How to capture and live stream 4K game play from PS4 Pro

PlayStation 4 Pro™ (PS4 Pro) is here with a slew of games that support 4K game play! We know you want to play those 4K games in all their beautiful UHD glory, but of course, you also want to live stream them so your friends and followers can watch too!

Let us show you how to capture and live stream your 4K game play.

Diagram depictinc Playstation 4 Pro (PS4 Pro) 4K UHD video capture with AV.io 4K and a laptop, using a 4K splitter to also bring the signal to a 4K TV

Encoding and streaming 4K video involves significant processing power and optimized encoding settings. This tutorial was created using a computer running Windows 10 on an Intel i7-6770HQ CPU with and Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580, 16 GB of RAM and OBS Studio for encoding and streaming.

To record and/or stream video from your PS4 Pro you need the following:

  • A Playstation 4 Pro and the game or content you want to stream.
  • A 4K capable HDMI splitter to send the HDMI signal to both the capture device and your TV.
  • Three HDMI cables for the splitter setup.
  • A 4K display or 4K TV for viewing/playing your video game.
  • AV.io 4K, Epiphan’s easy to use 4K video grabber (updated to at least firmware 3.2).
  • A capture computer, preferably with a dedicated graphics card. You can use a Mac, Windows or Linux-based computer.
  • Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) Studio.
  • Network connection for optional streaming.

Why use a splitter? Like Epiphan’s other video grabbers, AV.io 4K has an extremely low capture delay: usually just one frame! But when playing high-action games, particularly shooters, a delay of a single frame could mean the difference between life and well… death for your game character.

Using the directions that come with your PS4 Pro, connect the power supply and network cables. Instead of connecting the HDMI cable directly from the PS4 Pro to your TV, connect it to the input port on your HDMI splitter, then use a second cable to connect from one of the splitter’s output ports to the TV’s HDMI input port.

Diagram depicting connecting your PS4 Pro to a 4K HDMI splitter, then from the splitter to a 4K TV

Power on the PS4 Pro and test before proceeding. (The following steps assume your system is powered on and logged in.)

Epiphan’s video grabbers respect digital copyrights and don’t capture HDCP-protected content. By default, your PS4 Pro comes with a setting enabled that forces HDCP for all HDMI output, regardless of what is playing.

You need to ensure this feature is turned off before capturing.

Show me how to disable HDCP on my PS4 Pro

  1. Power on your PS4 Pro and log in to your account.
  2. Open the System settings page.
  3. Scroll down and select the System setting group.
  4. From the list, ensure the Enable HDCP checkbox isn’t checked.
  5. Follow the prompts to close any applications needed and acknowledge that some features may not work while HDCP is disabled.
  6. Return to the main Playstation menu.

Even after turning off HDCP, some titles (including movies) continue to be HDCP protected and can’t be captured.

Your PS4 Pro needs to be configured to use YUV420 and have both HDR and Deep Color Output disabled before 4K capture is possible.

  1. Go to your PS4 Pro’s systems settings screen.
  2. Scroll down and select the Sound and Screen option.
  3. Select Video Output Settings.
  4. Select Resolution and choose 2160p – YUV420 (this is important!).
  5. From the same Video Output Settings screen, ensure HDR and Deep Color Output are set to Off.
  6. Check that your settings look like this:
    Screen capture from Sony Playstation 4 Pro showing the video output settings needed for 4K video capture
  7. Return to the main menu.

Connect your AV.io 4K from the HDMI splitter to your capture computer.

  1. Connect your third HDMI cable to another output port on the HDMI splitter.
  2. Attach to the other end of the cable the HDMI to the AV.io 4K.
  3. Connect the USB 3.0 cable that came with your AV.io 4K to the bottom of AV.io 4K and the other end to a USB 3.0 port on your capture computer.
    Diagram depicting connecting an HDMI cable from the 4K splitter to AV.io 4K, then a USB 3.0 cable from AV.io 4K to the capture laptop.

There are no drivers to install for AV.io 4K. When you connect it to your capture computer, it is automatically recognized using the UVC/UAC drivers that are part of your OS.

This example uses (OBS Studio 0.16.6) as the capture and streaming software.

Why do you recommend I use OBS?

We recommend OBS because in our tests it had lower latency than other options. However, you can choose to use any software that supports UVC inputs. Generally these include anything where you could capture from a web camera. Some examples are VLC, Skype, Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder, Windows Media Encoder, QuickTime and Wirecast.

 

Start OBS Studio.

This tutorial uses the following capture settings (configured in OBS):

4K UHD (2160p)

30 fps

I420 color space

How do I choose which settings to use?

Determining the best video rates for your computer and network is a bit beyond the scope of this page. You can start with our suggestions and watch your CPU usage (to make sure it doesn’t go too high) and check your output for quality, then tweak. Also, OBS provides a nice estimator tool you can access here.

To configure AV.io 4K in OBS:

  1. With a scene selected in the Scenes section at the bottom of the OBS Studio window, right-click in the Sources section at the bottom of the OBS Studio window. Select Add, then Video Capture Device; the Create/Select Source dialog appears.
    Image showing how to select Add Video Capture Device in OBS Studio
  2. Give your new source a name (like AV.io 4K) and click OK.
  3. Set the following options:
    – Device: AV.io 4K HD Video
    – Resolution/FPS Type: Custom
    – Resolution: 3840x2160
    – Video Format: I420
    – Audio Output Mode: Capture audio only
    – Use custom Audio device: Checked
    – Audio Device: AV.io 4K HD Audio
  4. Click OK.

Configure your encoding settings in OBS. This tutorial uses the following encoding settings:
This tutorial uses the following capture settings (configured in OBS):

4K UHD (2160p)- same as the capture frame size

30 fps – same as the capture frame rate

Video encoded at 16000 kb/s

Audio encoded at 128 kb/s

If you don’t have the uplink bandwidth for a consistent 16 Mb/s stream, you may need to use different settings than the ones shown here, or you may need to record now and upload later instead of live streaming.

How do I choose which settings to use?

Determining the best video rates for your computer and network is a bit beyond the scope of this page. You can start with our suggestions and watch your CPU usage (to make sure it doesn’t go too high) and check your output for quality, then tweak. Also, OBS provides a nice estimator tool you can access here.

Configure OBS for encoding:

  1. Click Settings at the far right side of the OBS Studio window; the Settings dialog opens.
  2. Select Video from the options on the left.
  3. Ensure the video canvas and output are both set to 3840x2160 and the frame rate is set to 30 fps.
    OBS Studio settings for 4K UHD (3840 by 2016) video encoding at 30 frames per second.
  4. Select Output from the options on the left.
  5. Set the following options:
    – Output Mode: Simple
    – Video Bitrate: 16000
    – Encoder: Hardware (in our example, QSV)
    – Audio Bitrate: 128
    – Encoder preset: quality (you may need to check Enable Advanced Encoder Settings to select this)
    OBS Studio settings for streaming and recording including 16000 kb/s streaming and mp4 recording.
  6. Find your output folder in the Recording settings, select the Recording Format you’d like (I usually choose MP4).
  7. Click OK to save the settings.

Before live streaming it’s a good idea to test capture with your chosen settings and tweak your settings as needed until you get a good quality recording that isn’t maxing out your CPU.

Test recording by clicking Start Recording from the right side of the OBS Studio window.

While you can use any other streaming service supported by your encoding software, this tutorial uses YouTube.

If you have a YouTube channel in good standing, you can create Live YouTube streaming events and stream your gameplay live to your audience.

Show me how to create a live event on YouTube

A. Login to your YouTube account and go to https://www.youtube.com/my_live_events.
B. Click the New live event button at the top right.
C. Specify a Title, start date and time, description and keywords for your event.
D. Click Create event.
E. On the next screen, select Basic ingestion.
F. Choose the 4K – BETA option from the dropdown; text appears below this that includes a bunch of pre-filled information.
G. Highlight and copy the Stream Name.


YouTube is now ready for your live stream. You just need to set it up in OBS then return to YouTube to see it work!

If you want to live stream, configure your streaming service and details.

Note: Your maximum streaming bitrate is dependent on your network uplink bandwidth from your Internet provider and by the streaming service you’re using (for example, YouTube and Twitch have a maximum of ingestion of 18,000 kb/s).

  1. Click the Settings button at the lower right side of the main OBS window; the settings screen appears.
  2. Select the Stream settings option from the list on the left.
  3. Select YouTube from the Service drop down.
  4. Paste the copied Stream Name value (from YouTube) in the Stream key box.
    OBS Studio streaming settings. Paste the stream key you copied from YouTube here.
  5. Click OK.

Click the Start Streaming button at the lower right side of the main OBS window to start your live stream.

Everything is ready for your live streaming event! Note that it can take 30 seconds or more for YouTube to sort out your connection and start processing the data, so make sure you get things ready well before your go-live time.

Show me how to run my live event in YouTube

It’s easy to manage your live stream.
1. Return to YouTube (you should still be on the Custom ingestion page).
2. Click Live Control Room; the YouTube Live Control Room appears.
3. Verify that your stream is working by looking at the Stream Status section. The status is Green and says GOOD and the stream resolution (2160p) is properly detected.
4. Optionally, use the preview window to preview the live stream (don’t be alarmed if this takes 30-60 seconds to appear)
5. When you’re ready, click the Start Streaming button at the top of the page.
6. When your event is over, click Stop Streaming.

The Result

You are now recording and/or streaming live 4K game play from your PS4 Pro!

If you find your network unable to sustain the encoding settings you chose, we recommend you set a lower bitrate. If that isn’t sufficient you may need to live stream at a smaller frame size. Try different settings in OBS to optimize capture for your situation.