Hardware, software, and Internet

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Hardware

PC or mac?

  • When it comes down to it, either one will work. Though there have been instances where girls have issues with certain software only running on Windows. One of those is actually the Logitech drivers required to adjust visual settings on your webcam.
  • If you have a mac and have issues with software, you can utilize Bootcamp to install Windows.

Desktop or laptop?

  • Don't use a netbook. They just aren't powerful enough to do the job.
  • Consider what kind of shows you will be doing. If you're going to always be in one room, desktop works great. If you're going to move around a lot, or do shows outside of your home, laptop is the way to go.
  • With either one, a low budget model isn't going to work well for providing long term 1080 HD streaming, recording, and video editing. This isn't saying you need a top of the line cutting edge PC to stream, but having a computer capable of running your webcam at 1080, encode the stream and upload continually is necessary. The stronger the CPU the better with i5 or i7 being ideal choices for streaming. Memory can be a bottleneck as well if you're running very low amounts but most PCs now ship with >8GB of RAM which will work for any streaming as well as recording videos. The final part that can help smooth out the video stream and/or recording will be hard drive. The ideal choice for this is an SSD. Running 1 SSD for your OS and programs and 1 SSD dedicated to recording is the smoothest operation but if this isn't available in your budget, 1 larger SSD all of it will suffice. This isn't to say that a traditional HDD won't work, it will. SSDs just have the advantage of faster speeds making everything smoother and more stable.

Accessories

  • External speakers: Some recommend an external speaker set for playing music during your streams if the speakers on your laptop or desktop are not clear or give out poor quality sound. It's a personal preference item.
  • Wireless Keyboard/Mouse: Some models prefer wireless accessories for portability but, if you cam at a stable location each night, it's not as much a necessity. The options for wireless is highly varied, depending primarily on your own choice in brands and features. PC Peripherals are one of the markets where you really do get what you pay for so a cheap $10 keyboard isn't likely to work well or long as opposed to a higher end one with a $50+ price tag.
  • Webcam: (See Best Webcams for more info.) The Logitech C920 is the most common, go-to model. It supports full 1080HD streaming, has an internal microphone, a long cord and Logitech build quality. Many sites do not stream in full HD (MFC, Cam4, etc) so having a lower priced cam is an option if you're on a budget or just starting out. Streaming in full 1080 HD will require a higher upload bandwidth and a stable connection so the 2 items will go hand-in-hand for it to work smoothly.
  • Microphone: Recommended webcams all have a sufficient internal microphone but a cam model may choose to use a separate microphone for clearer sound quality. Generally, a separate microphone may be more recommended for recording videos as opposed to camming. Some girls have recommended using a Yeti, so that may be worth looking into if you're interested in an external mic.

Software and Apps

Cam Splitters

  • Manycam is a popular splitter and is good to use if you are on a site that does not need to stream in HD. You can add text, timers, graphics to your feed, as well as utilize picture-in-picture with dual webcams.
  • VerySoft is known to be the best quality splitter, able to keep up the highest quality on all camming sites. This is highly recommended for sites that require you to stream in HD.
  • A splitter is required if you're going to cam on more than 1 site at a time, or if you're going to record your shows while you're broadcasting. It is entirely possible to cam without a splitting program.

HD Encoders

Music

  • Streaming apps such as Spotify, Pandora, Slacker, Last.fm or iHeartRadio are popular. Keep in mind that some free versions of these play ads for your localities, so beware if you don't disclose your general area.
  • Some cam girls may be wary of using copyrighted music in their broadcasts or recorded video. Search for a site with "royalty free music" if you're interested in going this route.

Internet

High speed

  • Broadband internet is a must for streaming. Not only your download speeds, but just as importantly your upload speeds. In most areas cable, fiber or satellite broadband is now available for (hopefully) a reasonable price with upgraded packages to increase your upload speeds. Simply signing up for a basic package will work for lower population areas and streaming in lower video quality but if you're wanting to stream in a busy area and in 1080 then your upload bandwidth can become a serious issue.

Wifi

  • The same restriction apply to WiFi as a normal broadband connection. Home WiFi setups are common now to most homes and provide stable, secure wireless options for models to cam from anywhere in (or around) their home network with only a transmitter and a wireless adapter (built into nearly all modern laptops). With the most current wireless protocols, you can run speeds just as high wireless as you can wired. If this is not possible or if you are experiencing issues, it is best to be plugged directly into your modem.

Hot Spots

  • Similar to WiFi networking, hot spots can provide a much more mobile broadband connection outside of your home network. As long as you can maintain a stable and secure broadband speed upload and download, a hot spot can be a solid choice for mobile streaming.

Contributor to this Page

Special thank you to Princess Mika and others for writing this page.