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Hi guys, I’m Psynaps. My quest is to improve the quality and delivery of live streaming video content for the entire streaming, pro esports, and gaming community. As a partnered Twitch streamer, I create and enjoy live video content. However there are both good and bad news for the current state of online video and streaming. The good news is that the quality of streaming and online video has become much better in the last few years. Content creators are providing video at higher resolutions and higher bitrate with the availability of faster computers and increasing internet bandwidth. Additionally, we have access to (free) evolving technology that allows us to encode our video more efficiently. Now comes the bad news. Video encoding is more expensive than ever in terms of system resources, and the problem gets more complicated for video game streamers as I describe below. How can we encode all the sophisticated video content in REAL TIME and maintain a representative level of quality? Well, I made many discoveries while configuring streaming servers for esports events and experimenting with my own stream, and I now deliver higher FPS and quality than ever before (come see for yourself). Thus, I want to share my multi-computer streaming system with the world and raise the standard of quality for live stream video!
Despite evolving technology and video encoding software (like OBS), the viewer’s expectations for video resolution and frame rate seems to be rising just as fast. It gets more complicated for the video game streamer because nearly every steamer is also playing high performance video games while using one or more webcams, live notification alerts, live chat, live music, and a growing number of other applications and features to enhance a truly interactive viewer experience. With a growing number of people who watch live streams and the rapid development of newer and more sophisticated video games, it is a technical feat for streamers to deliver the level of live video that best represents the true gaming experience. In addition, eSports organizations and pro gaming/streaming houses are popping up rapidly and are faced with pressure of streaming live content to thousands or hundreds of thousands of viewers. However, the quality of video encoding for most (if not ALL) of these pro level events is below par compared to what many streamers are casually broadcasting every day. ESports needs a more advanced solution for interfacing their studio equipment with a live streaming encoder. There is no easy solution for eSports because studio streaming software is VERY expensive, extremely resource heavy, and lacks the quality of live stream video encoding found in many free software solutions. In fact, kids on Twitch are currently streaming better quality game play using free software compared to what major organizations are putting out from studios with professional level video equipment. How can we stay within the streaming standards of Twitch (or other services), and boost stream quality, resolution, and FPS at the same time? See below.
The Current State of Streaming (and what we need to improve)
Currently I see a lot of pro streamers and organizations that are streaming at 720p 60fps at about 2500-3500Kbps. Although this produces smooth stream game play, this not at the native resolution for many PC games and a tremendous amount of visual information is lost and text appears blurry. With the popularity of multiplayer games where player names appear on the screen and because streamers use text tickers and notifications (eg. donation tickers and sub alerts), it is difficult or impossible for viewers to read at 720p. There are a lot of people streaming 1080p 30fps at 3000-3500Kbps, which is much better because it matches the most common monitor resolution (1920 x 1080). However 30FPS is terrible when trying to enjoy game play and it is lower than the typical monitor refresh rate resulting in a non-representative (and sometimes frustrating) video game viewing experience. Finally, I have noticed a select few streamers that are streaming 1080p 60fps at 5000-6000Kbps, and their stream is looking more like what we should be aiming for in esports, gaming house streams, and high end personal streams. The problem here is that encoding 60 frames-per-second of 1080p resolution video takes a lot of CPU and bandwidth for live streaming. What if there was a better solution for increasing resolution and FPS? What if you could encode 1080p 60fps with less compression artifacts, less bandwidth, while retaining more information, and still have enough CPU/GPU power to own noobs in game? Well, its possible with, and the goal of the Psynaps Super Stream System.
The Psynaps Super Stream System is a dedicated encoding/streaming computer that uses the most advanced x264 real-time encoding Linux libraries and a industry standard streaming server that can stream to any single streaming service or multiple services simultaneously (Twitch, HitBox, YouTube, etc). Because the computers main job is to encode live video, it can spend more needed CPU power to enhance the encoded quality of the stream using special command code, while encoding 1080p 60fps with less compression artifacts, using less bandwidth (3500-4500Kbps). I found this method significantly REDUCES the load on the gaming computer because it doesn’t have to work so hard trying to fit all that data into a small bitrate (that’s the server’s job now), thus you get MORE FPS in game for owning noobs and some room the breath as a multitasking, interactive streamer. Although the encoding features are strong, it can just be a streaming HUB for multiple stream sources. I not only use the Psynaps Super Streamer computer to encode video, but also to ingest all my stream sources (game computer, music computer, and mobile phone camera) allowing me to use multiple computers, as well as my phone for mobile streaming to Twitch. Recently, I began using the super stream computer to record my stream to disk at super high quality. This allows me to upload highlights to YouTube at higher quality than the Twtich stream itself (see my daily YouTube videos).
Design (What is this anyway?)
So what exactly is this “Super Stream System“? Its software that runs on your computer. Its like a super buff dedicated encoding/capture card (with WAY more features and configuration) running the most sophisticated and updated x264 encoding software technology (more updated than most software and hardware encoders for example) on top of a industry standard streaming server which is used by Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and other major cloud server systems. Unlike a dedicated capture card (which are limited to a certain resolution and framerate) or other dedicated streaming computers many streamers have built, this computer’s encoding configuration can be modified (support for 4K resolution, with future support for x265 and VP9), it can be updated, and since it’s a fully functioning computer OS system it can run multiple other applications.
My quest is to raise the quality and improve the delivery of online video content and live streaming for the entire streaming, pro eSports, and gaming community. This can be achieved by changing the way we deliver video to the internet using the most sophisticated software for encoding live video. By using the Super Stream System, streamers can let the encoding computer do all the hard work while the game computer has more CPU for better in-game FPS and performance. This is going to be particularly popular with every day streamers because they need a cheaper and easier solution for streaming using a dual-PC setup. Additionally, mobile streaming is rising in popularity but mobile streaming apps are limited. Streamers can now combine their mobile stream with OBS on their PC to powerhouse their mobile stream. There is no easy solution for eSports because studio streaming software is VERY expensive, extremely resource heavy, and lacks the quality of live stream video encoding found in free software solutions (OBS). In fact, youngsters on Twitch are currently streaming better quality game play using free software compared to what major organizations are putting out from studios with professional level video equipment. This system is not just for the pros, this project is designed to meet the budget of the casual streamer as well! If you believe in this project and want to raise the bar of quality for casual and professional streaming, join me.
I have been a Twtich partner for 4 years, and making online video content for about 10+ years. My content includes epic video editing and 3D animation, but I also create guides and tutorials to help people improve the quality of their online video and live streaming. I am not just a video content creator and streamer, I am also a neuroscience PhD. As a hobby, I love to build performance computers. I have built, programmed, and currently maintain a multi-computer render farm for my video editing company Psynaptic Media. I configured and maintain the professional stream systems for other professional streams as well as my own to stream content to my website members and Twitch subscribers. For years I have configured and maintained streaming servers hosted at multiple data centers in North America which have been used for professional level streaming on Twitch, and in eSports to stream tournaments to hundreds of thousands of viewers.
Please give me feedback in the comments!