Streaming isn’t for everyone. Some people love to watch, some love to actually be the streamer, and others couldn’t care less about the idea of people watching other people game. But for those who do actually cast, there’s a lot of logistics behind being a good participatory streamer. And there’s a set of tools I’ve been using for months now that makes being an interactive caster an easy task: Restream and Restream Chat.
I’m bringing this up because I’ve had multiple people ask me about how I stream simultaneously to Twitch, HitBox, multiple YouTube channels, and Facebook. Quite simply, it’s Restream. It’s a simple and easy to set up service, that’s free, which allows you to use Restream’s servers to ingest streams from multiple channels and broadcast them all simultaneously with great quality. You feed the footage into Restream and its servers broadcast it out to your chosen channels.
I say free, but there are things you have to pay for. For the ability to stream to multiples of the same type of channel you need to pay $5 a month. For the ability to customize the RTMP server you want to broadcast to (like Facebook, which isn’t natively supported yet) it’s $15 dollars a month. For someone serious about streaming that wants to target multiple audiences or simulcast to multiple channels… this is a godsend.
The example interface from their webpage.
But the real star of my streams? It’s Restream Chat. It takes the chat feeds of all your channels (minus Facebook, as chat isn’t actually a thing FB Go Live does) and puts them in one easy to read window that’s always on top of your other windows. It can be customized with colors, speeds, opacity, and again… it’s free. Anything you pay extra for in Restream itself will transfer over to the Chat: additional channels, custom RTMPs, etc. It’s been a rock solid tool for following conversations across multiple channels, and even if I only stream to one channel it’s worth its weight in gold because of its ability to stay on top of whatever game I’m playing on my one monitor setup.
I feel like Restream and its new chat client are the best kept secrets in streaming. Every time I talk to someone about either, it’s like I’m pulling the wool off their eyes for something miraculous. But Restream and Restream Chat aren’t miracles, they’re just excellent solutions to a problem facing a lot of people who stream. I’d highly recommend both, and if the Chat client ever also includes Discord chat all will be well in the world.