Testing the XSplit Delay Server (part 1)

by Tim 'eagle' Brugman on April 24, 2012

Last week Splitmedia Labs blogged about a new feature in XSplit called the Delay Server. Let’s take a look at this new bit of tech and test it out.

For broadcasting online gaming competitions the need for a delay has been apparent for many years. If the games are played online there simply cannot be a referee behind each player to make sure he or she doesn’t ghost on their own game to find an unfair advantage. In January of 2011 popular gaming CDN Own3D was the first to introduce a server-side option for their partners. Later that year Twitch TV followed suit with first a client side tool and later a similar server-side option for the very top end of their partners only.

With both of these CDNs already offering a similar service but for partners only, XSplit might have a solution here for the competition broadcaster with an audience of a smaller size. So, the first question has to be, does it work? The answer is, it does. The next, how well? Let’s take a look.

Streaming without the delay server running produced the following results that we can consider our baseline.

  • ~3 seconds of transfer delay from XSplit to the Twitch TV player.
  • ~18% CPU load.
  • ~250MB of RAM in use by XSplit.Core.exe.
  • ~190MB of RAM in use by VHMultiWriterExt2.exe.

Then the Delay Server was started on it’s default value of 60 seconds and I ran the exact same content.

  • ~68 seconds of transfer delay from XSplit to the Twitch TV player.
  • ~18% CPU load.
  • ~250MB of RAM in use by XSplit.Core.exe.
  • ~200MB of RAM in use by VHMultiWriterExt2.exe.
  • ~50MB of RAM in use by Java.exe.

As you can see the Delay Server did it’s job fairly accurately. The lack of an increase in resources used is remarkable. During the delayed test a Java process was launched but it’s demand was negligible with a constant 0% CPU load and only a 50MB RAM footprint. Something impressive to note is that when the broadcast was stopped the Delay Server continued to send out it’s remaining buffer until empty. While this is clearly the best thing to do it is not a feature that Own3D’s delay service can offer. Twitch’s position on this feature is currently unknown to me.

screenshot of the XSplit Delay Server in action

The XSplit Delay Server in action.

So far the XSplit Delay Server has passed with flying colors. Unfortunately I was only able to test with an 800kbit stream so I will be back in part 2 with the results of testing at a speed suitable for a 1080p stream to see if the software holds up.

Related links:


  • koreign

    Thank you for the test. I hope you could test with the maximum value of delay offered by twitch. The current need in delay is for higher than 5min which is only given to parnters for twitch and own3d right ?