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When streaming to twitch on PS4, there are four different quality settings. Low, Medium, High and Best HD.

My upload bandwidth is limited, since it is an ADSL2+ connection, to 1Mbps upload.

I was wondering if there is any information anywhere about what the bitrates are for the different quality settings, to see what I can realistically fit into the 1Mbps limit. I have tried googling but have found nothing useful. Not even Sony seems to give out this information (which I'd have thought somewhat important; especially if you want to support professional streamers).

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The bandwidth used by the PS4 for Twitch streaming for the Best, High, Medium, and Low settings are 1500kbps, 1200kbps, 860kbps, and 520kbps respectively. Given these figures, the highest you can use with a 1Mbps limit would be Medium, and that's also assuming there aren't any other people/devices other than your PS4 sucking much of that limit.

The biggest difference between the speeds are image resolution and sound quality; Best and High both broadcast at 960x540 image resolution and use 64kbps audio whereas Medium and Low settings broadcast at 640x360 resolution and use 32kbps sound. Unfortunately for your viewers there is a very big and noticeable drop in audio quality between 64 and 32kbps. The drop in resolution is noticeable but isn't intolerable unless someone is so used to watching everything in HD that they're too much of a quality snob to accept anything less. All four settings broadcast at 29.97fps.

For a basis of comparison, even the highest PS4 setting is only about half the upload bandwidth that a lot of PC streamers on Twitch use. In order to get a viewer's idea of what your stream may look like, your best option might be to watch some other PS4 streams and ask the users what quality setting they broadcast on until you find someone else using Medium.

Source: Eurogamer.net tech analysis article - the article contains a table with the numeric data detailed above, as well as side-by-side visual comparisons of the different quality settings when they tested them using Assassins Creed 4 on a Twitch stream.

  • However, this article is a little old. I am guessing that since it is now called Best HD then Sony implemented a 720p streaming option at some point in a software update. I guess whatever bitrate this is it is outside of my budget anyway. – Luke Apr 25 '16 at 8:49
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    My apologies, I completely forgot to mention that in my answer. Best HD was added in the Ver. 1.7 firmware update. It didn't replace Best; it simply knocked it down to "Second Best". You are correct in that it broadcasts in 720p. It also has the same 30fps framerate of the other settings. Unfortunately I don't know the exact bitrate required by Best HD as I haven't been able to find a similar analysis performed on it like the one linked in the answer for the other settings. – Barkode Apr 25 '16 at 12:29
  • @Barkode From what I can tell, looking at some Test streams I did in Best HD, the bit rate is 4000 Kbps, in 720p 60fs. – Jay Versluis Jan 19 '19 at 3:09

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