Little Shop of Stream Horrors

Little Shop of Stream Horrors

Come with me on an adventure through our little shop of stream horrors! Over the years we’ve cobbled together many curios from the live streaming industry.

Hopefully by browsing through our shop of horrors you can learn how to avoid some of the common mistakes of live streaming!

1. Potato Camera

Our first item is the amazing potato camera which manages to reduce the video quality of every live stream into that of a starchy mess!

At StreamShark, we’re big fans of the potato, however we’re not fans of potato video quality.

They say first impressions count, so if a viewers first interaction with your live stream is video from a low resolution and blurry camera, they probably will assume the worst. We’ve found over the years that webcams are traditionally the biggest potato quality offenders.

2. Out-of-Sync Man

Next up we have the incredible out-of-sync man. No two words are aligned, leave your audience guessing as to who said what!

Too often we see live streams with out-of-sync audio. Whilst it’s often quite subtle, it’s usually one of the simplest things to fix.

When live streaming it’s very important to test your setup before going live. Testing audio sync can be pretty low tech. One of the most common methods is doing the ‘clap test’. This involves someone clapping their hands on camera to see if the audio sync is correct.

If the audio does prove to be out of sync, this can be fixed with software (e.g. changing settings in OBS) or hardware devices.

3. Pile of Tangled Cables

Moving on, we have the fantabulous pile of tangled cables! Is there a hardware problem? No one knows, because we have no idea what each cable is doing!

Cable management is one of those tedious tasks that is often ignored. When you’re progressing to more advanced live stream setups with many microphones and cameras, the management of cables can become a nightmare.

Whilst you may have success with a janky mess of cables, you’re always tempting fate. If anything goes wrong with one of the cables, or you’re trying to troubleshoot an issue on the fly, good luck identifying any of those cables.

4. The Buffering Brothers

Next we have the buffering brothers! Watch as every frame of this live stream is riddled with dropped frames and visual artifacts! 

This is another horror which can be resolved by conducting thorough testing before the event goes live.

There can be many causes for buffering, but if the video source you’re sending into the video platform is misconfigured, then you’re already hamstrung before the race has even begun. We wrote a blog post about this a couple of years ago here.

5. Audio Clippers of Death

Our final devious item is the audio clippers of death! These clippers can turn the audio of any live stream into a clipped mess. They can also ruin your hairdo, unless you like bowl cuts.

Audio clipping occurs when an amplifier attempts an output voltage beyond its maximum capability. This results in the audio losing its clarity, which is particularly noticeable when a person is speaking. Usually this occurs when the person speaking uses words with plosives or harsh ‘ess’’. For example ‘pickles’ or ‘snake’. 

It’s also another one of those simple things which can be avoided with proper preparation. The solution to avoid audio clipping is to just lower the output volume. An audio mixer is worth investing in as it will allow you to easily monitor your audio levels on the fly, to ensure clipping isn’t occurring.

That brings us to the end of the little shop of stream horrors tour! We hope that you’ve learnt a few things which may save your next live stream from complete failure!

Please exit through the gift shop, and be sure to leave a comment if we’ve missed any items during our tour.

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