FollowTrainTV

Twitch Tutorials and Streaming Advice

Posts Tagged ‘streamer’

Watch Twitch with your friends using a webcam!

I love to hang out with friends online when the ESL majors are on. I have always used Skype to host video calls and then I try and sync my browser with a friend for a complete viewing experience but it is hard because we often are not in-sync.

I recently discovered chatben.tv which is a website which allows friends to watch and share content together in real-time. You can video chat with a friend who is seeing exactly the same thing as you.

chatben.tv was founded by two brothers who wanted to watch and share content together. They had become frustrated trying to browse Twitch and trying to run a Skype video call at the same time. chatben.tv was created as a better way to look at content on the internet together you can now watch Twitch with your friends using a webcam!

Watch Twitch with your friends using a webcam!

How to use chatben.tv: Navigate your browser to http://www.chatben.tv and create an account by clicking the “Sign Up” button. Once you have an account you can either join other users in any of the channels already running or you can create your own channel. Channels can be private, public or in solo mode.

To create a new channel look for the input labeled “Add Show” there you can past a link to all different types of content. You can watch Twitch live streams, as well as YouTube videos, gifs and images, all as if you are watching them on TV. When you change the channel, or go to the next show in the same channel, the exact same thing happens for your friend and you stay in sync. Once you have created a channel you can share a special link and a friend can join your room.

You can also leave video responses for other users when browsing the site. There are over 80 channels that are updated daily, including a dedicated video game channel that constantly updates with live streams.

Watch Twitch with your friends using a webcam!

Watch Twitch with your friends using a webcam!

The Final Word

I have not seen a site similar to chatben.tv before. It offers true social sharing in my opinion. It is great to share a cool, funny or crazy video and see your friends reactions via webcam. If you are looking to share a video with some friends try getting them to jump on chatben.tv before you send them a normal “share link” and experience the future of social video.


Start streaming on Twitch – 7 Tips

In just over one and a half years of streaming on Twitch, I’ve gained nearly 20,000 followers (Which you can check here on my channel). I wanted to outline what I believe are the most important things you should be doing to maximize your potential when you start streaming on Twitch. Getting people to your stream is hard enough, keeping them there is even harder.

I have spent many hours reading and learning about streaming and the Twitch platform. I have also learned from personal experiences and the experience of others. I run followtrain.tv and I run a Twitch community where we discuss Twitch related topics. It would be fair to say I know a thing or two about streaming.

Here are 7 things to keep in mind when you are just start streaming on Twitch.

1. Make sure your internet connection is solid

You don’t need to run out and buy a dedicated T1 line when you start streaming on Twitch, but you definitely need to have a decent cable broadband or fibre optic connection. The number one thing you need to do is be able to stream and with a bad internet connection you will end up with a totally black screen or a laggy viewing experience. I already outlined in another post what the best settings to use when streaming, so make sure you check that out.

2. Get a decent microphone

People visit Twitch to watch and listen to people playing games. If your commentary is inaudible due to a low-quality microphone, you won’t get many followers or viewers. You don’t need a recording studio quality mic but you do need to be sure that your voice is clear and louder than your music or in-game sound, with little to no static or hum.

Try and get a microphone with built in noise reduction in case something is going on behind you, perhaps you live near a busy road and the windows are open because of the heat outside. These small sounds will be heard on your stream as just background noise which can really irritate people. I keep an updated list of what I consider to be the Best Hardware for Twitch.

3. Get some custom graphics and a decent overlay

Your channel and brand is important for people to remember you, starting at just $5 you can get custom graphic design service. You will create your HUD (Heads up Display) in your streaming software, something like OBS or xSplit. Personally, I do mine with OBS. The idea is to make sure that your stream looks good and is viewer friendly. There are a ton of streamers out there, so the viewer experience is going to be what sets you apart.

For example you could create a border around your webcam that tells something about your personality or your favorite game. It is also important that pop up notifications give praise where it is due. When someone gives you a donation or follows you you should have a pop up or something cool happening.

When viewers see a celebration over even the smallest of donations, they are more likely to donate a few dollars as well. Make an even bigger celebration for your top donors. Remember, people are throwing money at you for doing something you would probably be doing anyway, so make sure they know how grateful you are.

4. A HD webcam is a must

Okay, so maybe Lirik doesn’t use a webcam… but you are not Lirik and you didn’t start streaming nearly five years ago when he did. Do yourself a favour and buy a decent webcam. There are plenty of streamers who don’t use a webcam, this is true, they also they don’t have many followers or viewers. If you want to be one of them random unknown faces then be my guest but it wont help you grow on Twitch.

People like to see faces, even if you think you are the ugliest person on earth I promise you beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It’s just nice to have a face to go with the voice and the username, so don’t be shy.

I was simply amazed how much people did not troll me when I first used a webcam. Most people are genuinely friendly. We all got bullied a little school for one thing or another and that fear is still with us but in my experience on Twitch it’s not an issue. Really you should try it once or twice and I promise you wont regret it, in fact you will enjoy streaming even more. Yes it feels awkward at first and maybe you need to get comfortable with speaking before turning on the camera but sooner or later you need a webcam.

You want to be able to stream and record in high definition a 720p camera is the minimum, but a 1080p is always preferred. Many viewers, when looking for a new channel to watch, won’t even click on one unless they see a picture-in-picture cam. Read more about what I think is the best webcam for Twitch.

5. Interact with your viewers

There is only so much that hardware and software can do for you, and there are a ton of great players out there. After that, your persona has to carry you. You will truly begin to stand apart from the crowd and gain a following when people see your personality, and that means interacting. Gaining followers and regular viewers is really about being entertaining.

Once you have hundreds or thousands of followers, you may not be able to greet everyone by name, but at least when you are starting out, don’t let people slip in and out of your channel without even being acknowledged. Say something like, “Hi [username], welcome to the stream!” Try to answer questions that viewers ask, and even ask some of your own and check out the responses. Yes, you need to pay attention to the game too, but the game isn’t following you or making donations, so put your viewers first.

Don’t argue in the chat box. If someone is really being obnoxious, mute them quickly and move on. Do not waste time or energy with trolls, insta-ban them and forget about it, they will move on to someone else who will entertain their trolling efforts.

6. Get a chat bot for your stream

I’m not talking about view bots—those are a good way to get your channel banned. If you are a regular Twitch viewer, you probably already know what a chat bot is. Chat bots basically serve one purpose—they keep the chat box safe for you and your followers and provide additional interaction functionality.

They can ban people for saying certain words, they can tell users what music you are currently playing and they can even help you run giveaways and answer common questions for you. You can also give certain moderators the ability to add commands to some bots to further reduce the amount of work you have to do when streaming.

My personal favorite is DeepBot. DeepBot is not free and can be overwhelming at first, start with something like Moobot or Nightbot and consider DeepBot later on.

7. Be consistent and persistent

When you first start streaming on Twitch, setting up a schedule for streaming is in my opinion the single most important thing you can do if you want to build regular viewers. How do you expect to get regular viewers if you cant even be regular yourself?

Being consistent allows you to get repeat viewers rather than just competing for whoever happens to be on when you decide to stream. Don’t give up if your stream doesn’t take off straight away. Sometimes it takes a while for people to get to know you and decide that your channel is more fun or exciting than the other channels that are currently open.

Keep learning and striving to become a better streamer, watch other peoples streams and figure out why they have so many viewers. What are they doing differently and ask yourself how can you be more like them?

In my personal experience, last year when I had a three day a week schedule, I was able to build my viewers up to an average of around 70-80 people per stream. I took six months off in the Autumn of 2015 and when I returned I struggled to get just 10 viewers. At the time of writing this article I am now back averaging 30 viewers per stream but I only commit to one day per week, with an occasional impromptu stream on other days depending what is going on in my real life.

Sure, things can go wrong when you first start streaming on Twitch. Your Internet or power may go out during a stream. Someone could be trolling chat looking to pick a fight or harass other users. Hardware fails and software breaks, life issues and unexpected social happenings like friends and family turning up at your house. All of these things can effect your stream and your passion for streaming but don’t let setbacks get you down. The most successful channels are the ones that deal with all that adversity but continue pushing forward and making their followers glad to be there.

The Final Word

Hard work, research and commitment is what makes a top streamer. I hope you take the time to read more of my articles on this blog and I hope you can gain some insight into streaming on Twitch.

I spend a lot of time helping new streamers and I can show you how to get more followers, but it takes some hard work. Please leave me a comment if you have any questions or topics you would like to know more about and I will reply or blog about it in the future.


Custom Twitch Design Service for just $5

What if I told you that you could get a professional custom Twitch design service for your Twitch channel for just $5. I was blown away with this idea when I came across it last week. Just $5 to start building your brand on Twitch. Building your brand is a must for any new streamer because it will help people remember you and your stream.

When we talk about branding your stream all we really mean is some nice matching graphics to help relay your identity to your viewers to quickly help them understand who you are and what you are about. Perhaps your stream is something they can get behind and start supporting, hopefully they love what they see straight away and immediately hit that big purple follow button.

Start with the Basics!

The first graphics you should invest in after your logo should be your offline stream graphic and your channel info panel headers. You can get 12 info panels and 1 offline stream image for just $5. This is a tiny investment to make for your stream.

Custom Twitch Design Service

Custom Twitch Design Service – 12 info panels and 1 offline stream image for $5

But I don’t even have a logo!

This is an important point. You really need a logo before you start your brand and there literally hundreds of graphic designers waiting for your order on Fiverr. Again starting at just $5 you can get a professionally designed logo for your stream. You will need to think about the style that you want and the colours that you like for your logo an then once you have your logo, colors and style sorted you will be ready to start branding the rest of your stream.

Thinking about yourself as a brand

I really think that building your identity online is something you will need to work on whether your brand new to Twitch or a veteran streamer. You have to compete with the masses and with social media and content sharing sites like YouTube you will want to start building your a brand for yourself as a streamer and online gamer so that when people come across your content online they instantly recognise it as something you created. You first started your brand when you created your Twitch username that was the starting point for your Twitch identity. If you are not 100% happy with your Twitch username and you only have a few followers then now is the time to change it. Don’t worry if you took a long time to get those few followers because I can teach you how I got over 10k followers in my first 6 months of streaming.

The Final Word!

If you just started streaming and you don’t yet have a logo or any custom graphics then today is the day to get that fixed and for just $5 what are you waiting for?

The key to all successful brands is a strong identity that makes you (the product) stand out from the other millions of streamers out there. One of the best way to do this on Twitch is to have custom graphics designed for your stream.

It’s awesome to think that for just $5 you can start to build your identity online, you can get a custom Twitch Design starting at $5, you can better relay what your stream is all about so that your viewers can get behind the idea and you can start to build yourself as a big name on Twitch. Later on will come t-shirt designs, bumper stickers and all kinds of other products to sell to your growing viewer base and having a graphic designer who already knows your brand will be very useful tool to have in the future.


Twitch Streamers Community

If you are looking for a community of Twitch streamers to hang out with then come and join the FollowTrain.tv Twitch streamers community. We currently use Discord to host our chat room plus free voice comms and every one is welcome to join.

What is Discord?

Discord is essentially a communication platform designed specifically for gamers. It’s like a modern day IRC client with a TeamSpeak server bundled with it! It’s awesome and it’s free!

“It’s time to ditch Skype and TeamSpeak. Discord is here. All-in-one voice and text chat for gamers that’s free, secure, and works on both your desktop and phone. Stop paying for TeamSpeak servers and hassling with Skype. Simplify your life. You’ll never go back.”

Discord IOS and Androids Apps

You can even join us using the mobile app and chat when you are not streaming or when your on the move, pop in and say “hi”, keep up to date with the latest Twitch trends and gain knowledge from other experienced streamers and Twitch partners.

How to join us on Discord

First thing you will need to do is create your free account then you can download the Discord desktop client and then you simply choose which device you use either Discord for IOS or Discord for Android.

Twitch Streamers Community on Discord

My plans for the FollowTrainTV Twitch Streamers Community Discord!

I really hope this group can grow and grow and that all streamers can learn and share new ideas in a friendly and open place. Streaming can be difficult and lonely at first, talking to yourself for hours on end with no response. Why not join us and get some support from our community of Twitch streamers!

The Final Word!

I tend to leave a final word summary at the end of every blog post I write. All I can say now is come and join us on Discord, don’t be shy everybody is welcome!


CPU issues when streaming and playing games

I noticed I was getting lag spikes in game after starting to stream with OBS. It was not because of my internet speed but because my CPU was using 100% of it’s processing power and killing my mad skills in CSGO. This was causing me to have some pretty horrible issues when streaming and playing games on Twitch.

How to fix CPU related issues when streaming and playing games?

The information in this post will apply to all games not just Counter-Strike Global Offensive so if you have a CPU streaming issue please read on.

I didn’t stream on Twitch much since the summer. Mostly because of other projects and because I started hitting the gym a few times a week! I formatted my PC and put Windows 10 on it plus bought myself a brand new BenQ XL2430T 144Hz monitor and I had taken my green screen down to have a huge sort out in the room I use to stream. All of these things combined meant I had destroyed my streaming setup! Putting things back together takes time but I started to do that this week.

Starting fresh

So previously I guess I had tweaked my CSGO game and my streaming settings, something I must of totally forgot about.

I tried to stream the other day and my CPU was running at 100% and causing CSGO to stutter which made me play really badly. I had to make a some tweaks again and now my CPU is running at around 90% which is perfect in my opinion because I have almost maximum performance from my PC and no issues while streaming and playing games.

Before we start tweaking

If you understand a few simple ideas then you will be able to make choices that work for you rather than just plain copying me. We all have different gaming rigs and stream different styles of games so the fixes are down to you to makes choices.

Understanding the streaming process

When you stream your capture software usually XSplit or OBS is recording your screen at the number of frames you specify, then it is resizing the dimensions of the capture as you specify and then it tries to compress it to the size rate which you specify (1800 KB/s in my case) then it sends it down the wire to Twitch.

So the more frames you have and the larger your screen resolution the larger the amount of data your CPU has to crush in order to meet your specified streaming KB/s.

On top of that CSGO is known to be a very CPU expensive game, the source engine that runs Counter-Strike uses the CPU more so than other games. Newer games pass much more of the graphic processing work to the GPU.

So in my case both CSGO and OBS are using my CPU.

You can check this by going into Task Manager, on Windows by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL.

CPU issues when streaming and playing games on Twitch

Analyse CPU issues when streaming and playing games on Twitch!

Reducing your CPU usage is easy

You have to make some choices as to what works best for the style of games yo pay and what software and hardware you use. I outline 5 fixes below.

You may have to use all 5 of them.

Fix 1: Free up valuable CPU processing power

Press CTRL+ALT+DEL and go in to Task Manager. The first unexpected thing I noticed in Task Manager was a little program called “RzStats.Manager.exe” I saw that is was using between 10-12% of my CPU when I moved my mouse. This is because I have a Razer DeathAdder 2013 gaming mouse and when I installed the Razor Synapse 3.0 software it asked me if I would like to turn on statistic tracking for my mouse. At the time this seemed like a great idea. I soon realised that all it really does it create a heat map which is in my opinion completely useless. I disabled statistics tracking in the Razor Synapse software and then the CPU usage disappeared and I gained an extra 10% free processing power.

Analyse what is going on under the hood of your machine using Task Manager and work out what programs are hogging CPU and decide if you need them or not.

Fix 2: Reduce the amount of CPU used by the game you play

In my case CSGO is using my CPU. I like to have all my graphics settings on maximum and I still get over 150 FPS. Reducing the screen resolution of CSGO can give you more CPU if you combine that with lower graphics settings you can free up a lot of CPU power. I play 1080p and I prefer gaming in full quality so I won’t be reducing my settings in CSGO. This is my personal choice.

Adjusting the game quality settings and resolution of your game can sometimes free up CPU power, especially if your game is known for hogging CPU.

Fix 3: Stream at a lower FPS

Reduce the the number of frames per second that you record in. This is what I mentioned earlier. If you are capturing in 60 FPS you are capturing twice as much data as someone who is streaming at 30 FPS and you may have to reduce this. If you are streaming a game like Hearthstone you can probably go as low as 24 FPS without much visual concern. CSGO is a fast paced FPS and I choose to stream at 60 FPS. I can’t sacrifice this.

The lower the frame rate you stream the less CPU will be needed.

Fix 4: Downscale your stream

Downscale effectively throws away some of the data so the CPU handles less data. The less data being used the less work it does. I record my screen at 1080p and I downscale to 720p. I don’t believe many of my viewers watch my stream at full screen and even if they do 720p is still classed as HD.

The more you downscale the less CPU you will use.

Fix 5: Spend some money!!

If you have tried all of the above and still you find your games unplayable it’s time to bite the bullet and spend some money. I am serious, If you think you can be a streamer on a cheap old laptop you are probably wrong. Have a real hard look at your setup, is it really a gaming setup, more importantly can it even stream…

If all else fails go and spend some money on some new kit! 

My crappy old gaming rig

Yes I want to upgrade, I consider my setup a little old now because I have to make sacrifices to stream! I am waiting for the release of the Oculus Rift before I do any thing major with my rig. I want to be an early adapter of the VR technology that is coming and I want to stream that sh*t! Yeaaahh Buddddyy!

Motherboard: ASUS – P8P67 Deluxe
Processor: Intel Core i7-2700K CPU @ 3.50GHz
Cooling: Antec Liquid Cooling KÜHLER H2O 920
RAM: 32 GB Geil Evo 2.400 MHz DDR3 RAM
OS Hard Drives: 2 x Kingston 240GB HyperX SATA III SSD
Data Storage: 2TB Western Digital HD
Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 7800 EYEFINITY 6
Power: AMD Radeon HD 7800 EYEFINITY 6
Case: Akasa Venom Full Tower Yellow

Please look at my gaming rig spec above and if your machine is a lower spec than mine then you are probably going to have to make even more compromises than I did. if compromising is not something you want to do then you will have to simply go and spend some money on buying some better streaming kit.

The Final Word!

I left my CSGO settings on maximum plus I really want to stream at 60 FPS. My compromise comes with fix number 4, I downscale to 720p and this was enough to keep my CPU usage in check. There are some other smaller optimisations that you can make but I haven’t mentioned them because if you can’t fix your issues using fix 1, 2, 3 or 4 then I suggested you go straight to option number 5.


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.


3 ways to make Twitch video highlights

Making video highlights from your Twitch stream can be a great way to gain extra viewers and followers. Video highlights are online 24 hours per day. When you are sleeping in your bed there is a chance someone, somewhere could be watching a video highlight from one of your streams. They may instantly fall in love with your charisma, wit and wonderful charm, then they can visit your channel and follow you, eager for your next stream!

Making Twitch video highlights is like putting money in the bank and leaving it there, Twitch video highlights are a solid investment.

Activating past broadcasts videos on Twitch

First things first! How ever you choose to make your video highlights you should edit the settings on your Twitch account to automatically archive your past broadcasts. This requires zero work and automatically creates content for potential followers to view. It also makes creating highlights easier.

By always recording your stream it will be easy to make a highlight when cool things happen on stream. Plus your regular viewers can re-watch your previous streams when they miss a broadcast and your offline.

How to activate automatic recording of past broadcasts

There is a great tutorial on the Twitch support site, rather than re-invent the wheel I will just link to that article.

http://help.twitch.tv/customer/portal/articles/1575302-videos-on-demand

Users can not upload videos to their channel, it is for previously streamed content only.

1. Create video highlights using Twitch

Past broadcasts can be found on your Twitch Profile.

http://www.twitch.tv/<Your Username>/profile/past_broadcasts

Select a video from the list and then under the video player there will be a small gear icon which will allow you to “highlight” a clip from that stream.

Use the yellow sliders to locate the clip then fill in the form and click “Create Highlight”.

2. Create video highlights using YouTube

This way works in a similar way to the above method. You will use a previous broadcast or a video highlight and export it to YouTube. Once you have exported the video to YouTube you can edit it there using the YouTube video editor.

First you will need to connect your YouTube account to Twitch.
You can do that here: http://www.twitch.tv/settings/connections

After you stream you can visit your past broadcasts or video highlights and in the same way locate the gear icon but this time you should choose “export”.

After you have finished exporting the video it will take sometime before the video is uploaded to YouTube. You will get an email when the export is ready to be viewed. I recommend setting the video to “Private” when creating an export and then manually activating it on YouTube when your ready for it to be live and seen by your channels subscribers.

3. Create video highlights using OBS and video editing software

For the highest quality videos and for those of us with a lot of time you can record your streams using your video streaming software. If you stream with OBS you can easily record your streams and use them to make highlights on video sharing websites.

Just do the following in OBS:

Click “Settings > Broadcast Settings”

Check “Automatically save stream to file”

Set the file path to somewhere you can locate the file later. The video file can easily be imported into a video editor like Adobe Premier, edited and uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo or any other video sharing site you use.

The Final Word!

Video highlights are like money in the bank, you need to create them to grow your following!

I recommend that you use both Twitch and YouTube. There is no harm in having similar content on both sites and there is also no harm in having different content on both sites.

There more clips you can create the better.