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YouTube announces new feature to take on Twitch

by Brandon Russell | May 21, 2015May 21, 2015 6:30 pm PDT

YouTube streaming

After a failed attempt to snatch up Twitch last year, YouTube is moving forward with new features that bolster its own live streaming capabilities.

The platform on Thursday announced a new option that will allow channels to live stream at 60fps, which is meant to make content look buttery smooth, particularly games.

The new live streaming option is launching as an early preview on HTML5-compatible browsers. While YouTube says it’ll transcode streams into 720p60 and 1080p60, streams will also be available in 30fps on devices that can’t quite handle the higher frame rates. To complement today’s news, YouTube says it worked on updates with Elgato Game Capture, XSplit Broadcaster and XSplit Gamecaster, which can be downloaded now.

As for the HTML5 playback, YouTube says live streams can be played at variable speeds, including 1.5x and 2x speed; additionally, users will be able to skip backward in a stream if they miss anything (or they just want to replay a particularly awesome part).

You can browse through a number of channels that are live right now. There’s a list of “upcoming events,” with start times and the ability to set a reminder, which we found particularly cool.

While YouTube’s new feature is clearly going after the popularity of Twitch, it certainly has a long ways to go if it wants to catch up.

“These are the latest in a series of improvements we’ve been making to live streaming on YouTube and there are plenty left to come,” YouTube said.

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Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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