The SEGA Dreamcast is one of my favourite consoles of all time, this small white computer was way ahead of its time – not just visually with its crisp 480p output and native 60hz PAL region support but its built in (and very functional) modem and truly iconic games such as Shenmue, Skies of Arcadia and Resident Evil: CODE – Veronica.
There’s still a lot of interest on Twitch when it comes to retro and more so when its using original hardware and it is very possible to stream it in incredible quality with the right equipment and set up. I have done a video on my own set up but I will share how to stream your original Dreamcast with the minimum and with the best set up.
What do you need to stream Dreamcast on Twitch?
The bare minimum you will need to stream your Dreamcast is a capture card which can accept composite, component, SCART or VGA. Something along the lines of a Micomsoft B-3 XCAPTURE-1 N USB3.0 HD or a DIGITNOW! Video Capture Card. These can be an expensive piece of kit but it will accept the analogue signal, capture it and then send it to your streaming computer.
The quality is however, a little dubious and the quality is only as good as the cables and not upscaled in any way, they also lack the option to split into a TV monitor so that your computer is used to stream but you can still play the game separately. But, it is less messy way to at least start to stream your beloved Dreamcast.
But is it the best way to stream your Dreamcast? I don’t think so. I think the best way to do it is by first upscaling the output and then capturing it with a quality capture card into a monitor and a streaming computer. Here’s how.
The BEST way to stream SEGA Dreamcast on Twitch
Here’s a video to show you how I personally stream it.
Step 1. Invest in the best cables
The first thing you should consider is investing in quality output cables for the Dreamcast. The best options are VGA and component, anything else is inferior. Our personal choice is VGA – these cables ensure that the resolution goes up to 480p 60hz and is crystal clear and without any interference.
You will need a 2x audio jack to get the sound working. Details in the video.
Its worth noting that the Dreamcast was often seen as better than the PS2 purely because most games were in 480p whereas the PS2 was 480i most of the time. There is a big difference between the two and we want to make sure that our viewers get the best possible picture.
Using a VGA cable and then using a SCART cable is night and day in terms of quality.
Step 2. Get a good upscaler
The better the signal going into the capture card the better the gaming footage will be. I use and swear by the OSSC (open source scan converter) which line doubles (turns it into 960p) and cleans up the input before sending a digital signal to the HDMI output. I have reviewed the OSSC with a few retro consoles if you want to know more about this device.
What the OSSC does is make the picture as high definition as possible by upscaling what its given, some devices are hit and miss but the OSSC does a terrific job.
Step 3. Get a good capture card
Not all capture cards (or even TVs for that matter) can handle these odd resolutions such as 960p or 576i and so on. Therefore, you’ll need a capture card which has no trouble dealing with it and then sending it to the streaming PC. A capture card we’ve never had a problem with on the OSSC even when using much older consoles such as the Mega Drive is the Elgato HD60 S+. This has accepted Line 2x, 3x, 4x and 5x of every resolution from every console I have. Because the Dreamcast is 480p, line 2x is all that’s needed.
This device then sends a HDMI out to your TV/monitor and a USB-C into your streaming machine.
Step 4. OBS/SLOBS
With all of that in place, all you need is the OBS/SLOBS software. Add the Elgato as a video capture source and you’re on your way.
Can you stream emulation Dreamcast?
Absolutely! Streaming an emulator such as redream is a lot easier and a lot cheaper than the above guide. However, emulation is a grey area and it does lack the originality that some people just want to feel. Speedrunners may not be bothered, but purists definitely will.