Photo by Dan LeFebvre on Unsplash

Essential Streaming Gear

18/04/2020
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Starting a livestream is as easy as it gets nowaday. all you need is a computer and microphone, or even just a phone, but for those who are serious about streaming this will not be enough. those who want to build an engaged audience will have to show quality from the second they start the stream. this means its important to have quality, reliable streaming gear. read below on the essentials to make sure your content isnt just fun to watch, but also has great quality.

dont stream on a potato Computer.

You wont need a next-gen gaming computer. but streaming on some ultrabook from 2013 wont work. regardless of what you wish to stream, simply recording and streaming to twitch or other sites takes a considerable amount of processing power. both your GPU and CPU will be used for this task, so having a dedicated GPU is certainly reccomended. if you stream any program or game, this will quickly add up. so make sure to check that anything you plan to stream leaves some resources for the livestream or your users will experience stuttering, low framerates or your program/game may not run smoothly enough.

this can cause alot of viewers to leave before seeing your content, as no one likes to watch a stream with terrible quality.

That being said, having a great setup can be beneficial. having a few more resources to spare for any other programs you might want open is a nice luxury to have. heres a quick rundown of a decend setup to stream non AAA titles in decend quality.

  • Set 1 – CPU: Ryzen 5 1600 – a 6 core CPU from AMD priced at ~99$, great for budget builds
  • Set 1 – GPU: Radeon RX580 Nitro+ – a great GPU priced at a decend ~220$
  • Set 1 – RAM: Corsair Dominator Platinum – a 16GB set (2x 8GB) that looks great and gives great performance. priced at ~115$
  • Set 1 – Motherboard: Gigabite B450 Wifi – a matching motherboard that perfectly fits the set. priced at ~125$
  • SET 1 – SSD (Bonus): WD Blue 3D NAND – a fast 500gb SSD thats great for storing your games on. priced at ~65$

    Set Cost: ~615$*
    * prices may vary, additional PC parts such as a case, power supply will be needed aswell.

for those wanting to future proof themselves with a top rig, heres our high end Set:

  • Set 2 – CPU: Core i7-9700K – a high performance CPU capable of streaming, recording and playing AAA titles. 8 cores of power, priced at ~420$
  • Set 2 – GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 – an amazing graphics card, giving you top performance and a high quality stream without lag. priced at ~530$
  • Set 2 – RAM: Gskill TridentZ RGB – a 32GB set (2x 16GB) that gives loads of memory, and a fly gaming rig aswell! priced at ~220$
  • Set 2 – Motherboard: MSI z390 PRO LGA – a motherboard ready to get your rig to top speeds. has DUAL Gigabit Ethernet for extra bandwidth. priced at ~145$
  • SET 2 – SSD (Bonus): Samsung SSD 860 – a high quality 1TB SSD a must have for fast loading times. priced at ~160$

    Set Cost: ~1475$*
    * prices may vary, additional PC parts such as a case, power supply will be needed aswell.

A quality webcam (if you fancy it)

while not everyone is stoked about the idea of plastering their face across the internet, alot of viewers love to see the reactions of the streamer they watch. whether its laughing for 5 minutes straight, or when it gets a little rough and competetive. those moments are greatly enhanced with a facecam.

this means its very important to show yourself in a great quality, as a pixelated, badly lit face is worse than no face. so to have a great quality. here are some high quality optons to stream your face aswell.

  • Logitech C922x – a great starter webcam, great image quality and easy integration into your stream.
  • Cannon EOS Rebel T6i – a great DSLR Camera, a must have if you plan to do lots of IRL streaming.

while a good camera can be great, even more essential is lighting. this isnt for you to see better, but for the camera, as great and even lighting enhances the image quality greatly. to get even lighting, normal room lights arent enough. for this usecase there are deskmounted defusion lights that spread the light evenly. here are some reccomendations:

  • Neewer Light Ring – a light ring to put arround your webcam or Camera for even lighting
  • Elgato key light air – a premium defusion light that really makes your stream pop. giving your image a high quality feel.

Playing Console? need a capture card

while a PC has the comfort of being able to use software capture solutions, consoles mostly dont share this benefit. it is still essential to record your gameplay in great quality though, and thats exactly where capture cards come to great use.

Capture cards are external devices that record your gameplay, a benefit of this is that they also allow to be plugged into a pc and be used as a video input. therefore they are easily streamable!

Mic Check? Lets Talk about Microphones

If we’re talking about streaming with quality, we cannot leave out Microphones. your Microphone is one of your most important tools when it comes to entertaining your viewers. a bad microphone is like a broken hammer for a mechanic. to avoid bad quality its important to get a dedicated microphone. one thing you will never see when watching popular streamers is a headset microphone.

a popular choice for streamer microphones are Blue Yetis. they are easy to use via a USB port, and give decend quality. however alot of people have criticised them for being overpriced, resulting in a below average sound for their price range. but there are great alternatives from known brands like razer and rode.

  • Razer Seiren – a great budget USB mic with nice sound, volume control and greate frequency reponse
  • Rode NT-USB – a high quality usb mic for the best sound quality.

this should cover you on the hardware side. let us know if you’d like a software essentials post aswell!