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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.