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Being highly skilled in a video game, or being skilled in any other type of content that you want to share with your audience is simply not enough.
What separates big-time streamers from the underdogs on the platform is not only the game they play or the content they share.
It’s not even all about their personality!
Rather, it is the overall professional production quality of their streams. And today we are going to talk about how to improve Twitch stream quality.
In this article, I will dive a bit deeper into Twitch quality options and how to get better stream quality.
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Why Is Twitch Stream Quality Important?
When you think about it, all streamers share a common goal.
They are constantly thinking about how to improve stream quality.
Having a quality produced stream means a better viewer experience.
A better viewer experience means more viewers and more followers, which should be your ultimate goal.
But, seeing as how streaming has become a more popular past-time for more and more people, the competition is fierce.
Most of the big-time content creators have made streaming their full-time job.
And let me tell you, the revenue you can generate if you get all of your streaming elements correct, is quite appealing to many!
However, finding the correct formula on how to increase stream quality will prove as a difficult task for many.
Do not let this discourage you from trying.
You will constantly have to create new ways to improve your Twitch stream quality if you want to stay up-to-date with current trends.
Do not be afraid to experiment with Twitch stream quality options and all the different tools you have at your disposal.
Eventually, you will find your own style that best suits you and your stream theme.
Keep in mind that finding your own style and creating your brand will take a lot of time and effort on your part.
What Affects Your Twitch Stream Quality?
The main factors that impact your Twitch stream quality are the following:
- Chosen bitrate
- Internet connection speed
- Stream resolution
- Frame rate
- CPU preset
- Screen motion
- Screen color
Bitrate is the quality of a video or audio source that is being uploaded on the platform of your choice like Twitch.
Bitrate is measured in kilobytes per second (kbps) which translates to how many “bits” of data you are uploading at which speed.
When we are talking about audio data being uploaded, it is usually locked in at 160kbps while you are streaming.
If you hear people talking about streaming games and bitrate, they are usually referring to the video aspect that is being uploaded on the platform.
The more you push through your bitrate, meaning your frame rate, resolution, the amount of motion in the game, and the amount of color will determine the overall quality.
So, if you push more data through less bitrate, it is going to make your stream look considerably worse.
A higher bitrate will give you more room to pump your frame rate, resolution, and it will make fast motion games look smoother and polished.
Your internet connection speed is the thing that will impact your bitrate the most, so having a fast and reliable ISP (internet service provider) is a great way to start.
Bitrate is also dependent on how well your streaming PC (personal computer) encodes videos.
How Can I Check How Fast My Internet Connection Is?
Worry not, there are some great tools online that can help you figure out your internet connection speed.
One of those handy tools is called SpeedTest by Ookla.
When you visit the page, it is going to look like this.
By clicking the ‘GO’ button, the tool will determine all the necessary information that you are going to need for your Twitch stream.
The results are going to look something like the picture below, depending on what services your ISP (internet service provider) has available for their users.
It is always good to know your download speed, but, the most important thing in streaming videos on your Twitch channel is your upload speed.
Knowing exactly how fast your upload speed is will allow you to safely dedicate a part of your bandwidth to streaming on the Twitch.
I would recommend having an upload speed of at least 20Mbps (megabytes per second) when you want to start your streaming career.
However, your internet speed is an area over which some people do not have control.
If your upload speed is on the lower part of the scale, meaning under 10Mbps, you might want to give your ISP(internet service provider) a call.
Most providers will have packages that are tailored to their user’s needs.
But, if your provider can’t help you in this situation, do not worry.
There are ways to bypass this bottleneck problem for your streams.
Is there any alternative test?
If for any reason, SpeedTest by Ookla is not working for you, Google has an integrated speed test function which you can use.
You can find it by typing “speed test” in Google’s search bar.
Both tools are equally as good in providing you with the necessary information.
When you are choosing your internet connection, it is recommended that you favor an ethernet connection (connect your streaming PC to your router with a cable) rather than a wireless (WiFi) connection.
But, if you must opt for a wireless connection, make sure your PC is close to your wireless router, to eliminate any signal interferences that may occur.
Here is an official chart from the Twitch streaming platform so you can better determine which bitrate will best suit you and your needs.
How Does My Resolution Impact My Twitch Stream?
The resolution of your stream will determine how many details need to be encoded for you to successfully send your video source to your chosen platform.
Here is a graph from the official Twitch broadcasting guidelines that can help you better determine your setup.
Two of the most common resolutions that we encounter on the platform are 720p(1280 x 720) and 1080p(1920 x 1080).
A resolution of 720p is considered HD (high definition) and is the recommended starting point for all new streamers on the platform.
If you want to have the least trouble and worries with your stream, I personally recommend using this setting.
This will help you improve Twitch stream quality.
On the other side, we have the 1080p(1920 x 1080) resolution.
This resolution is considered high-end.
It will require more processing power from your CPU (central processing unit) and more bandwidth.
If you do not have adequate internet speed or bandwidth, your video will appear choppy to your audience.
This is something that you want to avoid if you are looking for tips on how to increase your Twitch stream quality.
You can see that there is a lot of Twitch stream quality options for you to experiment with.
It is all about finding the perfect balance between these factors.
Twitch Stream Prerequisites
When we put together what we learned until now, we can safely say that having a good PC and good internet connection is required for your stream to run smoothly.
However, these are not the only deciding factors when it comes to improving your production quality.
Here are some Twitch stream tips and prerequisites you want to think about when setting up your stream.
- Decent PC setup
- Stable internet connection
- Webcam and lighting
We went over the parts regarding your PC set up and your internet connection.
Now we get to the most important factors in how your Twitch stream will appear to your viewers.
My number one tip on how to make Twitch stream better quality is audio.
Yes, it is good to have a nice vocal setup, plus the microphone gear for streamers has become so much more versatile.
These are some microphones I can recommend you to get.
QUICK OVERVIEW: Best Microphones
This is mostly due to the partnering software that comes with it.
When it comes to audio I am not only going to be focusing on your voice.
There are many elements to which you need to pay attention when finding the perfect audio balance for your stream.
I am going to talk about something that I commonly encounter when watching streams on the platform.
I popped into a stream of a random person.
He had a good microphone, you could hear him, the microphone was not placed to the best angle, but that was not the issue at hand.
The streamer also had music playing in the background plus he had the game’s audio enabled.
The game’s audio was barely audible.
Importance of Stream Audio
Balanced audio is the difference between a guy or a girl who stream video games from their bedroom for fun, and someone who live-streams for a living.
Audio is very important to this industry.
Every class on video and audio production you take will almost drill into your head that the audio is more important than the video.
If I were to give you a tip on how to make sure you fix this I would say set up a fake Twitch account.
You can then stream to this account and watch it from your phone.
Talk while you’re shooting, talk while music is playing, play music while a quiet part of the game is on screen.
This will give you a user’s point of view and you can see how your audience perceives and hears your stream.
Before you go live it is important to run multiple tests so that you can make sure everything is working properly.
Remember, even with the best audio capturing equipment, you will sometimes capture a lot of unnecessary background noise.
This is why proper microphone placing techniques need to be applied.
Webcam and Lighting
Any gamer can tell you that no matter if you have the best weapon in a game, it will not matter if you do not know how to use it.
The same thing applies to your Twitch streaming equipment.
If you are a gamer like myself, you probably enjoy playing games in your room with the lights out, hunched over your pc.
This won’t help your stream at all!
But do not worry, you do not have to spend a fortune to set up your streaming rig.
There are many budget options that you can find online that will suit your every need.
QUICK OVERVIEW: Best Webcams
Upgrading your built-in microphone and camera will drastically improve your Twitch stream quality.
But, even if you do not want to spend any extra money on your equipment, there are still things you can do to improve your webcam presentation.
First, start by placing your camera at an eye level.
This will make your viewers feel more comfortable as if they were sitting in the room with you.
You may prefer a wider angle of yourself, showing parts of your setup and your room.
If you opt for this angle, please make sure that the parts you are showing look representable!
You do not want your audience looking at your dirty underwear in the background!
Nobody wants to see that.
When it comes to lighting, there is a large variety of affordable camera lights which you can purchase online.
QUICK OVERVIEW: Best Cheap Lighting
Good lighting can even make a bad camera look good on your stream.
A good place to start is by placing a light directly behind your camera of choice.
If you notice that the video aspect of your stream is still lacking light, you might want to add more.
You can place a light to the side of your camera facing you.
You can even put a light source behind yourself.
It will impress you how much Twitch stream lighting can improve the overall production quality of your streams.
Do not be afraid to experiment!
How to Improve Twitch Stream Quality OBS
If you are new to the streaming scene, you should know that OBS (open broadcaster software) is the most popular streaming software on the market.
The best part about OBS is that it is completely free!
A good place to start thinking about how your setup is going to be configured is the Twitch Broadcasting Guidelines.
Here you will find all information necessary on which bitrates, framerates, and resolutions to use to make your streaming seamless.
For my final Twitch stream tips on how to improve Twitch stream, I would say just have fun with it.
If you are enjoying yourself, creating the content that you like, playing your favorite video games, chances are your viewers are going to enjoy it too!
Do not be afraid to be yourself, interact with your viewers, and create entertaining content.
This will require a lot of planning ahead, and if you follow all of the above tips on how to improve the production quality of your streams, you will get the hang of it in no time!