Sometimes streaming with multiple cameras is a way to show a wholly streamlined live solution that makes a channel stand out as being more professional. However, getting into video switching can be a costly addition to your budget. So, without breaking the bank, we will talk about a method that you can use to stream multiple cameras on Twitch.
How To Stream Using Multiple Cameras On Twitch
How the cameras will be used will determine some of the setups. However, in general, it is quite simple. Here are the necessary steps to set up multiple cameras in a single screen output. This is the setup you would use if you were going to have a webcam screen within a game screen capture.
- Hook cameras up to the computer.
- Test that all cameras are ‘recognized’ by the computer.
- Run OBS.
- In the ‘Sources’ window, click on the + button to add a source.
- Select ‘Video Capture Device.’
- A popup window will appear and allow you to name the device or select from a list of devices. Select the device(s) you want to use.
- Now just adjust the size of the sources right on the screen output window to fit multiple screens, and you’re ready to go.
When you first want to stream multiple cameras on Twitch, several steps need to be taken. First, you need to be able to hook up each camera to your computer.
It is an easy task if the cameras you are using are all USB cameras. If they are not, then the appropriate wires and possibly even an interface device may be required (we discuss these later in this article).
Given that USB webcams are much easier to set up and use, I recommend using them at first. One of my favorite budget friendly webcams is the Aukey FHD 1080p webcam, which you can get on Amazon here.
I purchased one a few weeks ago and it was super simple to set up and the quality was really good. Here is a pic I took with it (by the way, I look like a dweeb here):
If you want something a little bit better, then you should go with the Logitech C922x Pro Webcam which you can see here on Amazon. This is probably the most commonly used webcam for streamers. It is a step up from the Aukey, is still a USB webcam, but still will not break your bank account.
If you want to know what webcam I consider to be the best, as well as more information on the webcams I already mention, then check out my recommended webcams page here.
One last thing on setting up multiple cameras. Be mindful of how many USB ports you have. Between multiple cameras, a mic, a keyboard, a mouse, controller etc. you can run out of USB ports quickly.
If this is the case for you, then grab a USB splitter like this one on Amazon. They are inexpensive and give you lots of extra USB ports (which you will probably need for multiple cameras).
Now, once everything is all hooked up, it will not be a matter of deciding the stream’s production. Will you have multiple cameras showing multiple scenes during the stream, like a picture in the picture concept?
Or, will you switch between cameras, such as is done in a movie or television production?
If you do plan to switch between multiple scenes, then I highly recommend getting an El Gato Stream Deck (click to see it on Amazon).
This allows you to switch between scenes with just one click. It is super common among streamers because of how much easier it makes your transitions.
This last method works really well when you are just setting up multiple sources like a webcam and a screen capture. Still, for setting up multiple cameras that will take up the entire screen, we need to look at a more significant level of setting things up.
Creating Scenes To Switch Between Camera Sources
For the circumstance where you want to switch live between multiple cameras or setups, is to create multiple scenes. A scene is a collection of sources, set up the way you want.
For example, you could have your webcam screen in the foreground in front of one screen capture for one scene.
Then on the next scene, you could again have your screen capture on the foreground but have a big watermark of your logo or brand name. A third scene could be just your logo in the foreground, and your screen capture zoomed-in.
After setting up your scenes, head up to the ‘View’ menu item at the OBS dashboard. Scroll down and select multiview after you start recording or streaming.
This will allow you to quickly switch between scenes during live streaming or recording.
It’s as close to having a real camera and editing crew on the scene as one can get in free software. And OBS does a pretty good job of it, as long as you have a computer that can handle it.
Can OBS use multiple cameras
Of course, OBS can use multiple cameras, but the question is can your computer handle it, not necessarily can the software handle it. OBS will allow a person to pick not only multiple cameras, but multiple sources at the same time as well.
However, OBS can only output a single screen at a time. You can set these sources up as smaller screens and play them all simultaneously. They can be switched from one source to another, even during a live broadcast.
The software can handle quite a bit of punishment, but the real question is, can the computer itself handle the workload.
Frequently it is not the software that fails; it is the computer’s inability to process the vast amount of information regarding multiple camera streams on a live broadcast.
The more efficient the computer, the more cameras and sources that will be available without computer failure for multiple cameras and source live streaming.
You will need a good GPU and a very good processor to handle these cameras. This is why you will often see streamers who use multiple cameras also use multiple computers to handle it.
Why do streamers use multiple cameras on their stream?
There are many reasons that people use multiple cameras on their stream. For one, using multiple cameras makes a stream more interesting and exciting. Another reason is to show other things that are going on around the streamer such as their pet taking a nap. Lastly, some streamers like to get up and dance and having a camera that is set up and ready for the crazy antics makes it easier on the streamer.
If a streamer had to constantly get up and adjust their camera every time they wanted to get up and move around or every time they wanted to show off their pet then that would get really old really fast.
And really annoying too. If you computer can handle it then using multiple cameras is the way to go.
If you are a live streamer, trying to run multiple cameras during your live stream, while gaming and entertaining your viewers is going to be a tough thing to do.
That’s why streamers that do use multiple cameras often either pre-record and edit the stream for a not so live experience or pre-set the cameras and simply use OBS to switch between them using multiview.
Advantages and Disadvantages To Using Multiple Cameras On Twitch
The advantages of using multiple cameras are many. Primarily though, it is the increase in your ability to produce quality content that is that much better than the competition. As discussed above, as to why people might want to use multiple cameras, it is truly a production desire. If your computer can handle it then using multiple cameras can be awesome!
The disadvantages however of using multiple cameras only boils down to two real questions: can your computer handle it and are you capable and willing to switch between multiple cameras while you stream?
First, the ability of the computer to handle multiple camera inputs simultaneously is significant. One of the most essential things for streamers is to provide a quality live stream.
The computer’s ability to play a video game while recording multiple cameras and possibly also one or more screen captures at the same time is going to be taxing on the computer.
So, unless you have a really good system that can handle it, or use multiple computers, the possibility is that with multiple cameras, a stream might be slowed down or glitchy on some systems.
The other less distinct disadvantage to having multiple cameras is to control them easily while streaming live. Suddenly the need for a production assistant makes a lot of sense and having someone behind the scenes, switching cameras, commenting to streamers, doing background work all while the stream is live.
If it’s just you, a lone wolf, streaming solo, then adding in and switching cameras in the live stream might be more than most people signed up for.
In for a penny, in for a pound? If you’re going to be a streamer, you might as well give it your all, right?
If you still need help setting up multiple cameras for your stream, check out my Youtube video below.
Best Camera To Computer Interface
If the camera or cameras that you want to use are not USB cameras, you can get an El Gato Cam Link (which you can see here on Amazon) which will allow you to plug in your camera as a USB plug in.
For example, my camera has an HDMI output, but no USB output. So I bought a Cam Link, bought the proper HDMI to USB cable and connected my Cam Link to my camera.
Then all I had to do was plug the Cam Link into one of the USB ports on my PC and I was good to go. The Cam Link makes life so much easier and is a must if you want to stream using a nice camera.
As always, if you have any questions or just want to hang with me, stop by my Twitch channel here and say what’s up!
For even more streaming tips and how-to content check out my Youtube channel here. And if you want to check out my streams then stop by my Twitch channel here.
Streaming with multiple cameras in use can be a great way to improve the overall viewability. This can be accomplished by providing different camera angles as one example of what multiple cameras can accomplish.
With so many different ideas for using multiple cameras for production purposes, the seemingly endless ideas that come to mind appear to outweigh the disadvantages.
And as the OBS software allows for easy switching between cameras and scenes, the temptation for multiple camera use is in many streamers.
The issues with multiple cameras and their severity depend significantly upon the computer being used to stream the broadcast.
The final broadcast quality could be compromised if too many cameras are used, and the computer has difficulty processing all of the video streams simultaneously.
Eric streams 3 days a week on Twitch and uploads weekly to Youtube under the moniker, StreamersPlaybook. He loves gaming, PCs, and anything else related to tech. He’s the founder of the website StreamersPlaybook and loves helping people answer their streaming, gaming, and PC questions.