Streaming what's going on inside an HMD is automatically more complex than streaming yourself playing a PC or console game. Not least because you can't monitor your stream and its settings while you're inside a virtual world.
Windows Mixed Reality is exactly the same. For the most part, right now, you're in a VR experience, that means total immersion and no eyes on the outside world. But Microsoft has actually made it pretty easy to stream your activities, to its own Mixer at least.
Here we'll show you how to do that, as well as how to get going on Twitch if that's your streaming platform of choice.
One thing of note before we get started: You currently cannot connect a Windows Mixed Reality headset to a capture card, such as those from Elgato, it seems. The Mixed Reality Portal doesn't see the headset, so you can't capture and stream this way.
How to stream to Mixer from Windows 10
We'll start with the easiest since Mixer streaming is built into Windows 10. If you haven't yet used Mixer, all you need is your Microsoft Account to login and get going. This also means that you can seamlessly begin streaming right from Windows 10 in just a couple of clicks.
The first thing you need to do is bring up the Game Bar while you're inside the Mixed Reality Portal app. You do this by pressing Win + G together, and when prompted tell it to remember this as a game. The Game Bar can be used in any app in Windows 10 really, but you still have to tell it that it's a game. Even if it's a web browser.
Here's how to get streaming:
- Open the Mixed Reality Portal app.
- Go fullscreen. This is important otherwise Windows will also broadcast the menu bar at the side of the Portal app.
- Press Win + G to bring up the Game Bar.
- Click the broadcast button.
- Make sure the broadcasting window box is set to game.
- Position your webcam where you want it or disable it altogether.
- Turn on or off your microphone depending on whether you want to talk.
- Click start broadcast.
There aren't many settings to change so in some regard you're at the behest of your PC as to how good your stream looks. We've tried it out a few times on a Windows Mixed Reality Ultra PC with a 20Mbps upload connection and things look pretty good. Mileage will vary depending on your own PC and connection speed, but this is one of the more system efficient ways to stream.
There are some settings you can alter. You'll find them in Settings > Gaming > Broadcasting. It's here where you'll find important audio settings regarding game and microphone levels. You'll need to play around with these to make sure that your game audio isn't drowning out your voice, but that you can still hear it properly if you wish.
How to stream to Twitch and Mixer with OBS Studio
While you can use your webcam with your streams from Windows 10's built-in feature if you want a more professional looking, controlled stream you'll be using an external program. In this case, OBS Studio is currently your best shot. And it's completely free.
There's a lot you can do to your streams with a tool like OBS Studio, including adding overlays, your webcam, custom alerts and widgets. Lots. For the purposes of this guide we're only showing you how to get your Mixed Reality footage and how to share that with the world.
- Open the Mixed Reality Portal app on your PC. Do not minimize it at all.
- Open OBS Studio.
- Select the + button under sources.
Select game capture.
- Change mode to capture specific window.
In the window drop down box, select [MixedRealityPortal.exe]: Mixed Reality Portal.
- Click OK.
Now, OBS will pull the direct feed from the Mixed Reality Portal app so long as it's open and not minimized. This is much more efficient than capturing using a screen region record to achieve the same effect.
To actually stream you need to link OBS to your Twitch or Mixer account. This is pretty easy to setup:
- Click settings.
- Select stream in the sidebar.
- Under service select your desired streaming platform.
- Enter your unique stream key. You'll find this within your account settings on Twitch or Mixer. Don't share it with anyone else.
- Click apply.
- When you're ready to go click the start streaming button on the main OBS Studio dashboard.
OBS isn't just useful for streaming to Twitch or Mixer, but we've singled out those two services for the purposes of this guide. The important part is that OBS Studio can handle the direct feed from the Mixed Reality Portal, so in theory, you can stream to any service the program supports.
Note we also tried using the other popular broadcast tool, XSplit, with mixed results. We've not included it here because to stream using it requires a window capture right now. This isn't ideal nor is it very efficient on your system. XSplit supports DX12 capture so hopefully, it'll be a quick fix on their part.
And that's all there is to it. That covers the basics on getting your Mixed Reality content to the web, how creative you get is up to you!
All about Windows Mixed Reality
If your interest is piqued by Windows Mixed Reality, be sure to check out all the other great content we've got to help you find out everything you need to know!
- Everything we know so far about Windows Mixed Reality
- New to Windows Mixed Reality? Here's how to get started!
- How to set up your WIndows Mixed Reality playspace
- What is Windows Mixed Reality Ultra?
- Windows Mixed Reality minimum PC requirements
- Everywhere you can buy a Windows Mixed Reality headset on launch day
- How to build a PC for Windows Mixed Reality
- Are all Windows Mixed Reality headsets created equal?
- Which Windows Mixed Reality mode should you choose?
- 5 things you really need to know about Windows Mixed Reality
- Comparing the specs for every Windows Mixed Reality headset