FTL stands for Faster-than-Light. It’s Mixer’s protocol for low latency streaming.
Low latency streaming is when there is a millisecond delay between the streamer and his/her chat. You’ll notice when you watch a stream on Mixer that you don’t have to wait very long (if the streamer is looking and their chat XD ) for the streamer to respond to you when you type something to them.
It’s a beautiful thing! Once you get used to the near zero delay, it’s impossible to go back. I am talking from experience as someone who used to watch exclusively on Twitch but now watches on Mixer.
It’s important to know what FTL is if you stream to Mixer because it’s going to have an overall impact on the quality of your stream and how you set up your stream.
FTL uses an internet protocol called UDP (User Datagram Protocol). UDP protocol means your stream will travel over the internet in a different way than other types of protocols (like TCP Transmission Control Protocol). Don’t worry too much about the different protocols but understand that they work in two different ways:
UDP – Sends data from one computer to another without the receiving computer ever verifying that the data is received. It’s fast! It’s used in things like FTL and video games.
TCP – Sends data from one computer to another where the receiving computer verifies that a connection is established between himself and the first computer and then verifies the data is received. It’s slower than UDP. It’s used in things like logging into a website and e-mail.
FTL & UDP & the Quality of Your Stream
You want to make sure you understand what the speed of your UDP upload is because it has a direct correlation to your bitrate. I will go into this more in-depth when I talk about stream settings in another article.
For now, here is a link to check your UDP speed:
Test Your UDP Upload Speed Here (I recommend an ad-blocker when accessing this third party website.)