ROUND 1

Maximum PC - - QUICKSTART -

Qual­ity

Your stream qual­ity is go­ing to de­pend hugely upon the sta­bil­ity and ca­pac­ity of your broad­band con­nec­tion. Even faster pipes are of­ten weighted heav­ily to­ward down­load­ing rather than up­load speed, so the broad­cast qual­ity you get out of any of these ser­vices is rather sub­jec­tive. Stream­ing hosts gen­er­ally ask you not to com­pen­sate for lag­ging with a vari­able bi­trate stream, be­cause this causes mas­sive prob­lems for some view­ers, and higher bi­trates mean that most view­ers are forced to switch to a lower-qual­ity transcoded stream.

If you hap­pen to be able to fling pack­ets at the In­ter­net with lim­it­less aban­don, your se­lec­tion of stream­ing ser­vice will, as ours does, come down to the max­i­mum bi­trate sup­ported. Twitch of­fers a soft limit, so you can send what­ever bi­trate you like, but it would pre­fer you to keep your stream un­der 3,500kb/s, and it warns stream­ers who ex­ceed this mark. YouTube Live, which transcodes ev­ery stream sent to it, can ac­cept just about any­thing, but higher bi­trates are squashed by its com­pres­sion al­go­rithm. Mi­crosoft’s Mixer sup­ports a max­i­mum of 10,000kb/s with­out moan­ing, by which point your router will be on fire any­way.

Win­ner: Mixer

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