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How to stream video in HD for free

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Its pretty much easy to do video stream these days. If you coming from Apple or Windows environment, then you’ll be probably wrong as I was. Best application I have tried was actually free. Best service online for streaming is free, so how these people buying bread? But video and advertising is itself story and I don’t want to explain that, let me tell you what i tried last few days and what I achieved and what is my conclusion after all testing I have done.

So let’s start with PC configuration. First for streaming you’ll need Intel i5 or i7 (newer generation) or AMD equivalent (if there is such thing, lol), good graphical adapter and broadband internet with upload more than 3500 Kb/s. You need good CPU, because at same time you are doing something on your PC, playing game, running video or recording yourself (Vlog), there is open broadcaster, application that is capable of making scene, encode it and broadcast it to internet services. It is possible to do streaming with 2 or PC in network, of course, but as soon as you are running broadcaster software, that encodes your video, simple CPU can’t do the job. Graphical adapter AMD or Nvidia can do encoding job very good. So if you have great graphical adapter, than your CPU will be able to take a break, but in reality as soon as you have good graphical adapter, you`ll probably wont buy some CPU from garbage… So for Nvidia, minimum should be GTX 1050, and for AMD you can go with RX 460. I have Nvida 640 GT, so my CPU was too busy during streaming operation, I had to close even all browsers and change priority for streaming application to realtime. So, one thing is to stream desktop, with Visual basic or Eclipse, or even Photoshop, high end of streaming is streaming of video games in resolution 1920×1080 in 60 fps. If you making lessons for an example coding in Eclipse, you are living on donations. And let’s be straight with this, if you type ‘how to make a button in eclipse’ you’ll have 232.000 results on ‘YouTube’. So, if you are not in first 10, there is very low chance for someone to watch your clip. Also for Vlog, you`ll have to be really good in promoting your content, because there are hundreds-thousand of Vlogs on similar topics. So, gaming streaming is really fast growing community. Yes, you can be payed by developers or publisher of game, for promotion, there is a lot of gaming gadgets, they can also offer you money for advertisement and there are donations and subscriptions from audience. I`m working with i7 and 20 GB DDR3 memory so this is where I have my good results, graphic was really, really poor. But it was ok for testing and even better, I was in situation where I had to find way to workaround. So my first guess is ok, I don’t have graphic to run World of Warcraft on ‘recommended’ settings and to encode at same time. But i have server with Quad Core Intel Xeon on Jessie Debian in my house, also I have 2 other not so bad business PC. What can I do with them. Well there is really good community online support for similar situation. So, I have installed “encoder caster” on Debian, that was receiving stream from Streaming software on my PC, encode it and send it to internet. Only trouble with this setup is, you have to match a lot of different codec’s on Windows and Debian. Streaming was easy process on my machine, I was able to play on ‘recommended’ settings, some king of no encoding (recording setup) in streaming application and send it over Debian to ‘Twich” or “YouTube”. I will explain this setup in detail with code for nginx with RTMP server, but let’s talk first about broadcasting software and internet services.

In google search there is plenty of services for free video streaming. I had to choose just few. I already had accounts for “YouTube” and “Twitch, and I was wondered if there is maybe something new, I wasn’t familiar with on this market. Most popular ones were “Hitbox” and “Beam”. There is no numbers for this, I would say, this is my impression, from last few days. “YouTube” is best quality streaming, after all. You can adjust your bitrate, on 7000 even more. Twitch bitrate, if you are not partner is 3500 an example. Your videos will be on “YouTube” for ‘always’, that’s second thing other services are failing. Even with this 2 things, ‘YouTube’ offers, others not, “YouTube” is a way in front competition. It is like “YouTube” is first, then we have 3 or even 4 places empty and then it comes second one. Why? Well, everything is so easy and professional, it is very easy to handle. It is enough, just to have good computer, good internet, and you can have your own TV or radio station. There is a great chance, because, your content is

staying as video, that you can promote your video material after your broadcasting, and all people, that was keen to see it but they didn’t have time at the moment, they can watch it later, or watch it again. After one year, “YouTube” won’t delete your videos ever! That’s really great thing. Difference besides other services I have tried is that “YouTube” is more for ‘general’ use. There is “YouTube gaming” category, but when you go to “YouTube” search, it will probably pop-up something not connected with gaming, but with political situation
in Middle East or Balkans. If this is a problem for you, then we can count that this is not good, but I can’t see how it can be bad. All 3 other services i have tried are more-less gaming content video streaming. Even if they have “Community” Channels, where you can find almost everything or you can use ‘search’ box and search similar as on ‘YouTube’ (anyway google engine is google engine). Much easier to get viewers than on “YouTube”, people coming on “Twitch” to watch entrepreneurs or playing games. I was uploaded last raid from “World of Warcraft” 7.1.5. “Nighthold” and for 3 days and  thay have only 5-6 views. For test I have played “WoW”, few hours in morning and few hours late in night and I made 5 hours stream during weekend. And my videos are watched more than 150 times in 3 days. So this is main difference. If you are entrepreneur, you will be choosing “Twitch” at the end. This is where your audience is. And donations. Despite all technical advantages “YouTube” have, much easier to have audience on “Twitch”. Even if most popular contest is video gaming, you can bake a cake, or talk about Trump and Obama. Chat is working, you have information if someone is watching you. You can also upload to “Twitch”, but this service is keeping your videos only 14 days and with 8.99 USD monthly, you can keep it another 54 days. There is always option to download videos from “Twitch” and upload it to “YouTube”, of course.

I would detail my analysis about “Hitbox” and “Beam”. I can say, there is a lot to do on both to even put in same group with “YouTube” or “Twitch”. So if “YouTube”, 3 places empty, “Twitch” 10 places empty and  then we have all rest of services. But it is fast growing industry, so who knows? Maybe this article will be outdated in few months already?

Let`s talk about streaming applications now. On “Twitch” website, you can find link for almost all worthy apps. I have checked OBS studio, and I didnt have a reason to go further. Really. 1st it is a free application, with all options you need for broadcasting to any
service. Yes, i have checked other applications, but as title says “free” i don’t want to bother you with them, because you have to pay for them. Are they better? Probably. I can’t find difference in stream quality. With one of payed applications, I was even having troubles with game-play, and they say for app “Less CPU consuming…” or something similar. But yes, there is difference in codec. OBS is using just free codec, all payed applications are using some non-free codecs, and that is difference. For “free” streaming lets install OBS-studio and forget about paying, for now.

Open Broadcaster Software “Free and open source software for video recording and live streaming. Download and start streaming quickly and easily on Windows, Mac or Linux. Share your gaming, art and entertainment with the world.” You can download it from here for Windows. For setup, Im going to explain here, you’ll need it on your main PC, where are you planing to start your game/video/webcam presentation. Installation  is simple, choose folder, ‘next’, ‘finish’… I will promise you here, I’ll record videos with detailed explain, for all settings, but when i started for first time, everything was pretty self-explanatory for me, so I’m expecting same from you.

There is great support online, forums and many “YouTube” videos, with detailed descriptions, how to setup OBS to work great. My goal was 1920 x 1080 in 60 fps before i started. That is useful on “YouTube” and with good PC configuration on “Twitch”. After few days of failing to get that resolution in 60 fps, on “Twitch”, I have just lower down my goal to 30 fps. And I did 21 hours of stream in one week! Feel free to visit my channel on “Twitch”

When i was writing this article i didn’t have followers yet, but that is just normal. There are few articles i read, where people saying that you need to stream more than few moths and make a lot of content and then you can expect followers and subscribers. Also you make interesting content for followers. I’m playing Wow for fun last few years, but back in 2010, I was in pretty active guild. I see that most people organised trough guild. Also I`m not millennials anymore (my bad, but I’m feeling like one), so this is 2nd “why”. My followers on “Twitter” and “Facebook” are mostly middle-aged people, not so keen on video game industry, and what’s even more worse, they don’t see game industry like that but like some wasting of time. I don’t need to remind you, that one video game today, makes a few times more money than movie.

Setup is like this: I’m playing WoW on my main PC in full screen, all other applications are on second display, and you’ll need OBS, Skype, Google Chrome with “Twitch” dashboard open, for chat, I’m using VLC for some video playing from “YouTube” (I’m very careful for copyrights), also I have open some “Twitch” channel with “Royalty free music” on. OBS is streaming on NVENC H264 (graphical adapter encoding) with bitrate of 7000. Video stream is sent to nginX (Debian) that receiving it and encoding in “Twitch” appropriate format (3500, 1920×1080@30fps, 3500, 48khz) with FFMPEG. FFMPEG has few presets, and I’m using ‘veryfast’, so Xeon on Linux is not over 50%, ever. Now I’m playing how to use additional 50%… With slight change to 60fps it goes to 100% and making peaks on “Twitch inspector”, buffering for viewers. I’ll try to change ‘preset’ to something higher, even if lot of people saying there is no visible change. But I’ll test it tonight anyway.

My streams are late at night, 12:30 AM – 2:30 AM and in morning 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM. Both streams you can watch on “LIVE!” page of this website.

I didn’t finished with this article, but I have finished for now 🙂

Thank you for your support on Patreon or Twitch websites, I wouldn’t manage without it.

How to stream video in HD for free
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