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Equipment You Need for Your First Stream Setup

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Looking for proper equipment can be confusing for a beginner streamer. There are a lot of options to choose from, and it isn’t always clear what is essential. Looking through the equipment lists of partnered streamers can also leave you feeling overwhelmed, especially when looking at your set-up budget.

What Equipment Does a New Streamer Need?

  1. PC or Console
  2. Webcam
  3. Microphone
  4. Headset
  5. Capture card
  6. Lighting
  7. Green Screen

Do You Need to Buy New Equipment as a Streamer?

New streamers on Twitch or Mixer can generally start their channels with the equipment they already own. In addition to their PC, we recommend new streamers to invest in a webcam and microphone. Following that, invest in extra essentials like lighting and green screens to increase the visual quality of your stream. Upgrade further as you generate income. 

While a proper set-up is ideal, start with what you can afford. Many new streamers aren’t aware of the extra duties involved in building a popular channel, and many can burn out quickly. Don’t invest heavily in your broadcasting equipment until you are sure it is something you want to do. 

Don’t break your bank. Look for affordable options, seek out sales, or purchase gently used items as you’re starting. You can fill out your Christmas/birthday list with streaming equipment or make donation goals for specific pieces. As you grow, you will be able to upgrade a few things at a time until you have your ultimate set-up. 

Remember that equipment is just one part of the overall quality of your stream. You also need good content, a thriving community, and excellent channel branding

PC Setup or Console to Stream

What content do you plan to stream? If you are a gamer, you will need to use a console or your personal computer. If you are streaming “real-life” content, you will still need a system to collect the data that you want to send out to the world. 

Most streamers use a PC (or a Dual PC set-up). As a new streamer, you can get away with streaming on one so long as you have a sound graphics card (one that supports DirectX10 or higher) and CPU (such as the Intel Core i5-4670 or AMD Ryzen 7 2700x). If your computer and the Internet can handle streaming, there is no need to upgrade it right away if it doesn’t fit within your budget. 

You can also stream from consoles. The Xbox One has in-built streaming methods available. If you want to stream from your PS4 or Switch, you need to use a capture card. We also recommend using a compatible webcam. 

If you are out and about and want to stream real-life events, you can use your smartphone! While it won’t be as high-quality as other equipment, my point is that you can start with what you have.

Webcams for New Streamers

While you technically don’t have to use a camera, many viewers state that they prefer channels where the streamer show’s their face. People go to Twitch or Mixer to interact with you and your community. Being able to watch your expressions can be just as entertaining as the content you stream. 

You might not need to purchase a webcam right away. You could use an in-built webcam, set up through your mobile device or hook up a video camera. Even some DSLRs can be used to live-stream if connected to your computer with a USB, though it isn’t always recommended. Though they will give professional-quality visuals, many DSLRs were not designed for extended video capture, and they may overheat. 

Using a webcam is the go-to option for most streamers, and there are several available on the market. While you can stream from just about anything, we recommend that you at least stream from 720p. 720p should be enough if you don’t plan to stream at full screen. Here are three cameras for you to consider:

Logitech C922

  • HD 1080p Resolution
  • Brighter Images
  • 72° Field of View

Razer Kiyo

  • Built-in Ring Light
  • HD 1080p Resolution
  • Foldable Design

Logitech C270

  • HD 720p Resolution
  • Entry-Level Webcam
  • Clear Video Quality

Logitech C922/C920 

Both the Logitech C922 and C920 are good Logitech webcams, especially for their price. Both can stream 1080p at 30FPS (frames per second) or 720p at 60FPS. They can be used for your PC, Mac, or Xbox One. The Logitech C922 was designed with broadcasters in mind and is considered the industry standard. It comes with an automatic background remover (though it isn’t perfect) and can pick up a high-quality picture in lower lighting. 

Razor Kiyo

The Razor Kiyo has a built-in LED light. They are great for streamers who want to stream on the go as they don’t have to pack a lot of extra equipment. It can broadcast at 1080p at 30FPS or 720p at 60FPS. The colors on the Kiyo can be more saturated than other webcams, but the sharpness is good.

Logitech C270 (Budget Option)

The Logitech C270 is one of the basic webcams. It can stream at 720p at 30FPS. It doesn’t come with an in-built mic or light, but it is affordable for new streamers on a tight budget. 

Note: If you are streaming from your PS4, you must use the Sony Playstation Camera.

Microphones for New Streamers

Audio might be more important than video. While most viewers may forgive a new streamer for lower-quality video, many won’t stay on a channel with poor (or no) audio. If your headset has a decent mic you can get away with using it for a while, but we recommend upgrading to a better microphone when you’re able. 

XLR mics tend to higher quality, have more versatility for voice changers, and seem to be more customizable. USB mics, however, are easier to use and great for new streamers. There are many excellent options on the market. Here are three that you can consider:

Blue Yeti

  • Zero Latency
  • Multiple Pattern Selection
  • Mute Button

HyperX QuadCast

  • Tap to Mute Censor
  • Shock Mount
  • 4 Polar Patterns

Blue Snowball

  • Crystal Clear Audio
  • USB 2.0 Device
  • No Drivers Needed

Blue Yeti

This Blue Yeti USB microphone is designed to work with any recording system. It has three condenser capsules, can be customized to pick up sound in 4 different directions, and you can adjust the sensitivity straight from the body of the mic. There is a mute button on the front of the device, and you can plug in your headset for zero latency. It doesn’t require any additional software to be used. 

HyperX QuadCast

They HyperX QuadCast has a sleek, professional design with a built-in shock mount. It has four sound patterns. You can plug your headset into it. There can be some harsh resonant frequencies on the high end. There is a mute button on the top that mutes the mic when you tap it. It can be screwed into a mic-stand, which allows you to do more with it.  

Blue Snowball iCE (Budget Option)

The Blue Snowball iCE is an easy-to-use microphone that is good for beginner streamers. It has a decent sound quality, which is far better than built-in microphones. You do have to make sure that it is pointed toward the sound of your voice, and it lacks a mute button and a headset jack. 

Headsets for New Streamers

You can use digital or analog headsets. Digital mics are generally better than analog as they provide better input and output sounds. You can also choose to use a wireless option if you are physically active on stream or sit on your couch while streaming on your console. Make sure that it is comfortable to wear for long periods of time. 

Steelseries Arctis 7

The Steelseries Arctis 7 is a wireless gaming headset. It has a Discord certified ClearCast microphone, background noise cancellation, and decent audio capabilities. You can tuck the microphone into the headset or pull it out if you need to use it. It is a good option if you need to use your headset mic while moving around your room. It works with Xbox.

HP Omen Mindframe

The HP Omen Mindframe boasts 7.1 Virtual surround sound that has 3D awareness. While this won’t directly add any extra quality for your viewers, if you play shooters or other 3D spatial games, it may help your reaction time. If you use the mic, you can adjust it to hear your voice in real-time. The earcups were created from breathable, moisture-wicking fabric, which allows you to broadcast comfortably for several hours.

Corsair Gaming Void (Budget Option)

The Corsair Gaming Void was created for comfort as well as their sound frequency range of 20hz-20, 000Hz. It also has 7.1 surround sound when using it on your PC. It’s mic (should you use it) can flip up to mute it and has an LED mute indicator that you can check.

Good Capture Card for Streamers

You can choose an internal capture card (which will be installed in your PC tower) or an external capture card that you can use with an HDMI cable. If you are connecting anything external to your PC (such as your Xbox One or PS4), you will need a good capture card. Streamers have had good results using these:

Elgato HD60 S

The Elgato HD60 S allows you to stream instantly. It has a modern and sleek design that will enable you to stream up to 1080p at 60FPS. It has a reversible USB-C connector to make things easy. It utilizes low-latency technology that allows viewers to watch your gameplay in real-time.  

AVerMedia C985 Live Gamer HD

The AVerMedia C985 capture card allows you to stream and record lag-free gameplay up to 1080p. It has a hot button that flashes red when you are live so that you and others around you know to be on your best behavior. All you need to do is configure it so that you can stream at just a tap of the button.  It is compatible with all streaming softwares and platforms. 

Less-Essential Equipment for New Streamers

While there are many other things that can add value to your stream or comfort, you don’t actually need much to get started. If you have a little more in your budget after your camera and audio-equipment, we recommend that you invest in lighting and a green screen.

Lighting Equipment for New Streamers

Lighting equipment will remove unwanted shadows on your face and make your image quality a lot clearer. Depending on your setup, you may want to get additional lighting in the future, but using a soft light or ring light on your desk can help improve your video production clearer for your viewers. Here are a couple available options for you to consider:

Emart Lights

  • 1400 Lumens
  • 4 Colors
  • 2 Soft Light Set

Crenova Ring Light

  • 3 Colors
  • 10 Brightness Levels
  • Stable and Flexible

Elgato Key Light

  • 2800 Lumens, Fully Dimmable
  • Glare-Free Diffusion
  • App-Controlled

Emart Lights

The Emart Lights come with two 15w LED lights. They are ideal for product photography and can used on a table to help light up your streaming space. They come with four different colors of filters so you can customize your look a little.

Crenova Ring Light

The Crenova Ring light has a 10″ LED Ring Light for live streaming. You also have the option of mounting your smartphone to the ring, making it easy to stream from your mobile phone. The ring has 3 colors and 10 brightness levels to give you the exact lighting you need.

Elgato Key Lighting

The Elgato Key Light clips to your desk and is adjustable both in height and by the angle of lighting. It is a great choice for a keylight to brighten your streaming area and make you and your environment look better on camera.

Green Screens for New Streamers 

A green screen is essential if you are in an untidy or dreary space. While some cameras and software offer a background removal, most aren’t as clear or accurate as using a green screen. You can erase your background and plant your image on anything you’d like. 

There are some DIY options you can do, and you don’t necessarily have to use the color green. If you have a smooth colored surface of any kind, you may be able to use it as a green screen. 

Here are two green screen options that are popular with streamers:

Elgato Green Screen

  • Premium Screen
  • Collapses for Storage
  • Full Coverage Chroma

Webaround

  • Attaches to Chair
  • 56″ Diameter Screen
  • Folds for Storage

Kshioe Screen

  • 3.5 x 8.5 Feet
  • Backdrop Stand
  • Multiple Screens

Elgato Green Screen

The Elgato green screen is a collapsible panel that you can easily store when you aren’t using it. While it is a bit costly upfront, this high-quality screen can last you for years. It isn’t bulky, and you can take it with you to stream on the go. 

Webaround Chair Green Screen

Webaround manufactures a greenscreen that attaches to the back of your chair. You can easily attach and remove it every time you stream and the straps that hold it to the chair are adjustable. 

Kshioe Screen

If you have more space, the Kshioe Screen is an affordable way to give you a green screen behind you. With a sturdy stand, green screen clips and several panels to choose from, you can even stand in front of this screen to remove the background around you.

Conclusion

As you grow, you’ll be able to expand your setups with both better and different kinds of equipment. Most streamers start off small and slowly grow into their setups. You are not alone. 

About the Author

Chris

Chris is a digital marketer with a strong background in influencer branding. He applies his knowledge of content and promotional strategies to design actionable advice for new and intermediate streamers.

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