Earlier today I hosted my very first livestream on YouTube, having noticed yesterday that the functionality was enabled for my account. About six weeks ago, I sent in my request to my network partner support team which was forwarded to YouTube; and now, I finally have it.
Streaming on YouTube is still considered a beta function, hence having to jump through hoops to get it. In addition, the system requires an awful lot of setup to use – you’re required to create the live event, take the newly generated stream keys (a new set is generated for each new event) and insert them into your streaming program, and optionally set up your channel page to focus on the livestream player rather than your standard video player.
Many people probably wouldn’t consider all this work to be worthwhile when you could just stream somewhere else like Twitch or Own3d. And if I didn’t have such a relatively large YouTube audience compared to what I had on Twitch before, I wouldn’t have considered it worthwhile either. But the ability to stream directly to my subscribers, for them all to be notified when I’m streaming, comment without requiring an extra account registration, and the stream recording to be automatically uploaded to my channel afterwards without having to deal with buggy systems makes it worth it.
I’m not sure what my streaming schedule will be like now that I’ve completed this test. With the amount of prep required for each event, I might leave it for a weekend-only thing; but I also want to do late-night streams of some more casual games, the kind I play before going to bed.
Open Broadcaster Software
In addition to moving my streaming to YouTube, I’ve started using Open Broadcaster Software to stream with, after seeing BWoods use it on his own streams and experience better results compared to XSplit. It’s still in Alpha, but the most important part about it is it’s free!
Ignoring the price tag, I like the really low CPU footprint that OBS utilises, much lower when idle and considerably lower when actually streaming compared to similar scenes in XSplit. In addition, several key features of OBS make using it far easier than XSplit, particularly the global source function.
As an Alpha, it does have a few bugs – one of which Brad and I both experience is the gradual audio desync. Hopefully I’ve fixed that on my end for future streams, as desync’d audio is never professional looking.
Perhaps soon I will be able to experiment using OBS with more intensive games, particularly multiplayer FPS games such as Team Fortress 2 or Black Ops 2.