How to Set Up Live Streaming for Twitch TVby Shea Laverty
Setting up a Twitch stream so you can show off your epic raid fails in "World of Warcraft" or share your favorite obscenity-laden death-fests in "Call of Duty: Ghosts" isn't the easiest experience in the world. Despite the challenge of set-up, it can be a rewarding experience if you enjoy sharing your gaming experiences with the world. Just having a Twitch account isn't enough though -- you need some broadcasting software like XSplit, FFSplit or Wirecast and a beefy PC if you want to show the world your gaming prowess.
Launch XSplit as well as the game you wish to stream.
Click "Add" followed by "Screen Region." Left-click the region you wish to display in the stream -- left-clicking the game window will show only the game window, while left-clicking the desktop/task bar to select your entire desktop. Just the game window will be sufficient in most cases.
Click the Speaker icon on the taskbar and click "Mixer." Mute the volume channels of any sound you don't want broadcast over the stream -- XSplit broadcasts audio from all Windows audio devices, so any noise from your microphone or speakers will also be transmitted crystal-clear over the stream.
Click "Broadcast" followed by "Add Channel."
Click "Add" followed by "Justin/Twitch."
Enter your Twitch or Justin account information in the appropriate text fields.
Set your audio and video encoding options. Higher quality settings will result in better picture and sound but will put considerable strain on your computer and eat up your Internet connection's bandwidth. This may result in diminished performance from the computer and the game itself and impact the quality of your broadcast's stream. Fiddle with the options until you can find a good balance of quality and stability.
Click "OK," select the channel from the Broadcast menu and click "Apply" followed by "OK." You should now be streaming to your Twitch channel.
Download and install FFMpeg. It's an element of FFSplit that isn't included in the base download, but is required to encode and stream properly.
Start up FFSplit. If you haven't set up a channel or stream service before, you'll be taken directly to the set-up screen.
Click the "Streaming Service" drop-down and select "Twitch.tv" from the list.
Click "Connect with Twitch." FFSplit will now launch a browser window -- this is normal.
Click the "Authorize" button next to your Twitch account name.
Copy the authorization code and paste it into the FFSplit pop-up window. Don't worry about the stream key or server choice -- FFSplit automatically collects your stream key and suggests a reasonably close server.
Click the "Encoder" tab and select an encoder profile marked "CBR." Set the bit-rate to "Constant (CBR)."
Configure the encoding settings as follows:
Video resolution: 1,280 by 720 (720p) or 1,920 by 1,080 (1080P). Video Bit-rate: Maximum Bit-rate of 75-percent of your upload or 3,500kbit, whichever is lower. Recommended Video Bit-rates: 720 - 2,000kbit or higher. 1080P - 3,000kbit or higher. Frame-rate: User preference, but 30 frames per second is recommended. Audio Format: User Preference. Maximum Audio Bit-rate: AAC - 160kbit, MP3 128kbit. Channels: User preference, but stereo is recommended.
Click the "Session" tab, and select Twitch from the "Encoder Profile" drop-down menu. If your configuration isn't compliant with Twitch standards, FFSplit will inform you so that you may correct the errors.
Click "OK" followed by "Start" to begin streaming to Twitch.
Start up Wirecast and select "Master Layer 1" from the layers pane. If this pane isn't visible, click "Layout" followed by "Layer Panel." Wirecast takes a video or photo-editing approach to streaming, enabling you to add several layers to your broadcast stream in case you want to add a small channel icon in the corner or an amusing subtitle line or any other personal touches.
Click the monitor button and select "Launch Desktop Presenter on This Computer."
Select "Main Display" from the "Source" drop-down menu followed by "Full Screen" from the "Selection" drop-down menu.
Click the monitor button again and select "Add New Desktop Presenter Shot." Click the thumbnail that appears in the layers pane to add it to the stream.
Open your preferred Web browser and go to Justin.tv. Wirecast set-up requires information directly from the Justin website as opposed to Twitch. So long as your Twitch/Justin profile is set to gaming, however, the stream will go directly to your Twitch feed regardless.
Log into your Twitch or Justin account. Click "Broadcast Now" followed by "More Streaming Options."
Click the "Config File" button by "Flash Media Encoder" and then save the config file to your desktop.
Click "Broadcast" followed by "Broadcast Settings" in Wirecast.
Click the "+" button and select a heading from the box marked "rtmp://localhost/." Select "Flash High Bandwidth 16:9" from the Encoder preset drop-down menu and make sure that the "Destination" drop-down menu is set to RTMP Flash Server.
Click "Open FMLE .XML File." Select the config file that you saved to the desktop and then click "Save."
Click the "Broadcast" button from the main Wirecast menu. After a few seconds, your Twitch stream should begin.
- check Finding the right broadcast program to fit your show's needs depends on two scaling factors: available features and cost. FFSplit is somewhat bare-bones compared to Wirecast but is completely free to use. Wirecast on the other hand requires a purchase after the free trial, but packs in professional grade broadcasting tools for the price. XSplit straddles the fence between the two, offering a free version for basic broadcasting needs but also a number of paid tiers wherein additional features are added commensurate to pay grade. Ultimately, the needs of your show and your available budget are the most important things, so pick the right broadcaster for you.
- close Don't get careless with your broadcast running. A momentary lapse wherein you forget you're streaming could have you broadcasting your credit card information, a personal conversation or other confidential information to all your Twitch viewers.
Items you will need
- photo_camera Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images