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Streaming High Def – A Simplified Guide to Get It Right

run streams in high definition

What separates top streams from those that are barely gaining any traction? They might offer unique and more engaging content, or the creators are incredibly talented with their craft. However, a more objective and closer look reveals they’re all streaming in high def.

It also makes sense. With poor resolutions or subpar visuals, even the most skilled streamer won’t be able to impress the most forgiving of audiences. People are used to and expect high-resolution video streams, and as a streamer, you should prioritize streaming in HD if you aren’t doing so.

Learn what high def means and how you can livestream in HD on all your favorite streaming platforms.

What Is an HD Video?

HD, or high definition, is a type of video with higher resolution than standard definition videos. HD videos typically have a resolution of at least 1280×720 pixels, also known as 720p. 

Such have resolutions of 1920×1080 pixels, or 1080p, which is even better quality than 720p. HD videos have a much sharper and clearer image than standard definition videos, making them ideal for viewing on larger screens.

Aside from that, high-def video also comes with a broader range of colors, better contrast, and, in most cases, more vibrant visuals.

Why Live Stream in HD?

As a content creator, your priority should be to ensure a smooth and unforgettable viewing experience for your viewers. 

Today, high-def video is more of a bare minimum than a luxury. With the surge of high-def video streaming services by default, more people now expect the same, if not better-quality, visuals.

The main benefit of streaming in HD is that it allows viewers to enjoy a much better visual and audio experience. For instance, visual perception of tiny details is critical with streams that involve gaming, live trading, or code tutorials. In this case, you don’t want your audience to strain while watching your stream.

Numerous alternatives exist, and you better believe viewers will ditch your stream if you don’t level up your game. 

Another benefit of livestreaming in HD is that it allows you to stand out from competitors. Mediocre is easy, and if you can provide a different, better alternative to all the poor-quality streams, you’ll definitely score loyal fans for your channel.

Furthermore, HD streaming will help your content stand out on social media platforms like YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook, as these platforms prioritize high-quality streams in their search results and users’ suggested feeds.

Live streaming in HD can help you connect with your audience better and interact with them more effectively. With better visuals and audio, viewers can easily follow along with the streamer’s activities and discussions more closely, leading to a more engaging and interactive experience. 

This allows you to build a stronger connection with your viewers and cultivate long-term relationships with them, a crucial ingredient in building hordes of loyal and devoted fans.

Multi-Streaming Platform

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Streaming in High Definition: 720p or 1080p?

Both resolutions pass as high definition, so which should you go for? A random guess that would seem most logical is to stream the highest video resolution possible.

After all, the higher the resolution you stream at, the better the image quality you can achieve, and obviously, your audience will love it. It also makes more sense if, for instance, you’re streaming videos with lots of motion, such as gaming or live code/trading tutorials.

1080p will ensure your video looks crisp and clear, allowing viewers to follow along easily. On the other hand, if you’re streaming static images or stills, then 720p will usually suffice.

But that’s only one way to look at it. 

When deciding whether to go for 720p or 1080p streaming, there are a few other factors to consider. First is your internet connection. If your internet speed isn’t fast enough, you won’t be able to stream in HD without sacrificing image quality. 

You also need to factor in the bitrate you’re using; the higher the bitrate, the better quality your video will look. Another thing worth mentioning is the hardware you’re using; if your computer can’t handle streaming in HD, it’s best to stick with 720p.

In summary, if you’re faced with this dilemma, remember it’s all down to personal preference and your equipment’s capabilities.  

If you want to offer viewers the best possible viewing experience (which should be your primary focus), then you should aim to stream in 1080p. However, if that’s not possible due to technical limitations or slow internet speeds, then 720p is a safe bet.

What to Consider Before Going Live in HD

Livestreaming in HD is great, but it doesn’t occur in a vacuum. Here’s a quick rundown on the most vital factors that weigh heavily on the success of your next HD live stream: 

Your Camera

With visuals, you can never upgrade a low-resolution image or video to a higher one. Due to this, having a camera that records in the highest resolution possible is ideal. 

Whether using a webcam, a DSLR, or a mirrorless camera, it’s vital to ensure good resolution and high frame rates. Look for cameras that record at least 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second (fps). 

Higher resolution and fps can also provide a better viewing experience but may require more processing power. 

It’s also important to check your camera settings. Make sure you use the right video and audio codecs and aspect ratio. Proper settings will ensure that your stream looks and sounds as good as possible. 

Finally, with cameras, ensure it’s mounted securely to avoid shaky footage. It’s distracting and can harm your brand as a professional streamer.

Upload Speed

There are two sides to internet speed, download and upload speed, whether satellite or fiber. In most cases, internet service providers allocate more bandwidth and, by extension, faster download speeds to their plans. 

This is all by design and, in most respects, an adaptation to market needs, considering a majority of their customers are consumers. Before going live in HD, ensure your ISP’s plan has at least 5MBps upload speed; if you can get more, the better.

Another thing worth considering is latency. Always opt for or switch to providers whose internet connection has the least possible latency.

The thing with latency is that you might have very high internet upload and download speeds, but with high latency, your streams won’t broadcast as optimally, leading to lags or severe quality distortions, which won’t look good for your brand.

Freeing Up Some Storage

Streaming high def requires much more storage space than streaming in standard definition. You need enough storage to store prerecorded streams and accommodate the necessary software and games you’ll need for your channel.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to check how much free space you have on your computer, and if you don’t have enough, consider deleting some unused programs or files you no longer need. While at it, ensure you back up any critical files before deleting them.

If file deletion is out of the question, you may want to look into cloud storage solutions such as Google Drive or Dropbox, where you can store your data without taking up any of your hard drive’s space. This is especially useful if you are streaming from a laptop or device with limited hard drive capacity.

The great thing with most cloud storage solutions is that they’re affordable; in most cases, you can store quite a lot on the free plan.

It’s a good idea to ensure that your stream is not interrupted by running out of storage space mid-stream. Storage space may fill up quickly, especially when starting or if you livestream regularly.

Even after you’ve freed your storage, keep an eye on your disk space usage regularly and delete any large files or applications if necessary.

Your Streaming Platform’s Settings

The best livestreaming platforms, like Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook Live, have options for setting a custom bitrate, resolution, and frames per second (FPS).

Selecting one that matches your internet connection’s download speed when setting a custom bitrate is ideal. If your internet connection can’t handle the bitrate you’ve chosen, viewers will experience a buffering or choppy video. 

Select a lower bitrate that your connection can handle more efficiently to prevent this from happening. A better solution would be to upgrade to a plan or switch to a provider with faster upload speeds.

When selecting a resolution, it’s important to note that the higher the resolution, the more bandwidth you’ll need. 1080p is usually recommended as the minimum resolution for HD streaming, but checking with your streaming platform to see their default resolution settings is essential. 

Live Streaming Studio

Wave.videoOpen Studio

How to Stream in High Def with

If you’re looking for a way to stream your content in high definition, is an excellent option. We provide users with the tools they need to stream in high definition and make professional-grade videos.

Here’s how to stream in HD with 

  • First, you will need to create a Wave account. You can easily do this by entering site and signing up for an account. 

  • Next hit the My Projects button, then select My streams & recordings.
  • Click Setup Live Stream, add your event title and description, then select a folder where you’ll record your stream. You can also create a new folder for this.

  • Upload a thumbnail for your live stream by hitting the Thumbnail button, then select destinations for your stream. This can be any of the major video sharing platforms.
  • Finally, hit the Create Live Stream button. 
  • Invite guests to your live stream by hitting the Invite Guests button. Next, click Open Studio, where you’ll be able to customize your stream further. 

You can stream a live or prerecorded video, plus not to mention endless options to make your stream stand out from the rest. allows you to stream directly on YouTube or Vimeo or even share it on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter.

As a plus, there’s an analytics function that allows you to track the performance of your videos and see how they are performing. This is a great way to monitor how well your HD video is doing and make any necessary adjustments to ensure your content reaches its maximum potential.

Web-based Streaming Software

Wave.videoGo Live

How to Stream in HD on YouTube

Streaming in HD on YouTube is relatively easy as long as you have the right equipment and settings.

The first step to streaming HD on YouTube is creating a Google account and ensuring you have the necessary hardware. As mentioned above, you’ll need a camera capable of shooting in 1080p or higher, a computer with at least 4GB of RAM, and a good internet connection. Once you have the necessary equipment, you can set up your stream.

Select the resolution you want to stream in when setting up your stream. YouTube offers 720p and 1080p resolutions. If the equipment allows, always use the highest resolution setting.

Next, you will need to adjust the bitrate of your stream. High bitrate generally translates to better stream quality. However, it is essential to remember that higher bitrates also mean higher bandwidth requirements. If your internet connection can’t handle the bitrate you choose, your stream quality won’t improve as much.

If possible, upgrade to a faster internet plan, and opt for faster upload speeds.

Once you have finished setting up your stream, you can begin streaming. 

Feel free to check out our more comprehensive on how to livestream on YouTube.


What upload speed is needed to stream in FullHD?

To stream in FullHD, you’ll need an upload speed of at least 5 Mbps (megabits per second). Remember that this speed should be consistent, and your streaming software should be configured to stream at this resolution.

Besides that, you should ensure your hardware can handle the increased bandwidth of streaming in FullHD. This includes ensuring that your computer’s CPU, RAM, and graphics card are up to the task.

Can I stream in 1080p on Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube?

Yes, you can stream in 1080p on Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube. Streaming in 1080p allows you to produce a high-quality video that looks great on any device and will help you stand out from the crowd.

To stream in 1080p on Twitch, ensure your computer is powerful enough to handle the streaming load at this resolution. You’ll need a PC or laptop with a dedicated graphics card, a modern CPU, and a lot of RAM to ensure smooth streaming performance. 

You’ll also need to connect to a high-speed internet connection and ensure enough upload speed for 1080p streaming. Twitch recommends an upload speed of 3 Mbps for 1080p streaming.

To stream in 1080p on YouTube, you’ll need an internet connection with an upload speed of at least 5 Mbps.

Facebook Live supports 1080p streaming as well, but with slightly different requirements than YouTube or Twitch. You’ll need an internet connection with a download speed of at least 5 Mbps and an upload speed of at least 4 Mbps. You’ll also need to configure your streaming software correctly and enable 1080p streaming on the settings page.

How do I stream in HD on Facebook? Is the process different from YouTube?

Streaming in high definition on Facebook is similar to streaming HD on YouTube. Both platforms require a reliable and consistent internet connection and ensure that your stream settings are correctly configured for the best viewing experience. 

The main difference between the two is the hardware setup. On Facebook, you’ll need to connect your computer or capture device directly to the router using an Ethernet cable to stream in full HD.

You’ll need to adjust your settings first to stream in HD on Facebook. To do this, simply go to your page, click ‘Live’ and then select ‘Settings’ in the dropdown menu. 

You’ll then be able to customize your video quality and resolution, bitrate, frames per second (FPS), and more. Be sure to take note of the minimum and recommended video settings so you know what your stream should look like.

Once you’ve adjusted your settings, you must create a new live stream by clicking ‘Create Live Stream’ on the same page. From there, follow the instructions to configure your audio and video sources before going live. After your initial setup, the platform will handle the rest.

Facebook also provides several other features and tools to guarantee your stream runs smoothly. For example, you can monitor the performance of your stream in real-time with ‘Live Insights’ and check the playback quality of your stream with ‘Video Quality Insights.’ 

Final Thoughts

The difference between average or standard resolution and HD quality is stark. In a few words, high def content will always stand out. As a content creator, this may mean building a brand name and earning more followers for your channel.

But before you get to all that, you must understand high-def content and what it takes to stream HD content. In summary, you should have the capable equipment to record and transmit in HD quality. Regarding internet speed, always ensure the upload speed is fast enough.

Once you’ve got all that sorted out, you’re ready to go. Start streaming in HD and watch as your content gets a new level of clarity and detail. Whether you’re creating videos for YouTube, Twitch, or Facebook, streaming in HD will help take your content to the next level and give your audience an enhanced viewing experience.

As a content creator, streaming may take a while to pay off, but it will eventually. Meanwhile, you can learn how to stream like a pro here and shorten your learning curve.

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