FollowTrainTV

Twitch Tutorials and Streaming Advice

Posts Tagged ‘twitch tech setup’

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.


The Steam Link, simply a great investment!

I recently purchased a Steam Link and a Steam Controller for three different reasons. Firstly I liked the idea of playing some two player games in the living room with the misses and friends when they come over. Secondly I knew I could stream movies to my living room straight from my desktop replacing the need for my Apple TV box. Thirdly I wanted to see if it is possible to stream to Twitch from my living room using a webcam connected to the Steam Link, this would be truly awesome!

Let’s start with a brief history of my gaming life!

For years I invested a ton of money into new games consoles and the game titles that came with them. In my lifetime I have owned nearly every major console that was released, there are a few fringe consoles like the NeoGeo that I never owned but the main bulk of them have had me play them for hours and hours. I have also spent a ton of money on personal computers, laptops and upgrades year after year.

Lets take a look at the consoles, computers and handheld gaming devices I have owned over the past 30 years:

Ajax TV Game
ZX Spectrum +2
Atari 520ST
Nintendo Entertainment System
Sega Master System II
Commodore Amiga 2000
Sega Genesis Mega Drive
Nintendo GameBoy
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
PlayStation
Nintendo GameBoy Color
Nintendo 64
Sega Game Gear
Sega Dreamcast
PlayStation 2
Microsoft Xbox 360
Nintendo Wii
PlayStation 3

Why did I stop buying consoles?

I never owned a PS4 or an Xbox One and I probably never will. I decided to permanently switch to gaming on the PC and I have never looked back. However I do miss sitting on the sofa and hammering a game pad from time to time. I also miss the fun of destroying a friend in split screen mode. I miss two player co-op games, I miss playing games like NHL, NFL and FIFA. I miss the Olympics style games. I really enjoyed the time I spent sat on the sofa playing these consoles.

The last two consoles I owned did not see much use. The Nintendo Wii and the PlayStation3. I owned a lot of games for the Wii (around 20 plus games) and I also purchased a lot of the added peripherals, fishing rods, gun holders, tennis bats, you name it I had it. For the PS3 I only really bought it because I was in need of a Blue-ray player, I own Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Need for Speed Shift.

But the bottom line is I didn’t really use either of these consoles and I have since sold my Wii to a family friend.

Enter the Steam Link

I like the idea of having all of my games in Steam. I like that I don’t have to keep physical copies of the games that I play and that I will always have access to the library of games that I buy on Steam and they will all be in one place.

I am super interested in streaming video games and that is exactly what the Steam Link does. It is not the same as broadcasting on Twitch but it still represents a wonderful opportunity for gamers. Streaming is becoming a huge part of gaming and I think the Steam Link is a step in the right direction from Valve. At $50 for the Steam Link and $50 for a Steam Controller this is a pill which is quite easy to swallow especially as I have already invested thousands of dollars on my gaming pc.

Streaming Movies with the Steam Link

I wanted to be able to stream movies to my television from my PC. Currently I have an Apple TV box and some of the things I watch are not on Netflix or iTunes. Currently I use my MacBook Pro to stream to the Apple TV box but this involves me copying files from my desktop to my MacBook using my Samsung T3, a process which takes about 5-10 minutes. The drive is insanely fast, but still I have to go from one room to the other and back again between machines. With the Steam Link you literally stream your entire desktop screen to your television. Anything you can do on your desktop you can do on your Television. Now I just open the movie directly on my desktop and it’s streams to my TV beautifully at 1080p and at 60 fames per second.

Using a SNES emulator with the Steam Link

I recently got into RetroArch and I have fallen back in love with SNES games. Titles like Super Mario World, Rock and Roll Racing and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Recently I worked out how to stream RetroArch to my television and now I can play Super Nintendo classics in my living room with a friend like it was 1991. I mean this by itself is simply amazing.

You can stream on Twitch using the Steam Link

I also managed to stream to Twitch from my living room using the Steam Link, admittedly I ended up using two active USB cables for the webcam but still I achieved what I wanted. I made a video diary about how that went and I will release it soon on my YouTube.

A great way to save money and invest in the future!

I have already spent thousands of dollars on my gaming pc and being able to leverage that power in my living room for just $100 has been amazing. After just 2 hours I was able to honestly say that it was a great investment. Now I know spending $100 is not how you save money, but I see desktop streaming as a huge part of the future, eventually games will even exist just in the cloud and local hard drives probably wont even be needed.

The Final Word

I am super happy with my Steam Link. It’s not perfect but it is a step in the right direction. You will have issues, for example sometimes I have to visit the other room and click something because the Steam Link looses it’s focus. You will probably have to run the Steam Link over Ethernet or PowerLAN adapters. People have reported issues with Wi-Fi. When the Steam Link works it is brilliant and it does work 99% of the time.

I only recommend buying one Steam Link Controller as it was designed to replace a mouse and keyboard and I think there are other better controller options out there. I currently own a DS4 Controller an Xbox PC Controller and an 8bitdo SFC30 all of which work brilliantly and where applicable with Bluetooth.

If you are looking at buying a Steam Link I think you will be happy as long as you have good connectivity. If you are hardcore PC gamer I think you will find the added investment of the Steam Link something which brings a huge amount of value for relatively little money. Plus you will save thousands of dollars on games in the future.


How to set up a TeamSpeak Server with no port number on a subdomain

Before I moved the FollowTrainTV streamers community to Discord I was using both IRC and TeamSpeak to build up a community of streamers. One of the the first things I didn’t like about my original setup was that my TeamSpeak server address was horrible and difficult to remember. On top of that it had a port number attached to it. Being a technical guy I figured I could setup a subdomain on my current domain name and allow the traffic to be redirected easily.

I didn’t want to use the horrible long address given to me by my TeamSpeak service provider I wanted something simple and easy to remember so below I will show you the two ways I discovered, so that you can do the same. The first way is free and the second way cheap but in my case my current domain provider did not allow me to do it the free way so I needed to use a 3rd party to help me out.

Redirecting a subdomain to a TeamSpeak server using an SRV record

Straight out of the box some domain name providers will allow you to quickly and easily setup a subdomain on your account that can easily redirect traffic to your TeamSpeak server. You simply need to add an SRV record.

Here is a quick tutorial on how to setup the TeamSpeak SRV record in cPanel which is a very common software used by many web server hosting companies. If your hosting company does not use cPanel then you may have to email them to ask them how to add an SRV record.

Redirecting a subdomain to a TeamSpeak server without an SRV record

So it turns out I am one of the unlucky people who’s server / domain provider doesn’t have the ability to add an SRV record. Instead I had to use a third party provider to allow me to have a subdomain which can redirect traffic to my TeamSpeak server.

Enter TS3DNS.com a company that offers a redirect service for a small fee. I paid $6.99 for a one year subscription which allows me to achieve the same flexibility as the free option above. It’s simple to use and after 24 hours I was happy to see that I can now use a subdomain with no port number attached to connect to my TeamSpeak server. There was no way for my current hosting company to do this so I had to pay the $6.99 but it works perfectly and I am very happy.

The added bonus of setting up your TeamSpeak server under a subdomain

One of the cool side effects of this kind of setup is that if you change the company that provides you with your TeamSpeak server you do not have to tell all of your clan members and friends the new address. You simply adjust the DNS record and usually within around 10 minutes your existing subdomain will be pointing to your brand new server address. This is super important if you are looking to grow your community because every time you change the physical address of your server you will loose some of the people that visit your server.

The Final Word

If you are using TeamSpeak then you really should setup a subdomain for your server, how you do it depends entirely on who hosts your current domain name.

If you haven’t already checked out Discord then I suggest you do, because it was built with gamers in mind. Imagine if IRC and TeamSpeak had a baby together, well then you can begin to understand what Discord is. Discord has desktop apps, mobile apps, voice comms and a rich text chat all in one application that will encourage your community to idle and hang out on your server, It’s free and much easier to setup and use. It’s a no brainer!

If you want to try out Discord for the first time then you can join me and other Twitch streamers on the FollowTrainTV Community Discord.


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.


Virtual Reality is NOW

I am super hyped to see and read all of the daily news that is coming out about Virtual Reality right now. I believe that VR is the biggest change in computing since the invention of the internet. I am personally very interested to see how this change in computing will relate to gamers and how that will translate to Twitch and Twitch streamers.

We will start to see a lot of people using virtual reality on Twitch soon and I wonder how the technology will unfold to allow streamers to create engaging streams whilst using virtual reality headsets.

The latest update from SteamVR

Yesterday Valve released a new video on their YouTube channel showing people using the Vive HTC headset in a green screen room and then they overlayed the gameplay on the video. I think this is the best way I have seen so far to demonstrate the insane amount of fun that VR technology will bring to households all over the world.

Are you VR ready?

It won’t be cheap to get started with a high end VR headset. I estimate my personal investment will be around $2000 just to get started. I already have solid gaming machine but my graphics card is now several years old and will need replacing. My personal choice will be to upgrade to the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB AMP! Extreme because this card is an absolute beast and should last me for a few years before needing an upgrade, this card costs around $700 but after that I will be VR ready.

You can download the SteamVR Performance Test to see if your machine is VR ready.

The 2 major Virtual Reality players right now

The next concern I had was where to invest my money in VR technology. Do I go with the Oculus Rift which is backed by facebook or do I go with the HTC Vive which is backed by Steam. Initially I was following the Oculus Rift and I was sure to purchase the headset when it became available.

The Oculus Rift has been in development since 2012 and was the device that started most of the hype you see now. Then came along the HTC Vive with a slightly different way of seeing VR. The main difference is that the Vive will allow users to stand, walk and move around in a physical space that will then map itself into a VR experience, this is quite different to the Rift which will have you sat at your desk.

Oculus Rift - Virtual Reality

Oculus Rift

The headsets will retail starting with the Rift pre-selling at $599 with an expected shipping date of July 2016 and the Vive will be pre-selling at $799 with an expected shipping date of around May 2016. There is quite a difference in price between the two but to make things even worse for the Rift they have announced that this price will not include the VR controllers and will only include an Xbox One controller, you will have to purchases the VR controllers separately. The next consideration is that the Vive has 2 additional pieces of kit, two base stations which help map the physical space you can navigate and will included 2 VR controllers making the Vive in my opinion the better value for money of the two headsets.

HTC Vive

HTC Vive

My next concern was how the development community will work with these devices. The hardware from both companies is similar in many ways but it will be the games and software which make the two different. The fact that Steam is behind the Vive will mean an easy way for developers to sell their games to users on the Steam platform as a developer you will want sales and if I was making VR games I would lean towards the Steam platform. I really struggle to see how the Rift can even begin to compete with the Vive in this area.

The Final Word!

I will be an early adapter to virtual reality and right now I am leaning towards the HTC Vive in fact I would say I am 99% committed to buying the HTC Vive as soon as I have upgraded my graphics card at the end of this month. To me it looks like the HTC Vive has killed the Oculus Rift before it has even been released and the general opinion amongst people who have tried both seems to be the same.

The following video was released by Barnacules Nerdgasm a popular YouTuber titled: HTC VIVE Demo & Game Play – Oculus Killer?

I would love to hear your comments below, what are your thoughts on VR technology and how will Twitch streamers use it?


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.