At SharpStream, we support a wide array of stream bitrates and codecs, giving you the option to tailor your setup to best suit your live streaming requirements. Here is our most frequently used, and recommended stream setup to get you started.

Typically for one station, we would recommend an array of 3 streams. 

Stream 1. 320k mp3: This bitrate provides very high-quality audio and is suitable for listeners with fast and stable internet connections. It's recommended for music streaming to ensure the best listening experience possible. It is also recommended as the stream to use should you need to relay one of our streams to a DAB multiplex. If you do not have the capacity to send 3 contributions from your encoder. then we would recommend forgoing this option for the next two options in our list (which are more widely supported).

Stream 2. 128k mp3: A 128k mp3 stream is still considered a high-quality stream that strikes a good balance between sound quality and bandwidth usage. It's suitable for a broad range of applications, supported by most players and is ideal for listeners with average internet connections. If you can only send one encoder contribution, then this is the stream codec you should use.

The benefits of high bitrate streams are more apparent for music-based programming. If your content is primarily speech-based, high quality streams may not be necessary for your application and a 92k mp3 stream may be sufficient and could save you some CPU resource on your encoder.

Stream 48k aac: This is a low bitrate stream that is optimized for efficiency, offering acceptable sound quality with significantly less bandwidth usage. It's ideal for listeners with slower internet connections, mobile users, or when network resources are limited. 48k streams are also a requirement for arrays in popular player services like RadioPlayer. 

For more innformation on the benefits of AAC for low-bitrate encoding, and to know which type of AAC is right for you, take a look at our article on the subject AAC Encoding Explained

If you are an ingest-audio customer, the contribution bitrate from your encoder will pass-through to the public mount, so you can adjust at will. If you are using are Premium streaming service, you will need to contact our support team if you wish to change the quality of one of your streams.