How to Start Streaming on Twitch

December 9, 2015 | By Kent Lin | PCDIY

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The number of streamers on Twitch have gone up exponentially since its conversion from Justin.tv. Twitch today is the largest online streaming website, where you can find streams ranging from video games such as League of Legends to Creative streams from the likes of Bob Ross.

Many of you may be wondering what you need to do or what parts you need in order to stream on Twitch. Well, we first have to look into the basics of all things that involve anything online: your internet connection!

Internet

Streaming on Twitch takes a mild toll on your internet because it requires you to have at least 2-3 megabits of upload speed to maintain a stable stream and average image quality. With today’s internet companies like Time Warner, Charter, and Comcast getting 2-3 megabits of upload speed isn’t a big challenge. But for those of you who do not have the minimum recommended upload, all hope isn’t lost! In order to stream all you’d have to do is reduce your upload rate until you hit a stable point.

CPU

The next requirement to streaming is having a good processor. A stream requires a processor with a high number of cores because of the amount of multi-tasking involved with streaming. Quad-core Processors such as an i5 4690k or A10 7700k  would be the recommended in order to maintain a smooth stream because they meet the meet the requirements to stream.

But for those who of you who want to go the extra mile when it comes down to a CPU, an i7 4970k which is a quad-core processor (with 8 cores with hyper threading) or AMD 9590 Black Edition octo-core processor would definitely be more than sufficient.  Of course, with the release of the X99 series processors and Skylake (both Intel processors), the sky is the limit!

Although having one of these processors does make streaming easier, it doesn’t mean it isn’t possible for those running a lower end CPU to stream. Processors such as the Pentium G3258 and A6 7400k Black Edition are both capable of streaming but with low quality. Although your stream quality won’t be the best, your wallet won’t take as big of a hit when compared to the other processors. The G3258 and A6 7400k are both dual-core CPUs but they have a decent clock rate. For those of you who have a G3258, it is able to be overclocked to 4.0GHz which is amazing for its cost!

RAM

The final hardware component needed to stream on Twitch is RAM because it’s necessary in order to keep a smooth feed. The more RAM your computer has, the less likely your stream will encounter choppy moments during playbacks. More RAM will also reduce the number of breaks it may take to load content while streaming. The minimum required amount of RAM needed to stream is 4GB which should allow you to stream with little to no issue. However, 8GB is the sweet spot when it comes down to the amount of RAM needed to maintain a smooth and consistent stream. Not only is 8GB enough to maintain a smooth stream, but it is also a cost efficient.

Software

Now that we’re done with the hardware, lets get to the software that allows you to stream. There are many choices when it comes down to streaming software, but for this guide I’ll  be focusing on just one popular program used amongst streamers on Twitch. The program is Open Broadcasting Software, or OBS for short. OBS is a pretty simple program to use, considering its simple design as well as its notifications to what needs to be changed to better optimize your stream.

How to Setup OBS:

To begin the streaming process, start by selecting your operating system as well as the version of OBS and begin downloading OBS and installing it onto your computer.

How to Start Streaming on Twitch

After installing OBS, log onto your Twitch account and go to your dashboard. There you will see a tab labeled stream key, which you will then open and copy the key given to you.

How to Start Streaming on Twitch

Once the key has been copied you will then open OBS followed by the settings. Once on the settings menu, you will click on the “Broadcast Settings” tab and paste the stream key onto the given space. After pasting the key, select “Twitch” under the streaming service tab as well as the location nearest to you.

How to Start Streaming on Twitch

During the next step we will focus changing the video encoding which refers to the video quality. As I had mentioned earlier, your video quality is based on your upload rate. The higher the upload the better the video quality. However there is a cap to your video quality if you aren’t partnered with Twitch, so bear in mind the amount of upload you put will only benefit you to a certain extent.

How to Start Streaming on Twitch

The final step to setting up your stream is adjusting the audio as well as selecting the primary device for your sound as well as your primary voice capture device. We’ll begin by opening the “Audio” tab which can be found on the settings menu. In order to select your audio device, click on the “Desktop Audio Device” tab and select the device you’d like to receive all sound from.

How to Start Streaming on Twitch

Just as you had done for the audio, click on the “Microphone/Auxiliary Audio Device” tab and select the device you’d like to use to capture your voice.

How to Start Streaming on Twitch

Start Streaming!

After following these, you are now ready to stream on Twitch! All that is left is fine-tuning your settings to your preference and you’re good to go.

Hope you enjoyed this guide and good luck with your stream!

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Kent Lin

Kent is a university student with a strong passion for gaming and anime. He's been playing video games since he was 4 years old and is experienced with both consoles and PC's. He's also a foodie so let him know if you know a good place to eat!

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