Live streaming, or commonly known as streaming, is streaming media simultaneously recorded and broadcast in real-time over the Internet. Streaming has significantly grown in popularity in the last decade and for many people streaming has grown from a simple hobby into a career. For those who want to try their luck as a streaming content creator, this article will teach you how to o setup your laptop for streaming.
Create a streaming account
To start streaming, you will first need to create an account with a streaming website. Currently, the biggest and most popular streaming website is Twitch, but other services like Facebook Live and YouTube are also great alternatives.
Make sure you have the right streaming accessories
In order to properly engage your audience, streamers need to ensure that they have the right tools for streaming.
Laptop: Streaming is not a hardware intensive action, most laptops on the market will meet the minimum requirements needed for streaming.
The requirements are:
- A Quad Core Intel i5 (6th generation or better)
- 8GB of Ram or more
- Quick Sync enabled CPU or Nvidia Nvenc enabled GPU
- Hard drive storage of 500GB
Camera: Most laptops today have a built-in camera that allows for 1080p video capture but for those who want better stream quality it is worth investing in an external webcam with 1440p to 4k video capture resolution.
Microphone: Like the camera, most laptops come with a built-in microphone that is usable for streaming. However, most streamers will recommend an external mic. An external mic allows for flexible microphone positioning and can reduce ambient noise. Headsets are also a great alternative to external microphones.
Headphones: Having comfortable headphones are a necessity for streamers who stream for long hours. Using headphones instead of speakers eliminates feedback noise caused by speaker noise being picked up by the microphone.
Audio Mixer: Audio mixers is a device that enables the usage of multiple microphones and allows for simultaneous audio sources during live stream without interference. When looking at audio mixers, it is important to select one that has multiple inputs for sound layering and a USB output so that you can easily transfer it to your laptop.
Streaming software is an encoder that takes audio and video from multiple inputs to create a professional looking broadcast and then stream the broadcast to the platform of your choice. Here are some popular streaming software you can consider using:
- OBS Studio: A free to use streaming software with advanced functions but a steep learning curve.
- Streamlabs OBS: Streamlabs OBS is a beginner friendly streaming service with easy to understand interference but has less advanced capabilities then OBS.
- Nvidia Shadowplay: This streaming software works best with video games and has the least impact on game performance compared to other streaming software. It is perfect for streamers who stream video games.
- Twitch Studios: Another beginner friendly streaming service, this service is great for users who stream on the Twitch platform as it offers seamless integration with the Twitch streaming service. Unfortunately, this service only works with Twitch platforms.
Note: OBS Studio and Streamlabs OBS are popular streaming software with a great reputation. However, as free open broadcasting software, they can carry risks; please download at your own discretion.
High-speed Internet Connection
High-speed internet connection is an absolute necessity for any streaming setup. Streamers need to have sufficient bandwidth for high quality live streaming. To maintain a steady stream you would need at least an upload speed of 4-5Mbps.