoors if the setup is intended to last. In either scenario, ensure you’re using the correct equipment. For a deeper look at how to run HDMI signals over Ethernet, read our blog post on helpful HDMI extender features. If you’re creating a permanent backyard setup, read our blog on how to run Ethernet safely outdoors.