A topic I’d like to discuss today is the Twitch Streamers which may not be partnered yet, throwing everything overboard and streaming at the best quality possible. Something which may not be a good idea. Now, I know everyones getting fancy installs out in the big cities like Gigabit fibre, but you need to remember that your audience… isn’t.
Years ago, I started streaming and I’ve always had a comment pop up in my chat, “Can you lower the bitrate?” Followed by no response, I’ve had this enough for it to be a genuine worry of mine, was that turning people off my stream? Quality is important, but not as important as finding a balance between what looks good, and what is actually watchable by your audience. There’s a reason Twitch limits their bitrate to 6000. Not only is it absurd to expect them to shoulder that much bandwidth burden, people don’t like streaming at insane download speeds. If you think this matters, netflix only streams 720p to Chrome. https://help.netflix.com/en/node/23931
For those partnered folks, this won’t matter to you, Twitch gives you a quality selector and it’ll downgrade your quality to whatever suits, as I live in the middle of nowhere on an ADSL Connection and like to tune into Asmongold sometimes, this can result in me watching in 480p. Our speeds out here just aren’t good enough for 1080p 60FPS without mad buffering or the rest of the house getting their experience downgraded.
I get around 16 Down to share between a few people, imagine if you’re streaming at 6000 Kbps. I’ve now got 10 left for people watching high quality netfix or casual browsing, web pages these days can kick a few megabytes, it’s not unusual to see some sites making over 900 requests when you first go on them! https://twitter.com/KaibaSean/status/1224791817859801090
My lesson and message is this. If you want people to tune into your stream, don’t stream at 1080P 60FPS, just because you can and your mates can tune in and watch because you’re all on Virgin Media’s gigabit package, doesn’t mean you should. 720p 30fps is still very useable, think about the people watching on a 1080p screen that have your stream in that tiny window with the chat next to it? It makes sense to allow everyone to experience your stream than just a select few.