If you have ever watched someone stream, you might have wondered how difficult it is to start streaming yourself. The answer? Harder than you may realize. You may assume that all you need is a decent internet connection and a camera to start streaming. In reality, you will need a lot more than that. If you are interested in streaming, here are the things you will need to know before you hit that “go live” button.
1. Stream at a lower quality
if you are rocking great hardware and a fast internet speed, why in the world would you want to stream in a lower quality? Well, there’s one very simple reason. When you stream on Twitch, your viewers are forced to watch whatever quality you are streaming at. For instance, if you are streaming at 1080p and 60fps, they will have to watch it at that same quality, regardless of the strength of their internet connection.
This is the case because Twitch only provides transcoding features to partnered streamers, which you will likely not have access to when you are still starting out. As such, you should consider making a compromise. The best quality you should be streaming in should be at 720p, at either 30fps or 60fps. This ensures that the majority of your audience would be able to watch your stream without too much disruption.
2. Look at your CPU and GPU
You can use either your CPU or GPU to encode your stream, which means you must choose between the two to share your screen with your viewers. This also means that you should, ideally, choose which among them is more powerful to minimize disruptions.
Generally, CPUs are better equipped to handle the demands of live streaming, but GPUs have recently caught up, thanks to Nvidia’s new NVENC encoder. As such, if you have a recent GPU from Nvidia, then you can use NVENC. If you use an AMD graphics card, then you can use that to stream. If your GPU is relatively old, then stick to x264, which is your CPU’s encoder.
3. Avoid streaming wirelessly
Whatever you do, try not to stream wirelessly. Connect your computer physically to the internet with a LAN cable from your router. Streaming wirelessly can be quite limiting in terms of upload and download speeds, and it is not as reliable. With a wired connection, you can maintain a constant connection to your router and enjoy faster speeds.
These are the things you must know about and prepare for before you hit that live button. There are a few other things you can also consider, such as the streaming platform you want to stream on and the software you want to use. Nevertheless, being prepared is the best way to start your streaming career, so do not skimp out on any of the above tips, and do not start streaming with questions still in your mind. The more you address these questions, the likelier it is you will enjoy a great streaming experience that your audience can also enjoy.