This article guides Airtame users to physically improve their WiFi coverage to better suit Airtame and real-time video streaming.
- What can be expected
- The optimal placement and WiFi strength
- How to test signal strength
What is good WiFi?
The goal is to make sure that the Airtame is receiving the required signal strength even when it is placed behind the TV. This way we can make sure that information is not lost when being sent to the Airtame.
All network equipment is different and its wifi range will vary so in this guide we will look at:
These factors can be disregarded by replacing WiFi with Ethernet. So, if the challenge is too big for you, consider opting for an Ethernet connection between Airtame and the network.
How do we measure signal strength (RSSI)
The first thing to understand about RSSI is that we're working in negatives. -30 dBm is a better signal than -80 dBm because -80 dBm is a much lower number. Airtame requires signal strength above -60 dBm. In other words, the closer to zero the better.
The signal strength required depends on the application you are using. Most applications (browsing, e-mails, scanning bar codes) do not require good signal strength, -70 dBm is good enough. Other network applications, like Airtame's live video streaming, require high throughput since the device is sending a lot of information in the shortest time possible. Therefore, -60 dBm is required, so that information doesn't need to be retransmitted when it goes missing.
Before making any changes, get an idea of how good the WiFi is.
- Signal strength is easy to track with inSSIDer Office. Configure the signal strength threshold to whatever signal strength you require, select your network, and walk the desired coverage area.
- WiFi analyser apps on App Store or Play Store that you can use to help you figure the signal strength.
- One of the best options is Airtame cloud platform to check Airtame signal strength as the below picture.
Steps to improve WiFi signal strength
To improve WiFi signal strength we must take into consideration distance, obstacles, and other WiFi networks since it can interfere. But above all, we must ensure that we have good, up-to-date equipment, without it we cannot expect it to perform well enough for live video streaming.
The key to any good wireless deployment is proper planning, taking into consideration the environment and the obstacles between the network WiFi antenna and Airtame's WiFi antenna.
By using software to build a model of your wireless network, you can ensure that the position of your access points (APs) will provide the required signal strength in all locations of the Airtames, taking into consideration the size of the walls around.
Another factor to consider is other WiFi in your area as it will interfere with your WiFi. Use a WiFi scanning tool on your computer or smartphone to get an idea of how many WiFi's are in your area as well as what channel they are using. With this information you will be able to set each one of your AP's to use a channel which is not so used in each one of its positions.
Your own WiFi antennas can also interfere! Let's say you have four AP's placed over a floor in an office/school building. If these four AP's are all using the same channel, they will interfere with each other but if you have them all using different channels, they will not. Therefore we should scan in each location of the building to find channels that are not being used by other WiFi's so that we can decide which channels to use for each one.
What tends to be forgotten is that TVs and projectors are signal blockers since they are made of metal, glass and in some cases liquid from the LCD. So placing Airtame in the center of the back of a TV is not optimal.
Try to use an HDMI port on the TV which is on the same side as the AP. Airtame comes with a small HDMI extender which can be used to move the device closer to the edge of the TV screen.