Much of the streamer’s toolbox consists of third-party tools such as XSplit, OBS, or Gameshow. The former pair happily support all three services on test here, while Gameshow only supports Twitch and YouTube at this time. But preparing your stream is only one part of the DIY puzzle; working with it is quite another.
Twitch’s back end is well seasoned and, while sometimes complex, has been built with its huge community of users in mind. The Twitch Dashboard is super-handy to have open while you’re streaming, giving you an at-aglance overview of chat, your stream quality, and much more, and there are services in there to test the stability of your connection and how it relates to Twitch’s standards.
YouTube Live’s online controls are, like those of its standard service, a little haphazard. There’s plenty of fine operational control on offer, but some questionable design decisions mean its dashboard doesn’t easily fit everything above the fold in your browser, something of an oversight, considering your hands will likely be on the controls. And then there’s Mixer, which presently offers a rather simple interface. Good for beginners, but control is important.