Why Your Stream Looks Choppy

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If you’re like most new streamers, you may ask yourself, why is my stream choppy? This is a common problem that many streamers encounter, and today we’re going to show you the reason.

There are two possible reasons your Twitch stream is choppy or laggy. One reason could be your CPU preset is too high, and another reason can be your Internet connection is either too low or too unstable.

CPU Preset is too High, Adjust Encoding Profile

The CPU is very important during a stream, the main job the CPU during streaming is to encode your stream. Before your stream can be transmitted, it needs to convert to a proper format.

To test if the CPU is causing your choppiness, in your streaming software, most likely OBS, adjust your Encoding Profile to a higher tier, this is usually found in the advanced tab.

cpu profile

For example, a slow encoding profile is very heavy on your CPU, while a very fast encoding profile is very easy on your CPU.

It may seem backward, but think of it like this, if your encoding is slow, it’s taking more time to process, but if your encoding is fast, then it’s taking less time to process your stream.

Test by streaming at different encoding profiles, and choose the CPU preset that leads to the least choppiness. Generally, you want to stay around fast or very fast for ideal quality.

Your Bitrate is too High

As we mentioned, another problem causing choppiness in your stream could be your internet speed.

Either your internet service provider does not offer you a stable enough internet connection, or your upload speed is not high enough to stream on Twitch.

Whichever problem it is, the solution is the same, and that is to lower your streaming bitrate.

80 percent of upload speed

The bitrate of your stream is the amount of data you send to Twitch, it is directly related to the quality of your stream.

The resolution of your stream is directly tied to the bitrate of your stream. Generally, 3500kbps is best for a 1080p stream, while 2000kbps is best for 720p.

The maximum bitrate we recommend is 3500kbps, and in order to maintain that speed, you need to have an upload speed of at least 3.5mbps.

Even if your upload speed is high enough, it’s recommended you only use 80% of your speed. So if your upload is 3.5mbps, then you should only use 2800kbps.

To test if your internet is causing the choppiness, adjust your resolution and adjust your bitrate to a lower level. As you lower your bitrate, also lower your resolution and framerate to maintain video quality.

By following our steps, you should have your stream silky smooth. If you haven’t fixed it yet, at least you know the setting you need to change.

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