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VincentVolaju

Lenovo Flex 3 + Capture card + PS4 Pro Streaming; questions

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hello everyone, I've recently started streaming on my PS4 Pro and have really been enjoying it. To my surprise, there is no lag, fps drop, or performance issues at all when streaming to twitch directly from the PS4 Pro. I always assumed trying to stream from a console would really slow down the system, but I can stream at either 720p 30fps or 1080p 60fps, and neither of them slow down the game. The only issue I run into is when moving quickly in-game, the stream will have quite a bit of pixelation for a second or two. If I am running straight forward, or looking in the same direction, then the stream is completely crisp and clear. As soon as I look left or right in game, or move the camera in any direction, then it gets really pixelated for a moment before it goes back to being clear. The issue is, in FPS games I am constantly looking around, so this pixelation is happening every couple seconds.

 

I am assuming its a bitrate issue because isnt that usually what causes pixelation? I have a 300mb download / upload connection, but I cant find anywhere in the PS4 Pro broadcast settings to change the bitrate to stream at. So if I am unable to change/choose my streaming bitrate on the PS4 Pro, then the only way to fix the pixelation when moving is to use a capture card that allows me to choose my bitrate; is this correct?

 

If that's the case, then I was considering getting an Elgato HD60 S and hooking it up to my Lenovo Flex 3 Laptop. The laptop is about 4-5 years old with an i7-5500u CPU 2.4ghz, 8gb ram, and Intel HD Graphics 5500. I'm not exactly sure what that is comparable to in terms of desktop CPU / GPUs; I'd guess not very powerful considering its 5 years old, but the capture card and PS4 will do most of the heavy lifting anyway, right? But before I went ahead and spent $200 on the Elgato, I wanted to ask here first to hear some thoughts / opinions from some of you guys who know much much MUCH more about this kind of stuff then I do.

 

TLDR: Will my 5 yr old Lenovo Flex 3 Laptop + Elgato HD60 S capture card be strong enough to stream games from my PS4 Pro at 720p 30fps without any pixelation when moving around?

 

Thank you!!!!

 

 

 

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Sadly this is hard to answer. Since you can't be sure what part is causing pixelation. Like with Twitch, you might get roughed by service itself unless you are partner or associate to service. I think PS4 streaming profiles have something like 2500-3000kbps for 720p30 and 4500-5500 for 1080p60 (Twitch limit to non-partners is 6000kbps). The laptop is probably fine encoding 720p30 or 720p60 stream. But if you really have 300mbps upload, your connection and bitrate wouldn't be issue either. You should try streaming with laptop. Just test streams with webcam etc. to see if its capable of handling streaming in first place.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
15 hours ago, LoGiCalDrm said:

Sadly this is hard to answer. Since you can't be sure what part is causing pixelation. Like with Twitch, you might get roughed by service itself unless you are partner or associate to service. I think PS4 streaming profiles have something like 2500-3000kbps for 720p30 and 4500-5500 for 1080p60 (Twitch limit to non-partners is 6000kbps). The laptop is probably fine encoding 720p30 or 720p60 stream. But if you really have 300mbps upload, your connection and bitrate wouldn't be issue either. You should try streaming with laptop. Just test streams with webcam etc. to see if its capable of handling streaming in first place.

 

Hey, appreciate the reply. I had no idea that twitch limited the bitrate you could stream at, nor did I know that the PS4 had a bitrate of 5k ish. I assumed my pixelation was happening because the PS4s bitrate was just set to like 2k or something like that.

 

I did a speed test earlier today and got this result.

NUJ33kt.jpg

 

I also went through some past broadcasts and made a quick clip to show an example of the pixelation I am talking about, since it's kind of hard to explain with just words. As you can see, in the beginning of the clip when I am standing still, everything is pretty crisp and clear at 1080p. But once I start moving and looking around you can see quality shift for a second or two.

 

My laptop is currently running Windows 8.1, I'm going to reformat it and upgrade it to Windows 10 tonight; after that, I'll do a quick stream test with like WoW or something at 1080p 60fps and see what it looks like.

 

In the meantime though, I was wondering if you'd mind explaining to me a little bit about how capture card, laptop, and PS4 all work together? I mean, from what I understood, since I was streaming from the PS4 then the PS4 would be doing all "work" in regards to streaming. Therefor, I wouldn't need a very powerful (if at all) PC/Laptop. I thought the capture was just a way to get a higher bitrate cap so that you could broadcast a higher quality stream; and also a way to use streaming software like OBS to give your stream overlays and such etc. I was under the impression the PS4 and Capture card did all the work, and the laptop was just there for the software / bells and whistles. Is this not correct?

 

Thank you!

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29 minutes ago, VincentVolaju said:

Hey, appreciate the reply. I had no idea that twitch limited the bitrate you could stream at, nor did I know that the PS4 had a bitrate of 5k ish. I assumed my pixelation was happening because the PS4s bitrate was just set to like 2k or something like that.

 

I'm not sure if those bitrates are accurate. Those were estimates I made based on what Twitch recommends for those resolutions. According to this https://gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/262506/bitrates-for-ps4-streaming-quality-presets bitrate for max quality should be 4000kbps. Which again should be enough. Why it pixelates like that, I don't know.

 

29 minutes ago, VincentVolaju said:

In the meantime though, I was wondering if you'd mind explaining to me a little bit about how capture card, laptop, and PS4 all work together? I mean, from what I understood, since I was streaming from the PS4 then the PS4 would be doing all "work" in regards to streaming. Therefor, I wouldn't need a very powerful (if at all) PC/Laptop. I thought the capture was just a way to get a higher bitrate cap so that you could broadcast a higher quality stream; and also a way to use streaming software like OBS to give your stream overlays and such etc. I was under the impression the PS4 and Capture card did all the work, and the laptop was just there for the software / bells and whistles. Is this not correct?

 

Its not, sadly. Most capture cards are just what name says, a capturing device since PCs don't have video input ports. So it will just take HDMI signal, convert it to 1s and 0s and then back to video format at the other end. Laptop is needed to encode video to save to file, or to send as packages to streaming service.

 

The way I see it. You get more configuratibility options by using capture card and PC. Nothing really more than that. For pure PC streaming that route is used to take taxing encoding off gaming PC. Most of encoding is done by CPU. So if you can run something less taxing and stream it without issues, then you have no problems using capture card and just streaming on laptop. Do note that when I say less taxing, I mean something you can already run at high quality and high fps without issues.

 

I don't think that you should even aim for higher bitrate just yet. Not until you can get associate badge on Twitch as that opens your possibilities quality-wise. Aim to get everything looking good and smooth. You can do wonders with tweaking settings in OBS. There are few members on the forums who have run tests on lower spec systems. Use search to find those, I don't have any bookmarked.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
17 hours ago, LoGiCalDrm said:

 

I'm not sure if those bitrates are accurate. Those were estimates I made based on what Twitch recommends for those resolutions. According to this https://gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/262506/bitrates-for-ps4-streaming-quality-presets bitrate for max quality should be 4000kbps. Which again should be enough. Why it pixelates like that, I don't know.

 

 

Its not, sadly. Most capture cards are just what name says, a capturing device since PCs don't have video input ports. So it will just take HDMI signal, convert it to 1s and 0s and then back to video format at the other end. Laptop is needed to encode video to save to file, or to send as packages to streaming service.

 

The way I see it. You get more configuratibility options by using capture card and PC. Nothing really more than that. For pure PC streaming that route is used to take taxing encoding off gaming PC. Most of encoding is done by CPU. So if you can run something less taxing and stream it without issues, then you have no problems using capture card and just streaming on laptop. Do note that when I say less taxing, I mean something you can already run at high quality and high fps without issues.

 

I don't think that you should even aim for higher bitrate just yet. Not until you can get associate badge on Twitch as that opens your possibilities quality-wise. Aim to get everything looking good and smooth. You can do wonders with tweaking settings in OBS. There are few members on the forums who have run tests on lower spec systems. Use search to find those, I don't have any bookmarked.

 

 

I reformatted my laptop, upgraded to Windows 10, got the latest graphic drivers, updated everything I could. I downloaded Origin and Apex Legends, set the games graphics all to the lowest possible settings, and the game resolution to 720p. Tried playing the game in the training area with no other players, and couldn't get more than 15-20fps lol. So, I guess that if I can't even run the game at 60+ fps on the lowest settings, then it's likely that the laptop wouldn't be able to render/process a stream with a PS4 Pro + Capture card; would you say that's true?

 

I did some more research about streaming in general and people testing different codes and presets etc. I don't understand much of it, but from a very basic standpoint it seems like have a strong CPU makes a huge difference when it comes to stream and picture quality, followed by a good connection.

 

So, it seems like if I want to have a stream that is better quality than I currently have going directly from my PS4 Pro. Then I would need to buy a computer that has a better CPU than the PS4 Pro. At least, that's my understanding so far?

 

To be honest, the quality of the stream from the PS4 Pro is actually really good at 1080p 60fps. It's just that pixelation that happens with moving. I wish I knew how to fix that.

 

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58 minutes ago, VincentVolaju said:

I reformatted my laptop, upgraded to Windows 10, got the latest graphic drivers, updated everything I could. I downloaded Origin and Apex Legends, set the games graphics all to the lowest possible settings, and the game resolution to 720p. Tried playing the game in the training area with no other players, and couldn't get more than 15-20fps lol. So, I guess that if I can't even run the game at 60+ fps on the lowest settings, then it's likely that the laptop wouldn't be able to render/process a stream with a PS4 Pro + Capture card; would you say that's true?

 

That is possibility. But since most games are more GPU intensive, and streaming is mainly CPU stressing, thats not definitive (you have weak iGPU and laptop CPUs are not the best anyways). Try streaming something even lighter, like playing solitare or minesweeper. Or just browsing web. Browsing is good as its more CPU than GPU anyway. Look at dropped frames and how CPU load is going.

 

58 minutes ago, VincentVolaju said:

I did some more research about streaming in general and people testing different codes and presets etc. I don't understand much of it, but from a very basic standpoint it seems like have a strong CPU makes a huge difference when it comes to stream and picture quality, followed by a good connection.

 

Thas correct. Minimum, if you can't use NVENC, is i5 from few years back or Ryzen 5. i7 or Ryzen 7 would be preferred. I can stream, or could stream, BF3 in this CPU without it going over 40%.

 

58 minutes ago, VincentVolaju said:

So, it seems like if I want to have a stream that is better quality than I currently have going directly from my PS4 Pro. Then I would need to buy a computer that has a better CPU than the PS4 Pro. At least, that's my understanding so far?

 

That won't be much of issue. PS4Pro is using APU from AMD which in pure performance is already behind of you laptops CPU. Problem is that consoles are better optimized than Windows PC.

 

58 minutes ago, VincentVolaju said:

To be honest, the quality of the stream from the PS4 Pro is actually really good at 1080p 60fps. It's just that pixelation that happens with moving. I wish I knew how to fix that.

 

 


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