If you see a difference between the video input and streaming profile of your BoxCaster, there are several reasons this may be the case. Let's start with definitions:
Video Input – The video input defines the input resolution and frame rate that your camera, switcher or other video source is inputting into the BoxCaster.
Streaming Profile – The streaming profile is the resolution that the BoxCaster is streaming at. The frame rate can be variable depending on network quality. You can see the exact frame rate by clicking the Diagnostics Tab.
The streaming profile by default is automatically determined by BoxCast to optimize for the highest quality. There are several factors that could make your streaming profile different from your input resolution and frame rate:
BoxCaster Settings – Some input standards that are scaled down by the BoxCaster in order to maximize overall quality. You can see a complete listing of scaled resolutions here.
Account Limits – depending on your plan, you might be capped at a certain resolution and frame rate. For example, some plans have limited resolutions and only allow you to broadcast at 720. If you do not know the limitations of your plan or would like to upgrade, please contact our client manager.
Broadcast Target Resolution – If you have manually selected a target resolution in the advanced settings for a broadcast, this will be set as the streaming profile. If you do not set one, one is chosen based on your account limit and the video input. If you manually select a specific resolution, that one will be preferred for your broadcast.
Complete Overview of BoxCaster Source Information:
The BoxCaster source view shows information about your BoxCaster Encoder:
Status – Indicates the current state of the BoxCaster such as Offline, Ready, or Broadcasting.
Video Source – this is the physical connection to the BoxCaster from your video camera (e.g. HDMI, SDI, or RCA).
Video Input – this is the input standard that your video source is outputting and is comprised of a resolution, frame rate, and whether it is interlaced or progressive (e.g. 1080p60, 1080i60, 720p30, etc.).
Streaming Profile – this setting determines the quality settings of your video that viewers will see, including the maximum video resolution and frame rate. If the BoxCaster sends a higher resolution than your streaming profile dictates, it will be shrunk down to size.
Here is a more in-depth look at the factors that determine the streaming profile:
Account Resolution Limits – depending on your plan type, you might be capped at a certain resolution. For example, some accounts are capped to only broadcast at 720.
Account Frame Rate Limit – only certain plan types are allowed to broadcast at a high frame rate (up to 60fps). If you account does not have this option enabled, frames will be dropped to get the video closer to 30fps. If you would like to upgrade to 60fps you can use the BoxCaster Pro, the Broadcaster app, or another RTMP encoder.
Broadcast Target Resolution – The Advanced Settings for a broadcast allow you to select a target resolution, up to your account limit. If you do not set one, one is chosen based on your account limit and the video input. If you manually select a specific resolution, that one will be preferred for your broadcast.
Broadcast Target Frame Rate – Similarly, if your account has the high frame rate feature enabled, you are able to configure the Advanced Settings to enable transcoding of the video at up to 60fps. Please understand that this is only supported by BoxCaster Pro, RTMP, and Broadcaster app sources -- and that you must ensure the video source going into that encoder has a valid high frame rate as well.
Variable Frame Rate Encoding – the origin server prefers to encode video for streaming at a constant bitrate but a variable frame rate. This means that your 720p30 input might report some slight frame rate variance on the diagnostics tab; but fear not, viewers are unlikely to notice any imperfections until the variance is quite high. The reasons that the frame rate might not be perfectly locked in at 30fps (or 29.97/60/59.94/etc) are often due to network behavior (packet loss, latency, etc.).