Question / Help Why does my stream and recordings get fuzzy/pixelated?

Iphris

New Member
I'm having a weird and what i believe to be a very complicated issue happening to me.
My pc specs include: 32gb of ram, rtx 2080, ryzen 7 3700x running windows 10 64bit.
My internet speed is 350mbs down 23mbs up.

I have tried literally every setting and every setting combination in obs, on both the nvenc and x264 encoder.... the results are still the same though.
To further explain my issue; my stream and recordings look crystal clear when i'm not moving or doing anything in the game but the second i start moving around and shooting while turning frequently it starts to get fuzzy and pixelated. When it comes to using the nvenc encoder and i open up task manager i get healthy numbers under 3D and video encode, etc. Also in every game i play while using the nvenc encoder i am below 90% gpu usage according to msi afterburner with most games being at 50 to 70. When it comes to using the x264 encoder i am running a bit hot but i'm not near bottlenecking also the cpu usage is healthy as well, however, the fuzzyness and pixelation is still the same. I would also like to make it known that i upgraded my hardware last year December. I was running a gtx 1080, and a ryzen 1800x with 16gn of ram and although i never used the nvenc encoder on my gtx 1080 i did use to record and stream with my 1800x and i was not experiencing these pixelation problems. I also made sure that my os and all drivers/programs are up to date. Also something important to note is that i'm not missing frames, skipping frames, or dropping frames on both admin and non admin mode.

The best settings that i was able to minimize the pixelation with on both encoders are...
Nvenc:
CBR
6000kbps
key frame - 2
quality
high
look ahead -disabled
psycho -enabled
gpu -0
b frames -2
video output 1920x1080 @60fps

x264:
CBR
6000kbps
key frame -2
faster
high
video output 1920x1080 @60fps

Here's a link to the log file although u can ignore most of it cust i kept canceling and starting the stream to try different settings to see which look best. https://obsproject.com/logs/ePT1VhotgzCaWR2G ....if asked for i can make a new log file and even upload/link video evidence!
 
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Narcogen

Active Member
CBR is for streaming, not recording, just to be clear.

6000Kbps is not sufficient bitrate to prevent compression artifacts under fast motion when recording 1080p60.

If you're recording, use simple output mode, indistinguishable quality, large file size.

For streaming to YouTube there is no reason to limit to 6000 if your connection can do more. Try 8, 10, 12. YouTube transcodes everything anyway. If it can't then retarget either 1080p30 or 720p60 to get better quality at the same bitrate.
 

Iphris

New Member
CBR is for streaming, not recording, just to be clear.

6000Kbps is not sufficient bitrate to prevent compression artifacts under fast motion when recording 1080p60.

If you're recording, use simple output mode, indistinguishable quality, large file size.

For streaming to YouTube there is no reason to limit to 6000 if your connection can do more. Try 8, 10, 12. YouTube transcodes everything anyway. If it can't then retarget either 1080p30 or 720p60 to get better quality at the same bitrate.
Sorry, my bad. I wrote this post when i was extremely tired. When i was using the recording part of obs i was trying to match my stream quality as i'm strictly trying to stream, but if i was trying to record properly u're right i wouldn't be using cbr. I also wouldn't be using 6000kbps to record, but i strictly want to stream on twitch and from what i know the limit is 6000kbps. As for ur suggestion of lower fps or resolution i have already tried streaming at both 30 and 60 fps for the following resolutions: 1920x1080, 1600x900, 1536x864, and 1280x720 but the pixelation is still present in all of these during movement, the only difference being that it look worse quality wise with the lower resolutions... which is why i stayed with 1080p since it provided the clearest results, despite all of them still being fuzzy.
Also now that i remember, i did test one recording on high bitrate just to see if it was the bitrate and i set it to 30000kbps (but i think it was still on cbr). Anyways the same level of pixelation was still present but quality wise it was a lot better.
Another thing i don't understand is before i upgraded my hardware i was streaming at 1080p 42 fps with 4300kbps and i was not experiencing this fuzzyness/pixelation issue.
Also i see a lot of streamers on twitch streaming at 1080p 60fps playing the same games i play and they dont have the pixelation issues i have... I try looking at small streamers too as i'm not sure if big streamers get an exemption to the max bitrate of 6000kbps.
 

Narcogen

Active Member
It's likely anyone you see doing that is running a 2 PC configuration with CPU encoding running a Medium preset. Turing NVENC is about as good as the fast preset, but 1080p60 and 6000 is only going to look so good. Give it fast motion and complex content, like foliage, and there will be artifacting.

There will be less at 1080p30 or at 720p60, though, so if you're sticking with 1080p60 because you can't get the other settings to eliminate ALL artifacts, I don't know what to tell you. NO artifacting under fast motion with NVENC is what you get at 5 times that bitrate.
 

FerretBomb

Active Member
1080p60 video 'wants' 12mbps for average-motion video. Fast-motion needs more, low-motion can get away with less. You're giving it half of the baseline value. It's going to pixelate, block, and artifact. Badly, on high detail scenes.

Downscaling comes with a quality loss. Full-integer downscales can help minimize this (1440p to 720p being a 2:1, 2160p/4K having full integer scales to 720p at 3:1, and 1080p at 2:1). Partials like 1080p to 720p will have almost the worst quality loss, and 1080p to 900p will have the worst due to how video compression macroblocking works.
You can try playing the game at 720p and streaming at 720p to maximize your quality, but few are willing to make that kind of sacrifice. It'll also have the same looking-bad downscale problem on your 1080p monitor, even if it will look good on-stream.

If you are streaming to Twitch, the official maximum is 6000kbps. The ingests CAN support higher than that, and Partners (like me!) do not have any sort of special exemption. It is "here there be dragons" at-your-own-risk territory though, and if something breaks, you'll have to turn down the bitrate again before anyone can help you.

(Minor correction @Narcogen)
Turing NVENC on your 2080 is equivalent to x264 Slow in many VMAF testing comparisons. Use that. Turn OFF Psycho-visual Tuning. It tends to cause problems in general. If you are playing a fast-motion game, set b-frames to ZERO. For lower-motion games it can help improve quality, but fast motion and high detail degrades it severely.
There are a lot of 'secret sauce' option sets out there. Take them with a grain of salt, as 99% of them are total BS. For a good baseline, take a look at @EposVox's secret sauce writeup/video-up. It actually does useful things, instead of setting values to the defaults for a given preset like many 'best settings' guides out there.

On a side note, if you are a new streamer and do NOT have guaranteed transcodes, running at even 6000kbps isn't just shooting yourself in the foot as far as growth, it's blowing off your entire damn leg. Anyone on a low-bandwidth connection, including areas with bad net connections, mobile devices, anyone who can't watch at your streaming bitrate will not be able to watch your stream. And 99% of the time, they won't say a thing about it if they're a new viewer... they'll just leave and try another channel instead.
Getting lost chasing numbers... 1080p and/or 60fps... is one of the hardest things to avoid doing as a new streamer. I struggled with it myself for a LONG TIME. The less bitrate you use, the more potential eyes you may get a shot at entertaining. I got partnered on 720p30 at 2200-2500kbps because it let my channel attract people, and let them watch, once I finally got over it and stopped chasing numbers, settled for the best tradeoff. Don't cripple yourself.
If nothing else, the non-fullscreen default video player on the Twitch site is around 720p with chat open. A LOT of people won't even be watching the video at all, just have you on as background noise while they work or game.
1080p is great for high-detail, low-motion games with tons of text. 60fps is a waste of bitrate (it needs twice as much over 30fps!) and the only time it's really needed is if you're playing retrogames with sprite-blitting transparency at 60hz.

Also, be aware that you're running one monitor at 144hz and another at 59hz. There's a long-standing Windows bug with the desktop compositor (fix coming later this/next year in Win10 2004!) where if you have monitors running at different refresh rates, you WILL have stutter issues. The only full-fix at present is to run ALL of your monitors at the same refresh rate. For SOME setups, disabling the Preview window in OBS can alleviate (but may not completely eliminate) the problem.
 

Iphris

New Member
Thank you for your reply and suggestions!
I am currently using a 1440p monitor at 144hz and when i was doing testing to get rid of the pixelation i tried rescaling on both the "output" tab as well as the "video" tab... since i heard the rescaling on the video tab uses ur gpu while the rescaling in the output tab uses ur cpu? Also when using the rescaling on the video tab i tried all the filters (bicubic and lanczos looking the best, as it should).... but the same level of pixelation was still present. I also did testing where i lowered the in game resolution to the resolution i was streaming/ recording at as well as lowered in game settings and fps, but the same level of pixelation is still present on movement, the only difference being that the quality was also worse due to lowered in game settings.

When is comes to b-frames and psycho visual tuning i tested 0 to 4 b frames with both psycho of and on and from what i could tell i could not notice a difference in the pixelation with psycho being on or off.. if there was one it was small. Also with b frames i only noticed a small difference but i found that 1 and 2 be frames looked the best maybe by at most 5%. I tried 0 but didn't notice a difference... 3 and 4 made the pixalation worse.

As for trying to chase numbers and streaming at 6000kbps... I would have agreed with you if we were streaming back in 2014 but the average internet speeds have almost doubled since then and will continue to increase in the coming future. I also know i don't have guaranteed transcoding as a new streamer, but every time I have streamed i have gotten transcoding options so far consistently. However, I will agree with you in that the vast majority of people won't be watching in fullscreen, or on max quality, or might not even be watching the stream at all but simply using it as background noise. For me personally though i'm just trying to deliver the best quality and performance that i can deliver regardless of being resourceful.

Now when it comes to the monitors i have not tried changing them both the the same refresh rate so i will have to do some testing with that, but for the preview window i have done my testing with it both on and off with the same results being present. Also do u recommend changing my canvas output from 1440p to 1080p or something else? I want to keep my monitors native res at 1440p that i am not willing to compromise on, but i don't mind changing the canvas output although i never heard of anyone doing that... they always say to leave it as ur native monitors res.If i do touch the canvas output should i also touch the games render output and match it to the canvas?
 

FerretBomb

Active Member
i tried rescaling on both the "output" tab as well as the "video" tab... since i heard the rescaling on the video tab uses ur gpu while the rescaling in the output tab uses ur cpu?
That is correct.

Also when using the rescaling on the video tab i tried all the filters (bicubic and lanczos looking the best, as it should).... but the same level of pixelation was still present. I also did testing where i lowered the in game resolution to the resolution i was streaming/ recording at as well as lowered in game settings and fps, but the same level of pixelation is still present on movement, the only difference being that the quality was also worse due to lowered in game settings.
ANY downscale will cause a loss in quality, regardless of the downsampling method used.

As for trying to chase numbers and streaming at 6000kbps... I would have agreed with you if we were streaming back in 2014 but the average internet speeds have almost doubled since then and will continue to increase in the coming future. I also know i don't have guaranteed transcoding as a new streamer, but every time I have streamed i have gotten transcoding options so far consistently. However, I will agree with you in that the vast majority of people won't be watching in fullscreen, or on max quality, or might not even be watching the stream at all but simply using it as background noise. For me personally though i'm just trying to deliver the best quality and performance that i can deliver regardless of being resourceful.
If you want to ignore the advice of someone actively doing this as a professional career, that is your call. There's your foot/leg. Making those kinds of excuses are just another form of chasing numbers.
While network speeds in cities have indeed improved, the mobile segment is exploding, and bandwidth is still VERY limited there. It also relies on the user's connection to the Twitch server, not their general connection speed. Unless you can guarantee that you will always get transcodes, you are doing yourself a disservice. I have them guaranteed, and I STILL regularly stream at as low a bitrate as I can feasibly sustain, to increase my potential viewer-pool, as the transcode stack quality isn't great as compared to the tweaks I do to optimize.

Now when it comes to the monitors i have not tried changing them both the the same refresh rate so i will have to do some testing with that, but for the preview window i have done my testing with it both on and off with the same results being present. Also do u recommend changing my canvas output from 1440p to 1080p or something else? I want to keep my monitors native res at 1440p that i am not willing to compromise on, but i don't mind changing the canvas output although i never heard of anyone doing that... they always say to leave it as ur native monitors res.If i do touch the canvas output should i also touch the games render output and match it to the canvas?
No, changing the canvas resolution will do you no good. If you wanted to run a top-quality 720p stream, you would need to game at 720p locally. You've said you're unwilling to do that, so you will need to accept the quality loss of a downscale, which will be visible.
The refresh-rate matching thing still applies, until Win10 2004 releases, but it's more about smoothness of motion than image quality.
 

Iphris

New Member
If you want to ignore the advice of someone actively doing this as a professional career, that is your call. There's your foot/leg. Making those kinds of excuses are just another form of chasing numbers.
While network speeds in cities have indeed improved, the mobile segment is exploding, and bandwidth is still VERY limited there. It also relies on the user's connection to the Twitch server, not their general connection speed. Unless you can guarantee that you will always get transcodes, you are doing yourself a disservice. I have them guaranteed, and I STILL regularly stream at as low a bitrate as I can feasibly sustain, to increase my potential viewer-pool, as the transcode stack quality isn't great as compared to the tweaks I do to optimize.

Sorry, I do value ur opinion and expertise and u're right in saying that i shouldn't be relying on transcoding... maybe i get it 100% of the time because i live next to a twitch server here in chicago, but that might not be the case for others. And u're also right in saying that it's just another form of chasing numbers... I just wanted to make it clear that i wasn't chasing numbers in terms of viewers as i thought that's what u originally meant. The numbers i was trying to chase are in the terms of what is the max quality and performance i can deliver with my current setup, regardless of the average viewers internet. I am however starting to change my outlook on this... which then leads me to this question. If you had my setup and was going to stream tomorrow what would u set ur obs settings as? (keep in mind that i play shooters like call of duty and apex on a high sensitivity and move/rotate more than ur average gamer).

No, changing the canvas resolution will do you no good. If you wanted to run a top-quality 720p stream, you would need to game at 720p locally. You've said you're unwilling to do that, so you will need to accept the quality loss of a downscale, which will be visible.
The refresh-rate matching thing still applies, until Win10 2004 releases, but it's more about smoothness of motion than image quality.

Wait, so what exactly happens when u change ur canvas resolution in obs but keep ur native monitor resolution on windows display settings?
Why does it let u change the canvas output in obs in the first place if it doesn't do anything until u have both the canvas resolution in obs and monitor resolution in windows display settings the same?
 

FerretBomb

Active Member
Sorry, I do value ur opinion and expertise and u're right in saying that i shouldn't be relying on transcoding... maybe i get it 100% of the time because i live next to a twitch server here in chicago, but that might not be the case for others. And u're also right in saying that it's just another form of chasing numbers... I just wanted to make it clear that i wasn't chasing numbers in terms of viewers as i thought that's what u originally meant. The numbers i was trying to chase are in the terms of what is the max quality and performance i can deliver with my current setup, regardless of the average viewers internet. I am however starting to change my outlook on this... which then leads me to this question. If you had my setup and was going to stream tomorrow what would u set ur obs settings as? (keep in mind that i play shooters like call of duty and apex on a high sensitivity and move/rotate more than ur average gamer).
I apologize, I did come across pretty strong there, and didn't mean to.
Yep, I meant chasing numbers as in *needing* to have 1080p, or 60fps, or a crystal-clear image. Livestreaming is all about finding the best compromise point... especially when it comes to Twitch, and their low bitrates. No one is going to come to your channel for the video quality. Being entertaining and engaging is not about having perfect video quality... it's kind of the same thing when it comes to drawing. You have some students who rush out and buy a full set of Rapidographs, Microns, Prismacolors, the best inks, the best papers, a lightbox... and get frustrated when another student creates something *gorgeous* with a standard ten-cent #2 pencil on a paper grocery bag. 'Getting lost chasing numbers', figuring the tools are the important part.

Honestly, I'd stream at 720p30, at 2500-3000kbps. Most of my focus would be on my microphone (just something that sounds passably decent), the balance between the game audio and mic, and ensuring that the levels were as close to 0dB as possible so I was putting out a normalized stream.
720p30 will work fine for video. People will be able to tell what's going on.
But if someone can't stand listening to you, they aren't going to watch you.

Wait, so what exactly happens when u change ur canvas resolution in obs but keep ur native monitor resolution on windows display settings?
Why does it let u change the canvas output in obs in the first place if it doesn't do anything until u have both the canvas resolution in obs and monitor resolution in windows display settings the same?
The canvas/workspace area changes. This is handy if you have something like a 1680x1050 non-16:9 aspect ratio display, or even a 4:3 CRT. It allows you to use a 16:9 ratio canvas, and have control over where everything appears, instead of being auto-letterboxed with black bars by Twitch or Youtube by sending the native non-16:9. So you can take your 4:3 ratio retro console for example, push it all the way to the left so the empty black columns are both unified on one side, and put your facecam and chat there. Or fill it with art assets. Or you might only have a 1080p game but are streaming to YouTube and have three friends over and three capture cards (or NDI). Boom, set the canvas to 4K and tile all four players into their own corner.
It gives you control over your stream's resolution, aspect ratio, and size. Most people will just leave the canvas set at their monitor's resolution, but there's a TON of stuff you can do with it.
 
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MUKE

New Member
@Iphris I too had the same problem
having 3900x 2060 super 32 gig
but same blurry
having msi 144 hz monitor freesync was enabled i just disabled it and video looks good try and see if it helps u.....
 

S3OrO

New Member
hello friend in your previous post I told you a solution.
before trying my solution try increasing the bitrate which will improve blur, if it doesn't work for you try my solution
solution compatible with facebook and youtube.

YouTube is prioritizing its vp09 codec for larger channels with higher audiences.
for small channels or little audience youtube prioritizes the avc1 codec and that is where the problem lies.
The avc1 codec is recommended for resolutions up to a maximum of 480p and therefore we have a blurred or pixelated image.
if you are a small channel or with little audience like me youtube will give you the avic1 codec then you will have a blurry or pixelated image.
The solution for youtube to give you the vp09 codec is to transmit at a resolution of 2k 2560x1440 then your image will be perfect because youtube will give you the vp09 codec.
Do not worry if you do not have a computer to transmit at that resolution, you can configure your transmission to 1080p and do a rescaling at 2560x1440 in this way your obs will not consume you, I leave you some captures with the rescaled configuration.

remember bit rate depends on your internet, for 1080p high resolution streaming I recommend 12.000 bit
you can lower the quality of the preset and uncheck the initial checkbox if you have performance issues.
Surely you will have the solution that I transmit to you on facebook and youtube and finally I could solve this problem

video with the configuration that I show in the images:
 

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