Budget Streaming Setup in 2021
The world of streaming can be a very interesting and consuming world. While the job of a streamer is still new in society, there seems to be more equipment and gadgets out there that will bring your stream to the next level than ever before. Most of these gadgets you do not need or will ever use, while some of them are very important and should not be overlooked.
In this article, we are looking at what you need to start a successful stream and how you can save money doing so are you ready for the budget streaming setup.
With the number of people getting into streaming, a facecam is mandatory. Watching your favorite streamer is the new Netflix because you feel like you get to know that person. It feels like you are in the same room with the streamer. You are watching the game they play, but more importantly, you get to see their facial expressions and reaction in certain scenarios. Now imagine your favorite streamer does not have a facecam. Now you are only watching some boring gameplay, you might be better off playing the game yourself.
Now that we established that you cannot start your stream without a facecam let us talk about products.
Your biggest advantage to your facecam is that it only takes up about 15% of your screen, the rest if gameplay. Therefore, you can get away with a cheaper webcam and still get a good image, since the webcam will not get stretched to full screen.
By far the most popular webcam out there is the Logitech C920. For under $50 on Amazon you get a 1080p 30fps webcam that is more than capable of broadcasting your face to the world. It requires no setup at all. Simply plug it into your PC via USB 2.0 or greater and import it into your streaming software of choice as a video source and you are done.
Now $50 is a lot of money for a lot of people, but there is an even cheaper option out there and that is your phone. With the help of certain applications, for example, IVCam, you can use your phone, which most likely has a much better camera than the Logitech, as your webcam. Install the application on your phone as well as your computer, follow the instructions in the app to connect the two, and import the app as a video source into your streaming software.
While your webcam makes up about 15% of your streams visual, your voice makes up 100% of your stream’s audio, therefore you might want to invest some money into a proper microphone. When starting out you can get away with using your gaming headset as a microphone and upgrade later down the road, but under no circumstances should you ever use your webcams built-in microphone as your main audio source.
The Blue Snowball is one of the best under $50 microphones you can pick up. Just like the Logitech C920 it requires no setup, simply plug it into your computer via USB 2.0 and add it as an audio source to your streaming software. You now want to bring the microphone as close to your mouth as you can, to eliminate as many background noises as possible.
The backbone of each stream is the software you are using to broadcast yourself into the world. If you are streaming from your console without the help of a streaming PC, you will not need to worry about this, since the console does not give you many options.
The older and most popular piece of software is OBS. This software gives you every option of adjusting bitrate, resolution, and much more. It works great together with StreamElements, which is a browser source for your overlays, and is ideal for low end streaming computers that cannot spare too many resources. OBS has a very old and clean look, without anything flashy, therefore being very easy on your CPU.
Streamlabs OBS is the newer, flashier version of OBS. Streamlabs OBS will walk you through exactly how to set up your stream and offers you any widget under the sun to customize your stream. Unfortunately, all these features do come with a cost. Streamlabs requires more resources from your CPU and can cause lag streams and dropped frames when pushed to the limit on lower-end computers.
The most important aspect to keep in mind when it comes to choosing a streaming software is to tailor it to the amount of resources your computer can spare in order to run the software. No software is superior to another, and even though Streamlabs OBS is newer and flashier than OBS, at the end of the day they fulfill the same purpose and task.