How to Stream with XSplit

Xsplit logo

1. Register an account at a livestreaming website

I recommend twitch.tv.

2. Register and download Xsplit

You’ll find all you need for this on Xsplit’s website. Note that the free version of Xsplit has restrictions in terms of stream quality!

3. Add a scene in XSplit

Once you’ve started XSplit, we’ll need to set up scenes. Each scene is basically one stream setup. By having several scenes you can switch between different parts of your screen, different overlays, you can add a webcam and so on. For starters we’re just going to have a scene that covers what you’ll be looking at when you play.

In the bottom left of the XSplit window, click the “Add” button and select “Add screen region”. Then place your mouse cursor in the top left of your screen and drag it all the way to the bottom right. Now, in the preview window of XSplit you’ll see a small picture of your screen. You can drag the edges of this preview so it covers the entire preview area. If there’s a black bar on the sides or on the top and bottom of your screen in the preview window, just resize the screen region again after you’ve adjusted the resolution, which we’ll cover in the next step.

4. Optimize quality and performance

First of all, we need to set our resolution. This will depend on what resolution and ratio your actual monitor is – if your monitor is 16:9 widescreen, you’ll want to broadcast in a 16:9 resolution. If your monitor is 4:3, you’ll want to broadcast in a 4:3 resolution and so on. Under the View menu on the top there’s a Resolution submenu where you can select between different resolutions. Here, you should pick one that’s the same ratio as your monitor, but not a resolution that’s quite as big as your actual resolution. One that’s about half or a third of your resolution should be good enough. Examples:

Monitor: 1920×1080 (16:9) – Resolution: 1280×720, 960×540, 640×360
Monitor: 1900×1200 (16:10) – Resolution: 1280×800, 950×600, 640×400
Monitor: 1280×960 (4:3) – Resolution: 800×600, 640×480

The higher your resolution, the more it will take for your computer to process it. We’ll also need to set how many frames per seconds to stream at via the View -> Frame Rate menu. 30 is what I recommend to make your stream pleasant to watch, but you can go higher or lower depending on your computer and/or bandwidth.

Now, there are a few adjustments you should make to improve the quality of your broadcast. In XSplit, right click “Screen region” under “Scene Sources” near the bottom and uncheck“Capture layered windows”, “Optimize for non-motion picture” and “Optimize text resize”.

5. Test it!

Go into XSplit settings (Tools -> Settings), then under the General tab, under “My Recordings”, select where you’d like your recordings saved. You should put it somewhere you have a lot of free space, and if you have more than one hard drive, you should save recordings on the hard drive that Windows is not installed on.

Now, go to the Broadcast menu on the top of the XSplit window and right click “Local recording”. This will bring you into a settings window. You may set these settings as you like, but this is what I recommend to start with:

Video Quality: 7
VBV Max Bitrate (kbps): 2000
Audio Format: 44,100KHz, 16 bit stereo
Audio Codec: MP3
Audio Bitrate: 128000

VBV Max Bitrate depends on your internet bandwidth. If you have 2Mbit/s upload, 2000 is your absolute max, but you’ll want to stay a bit below your absolute max. You also don’t want to go above 3000 as many viewers don’t have the bandwidth to watch a stream with that high of a bitrate.

Hit OK, and go back to the Broadcast menu. Now, instead of right clicking “Local recording”, left click. Tab into SC2, load up a replay and breeze through it. If you want you can also test audio levels by having music on, talking into your microphone while the battles are going on and so on. Once you’re done testing, go into the Broadcast menu and hit “Local recording” again to stop recording. Now you can go to the directory you chose earlier in this step and watch the video file. It’ll be in the .flv (FLash Video) format, which can be played by most video players – if not, VLC supports it.

If you’re not happy with the way it looks, fiddle with the settings until you are.

6. Start streaming!

From here on out, it’s easy to start streaming. Go to Broadcast -> Edit Channels, press Add and select your streaming service (twitch.tv or own3d.tv). Make sure the video and audio settings are the same as the ones you used when testing with a local recording. You can either use your username and password or your stream key – the stream key can be found at http://twitch.tv/broadcast if you’re using twitch.tv. If you’re using own3d.tv, click your username on their website to open the dropdown menu and select My Livestreams. Find the stream on this list you wish to stream to and click Edit. On this page, next to FMS Stream you can click Show to get your Stream Key.

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