Twitch.TV Changes & Problems
Oi. So apparently League of Legends Championship is going on, the final week (thank goodness). My streaming has been fine until this week... My upload to them has been crazy-crazy-crazy slow. Here I thought, just maybe, it was my PC. Maybe, just maybe, my recent re-installation of Windows 7 has caused problems. Or perhaps my internet was just congested?
Nope and nope.
I did all of the speed tests everywhere I could find. The best one I found was http://speedof.me/ where it showed a graph of my download/upload (since an end result from most tests might show me as okay, they don't express if there were any hiccups). My upload was consistent during the entire transfer without any loss in consistency. But when I try an upload test to the Twitch servers? Horrible fluctuations.
My bitrate is 1720, which is a reasonable amount. My videos are top-notch quality thanks to great Intel i7 encoding, so I can do 720p 30fps without an issue! But this week with the LoL Championship? Nope! https://twitter.com/SpazMan777/status/367786782810574849
Look at that crazy variable bandwidth! All over the place! I can't stream with that.
To make matters worse, Twitch came out with notice that we must now stream with CBR (Constant Bitrate) instead of VBR (Variable Bitrate). What does this mean? Well, VBR will upload less during idle times (Ie: Nothing is happening during the stream, perhaps the game is paused or the image is static) and upload more during action sequences (Ie: Something is happening in the game, things are moving, colours are changing, etc). CBR always uploads the same amount no matter what. Ultimately, that means, we all will be using more bandwidth. However Twitch explains that this will help their service be more "stable" as it will be much easier to predict bandwidth needs and be able to balance accordingly, where today using VBR, sudden spikes cause queueing because they wern't expecting the sudden surge of upload.
I'm hoping they're right. I'd love to be able to stream during a tournament. Better yet, everyone would love to be able to WATCH Twitch during a tournament. I've never seen one go off without a hitch... ugh. Twitch got too big, too fast, and they don't have the cash at the moment to support their popularity.