Hotel WiFi – Can it get any slower?
Don’t you love getting away from it all? To remove all the daily pressures of work and truly disconnect is a dream for most of us. The sad fact is that 99% of us don’t disconnect, and the other 1% are lying about it, is the reality of employment in 2016. As I write this blog post I am on holiday in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico and just like many of you when you are on leave, I’m still working. For much of the population “logging on”, even under less than optimal Internet speeds, is still a possibility, because the online productivity applications such as email or cloud applications, like Salesforce, do not require the consistent moving bandwidth that content creation applications need. For those of us that have chosen an occupation that requires applications that utilise image or video creation, connecting to a network becomes an entirely different kettle-of-fish.
Hotel WiFi – &%$# – Grrrr
Don’t get me wrong by the above subtitle – not all hotel WiFi sucks. In North America, I have received “blistering” up/download speeds of 10/25 Mbps in some locations, and in South Korea I was at a hotel that gave me 50 Mbps download speed (you can test your own network speed at Speedtest.net.). I guess the first question is why am I continually measuring this? Quick answers: I’m a geek and I measure and optimize everything; and I’m an editor, so I can’t keep well enough alone as I’m always editing something. For the record, my wife Bonnie is also a content creator for a number of different outlets and on this holiday she is editing celebrity interviews and posting material to YouTube. At our hotel, WiFi is beyond horrible, probably due to the amount of users on the network limiting the bandwidth. Getting email is troublesome, cloud video editing would seem impossible… or so you would think.
Forscene cloud editing
Can you really edit in the cloud under such challenging network conditions? The answer is yes. Forscene works under limited network infrastructures, requiring only 1.5 Mbps for download, which is probably far worse than your typical coffee shop, yet I have had success with a 1 Mbps download connection. Just a side note, Forscene often performed significantly better under low bandwidth and is even more responsive than accessing my Gmail account. The Forscene Blackbird codec is responsible for this and is quite brilliant for distance editing. The world really needs to know about it – but I digress. The material Bonnie was using on our holiday was uploaded along with the high-res and the material was edited on location with a download speed of 1.3 Mbps. The user experience feels nearly local with just a slight bit of lag when starting playback. Since publishing to her YouTube channel is all done in the cloud, this process is unaffected by bandwidth.
So, I discovered this really cool app called Speedify on a recent business trip to Nashville, where during a tradeshow the public WiFi suddenly became limited. Speedify currently runs under Windows and OSX (Android and iOS versions are in Beta). It combines multiple tethered devices as well as my computer’s’ own WiFi to make a single speedy network. I tethered 2 Samsung S4’s connected to a separate WiFi and suddenly I doubled my download speed to about 3 to 4 Mbps. I saw this and felt like saying, “Bond… Speedify Bond.” It was incredible because as I mentioned the entire hotel had Internet access that was most likely held together by paper clips, so I was thrilled to get this speed. The Speedify app helped out the Forscene editing experience so that when you pressed play or “J-K-L” scrub, there was literally no lag in starting playback.
Yes, Forscene does work exceptionally well under very limited bandwidth, however with the unpredictability of any on-location network access, you have to be prepared to work with the connection you are given. In Bonnie’s time of need, Speedify enhanced Forscene so that she could finish editing in time for happy hour!
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