It can be overwhelming in sourcing the amount of gear needed when starting out streaming on Twitch or Youtube. Approach a live-streaming career as a startup company. You must invest your own funds into the company at the beginning and focus on starting to earn a profit return as your career matures.
And, like all investments you make, you should do some research before you buy any equipment or service.
Some cameras, mics, and accessories perform better than others when it comes to streaming. Some streaming equipment offers more features than others, but what is exactly needed when starting out?
This is a guide that will help you to find the streaming equipment that will be suitable for your needs while keeping your wallet in mind.
Table of Contents
Streaming Gear Basics
First thing, you will need a decently powered PC to encode your streams to Twitch or Youtube. There are many different techniques such as Single PC Streaming vs Dual PC Streaming, but for starting out I recommend sticking with a single PC equipped with an NVIDIA graphics card to enable NVENC encoding. You are also able to stream from your gaming console or smartphone if a suitable PC is not an option.
Second, and just as important. You need a stable and fast internet connection – in both upload and download speeds – to transmit your live videos to streaming platforms.
And lastly, additional equipment such as a video source, an audio source, and some auxiliary accessories to help improve your stream quality should be considered once you start gaining traction with viewership. This equipment would entail things like focused lighting, noise dampeners, greenscreens, tripods, etc.
Video Source Captures
The video source capture is basically your webcam or camera that will be filming you during the live stream. This is the device you will be interacting with as you entertain your audience. A higher-quality broadcast will tend to attract more people who pop into your stream.
There are a couple of different video cameras to consider for your needs.
- Webcams – Simply and budget-friendly, the most common video capture device
- DSLR Cameras – Costly and technical, offers a mid/high-end video quality over webcams
- Camcorders – Profession and smooth video recording, best for on-the-move backpack live streaming
Audio Source Captures
The audio source captured for a live stream would be the microphone. There are many types of microphones, but I will generalize and discuss the differences in regard to connection interfaces. There are two that mainly come to mind.
- USB Microphones – The most popular choice, cheap and budget-friendly, easy to use, and directly interfaces with the PC
- XLR Microphones – Delivers the highest sound quality, expensive, requires an auxiliary audio mixer, technical setup
This category covers items that I would classify as “nice to have” but not required. If you have some additional budget room these items can further enhance your stream but are not necessarily required when starting out.
- LED Lights – lighting should be your absolute first upgrade focus once your stream is established. Even the best cameras will look like poor quality if the room lighting is bad.
- Tripods – Tripods everywhere! Used with LED lighting and even your camera for capturing different angles besides hanging from your monitor. Tripods are a common accessory seen off-screen in any streamer’s setup.
- Green Screen – Depending on your streaming focus, removing the background from the video feed can be a huge improvement and will have your viewership focusing more on you and less on what is behind you.
Streaming Software Basics
So you have your microphone and webcam set up and now you want to connect it to an audience on Twitch or Youtube?
In recent years, live streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube have taken the digital world by storm. More and more aspiring content creators are turning to these platforms to showcase their personalities and build a loyal following.
In this article, we will explore essential tips and tricks that Twitch and YouTube startups should know to kickstart their career successfully. Whether you’re just starting or looking to improve your existing channel – this guide has got you covered! In the end, though, you should stick to whatever software feels better to you, the user. They are their own top performers in their own way.
OBS Studio (Open Broadcast Software)
OBS Studio, or Open Broadcast Software, is a free and open-source software used for live streaming and video recording. It supports multiple platforms like Twitch, YouTube, Tik Tok, and Facebook Live. It offers a variety of features such as scene switching, audio mixing, image overlays, text sources, filters, and more.
One major advantage of OBS Studio is its flexibility to allow individual customization based on skill levels. If you’re just starting out with live streaming or video recording on Twitch or YouTube the beginner-friendly user interface will make it easy to navigate through the controls while configuring your settings accordingly. An additional benefit of OBS Studio’s versatility makes it an inclusive choice for both casual content creators as well as professional streamers looking for advanced features in their work.
OBS Studio stands out among other streaming tools due to its extensive functionality coupled with low resource consumption making it accessible even to budget-conscious creators who desire high-quality output at no cost. Additionally, the developers are sort of leading the pack for industry updates. This is a very popular software choice for streaming.
Streamlabs OBS is an all-in-one live streaming software that has gained immense popularity among both new and experienced streamers.
This free software combines the functionality of a traditional broadcasting tool along with additional features such as custom alerts, chatbots, and overlays that enhance the viewer’s overall experience. Streamlabs OBS simplifies the process of starting a professional-looking live stream for platforms like Twitch and YouTube by eliminating the need for complicated setups manually pieced together.
With its user-friendly interface, Streamlabs OBS allows content creators to easily customize their streams according to their preferences. It offers scenes and sources that can be tailored based on different games or themes alongside complete control over graphics, video quality, and microphone settings.
By leveraging this powerful toolset provided by Streamlabs OBS, startup streamers can improve their production values significantly while maintaining engagement levels with loyal followers via custom notifications and interactivity options such as donations or subscriber goals.
This does come at a small cost of requiring more PC resource computing than compared to OBS Studio.
StreamElements (OBS Plugin)
StreamElements is a plugin for the popular broadcasting software OBS Studio. It provides essential tools and features to streamers, such as overlays, alerts, chatbots, and more. StreamElements also offers integration with various platforms like Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook Gaming so that creators can easily manage their streams all in one place.
With StreamElements’ intuitive interface and customization options, it’s easy to create unique visuals for your brand or channel. Their extensive library of themes and widgets allows you to elevate your production value without any design skills needed. Moreover, StreamElements has an active community on social media where users can exchange tips and collaborate with each other.
Using StreamElements can improve your live streaming experience significantly by providing top-notch tools at no cost. Whether you’re aiming for engaging visuals or smooth interaction with viewers during the broadcast process – this plugin has something that will help you accomplish your goals effortlessly!
Moreso, you benefit from OBS Studio’s low resource consumption performance allowing your PC to provide more power to your gaming performance. This is one strong consideration over using Streamlabs OBS which gives you a lot in a bundle slowing things down on your PC.
My Thoughts and Advice
If you’re truly serious, don’t underestimate the importance of video quality for live streaming. Pay attention to lighting and research proper lighting techniques for video production. It will really make your camera perform top-notch!
With that said, the choice of your streaming equipment depends mostly on your goals. Do not blindly pursue top professional quality expectations. Go for the starter pack if you are literally just trying out streaming. Once you’re feeling more serious about streaming and starting to make some monthly income, invest in the intermediate streaming setup and upgrades.