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I should be able to stream with higher quality but can't figure out how.

maas90 Oct 16, 2013 09:26AM PDT

My specs:
Intel i7-3770K CPU @ 3.5 Ghz
Nvidia 670 GTX 2gb
240gb SSD

90 Mbit D/L
80 Mbit U/L
Very stable connection

I'm trying to set up my steam for high quality without framerate loss or "blurriness" but I can't figure out how. This is where I need your help!
Using Open Broadcast Software to stream to Twitch. These are my settings:

Use CBR: Checked
Enable CBR padding: Checked
Max Bitrate 2500
Bitrate for audio encoding: 128 with AAC codec

Resolution: 1920x1080, downscaled to 1.50 (1280x720)
Filter: Bilinear
FPS: 30

x264CPU Preset: Ultrafast
Keyframe Interval: 2
Use CFR: Checked

With these settings I can basically run the stream without framerateloss, however it's incredibly low quality considering what I'm aiming for, also, it gets blurry whenever I move around in World of Warcraft.

If I however higher my settings using no downscale (which means 1080p) OR changing my FPS to 60, aswell as playing around with the bitrate, I will get insane amounts of framerate losses and blurriness. It will not affect my gameplay, only the stream.

Help me please!

Up 0 rated Down
Aaron Clay: Twitch Staff Oct 16, 2013 09:46AM PDT


Where are you located? If you’re playing WoW, you might need a higher bitrate of around 3000 since it’s such a high movement game. Also switch your x264 preset to very fast if you can handle the CPU cost – ultrafast will make your stream look bad.

Up 2 rated Down
maas90: Oct 22, 2013 02:45PM PDT
Thank you very much for your answer.

I live in Sweden and I've tried out some different servers to stream on, currently using EU: Amsterdam, NL.
Changed my Bitrate to 3500
Keeping resolution at 1920x1080 with no downscale.
FPS on 30
Changed x264 CPU Preset to Veryfast (this really did it for me)

This is the result:

I am happy with it, however, I think it could get even better judging from other streams that I've seen. How do I improve from here?
Up 5 rated Down
deezjavu: Oct 22, 2013 02:45PM PDT
Increasing the resolution and or framerate (fps) also means you have to increase the bitrate. They go hand in hand. Without increasing the bitrate you're actually making things worse, because there is not enough "bits" to make the pixels look good at higher resolutions / fps.

Let's say you want each pixel to have a "quality" of 0.1 bits (the default used in the Twitch SDK), this is how you calculate the bitrate:
(width x height x fps x bits-per-frame) / 1000

(1280 * 720 * 30 * 0.1) / 1000 = 2765 Kbps

When using a bitrate of 2500 Kbps for 720p @30fps, you "only" get 0.09 bits per frame.
(2500 * 1000) / (1280 * 720 * 30) = 0.09

So if you'd then for instance increase the fps from 30 to 60 without increasing the bitrate, you'd get:
(2500 * 1000) / (1280 * 720 * 60) = 0.045

You basically cut the "quality" of each pixel in half. Or in other words, you'd need to double the bitrate to maintain the same quality per pixel (not worth it imo).

As Aaron said, your best bet is to increase the bitrate to around 3000 Kbps (higher bitrates will not be viewable by some viewers depending on their download speed and location) and increasing the x264 preset. Increasing the preset does require more CPU. To avoid that, the only option is getting a capture card (or wait and see what NVidia comes up with next week:
Up 4 rated Down
Aaron Clay: Twitch Staff Oct 22, 2013 02:47PM PDT

It might be noted that the quality of your stream is /highly/ dependent on the movement on screen. League of legends 720p will require different bitrates for the same “quality” as World of Warcraft, or an FPS game.

Up 0 rated Down
drepwn: Oct 12, 2014 11:48PM PDT
Well, I know this is late but for the people who are also asking this question and have a similar problem:
x264 setting on "ultrafast" leads to blurriness and lower quality. Slowing this setting down leads to higher quality but more stress on cpu. A good median between CPU usage and quality is on "Fast" mode

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