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How to stream on PS4



Streaming is more popular than ever, with creators wanting to share their experiences Fortnite, PUBG, Overwatch, and more. In this guide, we show Sony fans among you how to stream on PlayStation 4 with a capture card and with the PS4’s built-in streaming features.

Although the PS4’s streaming capability is impressive, it is not suitable for those who want a full stream of comments, chat interactions and overlays. Still, we show you both methods of streaming on PS4 so you can broadcast your game to Twitch, YouTube, Facebook and more.

Further reading

Method 1: Use the PS4 Broadcast feature

PS4 and PS4 Pro has a “transmission function” built into the operating system. With it, you can automatically start streaming your game to Twitch and YouTube, all with a few clicks of your X button. That said, there are some drawbacks when it comes to streaming consoles.

Streaming requires computer resources and given that the PS4 already works on thin margins when it comes to rendering games, it can lead to a choppy stream. In addition, there are limited controls regarding the quality of your power. If you want better control over how you send, we recommend method two.

The broadcast function is still convenient and a safe way to show the world your game in an instant. Follow the steps below to get started quickly.

Step 1: Link your accounts

Before you stream, you must link your accounts. There are a variety of services that your PS4 can link to, but only Twitch and YouTube work for live video streaming. Follow these steps to find the account linking area.

  • Click Settings from the home screen.
  • Select Account management, then Link to other services.
  • Select the service you want to use. We use Twitch for our example.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to link your account.

It really is. Basically, you only approve your PS4 to interact with these services, so the process is pretty painless. With Twitch, you either have to enter a code on your computer or scan a QR code with your phone to authenticate your account. After that, you are ready to start streaming.

Step 2: Adjust your video settings

All that remains to be done is to start a game. Once you have done that, you will be able to open the “share” overlay by clicking – you guessed it – Share on your controls. With this overlay, you can take a screenshot, share your game with a friend, and more. In this guide, click Broadcast games.

Do not worry, you do not start streaming right away. Before sending you live, PS4 will ask for your video stream settings and the platform you want to stream to. There are not many settings, but you can still adjust the video quality, give your stream a name and choose whether to send your PlayStation camera and microphone.

Finally, strike Start sending and you are sent live. There are some advanced settings you can tip with, but they are not necessary for most people.

Step 3: Start streaming

Now you are streaming, but there are still some settings you can change while you are live. If you encounter problems, you can open the sharing overlay again to find Broadcast games button replaced with a Transmission settings button. There you can change aspects of your stream without going offline.

More importantly, you can end your stream with the broadcast settings, which you want to make sure you do when you quit.

Method 2: Use a catch card

Using a catch card is the preferred method of streaming on PS4, especially if you mean it. Although streaming consoles is much more convenient, it is also much more limited. You can not add overlays to your stream, webcams are supported but not in a customizable way and you have very little control over your broadcast settings.

Enter the catch card. These small devices take data from your PS4 that would normally be output to your TV and allow you to use it with your computer. With the video streamed to your operating system, you are free to use third-party software, which gives you much more control over your streaming.

In addition, you reduce data costs. As mentioned, streaming requires computer resources on its own, and that’s in addition to the rendering that your PS4 already does. Streaming on a powerful computer with your PS4 will result in a much higher quality stream, as long as you have your video settings configured correctly.

Step 1: Connect everything

Half the battle with a catch card gets everything connected. The goal is to connect your PS4 to the capture card and then send the video stream to your computer. For most settings, the capture card acts as an intermediary and forwards the information sent from your console to your computer.

However, there are some different settings that you will highlight with some graphics from AVerMedia and its AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus catch cards. If you just want to stream your game, you need to connect your PS4 to the capture card via HDMI, your capture card to a monitor via HDMI and the capture card to your streaming computer via USB.

AVerMedia

For those who want comments when they play, the simpler solution is to connect your PS4 to your catch card and your catch card to your computer. Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus actually has a built-in headphone and microphone connection so you can easily capture your voice while playing. If you use something like Elgato Game Capture HD60S, which does not have a microphone input, you can still comment live. You just need to set it up via your streaming client.

AVerMedia

Step 2: Set up your streaming client

Speaking of streaming clients, you need a separate software to stream when using a capture card. Most capture cards come with some form of streaming or editing software. However, we recommend NOTE. It is open source, easy to use, very flexible and above all free.

With it, you can set up multiple scenes, add transitions to them and make picture-in-picture. We leave the finest points in the software that you can discover on your own. In this guide we will show you how to get your PS4 up and running. Before streaming, you need to connect your accounts, which you can do according to the steps below.

  • Open NOTE and click Settings.
  • Select Current.
  • Choose your streaming service and connect your account.

NOTE supports Twitch, YouTube, Facebook and almost all other streaming platforms. You can connect your account by logging in via OBS, but you do not have to. All that OBS requires is a power key that you find in your account on Twitch and the like.

Still in the settings, you need to adjust some video controls. During Advanced make sure you set your process priority to High or Above normal. That way, OBS takes more resources to send your power. If you have a bad experience, it may also help to close some background apps.

Otherwise you need to adjust the settings in Video and Production tabs. For the former, you can set your base resolution, as well as a scaled resolution. For example, you can capture in 4K and scale it down to 1080p for your stream. You can also adjust your FPS and downscaling filter here.

“Output” is, however, the most important section. Here you need to adjust two important settings, your bit rate and encoder. Your video bit rate determines the overall quality of your stream, with a higher number being better. Of course, it takes some experimentation, but the rule of thumb is to take your upload speed and split it in half for your video speed. NOTE: The video speed is displayed in kilobits per second, so you need to convert megabits per second you get for your upload speed.

Then you need to set your encoder. NOTE gives you the option between hardware and software coding. Hardware coding depends on your CPU, while software coding uses the power of your graphics card. The one you choose depends entirely on which computer you use the power for. For those without a decent GPU, it is usually better to use hardware coding. However, if you have a decent gaming computer, you can get away with software coding, as your PS4 does everything heavy when it comes to rendering the game.

Step 3: Configure your power

Finally, you can close the settings. Now it’s time to set up your power. You must add your recording card input as a source in NOTE, which you can do by clicking the plus button below Sources area. There are a handful of settings you can tip with when it comes to new sources, but leaving everything as standard should be fine.

If you feel creative, you can start experimenting with multiple sources and scenes. With NOTE, you can scale and drag sources around the streaming window, so you can set up an overlay, add your webcam, and add a comment to your stream. IN Scenes sections you can add overlays for when your power starts and when you need to take a break as well, easily switch between them.

Step 4: Start streaming

Once your power is set, all you have to do is click Start streaming to be sent to the masses. NOTE is a bit of a complex beast, but one that offers a lot of flexibility for those who are serious about streaming. However, if you are a newcomer, there are some easier to use options.

The best is Streamlabs OBS, which is actually based on the same source code as OBS. It is tailored for streaming on Twitch and the like, unlike OBS, which can be used for almost any broadcast scenario. Streamlabs also has integrated chat, widget support and a lot of free themes that you can use with your stream.

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