Last Updated on September 21, 2019 by Michael Brockbank
Need a simplified way to stream live to your social media channel? Perhaps you don’t know much about broadcasting or don’t want to install software. Caffeine.tv is an answer to some of those issues while giving people an easy way to share live content online.
Just share the link of your channel and people can start watching right now.[template id=”145″]
What is Caffeine.tv?
Caffeine is a platform that simplifies the ability to stream video content to the Internet. In fact, you can use nothing more than your webcam and microphone and start broadcasting immediately.
Everything you’ll need is built into the website itself. This means no settings to change and no software to install. Just click the “Start Broadcasting” link on the top right and you start streaming.
However, you’ll still need the free app if you want to show off your game play. And this depends on whether the game is supported or not. Currently there are more than 500 titles supported and growing. Which really isn’t a lot in the grand scheme of things.
What Can Caffeine.tv Do for You?
Caffeine gives you the capability to create a live online stream without requiring downloads, additional software or other third-party applications. Essentially, you can use it from anywhere regardless if you’re on your computer or not.
For example, you can load up your laptop and stream live from it using the built-in camera and microphone. Then, you can go to your friend’s house and use his or her set up the same way. All it takes is for you to log into Caffeine, a mic and a camera.
Unfortunately, the company doesn’t do a lot to help promote your channel. Unlike Twitch or YouTube, a lot of the marketing to get viewers lays squarely on your shoulders.
In fact, you don’t even have a category to place your video for others to find.
But since this is a semi-new system, I’m sure something like this will be added as soon as its popularity increases…hopefully.
In other words, the system is great for those who simply want to share a link on Facebook or Twitter for live streaming. It doesn’t require a lot to get started, and you can start streaming live within seconds of activating your account.
There is a chat-like interface on the web-browser side of your stream. The text will appear on the window, which gives you a way to directly interact with those watching your content. That is, as long as you’re paying attention to the stream.[template id=”505″]
What are Some Notable Features?
As the system is still relatively new, it’s understandable how it will lack a few features. So, I cannot go too hard on the developers. But here’s what is available right now.
The system is set up to notify you in various ways. You can receive emails or desktop notifications when people are following you, watching or when broadcast reports are made available.
One thing that stands out in the notification system is when it tells you that people you follow are watching your channel. It’s like getting an ego boost when someone you like is watching your content.
In Caffeine, users can buy “Gold” in order to buy items to send to broadcasters. At which point, the broadcaster can cash out with credits – available in July of 2018, according to the website.
In the terms of service, it states you can use your gold to purchase services and what-nots from Caffeine.tv. You can also exchange it for currency, but it’s not clear as to how the process unfolds.
Perhaps it’s something that will be described at a later date. At least, something that is easier to find without sifting through legal jargon.
No Android Version?
Unfortunately, Caffeine doesn’t currently have support of Android devices. At least, it’s not advertised on the website. Instead, you can go to the Apple App Store and download it for iPhone. Which already sends up a red flag for me.
I’m not a fan of anything Apple.
Hard to Find Channels
The overall layout of how the channels appear on Caffeine is a bit on the basic side. It’s a single column you’ll have to scroll through to see what’s available. Unlike other systems online, you don’t have access to a grid layout or easy search methods.
The best you can hope for is something appearing in the search field. And currently, there’s nothing available for Subnautica or other games I like to watch or play.
It’s easy to share your broadcasts while using Caffeine. While it doesn’t have the integration that systems like XSplit have in place, you can easily copy and paste the URL of your channel to most mediums.
Of course this doesn’t guarantee you’ll get a flood of viewers eager to watch your live stream. However, I’ve seen a lot of people flock into a live video of sites like Facebook just because a person went live.
And most of the time, the content was nothing more than someone talking about his or her day.
OBS Integration or XSplit?
According to the site, you can integrate OBS to use with Caffeine. Unfortunately, I was unable to get the system to recognize OBS 21.1.2. However, it worked exceptionally well with XSplit Broadcaster. In fact, it was one of the options when choosing my camera.
Which OBS was not.
After loading up the Caffeine webpage, I launched XSplit Broadcaster and the two worked seamlessly together.
I’m sure there is probably a way to get OBS to work with Caffeine. Unfortunately, any help isn’t really all that forthcoming from the website.
The video quality of streaming to Caffeine is decent. Then again, I am also using fiber optic…everything is decent to me. I’m sure the overall quality of playback is good, though.
In fact, some of the channels I took a look at were streaming fairly well.
The Bottom Line…
For me, there’s just not enough to the system yet to really grab my attention. For what I do, I need better social integrations and ways to engage the audience. Caffeine.tv has potential, but it’s not something I plan on using in the near future.
It feels more like a system primed for webinars and other professional streams of the sort. While you can get around the limited game support by using XSplit, it doesn’t have the same feel as using Twitch or YouTube live.
However, I can see its attraction to those who just want a simple way to share online without worrying about software and settings. For a basic way to quickly go live, Caffeine is something you may want to consider.
I’ll keep an eye out and update accordingly if I feel the system advances enough. It’s new…so it’s going to be limited in comparison to other systems.[template id=”543″]
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Ease of Use9.0/10
- Supports XSplit Broadcaster
- Ultra-quick setup
- Shareable and branded URLs
- Doesn't require downloads or installs
- Does not support all games
- Limited scope on marketing
- Lacks tools of more functional software