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#1 Edited by CharlesAlanRatliff (5726 posts) -

Sup y'all

It's been a while since I've really posted since I've been busy with various things (look for me on tonight's episode of Revolution!), but hopefully enough of you know me to know I'm not a spammer/advertiser. I want to start livestreaming game footage, and I've spent several days recently trying to find the right settings with my setup with Open Broadcaster Software (I highly recommend it). I built a computer in June 2011 for the main purpose of doing stuff like this, but 18+ months of issues and blue screens prevented me from doing so. After upgrading most of my parts and such, I've hopefully fixed everything (please god please). If my computer issues are solved, this means I can also continue my Art of Video Games and Japan projects.

Anyway, I did a short livestream of Sleeping Dogs a few minutes ago and was wanting to get various opinions on the quality. I play the game in 1080p and broadcast it at 720p at 60 FPS. This is the best quality I can do at the moment with my CPU (which I am upgrading in April) while also taking the average viewer's internet speed into account.

If everything goes well, I was wanting to livestream my entire playthrough of BioShock Infinite and any other games I am able to (plan on getting an Elgato soon). So if you have a couple of minutes, please check out the video briefly and let me know what you think. Thank you!

Here is a photo from the old Whiskey Media offices that I have never released before as a reward:

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#2 Edited by mrfluke (5813 posts) -

its a bit compressed, im seeing artifacts around the locations your driving around in the game. dark scenes in games i will imagine wont look too hot just based off that vid.

still solid though, but it could be better.

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#3 Posted by mrfluke (5813 posts) -

the compression artifacts are not as noticable when your not in full screen i will say

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#4 Edited by CharlesAlanRatliff (5726 posts) -

@mrfluke: Thanks for the post! I can up the bitrate, but when I've had it higher I've had people say it stuttered. I stream out at 2500kbps, though my upload is 3700kbps . I want it to be as smooth as possible while allowing the majority of people to stream it OK. I'm not sure if a better CPU would matter in regards to that (I'm still learning a lot), or if that's a sacrifice that has to be made until internet connections in general become faster. The only other solution I know of is to become a partner at Twitch, giving viewers the option to change the quality on their own while increasing the bitrate for those that can handle it. That would be a long time from now, though, if ever.

Edit: Just saw your edit. I'm not sure what your resolution is, but I have to downscale the image to 720p when streaming. I figure most people watching would have it windowed so they can see the chat and stuff. I'm hoping a better CPU capable of hyperthreading would allow me to up the resolution, though I'm not sure how much I would have to increase the bitrate for that to work and whether that is feasible for the majority of viewers.

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#5 Edited by CharlesAlanRatliff (5726 posts) -

I am going to post in this thread two more times today (including this time) to try and get as many opinions as possible from different places. So you don't get mad at me, here is another never-before-seen picture of Jeff! You know you need it.

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#6 Posted by Winternet (8377 posts) -

I'm going to be honest, I just came here for the bonus Jeff photos.

Ok, ok, I'll take a look at your video.

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#7 Edited by Jams (3043 posts) -

The video did get kind of fuzzy when you starting riding the motorcycle. But overall, it looked pretty good. I was kind of shocked how super smooth the frame rate seemed. I feel like my eyes were playing tricks on me. You running dual Titans or something?

Also if you're on the set of Revolution then do me a favor and tell everyone but Giancarlo Esposito to act better.

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#8 Posted by Funkydupe (3604 posts) -

I think the quality was good, better than most I've seen entire playthroughs of. I'm only into playthroughs with Live commentary as the game is played though.

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#9 Edited by Chaser324 (8027 posts) -

It looks pretty solid to me. Sure, there are a few compression artifacts here and there, but it still looks better than a lot of livestreams out there. I really don't think an increase in bitrate is necessary, and if there's a chance it could cause stuttering, definitely don't do it.

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#10 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5904 posts) -

@charlesalanratliff: Looks fine to me in the archive, which I don't if it's re-compressed or not, but it certainly can't look better than the live stream did. At some point, you're limited by your means. At the end of the day, what you need to look for are the big issues. Artifacts from compression that SHOULDN'T be there (the ol' GB flashing compression issue being an example) are more important, because you're not going to get it to look much better than you already have it. Sure, you could increase the resolution, but most people won't care that much and it'll only matter to people who watch full screen. Plus, it'll be harder on your system and take more bandwidth. You'd also probably have to cut down from 60 to 30.

It's streaming. Kind of like with youtube, you can't expect bluray quality. Your framerate was steady, and the quality never went crazy from my jumping around.

And depending on the game, full HD capture/live streaming isn't easy without a dedicated device doing it for you. I can barely capture ArmA 2 the way I play because I have very high settings and usually play on maps/missions that are very intensive with a very high render distance, and I have a top of the line CPU. I have a top of the line everything, really. And ArmA 3's alpha went to total shit when I even tried live streaming even though capturing was fine. So that's the stuff I'd look out for more. Quality was good and more importantly, the video is consistent. Yeah, there's compression artifacting. That's not something that'll go away or even be unnoticeable because the compression going on just isn't designed to be super clean looking.

In short, stay with the resolution you have now and play with bitrate from there. It'll get you the most consistent and user friendly results. And let you continue to play the games comfortably, instead of having to put up with 30 fps because you're trying to push super intense compression over a 1080p image, etc etc. If you can run Sleeping Dogs like this, most everything else should fit comfortably in there.

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#11 Posted by CharlesAlanRatliff (5726 posts) -

@winternet: Thanks!

@jams: Nah, just a GTX 660!

@funkydupe: Yeah, I plan to add a mic in the future, but only for stuff where I don't care about the story or have already played through.

@chaser324: Thanks for the feedback! I think I'll keep it where it is. Smooth playback seems more important than anything.

@mordeaniischaos: Thanks for the post and info! I'll stick with 720p. Something I have to take into account is that a lot of people don't watch streams fullscreen, so 720p should be fine for everything, not to mention bandwidth, framerate etc. Plus, my biggest thing with all of this is making sure my gameplay experience isn't affected. I am able to play Sleeping Dogs at the exact same quality as I do while offline, so there's never reason for me not to just hit record and play. Well, except for that fact I 100 percented it and only use it for testing!

Here is an EXCLUSIVE photo of Ryan never posted before as my thanks to everyone.

No Caption Provided

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#12 Posted by Funkydupe (3604 posts) -

@charlesalanratliff: I guess it'll take you some time to get used to gaming/talking.

A trick is just to imagine the person you're talking to sitting there with you, and just 'think' out loud and react to the action, story and decisions you make. I've rarely felt commentary to ruin the story or the experience through YouTube. Sometimes it can make a moment better when details are pointed out by the guy who plays the game or a funny/scary situation gets more impact when a player reacts to it as it happens. Of course this depends a whole lot on the personality of the player, and whether the viewer connects with that or not, but I feel that if you want long-term followers and viewers you need to risk that. :)

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#13 Posted by CharlesAlanRatliff (5726 posts) -

@funkydupe: It's something I'll have to think about in the future. When I say I don't want to do that with games that I care about or haven't played through, I mean for my own experience. I play everything in a closed-off room on a 100-inch projector screen with blackout curtains and surround sound, which is about 30 feet from my computer that would be recording the footage. To record commentary, I would have to play in my office on a 24-inch monitor with headphones. I've been spoiled and would need a bigger screen at the very least! It's definitely something I've been thinking a lot about, though. Thank you for your feedback.