This section of the guide will help you improve your stream production. While streaming setups can vary greatly, the tips here apply to a wide variety of users.
Web Cameras vs. Camcorders
One of the most common upgrades is to switch from using web cameras to camcorders. Camcorders offer better visual quality through the ability to adjust a variety of options like aperture, focus, frame rate, and more. Camcorders also have better performance with Chroma Key and in low light situations. The only drawback to using camcorders is the increased equipment requirements. You’ll need to have a tripod, a capture card, and extra cabling to effectively add a camcorder into your XSplit Broadcaster setup.
Chroma Key Recommendations
Chroma Key is an extremely useful tool on improving your production. However, without the right conditions, it is easy to get a very poor chroma key effect. So, make sure to have proper lighting conditions when using chroma key as poor lighting will severely reduce the quality of the chroma key. Another tip is to make sure your backdrop is as smooth as possible. Backdrops with creases create shadows that are hard to compensate for when adjusting your chroma key settings. It is also important to manually set focus, white balance, and exposure because if these are set to automatic, the your chroma key can be affected by any adjustments made in automatic mode. Finally, always make sure that your on air talent isn’t wearing clothing that is a similar shade to your chroma key backdrop because they will also be affected.
Note: Chroma key doesn’t always have to be used with camera sources. Many use chroma key with video files and screen captures to add items like video graphics and website based notifications.
Thumbnail Scene Preview/Preview Editor Window
As your broadcast becomes increasingly intricate, it is vital to know which scenes you are switching to and to be able to edit scenes before switching to them. Activating Thumbnail scene preview will allow you to see that you are switching to the correct scene:
You may also want to be able to edit a scene before pushing it live. This can be done by opening the preview editor. Simply right click any scene you wish to edit and and choose Preview Editor:
You can make any kind of adjustments to that scene or any scene you choose. Once you are finished with the changes, simply press “Go Live” and the preview scene will become the live scene:
Image Slideshow and Video Playlist
One of our lesser known features is the image slideshow plugin and video playlist source plugins:
These are very useful for showing sponsors’ advertisements or various media during breaks. You can also apply custom transitions and looping effects.
This is what the Image Slideshow plugin configuration window looks like:
And here’s the one for the Video Playlist:
Audio Setup Tips
Audio setup can become extremely complicated as your stream setup becomes more advanced. Basically, once you want to have more than one gameplay feed and one person speaking, then you will need to get an external mixer. There are a wide variety of mixers that cost an equally wide variety of prices. However, most entry level mixers will get the job done. The main items to take into account are are that you must have enough inputs for your commentators, game sound, and perhaps an extra input for video or music playback. Some extra useful features would be auxiliary outputs to send audio to the audience and a talk back feature to send audio to the audience.
Now that you’ve gotten your mixer set up, the question becomes how to send audio from the mixer to XSplit Broadcaster. Some of the mid range mixers have USB functionality that allows the mixer itself to be seen as a microphone input in XSplit Broadcaster. However, the most common method is to use a cable to send the mixer output to the microphone or line input of the PC. Be warned that some users encounter static or noise when using this method. This could be due to either electrical noise or faulty electrical wiring. The noise can be reduced by connecting the PC to a power cleaner.
Masking lets you clip the source to the shape of your selected mask. You can select a predefined shape as a mask (rectangular, rounded, oval, and diamond). And you can also select a file (JPG, JPEG, PNG, BMP, GIF, and TIF files are the supported image formats). To apply a mask, right click on a source and click on the Effects tab:
To use a predefined shape as a mask, click on Shape then select your desired shape from the list:
To use an image as a mask, click on File then click on [...] to browse for your desired image:
To remove the mask, click on None.
One easy to use feature that can help improve the quality of your production is source transitions. Most of the sources in XSplit Broadcaster can have a transition applied to them. To activate source transitions, right click on a source and click on the Effects tab:
In the Effects tab, you can apply a variety of transition effects and also control the speed of those transitions. To activate the transition, simply select it from the list:
To deactivate the transition, set it to None.
If you are broadcasting a match between two remote competitors, you definitely want to avoid either side being able to see the other’s movements. Fortunately, in all broadcast plugins, there’s an option to enable a stream delay that you can set in seconds:
Hotkeys are an often overlooked feature of XSplit Broadcaster. They allow you to simplify your XSplit experience by expanding your control set beyond mouse clicks. You can set hotkeys by going to Tools > General Settings then clicking on Hotkeys tab:
Note that there are also some unlisted hotkeys, like using the [Shift] key to enable 3D rotation of a source while holding and dragging it:
And using the number keys at the top of the keyboard to quickly resize a source. Here’s what a source looks like after pressing :
Web Page Source
One of the newest and most requested features is the ability to add web pages as sources. This lets you add a variety of sources and widgets to XSplit Broadcaster. Some of these use cases include follower notifications, chat overlays, and much more:
The projector feature allows you to send whatever is on the viewport as a full screen output through your PC’s video/graphics card. This is useful if you wish to send a video feed to a large screen for the audience or perhaps to commentators. You can send multiple projector outputs if you have multiple outputs available on your PC. If you only have one available output, then you can use a hardware splitter to send it to whenever it needs to be: