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Optiimizing Your Windows 7 PC for Recording and Streaming Video

Please review these steps and help by making suggestions of things you've tried or heard of so I can add to this article. I'm going to make a video of this process after all suggestions are in.

These optimization steps will make your PC run more efficiently and give you higher frame-rates and capture rates for recording OR streaming:

To CamStudio
To Google Hangouts on Air
To YouTube Live Events
Streaming Using OBS
Streaming Using Wirecast or Wirecast for YouTube

PC Settings

Turn off all enhancements:

Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\System\Advanced System Settings => Advanced Tab => Performance Settings button => ”Adjust for best performance” radio button

Select a non-aero theme:

Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Personalization => Choose Windows Classic theme
Desktop background - solid color - I use some darkish gray
No screensaver
Window Color - picks up the Desktop Background's solid color
Set Windows Sounds to - No Sounds

Save this theme setup as “Video Optimized”

One other thing you can try if resources are hurting:

Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Display => Change Display Settings link => Advanced Settings link => Monitors tab => Set “Colors” to High Color (16-bit).

Sometimes this is dramatic, doubling frame rates in some cases. I think that occurs because setting to 16-bit color disables Aero, which we’ve already done in the steps prior, so this likely will not produce much of an improvement. But give it a try - always good to experiment.

Now we’ll shut off some background programs. You can easily turn these auto-loading programs on again after you are done.

Click Start and type in msconfig.exe or click start/run and type msconfig.exe

Go to the Startup tab

Write down the ones that are loading (are checked) so you can check just the ones you were running after you are done. There is no “save profile” setting for this, so you have to write it down.

I use Windows' built-in Snipping Tool to take pictures of the screens.

Click Start and type in SnippingTool.exe
Adjust the display window to show the full names in the window
Take a few pictures scrolling down after each shot till you get them all.

Now click on “Disable All” but then go in and re-check your antivirus.
It is not a good idea to do anything involving the Internet without Antivirus turned on!

Re-check anything else you really will need to do the video. I use Sysinternals ZoomIt and Sizer all the time, so I leave them checked as well. Eventually you’ll know what you need to keep.

It will ask you to restart. Say no to this. Now instead shut-down (completely) and then re-start your computer.

Finally, although the previous step usually gets all these, now look in your system tray to see if anything else is running that does not need to be. Usually a left or right click will reveal a close or quit menu item. Get rid of all extra running stuff. Especially cloud services, backup utilities, etc.

Finally, go into Windows Update and turn that off temporarily. That will avoid it taking over your computer and downloading files when you need the bandwidth and unfettered drive access, and especially to keep it from running an installer process in the background when you need all the CPU you can get!

Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Windows Update\Change settings -- set to "Never Check for Updates"
Don't forget to return here and turn it back on again!

You are more ready now than you have ever been to record or stream at the best capture rates your computer is capable of!

Once you are done, simple reverse these steps.
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