One of the easiest and most efficient ways to create a training video, or any other video-worthy communication, is by capturing and recording a live stream directly from your computing device. In years past, this creative process would require expensive software and perhaps even some extraneous hardware to accomplish. But those days, thankfully, are long past.

With the help of a software encoder, anyone can capture everything that happens on their computer in high-definition video with just a few keystrokes. The streaming video can be recorded and stored locally, or it can be automatically and instantaneously uploaded to one of several cloud-based video hosting services. Once the video is complete, it can then be shared broadly or with just a specific audience.

Several open source and proprietary software encoders are available, and they all have advantages and disadvantages that distinguish them from one another. However, the streaming video encoder from NVIDIA is notable because it is integrated with the GeForce Experience application that comes with the video card and is often running in the background on your PC anyway–no additional installation required.

This tutorial will show you how to create and stream live video to a YouTube channel using the GeForce Experience encoder. The procedure shown will be consistent with procedures used for other software encoders and hosting services, so the principles can be applied to whichever encoder you decide to use for your project.

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As you might expect, capturing and streaming video requires a significant amount of computational power. Certain laptops with NVIDIA mobile GPUs over 660M may be able to handle the load, but in general you will need a powerful desktop or workstation PC with an NVIDIA GeForce 660 or better video card. Of course, you will also need to have the GeForce Experience software running as well.

Because our example stream is going to YouTube, you will also need to have a Google account with access to an active video channel. The YouTube video hosting service is free, but it does take a bit of setup. The NVIDIA encoder also supports video hosting services offered by Facebook and Twitch.

To set up the GeForce Experience encoder software, press the default keystroke combination of Alt+Z. The overlay screen will present you with several configuration choices (Figure A).

Figure A

For our purposes, we want to click on the Broadcast Live button to reveal the configuration screen (Figure B). Click the slider to enable streaming broadcasting and indicate which service you would like to use. The quality, resolution, and FPS settings will largely be determined by the computational capabilities of your computer. You may have to try a few settings before you find out what works best for you.

Figure B

The first time you choose a hosting service, you will be asked to provide valid access credentials. Once the application is configured correctly, it won’t ask again. Starting a live broadcast is now as simple as typing the correct keystroke combination shortcut (Figure C).

Figure C

Pressing Alt+F8 will toggle starting or stopping a broadcast, while Alt+F7 will toggle pause and resume. When you start a new broadcast, the application will prompt you for a title and ask whether you want to make the captured video public or private (Figure D).

Figure D

When your recording is finished you can use the editing tools on YouTube or any video editing application to add introductions, logos, and other aftereffects. You can share the resulting video broadly and publicly or just to a select few or upload it to network servers for in-house-only dissemination.

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Keep in mind that once the GeForce Experience encoder begins, it will record everything that occurs on your desktop–every mouse movement, every stray click, and every flubbed word will be recorded and streamed. It’s always a good idea to have a script ready before you begin recording.

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