March 30, 2017
Amazon broadcasting site Twitch announced that its support for 1080p video resolution at 60 frames per second will significantly improve video quality when live-streaming via the platform. To accommodate the higher frame rate, Twitch is lifting its 3.5-megabit ingest bitrate restriction. Twitch product manager Noreen McInnis says the company recommends “3-to-6 megabits for most streams, skewing toward the higher end for 1080p broadcasts or faster, more demanding games.”
While previously only available for specific channels, new transcoding options open the 1080p, 60fps capability to everyone, and should benefit all video content, not just that related to eSports events. (Details are available on the new Twitch site.)
However, those who only upload at 3.5 megabits per second should consider sticking with 720p.
“Just because you can stream at 1080p and higher bitrates doesn’t necessarily mean you should,” wrote McInnis on the Twitch blog. “It’s better to have a stable stream at a lower resolution or bitrate than a higher quality stream that makes you drop frames.”
Twitch’s upgrade will likely “grow more important over the next couple of years as people continue to adopt larger 4K monitors,” suggests VentureBeat. “On a screen with a 2160p resolution, a 1080p stream would only take up a quarter of the screen. This means I can get relatively nice quality while still using chat. And I could even go into fullscreen without broadcasts looking awful, which is a problem with lower-resolution and lower-bitrate live streams.”