#BloggersWhoStream is a community event this week started by Later Levels and Hundstrasse for bloggers to share tips, tricks, and set-ups for when they also stream. If you’d like, give the hashtag a follow on Twitter to see other awesome posts from the community!
Streaming was something that was always in the back of our minds ever since we started this little blog back in 2016. Early commenters and readers asked us if we were ever thinking of joining the streaming world and, once we got some of the basic equipment down, our Twitch channel became a thing.
We started streaming in August 2018 and our set-up was basic, to say the least. We have a desktop PC that we crowded in front of together to play a few games that the PC could handle along with Stream Labs. The first few tries were messy, as we weren’t sure what we were doing when it came to the mic and the audio and video settings for the games and webcam.
We have a Logitech Webcam that sits atop of the monitor and plugs into the tower via USB and, at the time, it was pulling double-duty for both our audio and video. It wasn’t the best quality for streaming, but it worked well enough until we had the funds to upgrade some of our equipment. The PC is still used for streaming occasionally, especially for games like the Sims.
About a month later, Rachel received a new laptop from Kris and our parents, mainly for her personal creative endeavors. However, the laptop was also powerful enough for streaming and Rachel generously offered “Lilah” to be used for it. With Lilah, we were on our way to streaming games from consoles. It was a bonus that we would be playing and streaming said console games from our couch — it gave us more wiggle room than the two computer chairs squished together in front of the PC!
Along with a laptop, we needed a capture card for console streaming, and our choice was the Elgato Game Capture Card HD60 S. Rigging up the laptop with the elgato and the webcam is a chore in and of itself, and yet another wire became involved when we got the blue snowball microphone to add to the mix. The snowball mic produces better sound quality for us yakking with chatters in the streams than the webcam did, which is great.
Our main issue, however, was always our Internet. Dropping frames and cutting out occasionally honestly became enough of a running joke that our first emote when we reached Twitch Affiliate was a “no wifi” image that, unfortunately, still gets some use today. For the most part, though, our Internet fares better nowadays, especially once we got a few wifi extenders to help our wifi signal reach the top floor of our house.
Within the past couple of weeks, we’ve actually had a new gaming laptop arrive for our streaming endeavors, and it’s beautiful. Lilah can retire as a streaming laptop and continue being Rachel’s personal writing laptop as it was always meant to be. The new laptop was deemed Ripper after the wolf NPC that our D&D characters have tamed in our current campaign (don’t think on that too hard). All three USB ports in the laptop are used during each stream session — one for the webcam, one for the mic, and one for the elgato, which in turn is hooked up to the HDMI to the television and the console that is being streamed. When we stream from an older console, we have an HDMI adapter for the consoles that use the colored component wires instead of one HDMI cord.
Our stream set-up is small, but mighty, and it works for us and our current living arrangements. Eventually, whenever we get more space, another monitor and possibly an extra camera or two for more angles would be wonderful. For now, our set-up works well for where we are, and we’re glad we’re able to stream and chat with friends and fellow gamers around the world.