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Twitch Tutorials and Streaming Advice

Archive for October, 2015

The best webcam for streaming on Twitch

You are here because you want to know what is the best webcam for streaming on Twitch.

When people see my stream they always ask me which webcam I use, probably because it looks so epic! When I first started streaming I made a decision that I wanted to create a stream that looked both professional and beautiful. I visited many streamers at the time, if they had really great webcam footage I simply asked them which webcam they used.

Whenever I was really blown away with the webcam footage I would get exact same answer.

Now I personally own and use the Logitech C920 – HD Pro Webcam. This is the very best webcam on the market. You don’t have to believe me, just go to Amazon and you will see that this camera is the #1 Best Seller in the webcam category.

The main reason I bought this camera was for the insane quality and high resolution. The high resolution means I get a much better result when using the green screen chroma key effect to overlay my webcam footage on my stream.

Do you really need a 1080p camera?

I think this is purely down to the question of whether or not you want to use a green screen or offer your viewers the maximum quality that you can. The higher the resolution the better the green screen chroma effect will be. You may be thinking typically that when you use a webcam on Twitch you shrink it right down to a quarter of the screen. But if you add a green screen effect then this effect is added to the webcam footage before you shrink it. If you want a crystal clear green screen effect then I suggest you buy the 1080p camera above.

Want to save some money?

In all honestly a webcam with 1080p capture may not be necessary. I record my entire screen at 1080p and then I downscale it to 720p before I stream it, my webcam takes up less than a quarter of the screen. You could argue that the resolution that the camera can capture is never really seen in my Twitch stream. But like I said earlier, I wanted the perfect green screen effect.

If you wanted to save a little bit of money or you do not want to use a green screen effect then I would recommend the little brother of the C920. I would recommend you to purchase the Logitech C270 – HD Webcam which is a 720p Widescreen webcam. This will still give you amazing quality but at less than half the price of the C920 you can see why this option may be appealing to you. I would weigh up the pro’s and con’s of both cameras and take the option that best suits your individual streaming needs.

The Final Word!

Hundreds of thousands of people who wanted great webcam footage have chosen the Logitech C920 which is why it is the number one bestseller on Amazon. If you want to save yourself some money then I would opt for the little brother and grab the Logitech C270. Either of these cameras offer great performance with a relatively low cost. I personally use the Logitech C920 and would not consider anything else right now.


The best upload settings for Twitch

I wanted to make a short video on what I think are the best upload settings for Twitch. Quite simply through trial and error over the last 1.5 years of streaming I have learned what does and doesn’t work. According to Twitch your upload settings should be calculated based on your personal bandwidth upload speed. In practice I have found this is not accurate information. I was originally using the above guide to set my Stream upload speed. I started to get complaints from viewers who simply couldn’t see my Stream. I have noticed when I am on a slow connection I experience the same black screen issue when visiting some streams.

Viewers complaining about a black screen

My basic understanding is as follows. Just because you can upload at 3500kb/s does not mean your viewers can watch your stream. If a viewer in your room has a slower connection for example 1000kb/s they simply wont see the stream. This is because they can not download quickly enough the stream you are trying to send.

A lesson to be learned

When you receive a complaint from a viewer do not instantly assume they are in the wrong. I have tried to advise many streamers that the settings they use are too high and that I can not see the stream. Often another chatter raises his voice and say’s “Well it is perfect for me!” and the streamer simply ignores my comment at which point I leave the stream because I just see a black screen. Now consider the number of people who do not even comment and simply leave the stream assuming it is broken. Remember where there is smoke there is fire, if you keep getting feedback from users that are trying to tell you something then you should pay attention and investigate the issue. Remember there is no point having crystal clear stream in ultra high definition, if people can not even watch it.

Why does Twitch recommend streamers to use such high settings?

I think the settings Twitch recommends are accurate based on video quality alone, if you want to stream 1080p at 60 fps I think for optimum quality you should be using 3500kb/s as recommend by Twitch. I also believe that perhaps when creating these articles Twitch is taking into account that there is a ‘Video Quality Option’ on the Twitch video player where users can adjust your stream quality and set it to either Source, High, Medium, Low and Mobile. But new and un-partnered streamers do not always get this luxury all of the time. You will probably not have the ‘Video Quality’ option on your stream.

Video quality settings can be found on the bottom right of the video player but new streamers may not have them.

Video quality settings can be found on the bottom right of the video player but new streamers may not have the option and their viewers are forced to watch at Source quality.

Best upload settings for Twitch Partners

If you are already a partner then you will always have the ‘Player Options’ popup and in that case it makes sense to use the recommended upload settings. If you have the ability to stream at 3500kb/s then it makes sense to do so because users on slower connections can adjust the rate at which data is sent to them.

Best upload settings for non Twitch Partners

I really believe there is a sweet spot at around 1600-2000kb/s where you can have great quality and the largest number of possible viewers. It is a happy medium between quality and maximum viewership.

The best upload settings for Twitch

Adjusting the upload settings for Twitch in OBS.

The Final Word!

If your a partner by all means you should be using the maximum upload speed that you can. If you are new to twitch and are not partnered I believe you should lower your upload setting to around 1800kb/s. If people can not watch your stream you will have less viewers, less chatters and a harder time making it big on Twitch. Drop the upload speed and once you become partnered you can stream in ultra high quality.