What equipment do you need to stream?
Words like stream, streamer, streaming have already come into use. In traditional media, on television, radio and in the print press, these expressions are increasingly being used. Streamers are becoming more and more popular, you can even say that this is one of the new professions of the 21st century, which is the dream of most of the younger generation. And this is not surprising, the most famous faces are known, loved and earn a lot of money, and video blogging is available to most ordinary users and allows you to stand on a par with the stars.
However, before you start your ascent into the trends of Twitch and Youtube, you need to think about the equipment for conducting live broadcasts. At the moment, you can organize a fairly inexpensive streaming kit that is suitable for beginners.
Camera for broadcasting
One of the main things in the arsenal of every streamer should be a camera, because without it, viewers will not see what a great gaming chair you have. The fact is that at the moment it is one of those elements that are difficult to find at a reasonable price. The coronavirus pandemic has led to office closures and remote work. Many workers needed cameras to communicate with colleagues and management. As a result, most inexpensive models have been sold out, the remaining ones have jumped in price, and manufacturers have not kept up with demand, as factories are idle due to the lockdown.
For one of the most popular models among streamers – Logitech C920, you will need to pay about 7-9 thousand rubles. Fortunately, there is a simple solution to this problem. Initially, you can broadcast without a camera. More and more streamers, even famous ones, are taking this step. Some have even built their popularity on the mystery of what they really look like. This suggests that the camera, while welcome, is no longer a necessity today.
The coronavirus pandemic has also affected the microphone market. Although the increase in prices for them was not so big, you still have to fork out. Fortunately, the growing popularity of streaming has prompted many producers to try their hand at this segment. As a result, enough devices of good quality, and at a reasonable price, have been on sale.
Currently, one of the most recommended microphones is the SPC Gear SM900. Why? The answer is simple – because of the excellent value for money. The kit includes everything you need to get started. The manufacturer provides in the kit not only the microphone itself, but also a bracket for attaching to the table, an anti-vibration stand, a pop filter and the necessary long USB cable.
The bracket allows the microphone to be positioned according to the user’s preference, such as near the mouth or above the monitor. The anti-vibration stand reduces the audibility of sounds transmitted through the desk, such as key presses and mouse clicks. The pop filter minimizes the annoying noises produced when you pronounce “spitting” words (starting with n, b). This is a complete set of what not only a beginner, but even a more advanced streamer may need. A good microphone is one of the most important elements, as poor sound quality can turn off potential viewers.
To start a career on Twitch, you will need not only hardware, but also software. The choice of the right software determines how the stream will look. At the moment, the most used applications are free solutions:
- OBS Studio;
- streamlabs obs;
- Nvidia Shadowplay;
Among them, the most popular is OBS Studio (Open Broadcaster Software Studio). Already in the basic version, the program offers many features, as well as access to numerous add-ons and extensions. Plus, it’s pretty easy to figure it out. OBS is an absolute favorite among streamers on Twitch.
Accessories and add-ons are one thing, but it cannot be denied that the main element is the computer. Unfortunately, any car is not enough. To stream live to YouTube, Facebook or Twitch, you need a fairly powerful device. The computer must “pull” not only the game itself, but also be able to encode the signal in real time. Depending on the settings, the processor or video card may be responsible for this. A lot also depends on the games we are going to stream. For example, Teamfight Tactics requires much less power than The Witcher 3.
The minimum assembly can be a system with the following parameters:
- Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 processor;
- 16 GB of RAM;
- Video card GeForce RTX 2060 or Radeon RX 5700;
- Windows 7 or newer;
- SSD drive.
The above components should provide sufficient performance for Full HD transmission. Of course, the better the computer, the more possibilities. Many famous streamers prefer to use two gadgets, one of which is responsible for rendering the game, and the other for the broadcast itself.
Playing and streaming at the same time requires a powerful processor, although with support for the NVENC encoder available in OBS Studio, the ability of the GeForce graphics card can be used for this purpose. Nvidia models work with NVENC – image encoding and decoding. Don’t write off Radeon graphics cards, though. The latest AMD models offer very decent value for money.
Gaming chair – a guarantee of health and comfort
The gaming chair is one of the elements that the audience will pay attention to. Therefore, many streamers choose not only comfortable models, but also with an interesting design. However, do not forget that long hours spent at the computer can affect the spine and the overall tone of the body. Regardless of whether you like “gaming” models or ordinary office chairs – remember that they are designed to maintain the correct position of the body and unload.
Additional elements for streaming
When watching the broadcasts of well-known and popular streamers, it is impossible not to notice that many of them use additional elements designed to facilitate streaming, or to make the image more pleasant to watch. These include the green screen, which allows you to cut out the background from the camera and leave only your head and silhouette, or the Stream Deck, a device that allows you to easily switch between scenes or run predefined functions.
Many streamers are also aware of the importance of proper lighting, especially for the face. However, for beginners at the initial stage, you can not think about it. In particular, Stream Deck can be replaced by an application on the phone, and the green screen can be replaced by a program that blurs the background.
Do I need a second monitor for streaming?
There are several reasons for using a second monitor. The most obvious is the ability to follow the chat, as well as see the broadcast as viewers watch it, and make the necessary adjustments in the settings. Communication and interaction with the audience is extremely important, especially at the very beginning. This is the best and easiest way to win sympathy.
In addition, the second monitor may have a window with a streaming program and related applications. For example, OBS Studio may report potential issues such as frame drops or bandwidth drops. Luckily, a second monitor can be the simplest, with a 50-60Hz refresh rate. At the initial stage, you can also use your phone or tablet to read the chat.