Wow, it’s been a long time since I last posted here! It’s been crazy busy at work for the last few months.
One great new thing is my internet connection is now fast enough to stream. The largest streaming website is undoubtedly Twitch.tv, so it’s the first place you’d go to start streaming. Right?
But there’s a problem. Twitch doesn’t seem to like live streamers any more. At least, not ones from some places in the known galaxy.
SOE released the long-awaited optimisation patch for Planetside 2 yesterday, so last night I figured that was a great excuse to fire up the game and stream it for an hour or so. I stream at 1920*1080 using about 2.7 Mbps of bandwidth in total. Below is the video of the stream (if you can’t see it, just hit F5 to refresh).
Yet I had a lot of complaints about stuttering, or (ironically) twitching. I was also monitoring the channel on my notebook and was seeing a lot of stuttering when I was watching it. It’s something I’ve also seen on many other channels when watching live streams. But I have a max download speed of about 15 Mbps, so surely if I’m uploading at 2.7 Mbps I should be able to watch that stream back easily if I’m able to download at 15 Mbps?
I did have a theory that perhaps Twitch are transcoding the stream into something which requires more bandwidth. So this morning I watched the video back and monitored how much bandwidth it was using. It maxed out at about 2.5 – 3 Mbps or so (which would about tie into my upload speed), so it’s not transcoding it. Funnily enough the video also massively stuttered, even more than the live channel had.
To back this up, I’ve just been watching another Planetside 2 live stream. In this case it was Maggie, the PS2 community manager. Here’s a screenshot of her stream, with network utilisation and absolutely lovely “your stream is stuttering” message from Twitch.
So we come full circle to the title of this piece. Why are Twitch deliberately killing their service, especially when very large potential competitors such as YouTube are getting their own live streaming services off the ground? If this was affecting purely small channels, then you could argue that Twitch is prioritising larger, revenue-generating channels. But this isn’t the case – I’ve watched some very large streams and had the exact same problems. It doesn’t make sense
C’mon Twitch, get your act together before someone else comes and steamrolls you into the ground.