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 Post subject: What is Twitch?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:05 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2014 12:16 pm
Posts: 242
Okay, so I understand sites like Youtube just fine, but there is another popular video site called Twitch and many video game players stream on there. The problem is that I don't understand how that site and platform works and was hoping that someone can explain the basics to me.

So when I run a website like Youtube my computer can handle it just fine, but when I go to Twitch it is as if my computer (laptop) has to kick into overdrive to even just run the site. In other words its as if that site requires more resources than others.

Then one day I remember watching someone on Twitch play a game. It wasn't a live stream, but I guess an already recorded video that was archived. So I watched it and all was good, but then a few months later I tried to search for that same video and I couldn't find it. This leads me to believe that Twitch is not a permanent video site like Youtube and I guess after so long your videos just get erased. What is the point of that site if your videos just get erased?

Then when I'm watching a Twitch video, I see all of these things talking about donating things, like bit coins or subscriptions or whatever the heck they are. A while back I thought people were donating things so that the streamer got more of a subscription to Twitch or something, but now people are saying things like "thank you for hosting" which makes no sense to me and then people are doing something that makes other people subscribe too? I don't know, its just all very confusing to me how this whole thing works.

So can anyone help me understand what is going on over at Twitch. Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: What is Twitch?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:15 am 
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Its Twitch TV and that is basically how it works. its a live streaming service, and you watch it like TV.. you generally follow people and get notifications when they go live. Some Twitch people archive their videos on Twitch permanently, some just leave them for a while as "catch up". So if you miss an ep because you are out or what not you can catch up in the stream for next time. Most tend to archive their streams on Youtube. See say Carl Sagan 42 or GrandPooBear.

Twitch eats more resources because it has to decode in real time and show a live chat stream. Youtube can pre buffer and decoded ahead. It also doesn't have a live chat.


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 Post subject: Re: What is Twitch?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:23 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:03 pm
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Location: Canada
Twitch is only for live stuff, it is not a place to upload edited videos. There is also a live chat attached to each stream. Yes it uses a lot more CPU than a site like YouTube, but this seems consistent with other live stream services I've seen. (Don't know the technical reason for it.)

Live streams can be recorded and archived, temporarily or permanently, in whole or part, entirely at the decision of the streamer.

"Hosting" is an option to show someone else's live stream while you are offline. If someone comes to your twitch page while you're hosting someone else, they will see that person't live stream instead of just an "offline" thing for you.

You can subscribe to a twitch channel for a monthly fee. I think about half the money goes to the streamer, half to twitch, and you get some other perks from this (chat emoji, etc).

"Bits" are a microtransaction alternative to subscription. A one time gift.


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 Post subject: Re: What is Twitch?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:06 am 
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As far as I can tell, subscribing does really nothing of value (unless you consider the stuff rainwarrior mentioned "value"), and is mainly there as a way for people to show their support to the streamer.

The only people you can subscribe to are people who already have a really big following, which allows them to monetize their Twitch channel. Once that is done, the subscription button is added, and I believe they get the option to run a commercial whenever they want, for additional revenue.

There's a lot to Twitch that I don't really get - mostly the community aspect, as that is pretty much limited to aforementioned popular streamers. However, I'm a part of a Twitch Team which is a really cool concept. I'm not sure what exactly they do, but it's a good way to group a bunch of streamers with a specific theme (in this case, it's a team of people who stream arcade games), and it gives me the option to randomly host other members of the same team whenever I'm offline. Some times that results in my channel getting hosted by super popular streamers which gives me a sudden influx of 100-200 viewers, as opposted to my regular average of 0-2.


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 Post subject: Re: What is Twitch?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:59 am 
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I'm pretty sure part of the "high resource requirements" is just that their website is poorly designed - watching a 900p60 video through the Twitch website consumes an entire CPU core (i7 4790 @ 3.6-4.0GHz) and causes random lag spikes, while watching it through Livestreamer in my media player of choice uses only half of that.

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 Post subject: Re: What is Twitch?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:14 am 
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I'm getting ~5% CPU usage (i7-4790K @4.00 GHz) and 15% GPU utilization (integrated HD 4600) with Twitch.

If it does the decoding entirely on CPU some reason I wouldn't be surprised about high CPU usage. I had similar problems with YouTube in the past when they were just switching over to HTML5 video from Flash. I used to use Livestreamer with Twitch too but nowadays it runs well enough in the browser for me.

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 Post subject: Re: What is Twitch?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:22 am 
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Remember to multiply your CPU usage by the number of cores to get the actual single core CPU usage.

As for CPU usage, Google Chrome is much better at playing videos than Firefox. And Skylake CPUs do a good job with hardware video decoding, it's almost "free". Which CPU brand/generation do you have?

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