Current as of 2/21/15
Strats has started a swing towards moving the community to generate media content, because of that a place for people to learn the basics was needed.
My goal with this is to push a series of posts that would provide a basis for most people to reasonably get started with a streaming or recording project and enable them to ask more focused questions relating to their goals.
Our primary counterpart here at Strats is Twitch.tv but there are many other services available. An account with twitch is easily attained and you can stream from a many number of applications that they have set-up thru the years most notably PS4.
Keep in mind that while you CAN stream to other services, we don’t have a strats channel in place for them so you would just be another face in the sea of faces.
The debate of streaming falls to your upload speed (which can be attained here: http://speedof.me ).
With an upload speed of around 2 Mb, you can stream. However, the quality of your stream compared against a YouTube video viewed at 720@30 (that is 720p and 30 FPS) would be fairly poor.
A good basis to go from would be something along the lines of the following table:
*In order to convert Kbps to Mbps divide by 1,000. (Ex: 1500 Kbps -> 1.5 Mbps)
**Twitch considers it an abuse of their system if you go above 3.5Mb of bandwidth – Auth
This assumes that you would be streaming at 30 frames per second and using stereo sound at a 128 bitrate.
So, what does this mean?
If you have an internet connection that falls between 1500 and 6000 Kbps you can stream if you are willing to take a hit on the quality depending on your upload rate.
TIP : Keep in mind that when you are playing an online game, the stream can cause significant issues with lag / packet-loss. You will have to take into account for any overhead that you may need for the game itself.
This section doesn’t really apply to console users unless you are skipping the integrated streaming service and opting to do some more complex setups.
That being said, this section is very loose. You need to have enough power on your machine to either run the software AND a game OR the software alone. I know that is very vague and I am sorry. The general rule of thumb when streaming is to upgrade! The better your game experience, the better your stream experience.
Open Broadcast Software (OBS)
An open source streaming software. If you are working on a limited budget, this is most likely your go-to choice for getting up and running within a short period of time. The software is constantly in development but is fairly stable. Support for plugins and addons is decent. If there is something you WISH the software could do, someone has likely done it and that tool would be found in their resource section ( https://obsproject.com/forum/resources/ ).
“Freemium” software. Using the base software is free but if you want anything beyond a certain base set-up you will need a pro license. The software is fairly feature complete and support is available for issues that may appear. Plugins can be found within their software.
With the advent of facebook, twitter and the like there has been a push to have desktop social tools like raptr and Overwolf. Both of these tools allow you to stream AND capture. I am not completely up to date on rapr but Overwolf allows you to a have a streaming chat client that you can hide from your game capture, which is great for streaming and reading on a single monitor.