Since 00’s, the videogames industry went through a lot of changes and now it is safe to say that you can make money for living as a gamer. Of course, the most known way to earn money by playing videogames is an e-sport, but it is undoubtedly hard to become an e-sportsman. That’s when you usually start thinking about streaming.
Actually, it is not only about making money. Some people stream for their friends or family, some can even do this for the audience but without choosing money as the main objective. Either way, each person streams for fun, money is just a pleasant bonus. And, of course, each person also uses different broadcasting tool.
What is a broadcasting tool?
Basically, it is just a tool for streaming. It connects different media sources from your PC, combines them into a one screen and translates it into a web resource like twitch, youtube etc. Of course, there is a huge variety in tools that exist and even though OBS Studio is the most popular, you can find some decent features in less famous tools.
Elements of broadcasting tools
When you download any tool and launch it, it will greet you with a grey screen with a lot of buttons. At first sight, it may look impossible to deal with. Still, most broadcasting tools have the same features divided by five segments: scenes, sources, mixer, general options and launching.
In general, it is not hard to deal with settings but most tools still require the basic knowledge of your hardware’s capabilities. Also, most streamers include add-ons to their broadcast in order to make the stream more interesting and interactive. It all depends on you and your preferences. If you want to dive deeper into the plug-ins or you think you’ll still have troubles while dealing with setting up your stream, don’t worry, we will have a talk about it in this article.
Of course, no processes can run without a possible error. Most streaming errors divide into two types: settings errors and program errors. The most popular settings error is the CPU overload. It usually happens if you make your tool work on the higher settings than those that your hardware allows. Also, it can happen if you record your playthrough and stream at the same time.
Setting up the tool
This is a step by step guide to get you streaming to Mixer with OBS Studio. Of course, you can stream in any other tool, but OBS is the most popular one and I prefer streaming with it. In fact, setup doesn’t vary much from one tool to another.
1. Download OBS Studio.
2. Once downloaded and installed, head to File > Settings.
3. Open the “Stream” tab. On this screen you’ll want to:
3.1 Stream Type: Streaming Services.
3.2 Service: Mixer.com – FTL.
3.3 Server: auto. We highly recommend auto. Only hand pick a server if you have trouble.
3.4 Stream Key: Your stream key is the secret code that allows you to stream to your channel (Do NOT share this key with anyone!). To grab your Stream Key, head to the Manage Channel page on Mixer.com by clicking your avatar in the top right of the page and then Manage Channel. Click the double square icon to copy the key – paste it into OBS Studio.
3.5 Click “Apply”.
4. Next click on the “Output” tab. In this section:
4.1 Output Mode: Simple.
4.2 Video Bitrate: This setting intimately depends on the upload speed of your internet. We recommend most users use 2000kbps to 7000kbps.
4.3 Click apply.
5. Click Apply once again and then OK. All done! Just hit Start Streaming and you should be live on Mixer!
Advanced OBS Studio Settings:
Advance settings are all about trade-off. High bitrate makes better quality, but more bandwidth. Slower encode produces better quality but has more latency. We encourage streamers to play with all the settings to figure out what’s best for them.
1. Head to Settings and then the Output tab.
2. Output Mode: Advanced.
– Software encoder that will use up your CPU.
– Typically has lower latency.
– Typically has a lower stream quality.
3.2 NVENC H.264
– Only streamers with Nvidia graphic cards will have this option.
– Doesn’t use any CPU resources.
– Has slightly higher latency over CPU encoding.
– Typically has better quality than CPU encoding.
3.3 Rate Control: CBR
3.4 Bitrate: As mentioned before, this setting intimately depends on the upload speed of your internet. We recommend most users use 2000kbps to 7000kbps.
3.5 Keyframe Interval:
– Recommended 1-3.
– The higher the number, the better the stream quality, but the longer it takes your stream to load and recover from packet loss for your viewers.
3.6 Preset: Higher quality better-looking stream, but higher latency. For CPU encode the higher quality will also require more CPU.
3.7 Profile: Main
3.8 Tune: [CPU only] – zero latency for super low latency streams. (None) – for higher latency.
3.9 x264 Options: Paste in “bframes=0”.
After all of that, you need to choose your scenes to show in OBS and you’re ready.
Which tool to choose?
Actually, everybody chooses their own way in it, but here is the list of the most popular and most efficient tools for streaming:
Definitely the most popular one. OBS is a free and open set of software for video recording and streaming. It provides the ability to capture from devices and sources in real time, scene capture, recording and broadcasting.
OBS stands out because it is completely free. It does not have a subscription that provides any additional features.
Downloading OBS, you immediately download a product suitable for work. If the functionality seems insufficient to you, you can always download the free plugin you need from the huge library of the application.
Another reason why people prefer OBS is the availability of hotkeys. Thanks to them, you won’t need to be distracted from the gameplay if you, for example, decide to make the music louder or switch the video inputs.
XSplit is video mixer software for streaming. It allows you to switch between different media-sources, webcam, chosen screen parts, video games, flash-content etc. All of this will connect in real time and will be translated on a certain stream service.
But it is not free. The program itself offers you to choose. You can either use the free version with a lower amount of settings allowed, or you can pay the price and have all the features program has. Of course, both versions allow you to stream, and you’re not obliged to pay for the app.
The features are multistreaming, which allows you to stream on a different streaming resources at the same time and interaction tools like widgets and web-notifications. You can also use the special effects to scenes and sources. There is an ability to use both pre-uploaded effects as well as adding your own ones. The scene preview editor will allow you to edit the scenes before showing them online. XSplit also contains an add-on to work with macros, which can create a scenario for almost every possible operation or set of operations; text editor also supports users’ scripts.
Lightstream is similar to programs like OBS or XSplit, i.e. it is a streaming tool. With it, you can switch between different media-sources, webcam, chosen screen parts, video games, flash-content etc. All of it will connect in real time and will be broadcasted onto a certain stream service.
The fact that you don’t need to set up the stream completely manually is the main advantage of Lightstream. After you download and launch the software, the best choice of settings will be arranged for you. The program will even take your internet connection speed into account just to give you the best available bitrate.
Lightstream allows you to stream and record in 720p quality and 60+ fps, which is pretty good if we compare it to other streaming programs; you can also make an unlimited amount of scenes and sources. Also, Lightstream provides you a cooperative streaming option. The software allows you to show the image from your friend’s webcam right on your stream which certainly makes cooperative streaming easier. It looks as if you were sitting in the same room.
Another important thing is that you can control your stream remotely by simply using your phone, which makes streaming much easier because you don’t need to alt-tab all the time to change something.
We need to make it clear: if your favourite streamer specializes on a game without skins – Hearthstone, for example – you have no reasons to use this service because it’s made specifically for games with skins. This could be useful for several reasons:
1. Sometimes it is much harder to donate in other way. For example, if you don’t have a credit card, you will have to create an e-wallet, like Webmoney or Paypal, then you will have to put money there, and so on. By using Skinsdonut, you avoid extra difficulties with it.
2. This is the only way to cash out your Steam account. Let me explain. When you sell something on Steam marketplace, your items will also transcend into money, but they will be left on your Steam account without any possible ways to cash them out.
3. Sometimes, skins you want to send can be extremely rare even if they cost not so much. That will make this donation much more valuable, comparing to the donation with equal amount of money.
Skinsdonut gives everyone a chance to help streamer. For example, if you’re younger than 16, it is much easier for you to donate with your skins than with real money. Also, sometimes you have extra skins, for example, two copies of the very same item – why not donate it?
Service has one extra feature, which will help any streamer – it gives you ready-to-use images to put under your stream in order to draw viewers’ attention. For example, if you want to do so with Donationalerts, you should search for a special picture, cut it, fix the image quality and so on.
Bebo contains some features that make this service unique. Even though it gives you almost nothing completely new, it offers you an intelligent and beautiful design. Also, Bebo pays much more attention to little non-important details, which makes every little move in this service pleasant.
With its attractive interface, Bebo gives customers an opportunity to get in touch with old friends and make some new all over the world. Uploading media content is also available after you register free account. Users have access to quizzes, polls, altogether with photo albums. Those features are close to ones that Myspace has. Bebo also has an option to add blogs and a list of bands like it is on MySpace. As for videos, they are possible for adding too and being linked to YouTube or simply uploaded through servers of Bebo.
The app handles all you need to start streaming including donation system. It is much easier than switching from one service to another all the time and you don’t have to run multiple programs. While observing recent alerts and chat in real time, streamer doesn’t have to go to browser for Twitch.
Streamlabs is the streaming app packed with a lot of features. Of course, it deals with its basic function, streaming, with ease. But, as any other tool, it has its own advantages.
What’s important, it provides a huge variety of add-ons in order to make your stream unique. Streamlabs allows you to put the “face mask” on the top of your head after you get a donation. “Face mask” is a custom 3D-animation which will trigger each time after you’ll get a donation. They look funny and entertaining which can certainly boost channel’s revenue.
Even though Streamlabs is often considered as a professional streaming tool, it doesn’t mean that it is hard to set it up. In fact, you only need to import stuff from OBS, which usually takes about a couple of seconds and then you can go live.
By the way, Streamlabs made a mobile app which allows you to stream live on Twitch and YouTube in just a tap. You can also share your camera or screen. And there is no need to set up widgets, app will do it automatically for you. You only need to click on the icon of the widget you’d like to include and the software will do everything else. Your desktop settings will be synced with your mobile and then you can stream with ease. And you can also do it on a go! Just open the app and start streaming whenever you like.
FFSplit is a lightweight utility that lets you capture videos from multiple sources and composite them into a live video feed. FFSplit allows you to switch between different media-sources, webcam, chosen screen parts, videogames, flash-content, etc. while you stream. The program supports all types of web-notifications and widgets: Youtube Super Chat and Twitch Cheers, Facebook chat, Mixer chat, Twitch chat and Youtube chat widgets.
You can use the special effects to scenes and sources. There is an ability to use both pre-uploaded effects as well as adding your own ones. The scene preview editor will allow you to edit the scenes before showing them online. You can also add text strings and show them directly on the stream by simply creating them in FFSplit interface.
Now you know that broadcasting is not hard to set up. With help of this article, you can pick one of these tools that suits you most and make your perfect and unique stream. Feel free to choose one of the tools we’ve described.
We hope these tips will help you on the way to success!
This post is part of the How To Guide: it will help you to setup the stream and get you closer to live-streaming insights and tools.
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