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.