Intro: Setting Up a Twitch Stream.
Today I am going to be showing the steps to start streaming on twitch.tv using Open Broadcasting Software. This is being used for an technical writing project. I hope this helps you set up your stream.
***Something to keep in mind: You can't stream on any old setup. It is recommended to have at least an Intel Core i5-4670( or amd equivalent) and 8gb of ram. You could probably get away with lower specs depending on how intensive the game is. It also recommends having at least 3MB per second for your upload speed. If you need to check your internet speeds you can check here.***
Step 1: Creating Your Account. (Skip This If You Already Have an Account)
The first thing we need to do is create an account so we are able to use the service to stream. You are first going to want to choose a username that fits who you are. Next you are going to want to choose a password. It is recommended to choose a password that you haven't used for anything else so it is less likely that your account will be compromised. Next fill out the information for your birthday and your email. All you have to do is hit the check confirming that you aren't a bot and click sign up.
Step 2: Getting a Broadcasting Software.
After creating an account we need to get a software that we can use to start broadcasting. For this there is a variety of software we have to choose from. In this guide I am going I am going to be using Open Broadcasting Software(OBS) due to the fact that it is free, uses low amounts of CPU, and is the most popular software out of the bunch. You are going to want to download the latest version of OBS from https://obsproject.com/. All you need to do is go through the install wizard and change the options to fit your needs.
Step 3: Connecting OBS and Twitch.
Now that we have OBS, we need to connect it to Twitch so we can go live. What you need to do first is go to the top right corner on https://www.twitch.tv and click it to open the drop down. Click on the option marked Dashboard. On the left side of the screen locate where it says settings. It should be at the very bottom. Click below it where it says Channel. Now you are going to want to click on where it says Stream key.
**Disclaimer** DO NOT show anyone your stream key. It is what allows your OBS to connect to your Twitch. If you do show someone your stream key your account has the chance to be compromised.
Next click on Show Key when you are ready. This will give you a code the you can use in OBS to connect to your twitch. Copy that code using ctrl+c for later.
To use the key in OBS you need to first open OBS. Near the bottom left, click on the button that says Settings. Now click on Stream on the left side. On the drop down titled Service select what website your are going to be streaming to. Because we are using Twitch in this tutorial select Twitch. Where it says Stream key this is where you are going to want to paste that key from earlier using ctrl+v
Now we have successfully linked twitch and OBS
Step 4: Getting the Right Settings.
One thing that we can do before adding scenes is to optimize the settings for your internet connection. What you are going to want to do is click Tools at the top of OBS and select the Auto-Configuration Wizard. Because we are streaming you want leave it selected on optimize for streaming. Now you can select what your resolution is and what fps you want your stream to be. Next we need to choose a service, what type of encoding we are doing, and run a bandwidth test. Because we filled out the service and stream key in the last step they should be auto filled. The type of encoding you select is based on your computer. If you have a really good processor you can leave the box unchecked. It will give better quality but it will put all the strain on your processor whereas if you check the box to prefer hardware encoding it will sacrifice some quality to spread the load to your graphics card as well. If you have good upload speed it wont really matter which one you select due to the fact that you can up the bitrate to get better quality when using a hardware encoder. When you hit next it should test your bandwidth to determine the settings you should use automatically. Just click apply settings and you should be set.
Step 5: Adding a Scene.
Now that Twitch and OBS are linked we can start streaming, but not right away. First we need to give the viewer something to look at. When you are back on the main menu for OBS you should see a box called scenes. This is where we need to start. Right click that box and click Add. Name it something if you want to, but Scene will work temporarily if need be. Now you need to right click on the box where it says sources. Click the option that says add and a whole bunch of options should pop up. These are the types of windows you can add to your stream. If you want to show your entire screen click on display capture and select which monitor you want to show. It is recommended that you use this with multiple monitors so you don't have the feedback loop from OBS. If you want to capture just the game, not your desktop click on game capture. I recommend you name this so you can keep track of which one is for which game. If you change the mode to capture a specific window you can make so it will only record that specific game when its open. Click Window and it will look at all your open programs and all you need to do is select the one that it is your game. Play around with different types of sources. This is how your stream will look when you are live. If you have a webcam this will be where you add it as well. That source is called a video capture device. Remember that order matters. If one source is higher on the list than another it will take priority of being seen over all under it. Try this by adding a text source and moving it above and below your display capture using the arrows on the bottom.
Step 6: Testing Your Stream.
Now that you have your stream looking like you want it to, you can go live. If you press the Start Streaming button you will go live to Twitch. To check this I recommend going to your dashboard. This will have all the tools you will need as a streamer in one place. There you can change things like your title and what game you are playing. One thing you may want to is look at the Stream Health. You want it to be Good or Excellent most of the time. If you are having problems try messing with the setting on OBS in the Output or Video in the settings. A lower bitrate will lower the quality of the stream but will help to stop stuttering. Every person will have different settings, and sometimes your settings will change depending on the day.
Step 7: Now You're Done!
Now that you have set up your stream you can start broadcasting to your friends. This will be a bare-bones stream but it will for sure get the job done. If you want to share your link just use https://www.twitch.tv/yourusername. For example mine is https://www.twitch.tv/khg_bubby. Share your link and start building a fanbase.