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Tired of Twitch? Meet Microsoft Mixer for your game streaming

Microsoft made an interesting move in August 2016 when it acquired the interactive Beam streaming service. Since then, it has changed its name to Microsoft Mixer, with the promise of providing better support to customers. gamers That they wanted to generate income, something that was seen with the integration for the transmission in Creators Update of Windows 10. If you are interested in Mixer as an alternative to Twitch, here we explain how to use it.

Ripsaw on, is a device for striming games along with a screen, Microsoft Mixer competition

Creating an account

Chances are you're reading on a Windows 10 computer. That makes it easy to create a Mixer account, since Microsoft owns the service. When you press the button Sign up, a window will appear with the button Sign in with your Microsoft account. Click and provide the credentials you use to log into Windows 10 (if you use a Microsoft account) or the Xbox One console.

Login screen in Mixe, shows a green screen asking for password

Once this is done, your Windows 10 and Xbox One computer will automatically link to Mixer and be ready to stream to the service. You will not need to provide any passwords, unless you choose to use third-party software instead of the tools built into Windows 10 and Xbox One.

Although Mixer is free to use, you can buy Embers, a premium currency used to unlock skills and other things on the site.

In addition to experience points, you generate Sparks coins when you stream or watch another stream in Mixer. This virtual currency can be used to enable games like Minecraft, buy apps created by the Mixer community, and even create a team of a group of friends to stream together.

Microsoft Mixer dark blue screen showing user statistics

Outside of the streaming aspect of your new Mixer channel, customization is limited to setting up your avatar and channel feed and adding social profiles. Your account also provides an analysis section to view streaming statistics, such as the number of followers, how many views you have accumulated and the hours transmitted. Section Your networkit simply lists all the stations you are following.

Microsoft Mixer dark blue screen showing user statistics

Streaming from Windows 10

We have to acknowledge Microsoft's support for streaming games directly in Windows 10. The Creator Update It has the best version of the game bar, which adds a new section in the settings app dedicated to games. On the plus side, this option is native to Windows 10, you don't need to download additional software. On the downside, it is extremely limited.

To start, open Configuration and select the category Games with the Xbox logo. Here you will see four categories in the left menu: Game Bar, Game DVR, Stream, and Game Mode. The first simply provides tools to record, stream, and take screenshots of your game. It is not necessary to use it, as all these commands can be executed with keyboard shortcuts.

Configuration screen with streaming options in Windows 10

In the section of Transmission, you will find simple options. You can record audio, disable the microphone, use automatic echo cancellation, and adjust the volume. You can also choose to enable / disable your camera and toggle an option to capture the mouse cursor during transmission.

Finally, you will see a section called Game mode. According to Microsoft, when this function is activated it increases your transmission performance, suspending unnecessary background processes. It does not speed up the hardware, but simply makes adjustments at the software level so that the processor and graphics chip perform fewer tasks. However, not all computer games support this option.

Welcome screen to the Minecraft game showing in the background a landscape in the typical style of the game and a character to one side

A step in the right direction

Microsoft's built-in streaming component isn't rich in features like third-party software, despite its native Windows 10 roots. There are no scenes to create or camera settings to tweak in a central solution. Instead, when you start your game and open the streaming tool (Win + Alt + B), you will see a small blue panel that provides a limited set of options: the source to stream (Game or Desktop) and the position of the camera. You can also turn on / off the camera and microphone, but that's it.

While it is a great native configuration, in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim it's useless. The game completely hijacks the screen, preventing it from appearing. The keyboard shortcuts work, except for the transmit function (we don't know why), but the only way to know that a keyboard shortcut works is by briefly blinking the screen that recognizes keystrokes.

Skyrim game screen showing a character in the foreground on a cobbled bridge that serves as access to a castle and on the sides two gargoyles

We managed to Skyrim it will work properly with the game bar and stream to Mixer using borderless window mode. But the results were of lower quality than in other programs.Because we don't have the option to change the codecs, the bit rates, the keyframes and the use of the processor, the answer was at the mercy of Windows 10.

We must consider at least one positive feature: the game bar will display your video output in a small overlay. It is useful if you need to see what you are transmitting without opening Mixer on another screen. Of course, Microsoft's built-in gaming features are friendlier with titles designed for Windows 10, such as Minecraft, Gears of War 4, Quantum Break, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, etc.

If you don't care about camera scenes and effects, this may be a better option than installing third-party software that can reduce performance and cause software conflicts. Hopefully, Microsoft will strengthen the streaming settings of Windows 10 in future updates.

Streaming from Xbox One

Starting

Of all the streaming options for Mixer, this is the easiest solution. You will find the configuration broadcasting on the navigation bar using a cone that looks like a satellite dish. But before going there, you must enter the application Console settings (the settings cone) and navigate to the section preferences. On this screen, you will see a mosaic called Transmission and Capture, which provides precisely those options

Preferences screen on Xbox to start a transmission

Now you can go back to the home screen, press the Xbox button controller and select the satellite dish icon in the pop-up toolbar. You'll already see Mixer appear as the source, so the only option here is to load your game and start a stream. Please note that if you are streaming from Xbox One to a Windows 10 computer through the Xbox app, you cannot stream the game from the console to the Mixer platform until you stop local streaming.

Streaming and capture screen on Xbox showing photo of a game character

With your game loaded, simply press the Xbox button on your controller to activate the Xbox One toolbar on the left. Navigate to the satellite dish and select "Transmit: configure your transmission" This action will activate a sliding panel to activate / deactivate your microphone, camera, party audio and the ability to chat on your channel.

On the output front, this panel offers an option to move your camera overlay (if connected) and move the broadcast overlay. This latest overlay is similar to the game bar in Windows 10, providing quick on-screen controls and a small view of your stream. The Advanced list simply takes you to the Broadcast section in the Settings app.

You may need some adjustments first

When we tried to broadcast a game, nothing happened. We looked to Microsoft for help and made sure that our account allowed game streams within the ?Xbox One / Windows 10 Online Security" from "Online privacy and security" But we ended up chatting with Microsoft, anyway, who guided us through some crazy steps to make the stream work.

Blu Ray setup screen on xbox

To begin, they asked us to follow the following steps:

Step 1: delete our profile from the console.

Step 2: go to the Disc and Blu-ray section, select Blu-ray.

Step 3– Select persistent storage and delete persistent storage three times (we did five).

Step 4: go to Network settings

Step 5– Go to Advanced settings and select alternate MAC address to delete these settings.

Step 6: restart the console.

Step 7: add our account again to the console

This solved our problem with Mixer, so if you face the same problem, maybe this solution will work for you too.

Xbox MAC address configuration screen

Finally, if you don't want to buy Microsoft's Kinect as a camera input for your stream, the company added support in September 2017 for third-party USB-based cameras for Xbox Insiders. We have not tested this option, nor do we know how Windows 10 works on Xbox One with third-party controllers. If you want to insert your mugshot photo into a broadcast, this is a good way to do it.

Streaming other consoles to Mixer

Importing additional video

There are two methods to stream other consoles to Mixer: use the Xbox One console or buy capture cards / USB-based devices controlled by your computer. We'll start with the Xbox One setup, since gamers typically have more than one console in the house.

Xbox rear view showing connectors and cables

What currently doesn't work is using the Xbox One's HDMI transfer port to natively stream the game from other consoles. Typically, you can connect another multimedia device to this input, then navigate to the Entertainment section on Xbox One and select the Live TV option (also known as OneGuide). This will display the video output from the connected device on the screen, but remain within the Xbox environment. If you are limited to the number of HDMI ports on your HDTV, this is a good way to free up at least one physical port.

On the plus side, this is a semi-good way to stream a non-Microsoft console to your Windows 10 device. Essentially, you're still streaming the Xbox One console through the Xbox app, but now you're seeing what's going on. channel through the Live TV function. But you must be very close to the non-Microsoft console to use its wireless controllers, such as Joy-Cons for Nintendo Switch.

Unfortunately, Mixer does not recognize the Live TV application as a "game", so it does not transmit this window to your channel. There is also no option to broadcast the "screen" against the "game".

Xbox Live TV main screen showing billboard with various movies

There is an alternative solution!

You can still stream the game from Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 using Xbox One and Windows 10. Start using the above method of connecting the non-Microsoft console to the HDMI input of Xbox One and start the Live TV function. On a wired Windows 10 computer, start the Xbox app, remotely connect to Xbox One, and start streaming. You should now see Nintendo Switch or PlayStation 4 on your Windows 10 desktop or laptop through the Xbox app.

Xbox Live TV screen

To stream, just type WIN + G to load Game Bar, which may ask if the Xbox app is considered a game. Confirm yes and you can configure the transmission window as Game. Alternatively, you can choose ?Desktop? as the capture source if you want to include other elements in your transmission, or if the ?Game? capture option does not work correctly in your transmission.

But initially you may get an error when trying to stream the Xbox One live TV aspect to the Xbox app, blocking the stream. Because the Live TV option is essentially Microsoft's OneGuide service, the Xbox app may not stream anything connected to the HDMI input port due to possible copyright protections. Technically, in this case, you're not streaming movies and TV shows through OneGuide to the Xbox app, so it should allow you to stream a secondary console. Technically.

Xbox OneGuide settings screen

To possibly resolve this block, press the Xbox button on the controller to activate the drop-down menu and access the Settings app. Once you're there, navigate to TV and OneGuide and make sure that the TV line setting for HDMI and USB is set to option An no. You may also need to perform the Clear OneGuide and Clear history actions listed in Advanced. If you've already streamed protected content through OneGuide, Xbox One probably still thinks you're doing it with third-party consoles.

This is just a beginning

What we describe in this instruction post is to stream Windows 10 and Xbox One to Mixer using its built-in tools. We also revealed how it is possible to stream the game from Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 through an Xbox One console and the Xbox app in Windows 10. But there are also third-party options that you can install in Windows 10, which provide more streaming options than provided by Windows 10 and Xbox One, including scenes, effects, better quality control, and more. Microsoft suggests using XSplit Broadcaster and OBS Studio if you want a richer stream for your viewers.

Ripsaw turned on. A black appliance with a green led light

At this time, Microsoft is open to natively support the PlayStation 4 on Mixer, but Sony hasn't bitten the hook yet. Until then, the best results for streaming non-Microsoft console games to Mixer is buying a capture device that connects to your computer, be it an external USB-based drive or an add-in card. Capture solutions will vary in price, such as Razer's Ripsaw USB-based external device that costs $ 180, or the Magewell USB Capture HDMI 4K Plus for a higher price of $ 459. If it's an internal card you want for your computer, there are many options to choose from from Hauppauge, StarTech, and Diamond.

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