Overnight YouTube have launched their live streaming site to take on the industry leading in video game live streaming, Twitch.tv. YouTube Gaming is leveraging the power of their existing catalogue of gaming captures, presumably thanks to tagging. While there’ll be plenty of people who do use the service to stream live, on day one, it’s smart to have previously recorded YouTube clips there so there’s not a largely empty site to begin.
Getting up and running is quite easy, the best option I’d recommend is to roll over to the right panel and import the channels from your YouTube subscriptions. From there you can use the search at the top to find your favourite games and add them to the channels (Games) you follow. On the left panel you get to see the trending and popular channels which is also another great discovery option and will be your go-to place for new titles.
If you want to try it out yourself and start streaming, YouTube make it easy. Of course you’ll need an account, so sign up if you don’t already have a Google account, but then all you have to do is click on Go Live in the top right hand corner. YouTube will guide you through the setup process with an easy to follow tutorial. If you’ve never streamed before, it’s now easier than ever to get into it.
As the streamer, you get a few key options.. you can choose if the whole session is recorded and made public or private and if you want to enable a DVR feature, this lets viewers seek back up to 4 hours while you are streaming. You also get to choose if you’d like to turn on Monetization, so like YouTube itself, there is a business model and financial incentives to grow your audience.
There’s also an option to schedule events in advance, great if you want to promote an event ahead of the live stream. If you’ve recorded content locally, you can also upload videos, so YouTube Gaming, is not just about live.
There was always going to be ads on YouTube Gaming to pay for the cost of the bandwidth. YouTube Gaming features 15 second pre-rolls before your stream loads and isn’t a big surprise, it’s similar to what we see on Twich.
YouTube allows users to stream in qualities up to 1080p at 60fps. This quality looks amazing, but will require a big upstream connection from the streamer. Depending on the encoder used by the streamer, the pixel count and frame rate may not actually matter if the bandwidth (data per frame) is constrained, the resulting quality will be bad, or average at best.
As connections and in particular, upload speeds increase, this will be less of an issue, but for right now, it is.
Live streams naturally have live chat and as you’d expect from the tone of comments on YouTube, comments aren’t much better.