Streaming or Live Streaming in the modern sense of the word is the act of broadcasting yourself to a live audience, commonly via playing a video game or just hashing it out with your viewers, which is known as IRL (In Real Life) streaming.
Live streaming has become a significant part of how we all consume content. People tune in to everything from gameplay sessions and live events to watching influencers interact in their everyday lives. But as streaming continues to evolve, so too does our understanding of it. Gone are the days when streaming was a gated community for Twitch Stars and celebrity statuses; now, it’s an open network for everyone to enhance their online experience and find new communities of friends to play, learn and have fun with.
Types of Streaming & What’s Required
PC Gaming Streaming
The clue is in the name, this particular type of streaming is the act of broadcasting yourself playing a PC game to a live audience, commonly via platforms such as Twitch & YouTube.
Suppose you’re broadcasting yourself playing the latest games to a live audience. In that case, you need a rig that can handle the graphical intensity of modern gaming as well as the processing power required to record, stream & edit simultaneously. Whereas console streaming may allow for more budget-friendly hardware. If you’re looking for that high octane, gaming and streaming PC experience, then a rig equal in graphical and processing prowess is required.
Console Gaming Streaming
This particular type of streaming is where you play your games on a console & stream your gameplay to a live audience, often through the help of a capture card, connecting the console to a PC (More information on capture cards below).
If you’re a Console gamer looking to stream your favourite games from your PS4, Xbox or Switch console to a live, captivated audience. You’re going to need a system capable of streaming, editing & rendering. As you’re playing these games on a console, you don’t exactly require a top-of-the-line GPU. This enables the processor as the main focal point of the system. Arguably of equal importance, if you’re looking to stream at high resolutions with the lowest latencies, you’re going to want a top-of-the-line capture card to go along with your system.
In Real Life Streaming
In Real Life (IRL), streaming can be depicted as any streaming that falls outside the gaming category, with the focal point often being on you and the real world. You could be simply hashing it out with your live audience, hosting a live talk show or even exploring your environment and taking your audience on a journey.
If you’re an IRL Streamer and don’t want to be tied down to one streaming category, you should look at a rig with great flexibility. If you’re streaming out in the wild or hosting a live talk show, you’ll want a system that can handle high-resolution editing and some capable memory and a CPU alike. With IRL streaming, it’s not about your performance in-game. It’s about showcasing that distinctive personality that keeps viewers tuning in for more! And what better way to help facilitate this than some top-grade streaming equipment such as a microphone, stream deck & webcam.
Every successful streamer will have an arsenal of streaming equipment, enabling them to produce content of the highest quality. So, for the ultimate PC streaming setup, you’ll need a great combination of streaming peripherals and a high-end streaming computer, giving you the best chance at becoming the next streaming sensation.
Discrete microphones are excellent for streamers. How else will you efficiently captivate that live audience or defend yourself against chat as you repeatedly fail at what they see as an easy game? If you want something that plugs straight into your computer, look for a mic with a digital USB connector. Often higher microphone quality correlates to higher stream quality; keep that in mind.
A webcam is a digital camera that connects to a computer and streams video in real-time. Plenty of streamers stream without a webcam, but if you are an aspiring IRL streamer, a webcam is an essential piece of hardware used to showcase that vibrant personality to your audience.
A stream deck is a small control panel with various buttons that can be customised to fit the user’s needs. Stream decks have become a staple for any aspiring streamer as they provide seamless in-stream functions such as scene changes or even soundboard functions without the need to tab out of your session.
To be able to stream in the first place, you are going to need to utilise a program that facilitates the functionality to stream. There is plenty of streaming software out there, but the most commonly used and our recommendation is OBS Studio. OBS Studio is a free to use, open-source, cross-platform streaming application. Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) helps you connect and stream your content from your computer to your desired platform, commonly either Twitch or YouTube.
You should now be equipped with all the information you need to start your journey to become the next streaming sensation! And if you’re looking for detailed information regarding streaming PCs and their importance, check out our Streaming PCs Blog.