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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

ShadowPlay Twitch Streaming: Is It Too Shady?

NVIDIA has finally released its ShadowPlay twitch.tv broadcast function with today's beta release of their GeForce Experience software. Those with a GeForce GTX 600 and 700 series graphics card can now enjoy native streaming to Twitch with "very minimal impact on performance". Now I have been using OBS and that program I thought didn't have any impact on my game's performance but I was proven wrong when I played Sacred 2 Gold and stream the game to Twitch using both programs alternatively. I was amazed that the game ran a bit more smoothly when I used ShadowPlay but of course, this minor in-game performance boost came with a price: the actual stream didn't look all that great even at the High Quality setting. There were a lot of pixelation and the frame rate was low. It just cannot match what I can accomplish with OBS. ShadowPlay does support microphone input and those who are not shy can even include a camera feed to the stream. It can certainly be a convenient way to broadcast but I surely hope that NVIDIA will consider enhancing the program with the ability to switch scenes and continue the stream while you are switching games - just like Origin and Uplay, the streaming capability is limited only while you are playing a game and the stream stops when you exit the game. It can work if you plan to stick with just one game for a while and using anything else may result in a performance issue for a graphically demanding game. I will play around ShadowPlay a bit more but OBS still reigns supreme here. I do have high hopes for NVIDIA though.

We need more options. A frame rate target would be a good start.

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