The appearance and quality of your feed are determined by many factors. Most elements of your streaming software are under your direct control and can be prepared before you start streaming. These are all the elements you can move around in your preview, including the overlay you’re using, your camera, the game capture strip, and any other parts you want the viewers to see.
One aspect that cannot be seen or controlled in the preview is the bitrate of your stream, and this can usually make the difference between a sharp aspect and a blurred or pixelated one. This happens regardless of the resolution of the stream and can give a poor view of the stream, even in 1080p.
But the meaning of bitrate is not entirely clear, and no streaming software explains what it does. But we’re here to break it down and let you know what it means for your flow.
While this is specific to streaming on Twitch, the information is also relevant to other platforms you can stream on, such as YouTube Gaming and Facebook.
What does the bit rate mean?
Screenshot via Streamlabs OBS
Once your setup is complete and your feed can begin, click the Live button to send your feed to Twitch. But before reaching your channel, the streaming software must encode the stream you want to broadcast.
Encoding is the process of converting your stream on your computer into a format that the Twitch video player can accept, and then displaying your content on screen. Once this process is complete, OBS uploads this data to the Twitch servers, which then displays it on your channel for your viewers.
The bit rate determines the amount of continuous data your computer processes during the encoding phase. The more data sent to Twitch, the more detail Twitch will display in your stream and reduce pixelation.
Conversely, when less data is sent to Twitch, the video player compensates for the lack of information to display a clean video. This will appear in your feed as a pixilation or blur. If you z. B. you see a blurry image at a high resolution like 1080p, it means that your bitrate is not high enough to display high-quality streams on Twitch at that resolution.
If you set a higher bit rate, OBS will use more of your computer resources to process the larger amount of data to be sent to Twitch. The load on your computer may increase further depending on other factors. This includes the output resolution of your stream, the frame rate provided (typically 30 or 60 frames per second), and any sources to which your OBS is attached, such as B. Media files located elsewhere on your computer.
If you set the bitrate too high, there can be image loss in both OBS and the game, or the stream will stop altogether as it struggles to get out. Reducing any of the above will reduce the energy required by the OBS for power.
The quality of the internet generally has no influence on the quality of the stream, since only the data rate at very high frame rates and resolutions affects the download speed. Encoding your stream requires processing power, not an internet connection.
From a layman’s perspective, the bitrate determines the clarity of your stream on Twitch. A higher bit rate looks cleaner and less grainy, but requires a more powerful PC to process the extra information Twitch needs to display this higher quality.
Find out what works for yourstream
Photo: ELLA DON/Creative Communities
If you want the cleanest stream possible, 6000 kbps is usually enough to make a 1080p quality stream look clean, but you’ll need a mid-range computer for this. You may need even more power if you want to play games with a high graphics component.
Running tests can help you strike a balance between the quality and resources your PC needs to encode the stream.
To make sure your computer can produce what you want, record your video before you put it online instead of broadcasting it. The recording uses the same encoding process, but is stored on your hard drive instead of being downloaded to Twitch. Use this feature to test different bit rates, resolutions and frame rates to see what your PC can handle when streaming.
Once you’ve decided on the settings, you’re ready to go live knowing that your stream will look great without worrying about computer performance.
frequently asked questions
What is a good bit rate for a muscle contraction?
For Twitch: For 720p video at 60 fps, the bit rate should be between 3,500 and 5,000 kbps. In terms of download speed, this means between 4.4 Mbit/s and 6.2 Mbit/s. For 1080p video at 30 frames per second, the bit rate should be between 3,500 and 5,000 kbps, the same as for 720p video at 60 kbps.
What is a good bit rate for 1080p?
Recommended upload encryption settings – YouTube Help Center
What is the bit rate of 1080p 60fps?
1080p video at 60 frames per second: 4,500 – 9,000 Kbps. 1080p video at 30 frames per second: 3,000 – 6,000 Kbps.
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