Looking for solutions to artifacting during a live stream

Lately, we have been noticing more and more artifacting in our church's live stream. The strange thing happening is that it only really occurs when our pastor is on screen. We live stream pre-service tasks and worship rehearsal to Twitch to monitor audio for the stream and the artifacting doesn't happen. But once we are in live service without fail, once our pastor starts to preach, we start to get artifacting. We send our stream from wirecast to restream using their recommended encoding settings so it can send out to facebook and youtube. For the past two services, we have been monitoring the direct feed of the video cameras which are PTZ Optic 30s and there is no artifacting on those feeds, even though there is clearly artifacting in the live window display in wirecast. Another strange thing about this is that no matter what we try, we cannot seem to recreate the artifacting outside of our live service. We have monitored the church network and overall usage is in a managable range with no noticeable spikes. We have monitor CPU and memory usage on our stream machine and those all fall in normal ranges as well. We have monitor the cameras network ping during service and again, nothing out of the ordinary there either. Any help that someone might be able to provide would be greatly appreciated. Like many we have a Sunday Easter service coming up and we really would like to try and limit this artifacting and hopefully eliminate it altogether.

To see an example of what I am referring to artifacting, watch the attached video. At the 20:00 minute mark there is a great example of what I am trying to articulate.

As for the technical stuff here is as much of that information that I can provide. Also, take a look at the attached images for some of the other important information.

Wirecast Pro 14.1.1 (1317.b66ac4e0)

Windows 10 Version 20H2 64-based

Machine - Intel Core i7-9700 CPU @3.00 GHz / 48 GB RAM / 64-bit operating syste, x64-based processor

GPU is AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200 Series

Cameras are PTZ Optics 30s capturing 1080p with ethernet inputs


Image with Blue background are the camera settings

The other attached images are settings and presets for wirecast.

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  • Gino Reinhart said:
    Lately, we have been noticing more and more artifacting in our church's live stream.

     If you haven't changed settings perhaps the issue is on restream.
    I'd always recommend doing a local recording (MOV format is best but larger files) to confirm Wirecast processing is good.

    Changes in video such as low lighting or fast motion can be an issue if there's changes in presentation. Otherwise one would need higher bit rates or an increase in the x264 Quality setting (both could increase CPU use and higher bitrate uses more bandwidth).

  • Thank you CraigS.

    Actually, with every service, we do make a local recording and the artifacting has occurred in those recordings as well.

    We haven't changed any restream settings and there was a long period in our early streaming days that artifacting wasn't an issue.

    All the lighting in the church is handled programmatically and has been the same since we started streaming late last summer. As for the motion, I know that can be an issue but the fact that the artifacting is so inconsistent when it comes to motion, that makes me think that it should happen all the time but it doesn't happen during our worship moments at all, it just happens when our pastor is on stage all by himself.

    I will definitely look at boosting the bit rate and see what I can do about x264 Quality setting which I believe is currently set at 3. I can look at moving that to 2 or even 1 if need be.

    Thank you for your input and I'll keep you updated.

  • Gino Reinhart said:
    Actually, with every service, we do make a local recording and the artifacting has occurred in those recordings as well.


    CraigS said:
    (MOV format is best

     The issue may be related to settings. Please do a MOV recording using one of our presets. That eliminates potential GOP based issues in x264. 

    If the recordings have the issue using MOV then there may be an input related issue.

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