Twitch Rolls Out 1080p 60fps Streaming

Twitch has announced many changes recently, but none might be more welcome than the news that it now supports 1080p 60fps streaming. The upgrade isn't available to everyone just yet--the company stuck with the usual phased rollout--but it should reach all users over the coming weeks.

The upgrade results from Twitch raising its ingest bitrate from 3.5Mb to 3-6Mb. Sticking with the higher end of that range should enable 1080p 60fps streams or help ensure the stream can handle "faster, more demanding games," Twitch said in a blog post. The service's September 2016 transcode updates will allow viewers to choose from a variety of different quality options (all the way down to 144p) suited for their connections.

Both updates should complement each other to make Twitch more fun to watch. More people than ever have 1080p, 1440p, or 4K monitors and the graphics cards to push games at those resolutions. Barring any extenuating circumstances, such as metered internet connections, who would want to watch a 720P stream on a 4K monitor? That's almost like renting out an IMAX theater just to play the first Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega Genesis.

It's not quite that bad. But this is still a welcome improvement, much like Twitch's new desktop app, the redesigned navigation for the website, and Twitch Games Commerce, which lets you buy games you've watched your favorite streamer play without ever having to leave Twitch. Combined with Pulse, which lets streamers interact with their fans even when they aren't broadcasting, all those updates add to a very different Twitch experience.

You can see if your Twitch channel is ready for the improved bitrate and transcode options via Twitch Inspector. That tool will also "monitor and troubleshoot your stream stability," Twitch said, "and run test streams before you go live so your viewers will have the best experience possible." The company also set up a new website to help you figure out what settings will give you the best stream with your hardware and internet connection.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.

  • jeremy2020
    It's a shame that twitch has the market share because there's some more technologically sound streaming platforms out there. I hope they manage to catch up.
  • esco_sid
    They are still miles behind Youtube 6Mbps is still too low for 1080p@60 maybe 30 would look alright they do have a larger user base tough but i only stream to youtube as i can just crank it to 50mbps upload and use nvenc on gpu to have excellent quality and have transcoding take care of the quality settings in youtube.
  • Antonio_34
    none of it matters until you can do it without a capture card. Hopefully you can offload the work onto your ram/extra cores on cpu's soon as the gpu enabled stream is horrid.
  • dstarr3
    I'll sort of miss the end of Earthbound trashing the compression. "Hooray! You beat Giygas! Now you're streaming in 32x24!"
  • Middleearth1010
    Streaming on twitch died when they mute your stream God forbid you play any music.even in the background Such BS. I wish I could stream without the censorship due to "copyright" bs.
  • clonazepam
    None of it matters if half of your viewers complain about stutter or pixelation. Streaming at 720p60 and nearly everyone's happy unles its on your end.

    They don't mute your stream. It's meant to be a live show and you can play anything you want. They mute the VODs and they've advanced that tech by quite a bit recently from doing 30 minute blocks to just the sections that require muting.
  • SinxarKnights
    19499944 said:
    None of it matters if half of your viewers complain about stutter or pixelation. Streaming at 720p60 and nearly everyone's happy unles its on your end.

    That is one of my major complaints with Twitch. They removed the option for people to watch different quality streams unless you are big time (you must have enough viewers and followers to enable subscriptions + quality options) effectively forcing you to stream low quality for more viewers or go high quality and alienate a large portion of people who don't have the speed.

    Not a problem if you are in a country where most people would have high speed internet. Here in the US though there is a gigantic number of people who still only have access to DSL or low quality "broadband".

  • Morbus
    I'm very small (10 viewers at most) but SOMETIMES they're able to select the quality of the stream. I believe it happens more often on weekdays, specially if I start streaming before 10pm GMT.