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How to Set Up a Stream for Beginners

Posted on26/04/2021

The Definitive List & Guide for Streaming on PC
---- with or without Capture Card

Contents

  1. What is streaming?
  2. All that is needed
    1. Hardware
    2. Software
  3. The Setup
    1. Setting up stream on PC with software
    2. Setting up stream on PC with capture card
    3. Adding layers/windows (Picture-in-Picture)

1. What is streaming?

Streaming is a method of viewing either video or audio content over a computer network without downloading any media files. There are many reasons why people stream - some stream to connect with their friends, others to build a channel and showcase their skills, some even do it to improve engagement with clients. With so many uses, streaming is rapidly gaining popularity and hence is also become more accessible to everyone; it is a great time to get into it!
Whatever your reason to start streaming, this guide will provide a basic look at what you need to stream on a PC as well as how to get started.

2. All that is needed

2.1 Hardware

Without Capture card:

  • A working computer with:
    • Recommended Intel Core i5 and above
    • 16GB of RAM (8GB will suffice but 16GB is optimal for streaming and allows streaming of higher quality graphics)
  • WebCam (Optional) We recommend AVerMedia LIVE STREAMER CAM 313

With Capture card:

Who needs capture cards:

    • Users streaming from console. PS4, XBOX etc.
    • Dual PC setup users
    • Users who want to capture images to stream via DSLR

A working computer with:

    • Recommended Intel Core i5 and above
    • 16GB of RAM (8GB will suffice but 16GB is optimal for streaming and allows streaming of higher quality graphics)
  • Capture Card: We recommend AVerMedia capture cards
  • WebCam (Optional) We recommend AVerMedia LIVE STREAMER CAM 313

Working Internet

Although not a hardware per se, Internet is necessary for streaming. To ensure a smooth stream, we recommend a stable network connection with below speeds:
HD Streaming: 5 Mbps
HDR or 4K Streaming: 25 Mbps
To test your network speed, head over to https://www.speedtest.net/

2.2 Software

Without Capture card:

There are several streaming software available. We recommend the popular StreamLabs Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) and this guide will highlight how to set up streaming with this software.

With Capture card:

  • StreamLabs Open Broadcaster Software (OBS)
  • REcentral (for Avermedia capture card troubleshoot/initial connection test)
  • Latest relevant driver

3. The Setup

3.1 Setting up stream on PC with Streamlabs

Notes:

  • This is primarily for those who wish to simply stream gameplay or share their screen
  • Optionally, if you wish to have a window displaying yourself as well, a webcam is required (view step 3.2).
  • Before setting up the stream, decide which streaming service you wish to stream to. Some popular ones include Facebook, Twitch and Youtube Live. Create the necessary accounts there and obtain the “stream key” from there. This will be needed to input into the software when setting up the stream.

Steps:

  1. Download and install StreamLabs OBS from https://streamlabs.com
  2. Launch StreamLabs.
  3. Click on the “Settings” icon at the bottom left of Streamlabs window.
  • A “Settings” window will pop up for you to choose the “Stream Type” and Service.
  • Select which streaming service you wish to stream to
  • Input the stream key
  • Click “Done”
  1. Click the ‘+’ symbol in the ‘Sources’ column as shown below.
  1. A pop-up window will appear. Select which type of capture* you would like to stream, then click ‘Add Source’.

*Generally, Streamlabs will detect what programmes/windows are open on your computer automatically. If you wish to stream a game, you may also select “Game capture”. To ensure that Streamlabs detects the programme correctly, we recommend that the programme is up and running before starting Streamlabs. 

  1. A pop-up window will appear. Select which type of capture* you would like to stream, then click ‘Add Source’.
  • Name the source according to what the source is (e.g. “Window Capture” if you plan to capture a particular window’s image and stream it)
  • Click “Add Source” again
  1. A settings window will then pop up with options for choosing the streaming window. Be careful at this step as whatever you select here will be displayed for the stream.
  • Under the windows drop-down option, a list of windows on your PC that are detected by Streamlabs will be available for selection.
  • Ensure that the window you wish to stream is open on your PC and select that window under the drop-down options.
  1. To record the window, press the ‘REC’ button at the bottom right of your screen. To Stream live, click “Go Live”.
    1. To end your live stream, simply click ‘End’
    2. To set up more windows or webcam window, please see section 3.3 below.

    3.2 Setting up a Stream on PC with a Capture Card

    What is a capture card:

    A capture card is essentially a piece of hardware that can transfer the graphics and audio signal from an external device (for instance, an Xbox or Playstation) to a format that is recognizable on a PC. This allows the image that is shown on the external device to be “captured” and used on a PC.
    For the purpose of this guide, we will mainly be referring to Avermedia’s capture cards

    Understanding the Hardware

    Most capture cards have ports for input and output. Input ports will receive the signal from the external device and output ports will transfer this signal to a PC and/or monitor.
    Most capture cards will have:

    Input ports
    • Usually 1 or 2 input ports will be available
    • Its purpose is to receive the signal from the external device
    • Usually HDMI ports
    Output ports
    • Usually 2 (1 to PC and 1 to monitor)
    • Usually HDMI (to output graphics to a monitor/TV) and USB ( to transfer graphics data to a PC)
    Capture Card Features

    Different capture cards will have different capabilities and price points. The main features to note will be:

    1. Max pass-through resolution: This refers to the max graphics resolution a capture card can detect. For instance, a Playstation 5 can render graphics at 4k resolution and 120fps (noted as 2160p120). To be able to capture this, you would need a capture card that has a pass-through of at least 2160p120. Note that if the external device outputs HDR graphics, the passthrough would need to support that as well.
    2. Max record resolution: This is the resolution that will be displayed on your PC and/or monitor via the output ports. Some capture cards will be able to detect (pass-through) a high quality signal (e.g. 2160p120) but will only output (record) the resolution at 1080p60. This means the graphics that are actually being shown on the PC/monitor is not necessarily the quality that is being rendered by the external device as the capture card may reduce the image resolution quality. Higher quality capture cards can produce higher output resolutions, hence be sure to check for this!
    3. PC or PC-free: Most capture cards require a PC to output the signal to. However, Avermedia has several capture cards that are able to operate without a PC. For instance, the Avermedia GC513 Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus is able to record any HDMI input directly into a MicroSD card while the Avermedia ER330 is able to stream without a PC at all.

    Setting up the Stream

    Necessary Cables

    Depending on the device you wish to capture, the cables required will be different. Mainly, the cable would need to be able to connect the external device to the capture card’s HDMI input port.
    See below for typical adapters and cables needed:

    • Iphone: Lightning to HDMI adapter & HDMI cable
    • Android: Type-C / Micro-USB to HDMI cable or Type C/Mcro-usb HDMI adapter & HDMI cable
    • Playstation/Xbox – HDMI cable
    Connecting the Cables
    1. Head to www.avermedia.com. Search for your relevant product.
    2. In your relevant product’s page, find the “Download” tab and download:
      1. Drivers (from “Firmware” tab)
      2. RECentral software (from “Application” tab)
      3. Download Streamlabs OBS from https://streamlabs.com/
    3. Install both programmes downloaded. Restart your PC.
    4. Start the RECentral software to ensure that your Avermedia capture card has been properly detected. It should be shown under “Capture Device”. Once you have ascertained that it can be properly detected, close the programme. (HDCP)
    5. Click the ‘+’ symbol in the ‘Sources’ column
    6. Select ‘Video Capture Device’ then ‘Add Source’
    1. You should land on the settings page for Video Capture Device
    1. Click on the drop bar for ‘Device’ and select your capture card’s model
    2. After clicking ‘Done’, and the right source(s) is/are selected, your device's display should turn up on StreamLabs.
    3. To set up further windows or webcam view window, please refer to section 3.3 below.

    3.3 Adding layers (Picture-in-Picture)

    This step is for those who wish to have more than 1 window capture streaming at once. For example:

    • Adding a camera view of a webcam
    • Want to show additional windows in addition to the main window
    • Want to show additional layers or overlays
    • Follow Step 4 in section 3.1 above
    • As usual, a pop-up window will appear. If you are selecting a “Window” capture again, ensure to select “Add a new source” to be able to select a new window to display.
    • To capture a webcam device, select “Video Capture Device” as the source.
    • Click “Add Source” and follow the steps to naming the window.

    Tips: The windows can be dragged and adjusted to whichever arrangement you prefer. Please note that the more windows/layers open in Streamlabs, the more PC resources are being used. If you wish to add many layers, a more powerful PC is recommended. (Chat with us for any recommendations, no obligation advice offered!)

    Conclusion

    Congratulations if you have managed to set up your stream successfully! As can be seen, there are a plethora of resources available to start up a stream and depending on what you wish to achieve, different ways of streaming can be customised to suit you. For any inquiries regarding streaming hardware or PC builds for streaming, feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help!

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