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Best OBS Studio Settings, Part 1 – Bitrate, Twitch Server, and Stream Key | Tutorial 4/13


Hey everyone in this video we’re going to
talk about the best settings that you can set up in OBS Studio. Now, The first thing
that I want to mention is that settings will vary from person to person – but I’ll guide
you through how to make the right choices for your stream. Before we start I want to
mention that I will be explaining steps to follow in detail, and while it might seem
a bit tedious at first, I promise that it will save you a lot of headache in the future. With OBS Studio open let’s hit the ‘settings’
button. The first thing we’re going to look at is the general tab. Here, we can choose
our default language as well as pick a light or dark theme. I personally prefer the dark
theme, but choose what you like. Next, the “Show confirmation dialog” check boxes
will give you a pop up box when you decide to hit start or stop stream. If you’re concerned
about accidently going live or stopping your stream prematurely, then select these boxes.
Let’s hit apply and move on. The stream tab is where we’ll need to make
a few important decisions. First, we will notice the ‘Services’ selection is defaulted
to Twitch. However, you can see a list of other platforms we can stream to with OBS
studio. One of the more important options in the settings is selecting the proper Twitch
server. If you’d like, you can select the server that is closest to you. But, I recommend
downloading a tool that we can use to get the best results. The Twitch Bandwidth Test Tool is extremely
useful. To let you know, I actually misunderstood how to choose the best server in my previous
videos. The best option is not always the closest server to you, which is why I use
this program. We will use this to determine our best server, as well as what bitrate to
use in a little bit. The link for download is in the description below. If you’re uncomfortable
downloading any tools, I’ll describe another way to determine bitrate later in this video.
Once the tool is downloaded, you’ll need to extract it with a program like WinRar.
I actually leave mine on my desktop, but you can put it wherever you’d like. Once we run the test tool we’ll see a couple
of options. First, we need to acquire our stream key. Click the “Get Key” link and
it will open your Twitch Dashboard if you’re already logged in. If not log in. If you’re
not using the test tool, you can get to the Twitch Dashboard by going to twitch.tv/broadcast/dashboard
and logging in. Make sure you’re on the Stream Key tab and click “Show Key”. You’ll
get a warning that tells you to not share this key with anyone. Raed through it and
click “I Understand”. After that you’ll see your key, as well as a link that allows
us to reset our key if we accidently show ours somehow. Copy your key and go back to
the Test Tool and paste it into the Stream Key box. Next, the test duraction option will
allow us to choose a time to test for. You can leave it on automatic, which does about
10 seconds of testing per server, but if you have the time, it’s better to let it run
longer, to give you a more accurate results. Finally, select the region you’d like to
test – I’m going to only check the United States. Now, just hit start and go grab a snack or
maybe even take a nap. But, once the test is done you’ll see some numbers for each
server. We want to choose the server with the highest bandwidth with a quality above
80. The RTT time represents the latency to the server, but isn’t the most important
factor. The test caps the speed at 10,000kbs, but we’ll discuss that in a bit, make sure
to leave this tool open. Based on my results, I’m going to tab back to OBS and choose
the Dallas, TX server. If you’re not using the test tool, then it’s typically best
to choose the server closest to you – but again, the tool will give you the best results.
I’m also going to paste my stream key into OBS since I still have it copied to my clipboard.
But if you don’t have yours copied anymore, go back to twitch.tv/broadcast/dashboard to
get your key and enter it here. Hit apply and let’s check out the next tab. The output settings are also very important.
We’re only going to cover the basics here, but OBS does include a good amount of advanced
settings for those that are interested. The first setting we want to change is the Video
Bitrate. This is an extremely important option to set, and can be sometimes be confusing
to some. Let me take a moment and explain what this setting does. Basically, it will
tell OBS the rate at which it will send your video data to the Twitch servers. The Twitch
servers will then send this data to your viewers. This number will also help us determine what
resolution to stream at as well. With that said, as a new streamer you will
never want to put this number higher than 3,500. Also, as a new streamer, you should
know that unless you have a high number of viewers or you’re partnered with Twitch,
your viewers will receive data at the rate you send. For this reason, I personally recommend
staying at 2,500 or below. This is so that viewers on mobile devices or with poor connections
will be able to watch your stream without buffering issues. If you’re wondering, how do I choose my
bit rate? Well, it’s very easy. Go back to the Twitch Bandwidth Test tool and look
at the bandwidth for the server you selected. We want to take 80% of that number, since
we don’t want OBS to hog all of our upload bandwidth, but remember – no matter what,
don’t go over 3,500 kbps. Let’s pretend our best server showed 3,000 as our bandwidth,
80% of that will be 2,400 kbps – and we’ll enter that into the bit rate box. For audio bitrate, leave it at its default
setting. Let’s hit apply to save the changes we’ve made so far. If you didn’t use the Twitch Bandwidth test
tool to estimate your upload speed, I recommend using TestMy.Net to run an upload test – it
will give you a good idea of what your upload speed is. Use a mbps to kbps calculator to
convert your result to kilobits per second, then use 75% of that number as your bitrate.
Remember, do not exceed 3,500kbps. Hit apply to save. In part 2 of OBS studio settings, we’ll
be covering the remaining settings such as how to set up recording, selecting audio devices,
and much more!

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