Coding with JoeG - Streaming Hardware Configuration - December 2020 Update

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Since the original ‘Stream Hardware Configuration post, I’ve changed my hardware configuration a bit. This post contains the most current hardware configuration.

I’ve listed out all of the equipment that I use to stream ‘Coding with JoeG’ on Twitch. While all this equipment is not necessary, it has helped me produce a reliable stream. Your mileage may vary!

Computer Equipment

I’ve learned a little bit and upgraded my hardware setup. Now I use a more powerful laptop with more memory and a better video card. I now have a Dell Precision 5540 laptop. The extra memory is key when you are using one pc. At minimum when I stream, I am running JetBrains Rider, StreamLabs OBS, and Microsoft Edge. Having the extra members keeps the operating system from swapping applications to the hard drive.

The next big change is the video card. This laptop has a higher-end (for laptops) video card, the NVIDIA Quadro T2000.

Streaming PC

A Dell Precision 5540 with the specs of:

  • Intel i9-9880H (2.30Ghz) - 8 Cores
  • 32 Gb of memory
  • 512 Gb SSD (NVMe)
  • NVIDIA Quadro T2000

Secondary PC

I no longer use a secondary computer thanks to the power of the primary streaming PC.

Streaming ‘Gear’

“Each” WebCam 1080p

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Each Web Cam

While I could have used the built-in webcam on either laptop for the stream, the ‘Each’ webcam allows me to customize the webcam settings further. Luckily, with this camera, I don’t need to customize anything. The default, “out of the box”, settings produce an excellent quality 1080p image. Another good thing about this camera is that I can mount on top of the laptop or tripod.

Audio-Technica ATR2100X-USB USB/XLR Microphone Bundle with Knox Gear Boom Arm, Shock Mount, and Pop Filter

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Audio-Technica ATR2100X-USB USB/XLR Microphone

A microphone is probably the one piece of hardware that I recommend you buy, not necessarily the ATR2100. I love the sound quality of this microphone so far. Most built-in microphones are low quality and, on laptops, are next to the keyboard. These two factors lead to the microphone picking up considerable extra noise. Having a separate microphone mounted on a ‘Boom arm’ with the shock mount and pop filter reduces much noise. With this configuration, you can’t hear me type, the fan in my office, or when I accidentally bang the desk. This microphone is a great starter purchase. As a bonus, this comes with an XLR connection to plug into a mixer board and other gear if you want to get serious about your audio.

Elgato HD 60 S+

NOTE This is no longer used since I only use one PC.

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Elgato Game Capture HD60 S+

Don’t let the name ‘Game Capture’ fool you. This device does more than capture game footage. I think the initial thought behind the product was for game capture. However, this device allows you to capture audio and video via HDMI and use it as a Video Source in OBS. Setup is fairly easy and everything you need is included.

Green Screening / Chroma Keying

“Green Screening” or chroma keying allows software like OBS to easily separate green screens and panels from the people standing in front of them and replace those backgrounds with pretty much anything. You’ve seen chroma keying in Hollywood special effects when superheroes fly or while watching your local weather forecast when the weather person is magically standing in front of a map. Many streamers use chroma keying to drop out everything behind them, so you only see them on the stream. I use the ePhotoInc chroma key collapsible blue/green background with the Fovitec stand to hold it.

For OBS to remove or replace the background, you need to add a Chromakey. You can check out the post ‘Coding with JoeG - Software Configuration’ for details on my configuration.

ePhotoInc 5’ x 7’ Photo Collapsible CHROMAKEY Green Blue Background 2 in 1 Backdrop Panel T57BG

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ePhotoInc 5' x 7' Photo Collapsible CHROMAKEY Green Blue Background

Fovitec - 7’6” Clip Stand Kit for Photo & Video Pop-Out Backdrops & Reflectors

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Fovitec - 7 foot 6 inch Clip Stand Kit for Photo & Video Pop-Out Backdrops & Reflectors

Helpful Extras

Elgato StreamDeck

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Elgato StreamDeck

The StreamDeck provides physical buttons that you can assign to an assortment of things. You can program scene transitions, sound effects, send tweets, and more. For me, I have it currently starting a few different applications and sending tweets.

I haven’t used the Elgato StreamDeck to the fullest extend yet. I’ll play around with it some more this weekend. I’ve since, starting using the Streamdeck a lot more, as you can see in the picture. I’ll blog about the configuration another time.

Elgato StreamDeck

Desk Lights

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USB Powered Desk Lamp

I have 6 ‘Daylight’ bulbs in my home office, so the lighting is pretty good. I use these lights mostly to highlight imperfections with shadows (mainly on my face).

Amazon USB 3.0 Hub

NOTE This is no longer used since I only use one PC.

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Amazon USB 3.0 Hub

A USB hub is not required. However, because of my current configuration of laptops, I do not have enough USB ports for the microphone, webcam, Elgato card, and Stream Deck.

Note: This item is no longer available.

Wired Ethernet Connection

While not required, it is strongly recommended depending on your network configuration. The laptop hard-wired into my router (it’s super close to my desk). Having the laptop hard-wired prevents wi-fi interference and potential packet/frame dropping.

Wrapping up

Your needs may vary. This equipment list is what I purchased to deliver an inexpensive quality stream. Depending on your hardware, you might not need anything from this list. I curated a list of the equipment for the Coding with JoeG Stream at this list on Amazon. Jeffrey Fritz, part of the LiveCoders team, also blogged about his configuration, in the Live Streaming Setup - 2019 Edition

Note If you click on an Amazon link and purchase a product, I may get a commission from Amazon. The purpose of the links is to avoid much searching and not to make money on the blog post.