What are the technical requirements for streaming?

What are the technical requirements for streaming?

9 min read | 9 Aug 2021

Ever thought about starting streaming but never knew how to get started?

In this article, we break down some of the important areas to consider when it comes to the technical side of streaming, and how to get the correct setup.

One of the biggest things that puts people off getting into streaming is the equipment, and the expense that comes with it. Although most streamers you see have very large and expensive setups, it’s worth starting out small at first.

Streaming is a big commitment, so making sure it is the right thing for you is very important before purchasing an array of equipment.

A gaming setup, microphone, and webcam are a good starting point on the equipment side,

When it comes to upgrading your streaming equipment, you can look to further invest in:
– Good quality microphone
– High quality webcam
– Lighting and backgrounds
– Stream deck
– Capture card

Restream put together a list of the best equipment to enhance your streaming, so check that out for further information!

All equipment is down to personal choice, but always do some research before purchasing to ensure they are right for you and your stream.

Once you’re more comfortable with streaming and decide that it is something you want to dedicate more time to, you can look to invest in a bigger streaming setup. For more high-end streaming, you will probably need to look at getting a strong PC that can aid the production of your streams.

Twitch put out a recommended list of computer hardware as a minimum requirement to run a stream.

These requirements are:
– Intel Core i5-4670 processor (or its AMD equivalent)
– 8GB of RAM
– Windows 7 or higher (or Mac)

This is a rough guideline on the PC hardware needed to successfully run a stream, but the products themselves are down to personal preference.

Some people also look at investing in a dedicated streaming PC to allow everything technical to be run from one place. One of the perks of getting a separate setup just to handle the streaming is that the quality of your stream is likely to improve, as the strain of putting out a broadcast is put onto a different machine.

Monodex at Streamers Haven wrote an article outlining the pros and cons of getting a separate streaming PC – which can be found here.

If you are just starting out with streaming, a minimum specification PC will allow you to get a good taste for producing a stream.

If you do not have a gaming PC, don’t worry! There are ways you are able to stream on Twitch (and other services) from a console or phone, so you can also get a taste of streaming that way.

In addition to hardware and  equipment, another important element when starting out is the streaming software used.

In simple terms, streaming software is used to manage various elements of your stream in one place.

Things like your audio, gameplay, and webcam are managed with this software, so it is very important to make sure you learn at least the basics when starting out.

Having software to manage these elements will allow you to build up the quality of your stream, as well as add more interactivity to your broadcast.

There are hundreds of videos and tutorials online that can help you with figuring out the software, so make use of them where possible!

When starting to create more high-quality streams, software can be used to incorporate transitions from each scene and different assets to make your content more professional and personalised.

There are several different pieces of software available, and vary from free to paid.

Some examples are:
– Twitch Studio BETA – Free
– OBS Studio – Free
– vMix – Starts from $60 (about £43) and ranges up to $1200 (about £862)
– XSplit – Free with basic features, or a subscription
– Streamlabs – Free
– Lightstream – Free with basic features, or a subscription fee

You can find out more about these in the Fairly Odd Streamers software guide and figure out what is best for you and your stream.

Internet Connection:
When streaming, it’s incredibly important that you have a decent internet connection to help maintain a solid upload speed.

Upload speed is how long it takes for your internet to send data from your device to the internet – and this is something that can make or break your stream. These speeds are measured in ‘Megabits per second’ (Mbps) which tells you how many pieces of data (bits) are used.

The higher the Mbps value, the speedier your stream and online activities will be.

The resolution, frame rate (FPS) of the video and the platform you’re streaming on are all things to keep in mind when thinking about upload speeds and usage of bandwidth (amount of information that can be sent over a connection in a specific amount of time).

Streaming can take up a lot of bandwidth so you need to ensure that your internet is going to be able to handle it.

Each platform has different specifications that they recommend for upload speeds and content that would mean they broadcast at a good quality.

For example, a 1080p resolution video at 30 FPS would require an upload speed of between 4.4Mbps and 6.2Mbps to be good quality on Twitch.

So, if you want to put out a high-quality stream, you need to investigate whether or not your internet will be able to keep up.

For more information about internet connections, ping, latency and lag, check out our helpful guide.

This is only a basic overview of some of the technical requirements to help you get started with streaming, so give it a go and see where it takes you!

If you think we’ve missed something in this guide, let us know on our social media:
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