Back in October alongside the release of the first ShadowPlay beta, NVIDIA announced that ShadowPlay would be getting support for an additional video encoding mode: Twitch.tv video uploading. At the time the Twitch functionality was being delivered as an early announcement that wasn’t going to be ready for the first ShadowPlay beta, and now a bit less than 2 months since ShadowPlay was released, NVIDIA is adding the feature to their latest version of GeForce Experience/ShadowPlay.

GeForce Experience 1.8.1, released this week, is a point update for GeForce Experience that adds support for Twitch uploading. Both conceptually and technically Twitch uploading is a being implemented as function of NVIDIA’s existing ShadowPlay hardware, leveraging the same fast capture APIs and hardware encode functionality, replacing normal file encoding with uploading to the Twitch service. Hardware video encoding is still a rare feature for Twitch-capable capture utilities, so as with ShadowPlay NVIDIA is looking to exploit their edge here in capturing and hardware encoding to offer a client without the significant overhead of inefficient frame captures and software video encoding.

Since it is a function of ShadowPlay, GeForce Experience’s Twitch support has the same basic limitations of ShadowPlay itself, primarily that capturing is limited to full screen applications. So GeForce Experience can’t (currently) replace scenarios where windowed or borderless windowed mode capturing is necessary. That said NVIDIA has added overlay support specifically for Twitch, allowing the operator camera to be overlaid onto the video output without breaking the encode chain.

Also, as with ShadowPlay GFE’s Twitch support comes at three different quality/bitrate settings. High, Medium, and Low correspond to 3.5Mbps 2Mbps, and 0.75Mbps respectively.

Shadowplay Twitch.tv Bitrates
High Quality 3.5Mbps
Medium Quality
2Mbps
Low Quality
0.75Mbps

NVIDIA has also posted a quick demonstration video to showcase the functionality and quality of their Twitch upload support.


Watch live video from EatGamer on TwitchTV

On a final note, with basic Twitch support now in ShadowPlay, NVIDIA has mentioned what their next goals are for their utility. “Desktop capture for ShadowPlay, and enhanced microphone control” are mentioned as the next milestones, with desktop capture in particular being of interest since it would eliminate the full screen game requirement under the current version of ShadowPlay. That said we do know that NVIDIA has to use different capture APIs for that versus a full screen application, so it will be interesting to see just what further impact (if any) desktop capture may have.

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  • Lonyo - Wednesday, December 18, 2013 - link

    I think the fullscreen-only requirement will mean a lot of people who might use it (people who stream a lot on Twitch) won't be using it.
    Most people like to be able to alt-tab for various reasons, and having to fullscreen games makes this a pain. Things like League of Legends, Hearthstone and SC2 work without any problems in windowed modes and those are 3 of the top 5 or 6 most popular games streaming wise on Twitch.

    Until they get it resolved it will limit the helpfulness of the feature to most of the premier streamers, although it will be more accessible/friendly to smaller users who just want to stream a game now and then.
    Reply
  • wickman - Wednesday, December 18, 2013 - link

    I agree, being forced to run fullscreen mode right now means this is effectively useless to many gamers. The vast majority of my games I run in borderless window on my center panel (2560x1440) and the 2 wing monitors (900x1440 each) are used for monitoring temps/system usage, chats, youtube, music, vent/teamspeak, or keeping an eye on the dvd/movies I am ripping. But even streamers I know prefer a setup like this as it means they can keep an eye on/interact with the people in their chat rooms, twitter, etc.

    I don't stream to twitch or any other service, but the rest of the Geforce Experience features are quite interesting and I hope they add support for borderless window mode very soon. The ShadowPlay feature in particular I think may be very cool.
    Reply
  • JlHADJOE - Wednesday, December 18, 2013 - link

    Yeah the streamers (and their sponsors) need support for their overlays. Reply
  • imaheadcase - Thursday, December 19, 2013 - link

    What stops them from alt-tabing in fullscreen mode? That works just as well for majority of games. The games you listed you can alt-tab from full screen. Maybe it is something i don't understand, but i've read that before and i've streaming BF4 last night fine in full screen to twitch and alt-tab out of it. Reply
  • Icehawk - Wednesday, December 18, 2013 - link

    Huh? I only full screen games (for ex. TF2) and alt-tabbing is a complete non-issue (plus I have a second monitor anyways for stuff I'd want open and viewable). A windowed game means I can easily pop out of the game if my mouse goes to the screen edge :( Then again I'm not playing stuff like DOTA or SC2.

    What IS a problem is being forced to run in a window to Twitch stream. So count me among the many happy there is finally a full screen solution.
    Reply
  • althaz - Wednesday, December 18, 2013 - link

    I can't speak for all games, but playing Starcraft 2 at least traps your mouse cursor in the window so you can play as if the game is full screen except that alt-tabbing is instant and doesn't disrupt your game at all. Reply
  • wickman - Thursday, December 19, 2013 - link

    I have not actually come across a game that locks your cursor to your main panel when running a borderless window/fullscreen window mode. There was a software package called "Actual Multiple Monitors" that allowed you to lock your cursor to one panel, and use a hotkey command to unlock it, but I don't recall it ever being very successful for games. Reply
  • todlerix - Thursday, December 19, 2013 - link

    Everytime you tab out, it kills the stream. I usually play fullscreen as well, but talking to people in the stream then kills the stream, enter skype call, dead stream, join mumble/switch channel, dead stream. Not being able to tab out is .. ridiculous. I, and many others, hope they can figure out a way to do it. Reply
  • Lancevere - Thursday, December 19, 2013 - link

    Hopefully streaming 4k is a possibility, will add to the sparse amount of native 4k content out there to take advantage of the new monitors and tv's... Reply
  • Sythral - Tuesday, December 24, 2013 - link

    You neglect the fact that the required bandwidth to stream 4k would be incredibly high. The general population does not have the required upload to do such a thing. Reply

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