Immediately following an announcement about Roku functionality, Twitch revealed today they’d be reducing delays on feeds. Twitch’s newest feature is an on/off switch that reduces delay on average by 33%, a full third, allowing streams to hit your eyes far quicker than ever before. As of yet, there’s no drawback to the system Twitch has put in place, only positive. Why you’d NOT want to switch this on is a question we leave up to Twitch. Meanwhile we’ll be plugging in the ol’ Roku to bring back the gaming heat we’ve been missing for so long.
The stream delay beta, as it’s being called right this minute, will reduce the delay you have between broadcasting and viewers viewing. While this won’t matter for most standard users on either end of the equation, it does matter in a big way for those game streamers that make their living off this strange new craft.
The delay between gameplay streaming and viewing comes into play especially prevalently when a gamer is attempting to respond to questions from their audience. Less delay means a much more standardized sort of conversation.
UPDATE: The following is a statement from a Twitch Spokesperson sent to SlashGear after a query on the reasoning for a Beta release and an on/off switch.
“We’re releasing the reduced delay beta as an option to broadcasters because it does come at a small quality of service cost – particularly to viewers with poor internet connections. Some viewers may experience changes in playback, with shorter, more frequent buffering times.
Because less video is queued on a viewer’s computer, they will be more susceptible to variations in download bandwidth, and may experience more interruptions in service while video buffers. Rather than require every channel to switch to the reduced delay option, we’re leaving it up to the broadcaster to decide what is best for his or her community.
If you spend a lot of time interacting with chat, a decreased delay may be incredibly beneficial to your community.” – Twitch Spokesperson
Users can choose to enable this new option at any time. It’s still in beta, so don’t flip out if it doesn’t work perfectly. This feature must be turned on prior to the start of your broadcast for it to take full effect.
This setting will appear immediately if not soon in your Settings panel.
Below the Twitch logo in the upper right-hand side of the screen in the in-browser version of Twitch you’ll find your username and a wrench – click it.
From there you’ll go to Channel & Videos and find the setting. It’ll be tiny!
Twitch will also be heading to Roku this week, if you have not heard – bust out your Roku system and start with the downloading!