Do you plan on starting a career as a streamer? Are you already a streamer who gets decent views, but has trouble with quality control because of computer and network performance? Your equipment situation has to be at a stable level if you want to deliver a more consistent selection of content, and although it requires an investment on your part, you don't need to aim for the most expensive parts on the market...unless your streaming channel is about the most expensive parts on the market.
Here are a few streaming system details to help you make the right financial choices as far as upgrades and supporting systems.
Game Streaming System Choices
At the most basic level in 2018, you need any computer that can play modern, high graphics-demand computer games or a Mac computer with similar specification. This means at least a 4-core processor, 8GB of RAM, and a video card that meets the year's gaming recommended specifications.
Here are a few example specifications:
The point isn't to see these games and think about game streaming. Even if you're not a game streamer, you need to realize that games are a thorough test of graphics processing, and can show how your system will hold up by streaming other content. If you're a gamer, your system just needs to be able to play the modern games plus some additional memory to handle your game streaming program of choice.
Are you a live streamer, or do you need to upload large, well-edited videos in a reasonable time frame? Why not both?
Internet speed is always a march forward, and except for the highest quality videos recorded in 4K, the United States has average landline internet speeds that can upload batch video files in a reasonable amount of time.
This calculator can help you figure out how fast your connection can upload a given file size. If it's taking too long, test your internet speed while not uploading or downloading anything--which includes watching Netflix--and check out the performance. If you're getting what you're paying for, upgrade. If it's less than 70% of what you're paying for, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) needs to hear your complaints and fix the problem.
Live streaming is a bit harder to monitor with factual numbers, but the effects can be felt. Once again, aside from 4K video quality, the average landline internet speeds should be able to handle a live upload. The problem is that most internet use has errors and delays that aren't noticeable because the content isn't live video.
With websites, you may not notice a bit here or there that needs to be reset. Live, streaming video is an immediate burst of data that can't be resent; it records and sends data as it happens, so the image may pause a few times or miss a few blocks of color.
For such delays, consistency is the issue. You'll need to perform a packet loss test and take the results to your ISP, but you will also need to make sure that your router, computer, and even cables are not causing the delay. Those are all your problem--unless you have a team at your side.
Contact an IT services professional to get a tech backup team that can handle your streaming tech support while you worry about what to stream today.