SSBM Streaming Guide – Part 5: Configuring OBS

Now that you have all your hardware, you need software that will record and stream your content.

The most popular free software for this is a program called Open Broadcaster Software.

The software has two versions: OBS Classic, which is the original brew, and OBS Studio (previously called OBS Multiplatform) that runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

The difference? Well, if you have a Mac or Linux PC then you’ll obviously only be able to use OBS Studio. If you have a Windows machine, then you have a choice.

OBS Studio is new compared to Classic. Studio aims to have all the features of Classic and add more. Currently, I think nearly all of the features in Classic are in Studio.

However, I’ve been using Classic since it was even in beta. If I were you, though, I’d try both and see which one you like better.

This guide will be focusing on OBS Classic, although most of the settings are similar so you could also apply them to OBS Studio.

Here is the download link.

Once you have installed it, open up OBS.

At the top, click on Settings -> Settings.

Section by section, I’ll tell you the proper settings.

1. General

Language: English (or your preference)

Setting Profile: Give your profile a name (Smash Stream would be good)

The check boxes below should all be unchecked unless you want them to be checked.

2. Encoding

Encoder: x264 is great, if you know what the other options do then choose your favorite.

Use CBR: Checked

Max Bitrate (kb/s): The maximum amount here is 3500. If you can this site to test your speed. Multiply your upload Mbps by 1000 to get your kb/s. If your maximum upload speed is below, say, 3700, then set your max bitrate to your upload speed minus 200.

If you are recording, then you can set this as high as you want (5000-10000 are good) but make sure your computer can handle it.

Enable CBR padding: checked.

Use Custom Buffer Size: Unchecked.

Audio Encoding: Leave this alone unless you know audio.

3. Broadcasting Settings

Mode: Your desired mode.

Streaming Service: Twitch (or hitbox for Project M) (or your favorite streaming service!)

FMS URL: Choose your nearest city.

Stream Key: Go to your dashboard on Twitch, click on Stream Key, and copy and paste this value into this setting.

Auto-Reconnect: I like this checked so that the stream gets back online ASAP.

Minimize network impact: Leave this unckecked unless you’re streaming Netplay or you’re hosting a League of Legends tournament at the same time.

Automatically save stream to file: this lets you record and stream at the same time.

File Path: Where you want to save your recording if recording. .mp4 is the recommended file type.

Replay buffer: Not going to cover this feature. Google it if you’d like.

4. Video

Video Adapter: Should be one option. If there are two, make it your graphics card.

Base Resolution: Always use custom. Here are some combinations I recommend.

1280×720 – Good for anything except 1080p Smash 4. Could be 30 fps or 60 fps

1920×1080 – Smash 4 1080p at 30 fps.

If your internet sucks, go for a Resolution Downscale. Otherwise, keep it at None.

Disable Aero: If this option is available, check it.

5. Audio

Desktop Audio Device: Default

Microphone/Aux Audio Device: Select your microphone if you have one. Otherwise, disable.

Leave the other settings the same.

6. Hotkeys

If you want to set some hotkeys up, here is the place!

7. Advanced

Keep all of these settings the same other than the following:

Video -> CPU Preset: veryfast

Video -> Encoding Profile: main

Video -> Keyframe Interval : 2

That’s it for settings. In the next split, I’ll be talking about building your stream or recording scene in OBS. Now is a good time to try plugging all your devices in and just fiddling with the software.

SSBM Streaming Guide – Part 4: Choosing a Capture Card

As a kid on YouTube in 2006, I wondered how Let’s-Players captured their gameplay.

Did they have a camera pointing at their TV?

Were they somehow emulating the game on a computer and recording it that way?

Or was there a method that was unknown to everyone but the Let’s-Players themselves?

It turned out that while some recorded their gameplay with cameras focused on their TV, most people were capturing footage from their consoles with something called a “Capture Card”.

It’s a device that captures signals from your console and translates them to a video stream that your computer can present and record.

Time to choose a capture card. I’ll list some of the most popular choices, sorted from lowest to highest cost.

1. EasyCAP

  • Price: $6 (varies)
  • Inputs: Composite, S-video
  • Video format: 480i 30fps
  • USB 2.0
  • Link

If you just want to get out there and capture some gameplay, but you’v got less than $47 in your bank account (reference to Tai Lopez), then this is your best choice.

There are a lot of versions of this capture card, some real, some fake, so this is a risky card.

2. Diamond VC500

  • Price: $34
  • Inputs: Composite, S-video
  • Video format: 480i 30fps
  • USB 2.0
  • Link

This was VJA Smash’s first capture card. Tweaked with the right settings, it could look good.

I started seeing a great increase in quality once I started using S-video with this card. Check out VJA Smash Inferno on YouTube to see some examples of this card in action.

3. Elgato Game Capture HD

  • Price: $136
  • Inputs: HDMI, Composite, Component, S-video
  • Video format: 1080p 30fps, 480i 60fps, 480i 30fps, 480p 60fps, 720p 60fps
  • USB 2.0
  • Link

This is VJA Smash’s current capture card. Check out some S-video 480i 30fps example by looking up VJA Smash Weeklies.

It’s very versatile, accepting a wide variety of formats. For S-video, you have to buy an extra $15 cable from their website.

The problem with this card is that there is a few second delay on the computer output. However, there is an HDMI out port that compensates for this.

4. AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable

  • Price: $142
  • Inputs: HDMI, Component, Composite
  • Video Format: Same as Elgato HD
  • USB 2.0
  • Link

I’ve seen a lot of Twitch streamers that use this card. I think it’s basically just like the Elgato HD. I’m not very sure that it captures more than just HDMI though. Please do your research.

5. Elgato Game Capture HD60

  • Price: $152
  • Inputs: HDMI
  • Video Format: 1080p 60fps and everything below basically
  • USB 2.0
  • Link

This card is just like the Elgato HD, except that it can capture 1080p at 60 fps instead of 30.

HDMI is the only port though, so you won’t be able to stream consoles other than the Wii U, unless you have an adapter.

6. Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle

  • Price: $189
  • Inputs: HDMI, Composite, Component, S-video
  • Video Format: Same as Elgato HD
  • USB 3.0
  • Link

The mother of all consumer capture cards. The beauty of the card is in its inputs and outputs: it provides a lagless pass-through for every single input.

This allows you to capture component 480p and let your players play on an old CRT with composite 480i.

This card requires certain computer hardware, so do your research before buying it.

7. Honorable Mentions:

There are a lot more capture cards than that, but these are the most popular ones for streaming Smash.

Depending on the capture card you choose (most of the HDMI ones don’t require one), you may need to buy AV splitters. These will allow you to split the console’s video and audio signal to both the players’ TV and the capture card. I use these. If you don’t have composite cables for the splitters, you’ll also need these (your capture card may come with them).

Next segment: Configuring OBS.

SSBM Streaming Guide – Part 3: Things You’ll Need

In this segment, I will cover the necessities of streaming or recording Melee (or another title).

1. Console and Game

Obviously, you will need an N64, GameCube, Wii, or Wii U depending on your desired game.

For Melee, I’d recommend using a Wii. It offers cheaper and more abundant options for video cables compared to the GameCube.

2. Computer

Again, this is obvious, but not just any computer will work.

While you might get away with streaming on a Mac, it’s harder and might be impossible with some capture cards that don’t support Mac.

I highly recommend to go with a Windows 7/8/10 desktop or laptop. A cheap laptop probably won’t have the power, but it’s worth trying. Use this site to see if you’ll be able to stream.

If you are opting to just record your gameplay, I’d recommend having a big, fast hard drive that could store it just in time.

3. Internet Connection (Streaming Only)

Streaming to the internet requires a fast and stable connection.

If you want to dramatically reduce the chance of dropping frames or disconnecting, then go with an Ethernet cable rather than over wireless.

Twitch allows a stream upload speed of up to 3500 kbps. Once again refer to this site, which links to a site that will check your upload speed.

Depending on your stream’s resolution, it’s even possible to stream at a half or even a fifth of that speed. Here’s what it will look like: video.

4. Cameras (Optional)

If you want to capture the players or the commentators, cameras could spice up your stream life.

The standard for streamers is the Logitech C920 Webcam. In addition to its high quality, it also can be mounted onto a tripod.

Other good options are the Logitech C270 and the Logitech C525. I have used all three of these webcams and I can say that there is definitely a quality difference based on the price.

Logitech webcams are the best webcams, by the way.

5. Headsets/Microphones (Optional)

If you have player or broadcaster commentary, a microphone will let your viewers feel more of the game’s atmosphere.

While my club usually uses standalone microphones such as the Blue Yeti or the Blue Snowball, professional streams like VGBootCamp always have headsets.

If you go with headsets, go for a noise cancelling microphone. I can’t offer any links because we haven’t had very successful headset streams.

Also, if you’re into it, add an Audio Mixer to mix up the audio (I haven’t tried it, but I want to).

6. Capture Card

The Capture Card is the device that will be capturing the video and audio for your game. In the next guide, I will give a list of viable capture cards with links on where to buy them.

Also, depending on the capture card you choose, you may need some additional items that I will also talk about in that guide.

7. A TV

Duh. Depending on your capture card and video cables, you may need a TV with special ports.

But basically, I’d recommend an LCD/LED for Smash 4 and a CRT for anything else.

If you’re in the mood for a CRT, go to your local electronics recycling place or take a cruise around the neighborhood on garbage day. You shouldn’t have to pay for anything but gas.

I’ve got a friend that’s been collecting free TV’s. If he can get 10+ TV’s, you can get one!

8. Extra Monitor (Optional)

If you have commentators, you might want them to look at a screen different from the players’ TV.

Make sure it’s got the inputs that your computer or capture card can output to.

I think that’s everything. Next episode: choosing a capture card!