Revolutionizing Twitch Streaming: The Impact of Enhanced Broadcasting

At CES 2024, Nvidia and Twitch announced a collaboration with OBS called “Twitch Enhanced Broadcasting.” This collaboration is a complete overhaul of the traditional streamer-to-Twitch pipeline and encoding experience, aiming to make streaming easier and buffer-free viewing more accessible. This new feature has the potential to revolutionize video quality on Twitch. Additionally, AV1 is coming to Twitch, but not as immediately as many are hoping for. Twitch Enhanced Broadcasting is a new process for streaming from OBS Studio to Twitch that is entering beta this week. Throughout the beta phase, streamers can supplement Twitch’s stream transcoding on their own hardware and send multiple different quality versions of their stream to Twitch at the same time. The test phase involves a new beta build of OBS Studio and can be signed up for via streamers’ Twitch dashboards. Two major changes will be included with this beta: multitrack streaming to Twitch and automatic configuration of stream settings. Enhanced Broadcasting will allow for multiple video tracks to be packaged in the same stream, supplementing Twitch’s transcoding pipeline. This will allow for the streamer’s computer to encode the stream at multiple different resolutions and frame rates and send all of those different video tracks to Twitch in one stream for the viewer. Twitch’s servers will analyze the streamer’s system specs, available resources, internet latency and bandwidth to generate the best settings for their stream. This eliminates the need for streamers to optimize streaming and encoder settings for Twitch, making streaming more accessible and less stressful. The new feature will have immediate benefits for streamers and viewers, including reduced latency, normalized stream quality, and increased accessibility for viewers with slower internet connections. Enhanced Broadcasting is expected to result in cost reduction for Twitch and improved quality for lower resolution formats on the platform. The initial beta testing phase will focus on evaluating the multitrack video streaming. Eventually, the feature will lead to higher quality streams. The aggregate bitrate cap for streamers will be increased to 10mbps to accommodate the multiple video tracks. The beta phase will also include experiments with enabling HEVC and AV1 video codecs for streaming, as well as testing 1440p and 4K formats and 120fps streaming. The multitrack video functionality has the potential to introduce other experiences in the future, such as simultaneous landscape and portrait scene compositions to accommodate mobile viewers. During the beta phase, streamers with Nvidia RTX graphics cards are being prioritized for entry. However, long-term Enhanced Broadcasting will be available for everyone with a GPU-accelerated or hardware-accelerated encoding available on their system. No one will be left behind, as the primary function of Enhanced Broadcasting is to increase accessibility across the board.