discord stream

Discord Stream Pixelated: Fix and Why Is My Stream Quality So Bad?

Learn why your Discord stream pixelated and how to fix it.


Understanding Discord Streaming

As a social platform and application, Discord has become increasingly popular for various virtual activities, including video calls, messaging, and crucially – streaming. Streaming on Discord offers several benefits. Users enjoy superior control over channel content and features, easy integration with other platforms like Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook, plus the opportunity for channel and content personalization. Discord even offers a stable and quality connection, making it the platform of choice for many.

Recognizing Pixelation Issues in Discord Stream

Pixelation in Discord Streaming has recently emerged as a prevalent problem. This issue is often characterized by a drop in the video quality, creating fuzziness, blurriness, and distortion in the images and videos shared in the stream. The color of the stream may frequently shift from vibrant hues to grayscale, or even to a completely dark screen. The problem is not operating system-specific and is frequently reported by users across different platforms such as Reddit and Twitter. Recognizing these signs is the first step towards mitigating this frustrating issue.

Why is Your Stream Quality So Bad?

Factors Affecting Stream Quality

Stream quality can be influenced by a variety of factors. Among these, your internet connection is the most critical determinant. A speedy and stable connection ensures interruption-free streaming. However, if the connection is not robust, the stream quality could significantly drop, resulting in pixelation.

Secondly, your computer’s processing power also influences the stream quality. The higher the CPU’s ability to swiftly process and interpret instructions, the better will be your stream quality. If your computer is slow or lagging, it is likely that the stream will suffer.

Lastly, lighting and camera settings play a key role in determining the stream quality. Bright and balanced lighting prevents shadow and glare, while the correct camera settings avoid any room for fuzziness or distortion. Therefore, these three aspects play a crucial role in maintaining good stream quality.

Common Reasons for Pixelation Issues

Pixelation issues arise from a range of factors, though some are more common than others:

  • Subpar Lighting and Camera Settings: Inconsistent or overly harsh lighting can cause image distortion, making the stream appear grainy or pixelated. Likewise, inappropriate camera settings can reduce the stream’s resolution, leading to blurriness and pixelation.
  • Limited Bandwidth or Unstable Internet Connection: An unstable internet connection or inadequate bandwidth can disrupt the stream, contributing to pixelation. Such disruptions prevent data from being transmitted smoothly during the stream, so visual content appears pixelated on the receiver’s end.
  • Incorrect Encoder Settings: Encoders compress video and audio data for transmission to the streaming platform. If configured incorrectly, these settings can affect the quality of the encoded data, resulting in a pixelated stream.
  • Insufficient Computer Processing Power: Streaming requires robust processing power. If your computer lacks sufficient processing capability, it may struggle to retrieve and interpret streaming data, leading to pixelation.

Understanding these common causes of pixelation can help you diagnose and address the root of the problem.

Let’s Identify the Main Culprits

Game Resources Hogging

When you’re playing a graphics-intensive game on a system with limited capabilities, the game could monopolize the system’s resources, leaving little for Discord to function properly. As a result, the stream quality suffers significantly, leading to pixelation issues.

It’s essential to keep an eye on how much CPU, GPU, and RAM your game is using. You can easily do this by opening Task Manager. If the resource usage is near or at 100%, this indicates your game is demanding most of your system’s resources, thereby leaving insufficient resources for Discord.

You can counter this problem by running Discord as an administrator. It forces Windows to prioritize Discord in terms of processing power, allowing it to perform optimally without significant lag or pixelation in the streams.

WebCam Quality and Network Connection Issues

The quality of your Webcam and network connection significantly affect Discord’s streaming quality.

WebCam Quality: Using a low-quality webcam can directly contribute to pixelated or poor-quality streams. To resolve this issue, consider upgrading to a high-quality webcam that can capture and transmit high-resolution video. Windows users have a variety of options to choose from, whereas Mac users can use their iPhone camera as a webcam for superior video quality.

Network Connection Issues: Streaming on Discord requires a steady, high-speed internet connection. However, if your internet connection is unstable or slow, Discord may automatically downgrade your video quality to ensure a continuous, uninterrupted stream. To prevent this, ensure that you are connected to a high-speed Wi-Fi network. In the case of dual-band Wi-Fi networks, connect to the 5GHz frequency for best results. You can run internet speed tests to confirm double-digit (in Mbps) internet speeds before initiating a video call or stream.

By addressing these Webcam and network-related issues, you can vastly improve the quality of your live streams on Discord.

Practical Ways to Fix a Pixelated Live Stream

Prioritizing Discord for Internet Speeds

To ensure high-quality, stable streams on Discord, it is crucial to prioritize Discord in terms of Internet usage. You can achieve this by enabling the ‘Quality of Service High Packet Priority’ within Discord’s settings. Here are step-by-step details on how you can do that:

  1. Open Discord and head to ‘Voice & Video’ in Discord settings.
  2. Scroll down to find the ‘Quality of Service’ menu.
  3. Find and enable the ‘High Packet Priority’ toggle.

Now, your router will prioritize Discord data transfer over other apps, helping mitigate pixelation issues during your stream. Please remember that for changes to take effect, you may need to restart Discord.

discord stream pixelated and discoloured

Enabling HD Video Streaming

To enable HD video streaming, you may also need to change some settings in your Discord application. For platforms that support it, such as Twitch, the process involves some adjustments.

  1. Open Discord and navigate to the “Voice & Video” settings.
  2. Scroll down to find the “Video Settings” section.
  3. If you’re streaming on an HD-capable channel and have a high-speed internet connection, select the “720p” or “1080p” options.

Be aware that your stream might demand more resources from your PC when streaming in HD, especially if other applications are running simultaneously. As an additional measure, consider switching your video codec to H.264, as this codec excels in compressing video files without significant loss in video quality. You can typically do this in your streaming software’s settings.

Changing Screen Sharing Settings

If your Discord stream is frequently pixelated, adjusting your screen sharing settings can help enhance clarity. Believe it or not, simply changing the stream quality, resolution, or frame rate can smooth out the video. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started:

  1. Navigate to the channel where you want to stream on Discord.
  2. Click on the ‘Share Your Screen’ icon, denoted by a computer display with an arrow.
  3. Select the screen you intend to share.
  4. Under ‘Stream Quality,’ check ‘Smoother Video’ if it isn’t already selected.
  5. Adjust the resolution and frame rate options. Experiment with different combinations until you find the one that works best for you.

Remember that higher resolution and frame rate settings will demand more resources from your PC or server network. So, be sure to set levels your system or network can comfortably sustain, to strike a balance between performance and quality.

Technical Fixes to Improve Discords Stream Quality

Disabling Hardware Acceleration

Hardware Acceleration is a feature that enhances the performance of your program by leveraging your GPU. However, if your system lacks a discrete graphics card or has a inadequate GPU, Hardware Acceleration might cause issues such as pixelation in Discord streams. Disabling it could potentially solve these issues. Here’s how to disable Hardware Acceleration:

  1. Open the Discord app on your computer.
  2. Navigate to the User settings, which can be found by clicking on the highlighted “Gear” icon.
  3. In the Settings window, click on “Advanced” settings in the left pane.
  4. Disable the “Hardware Acceleration” option and click Okay.

Following these steps, remember to restart Discord to see if the pixelation issue has been resolved. Always remember that the hardware plays a significant role in stream quality, and properly adjusting its settings can eliminate many streaming issues.

discord stream pixelated black and white

Turning Off Anti-Aliasing

Anti-aliasing is a feature designed to smooth out the graphics on your screen, especially when playing games. However, on systems running Windows 10 with an NVIDIA graphics card, it might cause the blurry text or pixelated video issue in Discord. Here’s the procedure to turn off Anti-aliasing:

  1. First, press Ctrl + Alt + Del and select Task Manager to open it.
  2. Navigate to the Details tab at the top menu and find Discord. Look for the instance of Discord (discord.exe) using the most RAM.
  3. Right-click on it and click Open file location. A window with the file location of Discord will pop up, which you need to remember.
  4. Open ‘Control Panel’ and in the search box, type ‘nvidia’ then click on ‘NVIDIA Control Panel’.
  5. Navigate to ‘3D Settings’ -> ‘Manage 3D Settings’. Choose ‘Program Settings’.
  6. Click ‘Add’ button next to the drop-down menu, followed by ‘Browse’. Open the window you saved in step 3 and copy and paste the address into the top bar, then hit Enter.
  7. When discord.exe comes up, click on the ‘Open’ button. You will be taken back to the NVIDIA Control Panel.
  8. Find the ‘Feature’ column and under it locate the ‘Anti-aliasing FXAA’ feature.
  9. Click the drop-down menu and choose to turn off Anti-aliasing.

With anti-aliasing turned off, you might experience a possible improvement in the pixelation issues with your Discord streams.

Advanced Solutions for Discord Stream Pixelation

Clearing Discord Cache

Over time, Discord stores temporary files, like images and user data, in its cache to quickly access them later. However, these files can sometimes become corrupted and affect your stream quality. Clearing the Discord cache can free up space on your device and improve the app’s performance, thus potentially resolving any pixelation issues. Here’s how:

  1. Ensure Discord is completely closed. To do this, right-click on the taskbar, click on the Task Manager, search for all Discord processes, select the processes, and click on End Task.
  2. Press the Win+R keys to open the Run dialog box.
  3. Type %appdata%/discord/cache in the box and hit Enter.
  4. Press the Ctrl+A keys to select all files.
  5. Right-click on the selected files and select Delete to delete the files.

You’ve successfully cleared the Discord cache. Now you can launch Discord and check if the stream quality has improved. Remember, if the pixelation continues, the issue might be rooted somewhere else, and it’s worth exploring other potential solutions.

Reinstalling Discord Application

If all else fails, the problem might stem from the Discord app itself. To address this, consider uninstalling and reinstalling Discord. This action will wipe out all the previous settings that might be causing the issues.

Here’s a step-by-step process on how to do this:

  1. Open your computer’s Control Panel.
  2. Head into ‘Uninstall a program’.
  3. Scroll through until you find Discord.
  4. Right-click and uninstall.
  5. Once Discord is uninstalled, restart your computer.
  6. Go to the Discord website and download the latest version.
  7. Install the app as you did the first time.

By reinstalling the Discord app, it should reset to its default settings, possibly mitigating the pixelation in your streams. Remember, an outdated version of the program can also precipitate these issues, always ensure you have the newest version of the Discord application.

This ends our guide on how to fix blurry text, video or pixelation in Discord streams. If you have any more questions, feel free to drop a comment below, and we’ll do our best to assist you. If this guide has proven helpful, please share it with fellow Discord users in need. Happy streaming!

discord stream pixelated reddit


How Can I Improve My Discord Stream Quality?

Improving the quality of your Discords stream could involve a few simple tweaks to more advanced fixes. Here are a few you could try:

  1. Check Your Internet Connection: An unstable Internet connection could lead to low-quality Discord streams. If you’re not connected to a reliable, high-speed network, it might be time to switch to one.
  2. Update Your System: Having an outdated system or graphics driver could affect your Discord call quality. Ensure your system and all the device drivers, especially video drivers, are up-to-date.
  3. Adjust The Camera Settings: If you’re using a webcam, make sure it’s set up under the right conditions (good lighting) and configure its settings for the best output.
  4. Enable Quality of Service High Packet Priority: This option in Discord settings helps manage bandwidth usage and could potentially improve stream quality.
  5. Hardware Acceleration: While it can be beneficial, sometimes hardware acceleration might lead to quality issues in Discord videos. Try disabling it in Discord settings.
  6. Reinstall Discord: If the issues persist, try reinstalling Discord. It will clear out all the previous settings and might improve video streams.

Remember, fixing stream quality issues may require some trial and error, but with these outlined measures, you are sure to see some improvement.

Why Is Discord Screen Share Low Quality?

There are several reasons why you might experience low quality when sharing your screen on Discord:

  1. Low Internet Speeds: One of the most common reasons for poor quality is an unstable or slow internet connection. If the upload speed is too low, the screen share might lag or appear pixelated.
  2. PC Struggling with High Demand: If your PC has to run many intensive programs simultaneously, including streaming on Discord, the hardware may not cope with the demand, resulting in reduced stream quality.
  3. Incorrect Discord Settings: If you haven’t configured the settings in Discord properly, it could affect the stream quality. For instance, if the video quality is set too low or if hardware acceleration is turned on when not required.
  4. Graphics Driver Issues: Sometimes, outdated or incompatible graphics drivers may cause poor screen share quality.
  5. Software Conflicts: Occasionally, another software running on your PC might interfere with Discord, leading to degradation in screen share quality.

Each of these issues can be diagnosed and resolved using the methods outlined in this article. By recognizing the source of the problem, you can rectify it and improve your Discord screen sharing experience.

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