I still remember the first day we started streaming. We sat down with OBS trying to figure out all the different settings, hours spent trying to fine tune and get things setup. Things have changed so much it’s not funny. Thought I would give a quick guide on what I think is a good starting place! software wise for streamers. Everything I am going to list will be free. This is just my opinion.
First full disclosure…
Yes I use these products ( about everyday). Yes some of them I have even talked to their Development team. When I have an issue or a question I reach out to who made it. To me part of what makes a good product is being able to reach a real person and how fast they get back to me. No I haven’t received anything from these companies for this review. Besides anyone that knows me! I have no problem saying what I think, So now that is over with….
You will find a lot of streamers are using OBS or xSplit both are good software. Awhile back I found a new software that I won’t say is better but lowers the entry bar for streaming and also comes with some very powerful tools at the streamers disposal. Lightstream is very easy to use. Just make an account on their site, hook to the streaming platform you want (Twitch, Facebook, YouTube, and Mixer are supported). Make a Scene and off you go. You don’t have to worry about settings, what server your connecting to etc. It also has the power to stream from multi computers, having guest streamers (just send them a link).
This all being said I think the true power is that there is nothing to install! It’s all cloud based and runs in your browser. At first this may not seem like that big of deal but one it takes the load off recompile the video and audio for the stream off your computer, freeing up much needed CPU and memory for the content that you want to stream. Add that to the ability at anytime to grab your laptop, tablet, phone, or different computer and control your stream, make setting changes etc and you have a win win.
The only problem is that it doesn’t have green screen (they are adding it soon) and using two cameras on different computers but the mic on one can cause video/auto syncing issues, considering everything your gaining this becomes a very small issue. Keep in mind this software is made to be SIMPLE. For the new streamer it is very hard not to get it right, for old pro’s it frees you up for other things rather than spending hours messing around with settings.
Monitoring the stream.
There are a lot of wonderful sites out there that can keep track of your stream but the GOOD to go one is Streamlabs. This is more of a personal choice but personally I think Streamlabs is easy to use and as of late they have been putting a lot of work adding new things. There is even extensions that you can add in Twitch that will give your users some fun things to do. The alerts can plug right into Lightstream.
Chatting with your users.
Yes twitch has a web base chat that you can use but to be truthful it’s a pain to use. Refresh the page and you just lost all of your chat history. You can setup mIRC to use Twitch but it can be a pain and a little unpredictable at times. Chatty is my program here. The look and feel just like the old IRC programs and a little clunky but don’t let that fool you. It has some RAW power under the hood. One suggestion I have is go into the settings make sure you have join, parts, time stamps, logging, etc all on. I may do a post or a video just on chatty one of these days.
and last Pay-Pal?
If you are new to streaming I would suggest getting a Pay-Pal account. This will hook right up to your streamlabs. It isn’t hard to set up a button in twitch for “Tips”. Sure you may not need it for along time but if you do, well you have it.