The streaming community is growing fast and there is no indication that the fad will die out anytime soon. Everyone is involved – from avid gamers to people hosting podcasts, talk shows, and so on. With such a unified platform, aspiring streamers are keen to showcase their skills and interests to a wide audience.
Thus, people spending a lot on purchasing the best laptop for live webcam streaming is not unheard of nowadays.
But only getting a good laptop isn’t enough. Sure, you need a device with stellar hardware and software specifications to handle high-requirement tasks like streaming games. But for a good experience for yourself and your viewers, you need to have a good setup installed as well.
In this guide, we’ll acquaint you with all the dos and don’ts of kick-starting a streaming career.
Setting Up Your Laptop for a Wonderful Streaming Experience
Platforms like Twitch and YouTube Live are popular among streamers. They make everything easier from a functional point of view. But there’s still a lot to do before streamers can start projecting their content to interested viewers.
Here’s what they need to consider –
Streaming is often a strenuous task for any device. As such, you need a good laptop/PC to ensure a smooth experience. The minimum requirements as per the official records are:
- CPU: At least an Intel Core i5-4670 or AMD equivalent. Ideally, more than this.
- Memory: Minimum 8GB RAM.
- Operating System: At least Windows 7 or newer.
The most important component for streaming is the system’s CPU. However, a good GPU is needed to avoid overstressing the core unit. The processor should be top-notch as well. In the case of laptops, CPUs are a little less powerful, so better GPUs are needed.
Additional Hardware Required
To become a successful streamer, you cannot just project your content and hope the viewers will be attracted. You have to make it attractive to them. For that, you’ll need to invest in some additional hardware.
While these are optional in terms of functionality, they are absolutely important for a successful streaming career.
Commentary is integral for streaming. Viewers won’t mind a stream that is low on quality and resolution. But if the audio is unclear or blurry, it’s a huge turn-off for them. As such, purchasing a microphone is crucial for any serious streamer.
There are two options that you can consider as an amateur. If you have a big budget, you can check out the Blue Yeti mic on the internet.
For a cheaper option, the Blue Snowball is a good alternative.
Before buying a mic, ensure that you can connect it to your system using a USB. The microphone jacks that most laptops offer have severe limitations that can inhibit the quality of audio.
Believe it or not, some people watch streamers’ reactions more than they concentrate on the actual gameplay. Because of how important it is to show your face to the community, your laptop’s webcam won’t do the trick. It is severely basic and will not be able to meet the demands of your audience.
The better option is to purchase a good webcam that is capable of recording at 1080p resolution. It won’t be that expensive if you are into smart shopping. Either way, you cannot leave it out as it’s an integral part of streaming.
Last, but certainly not least important, you need a great, stable internet connection. If you want to stream at 720p (which is the minimum quality we’d recommend), then you need to have a decent internet connection offering at least 2MBPS upload speed.
While streaming, it is better to rely on a wired Ethernet connection as it ensures a consistent and stable network. Wi-Fi is prone to fluctuations that can disrupt a stream, causing viewers to get annoyed and stop watching.
However, Ethernet connections might not be possible if you are using a streaming desk in closed-off areas. So if you are forced to stream over Wi-Fi, one way to get around network inconsistency is to use a 5-GHz band.
Steps to Set Up Laptop Streaming Via Software
Not that you have your streaming setup ready, we come to the main part. You have to set up your laptop so that it can support your requirements.
The thing about streaming on any platform is that it requires external software. You cannot stream directly from your system.
There are many popular streaming software like Twitch Studio, OBS Studio, and XSplit broadcaster that allow streamers to project their content on their laptop or PCs without any hassle.
Certain software like the Twitch Studio is specialized for single streaming platforms like Twitch. Others, like OBS Studio, cover more platforms.
For this guide, we’ll tell you how to set up your laptop for streaming via OBS Studio.
1. Download OBS Studio
OBS Studio is an open-source, completely free software that offers tons of room for customization. You can simply download the software from their official website. Follow the instructions carefully and install the application.
2. Open OBS Studio
Next up, you can open OBS Studio on your laptop.
3. Choose Appropriate Settings
After that, you can select specific settings. For example, you can adjust the Scene settings to determine how various inputs are presented on the screen.
- For instance, a Gaming scene could have the screen and audio of the streamer as inputs.
- The Break scene will just have a static image as the input for when the streamer is AFK (away from the keyboard).
For each scene, you can add an input by clicking on the Plus (+) symbol and then Audio Input Source. From there, you can create a new audio source and select a description. On the device menu, you’ll have to select the microphone you’ll be using while streaming.
Here’s how you can add camera input:
- Select the appropriate scene.
- Click on the Plus (+) symbol.
- Click on “Video Capture Device” to add the input.
- From the drop-down menu, choose the camera you’ll be using while streaming.
- A preview window will appear. You can relocate and resize this window as per your needs.
Next up, you need to set the most important settings. To capture the content that you’ll be streaming, you need to adjust the capture settings accordingly.
For instance, for gaming, you can add the “Game Capture” source. In this case, the default setting would be to capture and broadcast any screen that is open on your laptop.
However, a more appropriate setting would be to capture a specific window. That will only project a particular window (your game) from your laptop, preventing accidental streaming of other screens.
4. Start Streaming
Now, you have all the settings in place, more or less. You can start streaming on your laptop.
- Find the “Stream” option on the left-hand side of the screen.
- Choose the streaming service. For instance, choose Twitch if that’s your preferred platform.
- Enter your Stream Key. You can find this directly on your channel settings. (Note: Streamers should never share their Stream Keys with anyone as it grants direct access to streaming from any software).
- Find and click on Start Streaming whenever you are ready.
And that’s about it. It’s really easy to set up your laptop for streaming, especially if you are using a convenient software like the OBS Studio.
Of course, this application offers a lot of room for customization, especially in the case of inputs and overlays. So you’ll need some time to get used to it. But for a beginner, our guide is enough to get them started. You can continue learning by yourself later on.
According to many experts, streaming is one of the most rewarding careers if you make it big. The thought of earning millions while doing something you enjoy is inviting.
In this article, we mentioned everything that a beginner needs to know before they can start streaming on their laptops or computers.