December 09, 2012, 3:48 PM — If you're reading this, you don't need to be told that streaming live video on your PC and mobile gadgets is blowing up in a big way; with streaming sites like Justin.tv, UStream, and game-specific streaming services Twitch.tv and Own3d.tv, you have more options for live news and entertainment than ever before. But with so many streams on so many sites (and not so many full-featured standalone player apps), staying on top of the brave new world of streaming TV can be a pain. With that in mind, here are some quick tips and tricks for making your live video streaming experience less painful.
Switch streams easily using third-party clients
This tip is mostly useful for folks who like to stay on top of video game-related streams; third-party stream viewers Teevox and WellPlayed offer a much more user-friendly, all-in-one interface for watching streams from Twitch.tv and Own3d.tv. Teevox in particular makes it very easy to quickly switch between two streams, or watch multiple streams at once, both of which are handy if you're trying to follow a major game event with multiple concurrent streams. What's more, Teevox even features two mobile apps (Android only), one which lets you use Teevox's multiple-stream features on the go, and one which lets you use your smartphone or tablet as a remote control for your PC--excellent if you're watching a stream on an HDTV through your PC and don't want to get up to change the channel.
Use an IRC client for chat
Part of the fun of watching live streaming events is the chance to interact with other viewers (and sometimes even the host) through the built-in chat client. If you already use an IRC chat client (mIRC, for instance) and you'd rather use that, you can log into Justin.tv and Twitch.tv chat rooms by setting your login name to your Justin.tv/Twitch.tv account name, your IRC server to [channelname].jtvirc.com (replace [channelname] with the name of the channel you want to join; if you're on the Justin.tv site, just take the name that shows up after www.justin.tv/ in the URL), the port to 6667, and the server password to your Justin.tv or Twitch.tv account password. Once you've connected to the IRC server, you can join the stream chat room by using as the name of the channel you want to join. This tip will help alleviate stress on your browser (leading to less lag on your video stream) and make it easier for you to chat with your fellow viewers quickly and efficiently.
Disable hardware acceleration