The Ultimate Video Recording, Encoding and Streaming Guide

Introduction

Over the next few posts I’ll take you through the main technical points of recording, encoding and streaming video, in particular game footage. Most people can set up scenes and webcams with just a little patience, trial and error. But so many people out there don’t understand some of the basic, yet crucial concepts that go on under the hood.

There’s a more recent post with data on specific codec performance you might want to check out.

If you’re reading this, you’ve undoubtedly heard of NVENC, Fraps, x264, DxTory, Shadowplay and a bunch of other technologies. In this guide, I’ll be focusing on what I think are the best, yet still pretty easy to use.

Since OBS can do pretty much anything in regards to streaming and recording, we’ll be using that with a couple of side comments for FRAPS users and other encoding possibilities. OBS Studio is the current version, classic is being discontinued. Download it here in either classic or studio flavour: https://obsproject.com/download

Update! OBS Studio now has buffer recording. The guide has been updated. There is now no reason to use OBS classic any more.

The guide will contain the following posts:

1 – This introduction.

2 – Basic concepts.

3 – Your choices and my recommendations.
A – 3 video codecs.
B – MKV vs MP4 vs WebM.
C – Handbrake and AviDemux.
D – Constant Quality vs Constant Bitrate vs Variable Bitrate.
E – Considerations for the future.​

4 – Encoding comparisons to help you choose.

5 – Encoding the Video portion with Handbrake.

6 – Encoding the Audio portion with Handbrake.
A – Separating the myths from the facts.
B – Definitions, formats and my choices.
C – Examples of the Handbrake Audio Tab​.

7 – Streaming basics and a comparison – CPU vs NVENC vs Quick Sync.

8 – Streaming examples for CPU, NVENC & Quick Sync.

9 – Recording examples for CPU, NVENC & Quick Sync and recording while streaming.

10 – Buffer recording and AVIDemux.

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