Make Haste! Twitch Cut Broadcast Delay By Around 33%

Tout de suite!

Twitch may be the fromage grand of the video game livestreaming world, but over the past year or so I’ve seen a fair few People In The Know switch away to new competitors like Hitbox.tv. One big complaint is that the delay between the game you broadcast and what Twitch viewers see grew too long, making chatting and interacting with viewers a nuisance – it’s hard to talk to anyone when replies come one minute later.

Well, Twitch aren’t quite going back to ye goode olde days, but they have now added a new tech option that they say “reduces delay on average by 33%.”

If you fancy fiddling with this beta setting, you’ll find it in your channel’s settings. How does it work? In the immortal words of Jennifer Aniston, here comes the science bit: “How have we reduced the delay? We’ve successfully cut the video segment size from four seconds to two seconds, which decreases the amount of video that is stored in the processing pipeline.”

However! This option is not without its drawbacks. Twitch explain:

“We’re releasing the reduced delay beta as an option to broadcasters because it does come at a small quality of service cost – particularly to viewers with poor internet connections. Some viewers may experience changes in playback, with shorter, more frequent buffering times. Because less video is queued on a viewer’s computer, they will be more susceptible to variations in download bandwidth, and may experience more interruptions in service while video buffers. Rather than require every channel to switch to the reduced delay option, we’re leaving it up to the broadcaster to decide what is best for his or her community.”

It’s a nice change, but probably not enough to make come back to Twitch. Their crackdown on music and wiping old videos still leave me with few fond thoughts for the service. No, when I finally get around to streaming again, I think it’ll be Hitbox for me.

23 Comments

  1. Zankman says:

    And then no one will care that you are streaming, because you will do so on Hitbox.

    Not saying that it is good or anything, just the truth.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      I’m not interested in picking up random viewers browsing around Twitch, though.

      • AngoraFish says:

        Which is exactly as it should be.

      • Zankman says:

        Why not?

        I see no conceivable reason as to why not, unless you, like, have some sort of superiority complex and think that the average viewer that just randomly browses is… I dunno what, stupid?

        I’ve stumbled upon many streams, small and large, simply by randomly browsing. Stuck with many of them and thus entered new and friendly communities.

        I don’t even know how you can get viewers otherwise.

        • Yglorba says:

          Not everyone streams for the same reason! Some people are looking to stream for a specific audience, and aren’t really setting out to attract as many people as possible or to cater to every random person that walks in the door.

          • Zankman says:

            No one is speaking of conforming/catering to new viewers – you show them what you’re about, what your specific audience is about. They then either stay or leave.

          • Alice O'Connor says:

            Experience has shown me they might also hang around in chat to say “lol wtf is this?”

            and “wow a woman”

            and “wow your voice is sexy”

            and “ARE YOU A ROBOT?”

            and “You’re doing it wrong”

            I like to stream weird stuff to a small audience of people who get what I’m doing. The minuscule amount of INTERNET FAME I have is already too much for my liking.

        • Nosada says:

          You make it sound like the average person on the internet is an eloquent gentleman trying out several exquisite cigars so he can decide what to give to his gentleman friends on the nameday of his youngest grandchild.

          My experience is that the average person on the internet is a 13 year old mentally retarded chav/hooligan on his 7th pint, 8th redbull and 2nd set of bathsalts, who has just thrown up in his glue-sniffing bag but is still using it anyway. This counts double on public sites that are popular.

          • Zankman says:

            Totally not an overstatement there.

            Actually, yes, it’s a huge overstatement. Most of Twitch is fine and the trolls here and there aren’t an issue for anyone with even the least amount of thick skin and patience.

            If anything the goofy trolls and the general jokes and humor that populates the biggest channels make the whole thing “Twitch” in the first place.

            On the other hand, they are mostly not present with smaller streamers.

          • Monggerel says:

            Funny how people complaining about others not having a thick skin are so sensitive they’re ticked off by someone admitting that they don’t like being harassed.
            It’s like
            DO YOU EVEN WALK THE WALK

          • Monggerel says:

            It’s the “ESCALATE IMMEDIATELY TO DEFCON 2” response, but to everything.

          • Nasarius says:

            If anything the goofy trolls and the general jokes and humor that populates the biggest channels make the whole thing “Twitch” in the first place.

            And that’s precisely why I can’t fucking stand Twitch chat. DAE le SMOrc?

            Except for the Day9 chat, they’re totally cool.

          • Catweasel says:

            Why would I want my chat to be filled with the horrible chat spamming twitch memes that every popular channel is completely clogged by? I’d much rather stream for like a dozen people who aren’t going to be completely obnoxious in every way.

        • vahnn says:

          I just stream for friends.

    • malkav11 says:

      There was a time when no one cared who was streaming on Twitch, either. Services become popular by enough people using them. It wouldn’t be the first time most people switched to a new service. Just look at the history of social networking, for example.

  2. SazCaz says:

    I tried the speed up stream option last night, made no difference at all to update speeds from what I could see.

    I just like private streaming to friends while we play games together, so thanks for recommending Hitbox, it seems to do the job perfectly!

  3. Ramshackle Thoughts says:

    I’ve found it makes a fair bit of difference, especially to channels like mine that thrive on community interaction. It’s the difference between commenting on your viewers opinions and having a proper back-and-forth discussion. As someone with atrocious short-term memory, it can be really hard to engage when I’m not sure which statement I made (up to and over a minute ago) someone is referring to.

    Now all they need to do is switch to a decent video player and sort out their music-censoring (seriously, a half-hour mute for 30seconds of copyrighted music is a joke, regardless of where you stand on the issue) and I’ll be a happy caster!

    • jrodman says:

      Yeah, both those issues are awful.
      However, the lack of twitch chat’s ability to handle more than a few users sanely is kind of awful too. Provide some throttling options or something. Let me turn off every single meme and penis image please.

  4. MaXimillion says:

    You can use Livestreamer to get twitch streams through the player of your choice.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Don Reba says:

    A minute? And I thought the 10-second delay on Steam broadcasting with pretty terrible.

  6. jrodman says:

    Does hitbox avoid flash?