How do I ensure sufficient network connectivity to host an AVATOUR session?

AVATOUR requires good uplink connectivity at the host location. Here's how to test for connectivity, and some suggestions for managing challenging connectivity environments.

Minimum Bandwidth Requirements

We recommend a minimum of 6 Mbps of uplink connection. When uplink bandwidth drops below that, you can still host a session, but quality will suffer. The Avatour host app adapts to low bandwidth by dropping the frame rate.

Evaluate Connectivity Options

Identify the different connectivity options at the host location. We recommend testing your options in the following order –

  1. Wifi
  2. LTE from multiple providers
  3. Combine Wi-fi (primary) and LTE (secondary) using channel bonding. Effective when wifi is spotty in certain areas.
  4. Combine Wi-fi from a mobile hotspot and LTE from your phone using channel bonding. Effective when there is no Wi-fi and no single wireless service provider can deliver the bandwidth requirements. Increases odds of success when you’re hosting sessions from locations where you don’t know how good the connectivity is.

Measure available bandwidth

We recommend testing connectivity for the available options above by following the steps below:

  • Install Speedtest by Ookla from the Google PLAY Store or Apple App store
  • Check the uplink speed. If your target bitrate is 5 Mbps, having an uplink speed of 8 Mbps (1.6x headroom) is usually good enough.

Test signal strength and bandwidth at the host location

The AVATOUR Host app includes a connectivity diagnostic tool which may be used to monitor connection strength throughout the area where you wish to run a tour. The tool does require a compatible Android device, but does not require a 360° camera.

  • Login to the AVATOUR Host app from the phone and launch the connectivity diagnostic tool by clicking on the "connection meter" icon as shown below.
  • The diagnostic test will start automatically. You should see a screen like the below.
  • Walk around the facility with the tool running to check connection quality. The tool streams at the target bitrate that is set in the camera settings (default : 4 Mbps).
  • The graphs indicates signal strength and bitrate fluctuations. Dips in the bitrate can point to areas with poor coverage or switchover between wifi APs
  • You may upload the diagnostics report to get our help with troubleshooting your network.
  • Run the diagnostic tool at your location with the available connection options until you find something that works well.
  • If none of the connectivity options (wifi or LTE) deliver sufficient bandwidth, or you’re seeking a more reliable connection, you can try bonding multiple connections.

Channel Bonding

Using channel bonding, you can combine two internet connections to get better aggregate speed and reliability. When streaming, channel bonding adapts to dynamic network conditions to give you a smooth and continuous streaming experience.

It’s important to test this option for a given location before use, as it will not improve overall performance in all situations. Aggregating traffic coming over different networks can add some delay, and the route to the AVATOUR CDN edge location via the speedify / VPN servers can introduce jitter/ packet loss.

To setup channel bonding :

  • Install Speedify from the Google PLAY Store.
  • Enable Speedify.
  • Check that menu -> Bonding Mode is set to ‘Streaming’
  • Check that the different connections are identified correctly. Wifi is your Primary and LTE is your Secondary connection.
  • When you are connected to Wi-fi from an LTE hotspot, change the priorities by setting both Wi-fi and LTE as Primary. This is important to ensure the channel bonding gives equal weight to both connections.
  • Go to Settings -> Test Speed and check the uplink speed of individual connections and when combined.
  • Check latency and packet loss. If the packet loss is greater than 2%, try switching to a different ingest server. Click the menu -> Server Selection and pick a different location that is close to where you are.
  • Run the connection diagnostics test from within the AVATOUR app when channel bonding enabled.