Microsoft’s Mixer Continues to Fall Flat During Live Events

Posted on August 21, 2017 by Brad Sams in Cloud, Games with 18 Comments

Earlier this year, Microsoft rebranded its Beam acquisition as Mixer in an attempt to give it a more friendly and accessible name. Since that rebranding, the company has been pushing the service as a way to watch the company’s live events but the platform is continuously coming up short.

At E3 and yesterday at Gamescom, Microsoft was promoting the service and offering up prizes if you logged into your Microsoft account while watching the keynotes. Unfortunately, at both events, the service provided a subpar experience.

I almost always watch these types of event on my desktop which means I am streaming through the browser. During yesterday’s session, the stream stopped working or would not jump to the live feed, spark accumulation was not accurate and most annoyingly, chat was not working as well.

The reason why the chat functionality was the most annoying part is that it flashes a message that it will attempt to reconnect to the servers every 10 seconds. Unfortunately, there is no way to completely hide the chat (which is another issue) and while you can drag it to the side (see the gif above), the blinking reconnecting message is not fully hidden when in non-full screen mode.

But of all the problems, the stream dropping frequently during the event for the second time at a major conference is a bigger issue for Microsoft. As Twitch keeps growing and YouTube is trying to crack into game-streaming, Mixer can’t afford to be known as the “unstable” service.

Users on Twitter around the globe were experiencing the many issues and giving up on the service by jumping over to YouTube. Granted, the streaming on Xbox.com, which appears to be using a different service, had no issues during the event; Microsoft has the ability to stream video smoothly but for its premier platform, it fell flat compared to competitors.

I quite like Mixer and was streaming PUBG earlier today on the streaming service. The platform has a few unique features and the low latency streaming works well but when Mixer is being exposed to a large outside audience, it comes up short.

There is plenty of room in the game streaming market for Mixer to live and thrive but only if the service can handle large volumes of traffic. With the platform failing during both E3 and Gamescom where the company was exposing new users to the service, it does not leave a good first impression.

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Comments (18)

18 responses to “Microsoft’s Mixer Continues to Fall Flat During Live Events”

  1. Kryptryx

    First, I had no problems. I think one dropout about 30seconds, five minutes in. 1080p. No noticeable compression artifacts.

    If you have consistent problems, maybe something to with the CDN endpoint they choose for you.


    Also, you seem to be forcing the no low-latency connection. Did the non-low-latency stream fair any better? And of course, low-latency is not something youtube needs to concern itself with, so not really a valid comparison infrastructure-wise.


    • Brad Sams

      In reply to Kryptryx:

      I dont think the 'low latency' has anything to do with Microsoft's stream yesterday, this is only when I am streaming out my content which works well.

      • Kryptryx

        In reply to brad-sams:
        Sure it does. low-latency in this context means you ware watching as near to live as possible. non-low-latency means the stream can take time to get to various CDN's, and enables better, (as in more-jitter-tolerant) compression. Actions which increase the latency.
        Next time, run two streams from side by side systems. one low-latency, one not. Big difference.
        Also, I heard that using wifi, and mesh networks, makes a difference with low-latency connections. You should probably have a wired connection.


  2. Ubertas

    For me the Xbox mixer app was atrocious, it took 5 minutes to start streaming and showing comment flow but as soon as it was flagged 18+ the message popped up and selecting I am an adult didn't resume the stream.


    Wasted 20/30 minutes trying to get the native app to work, jumped on laptop and it worked fine straight away.


    Similar experiences previously, if they are pushing the service for this type of content they need to get it spot on otherwise it'll negatively impact the Xbox brand never mind mixer.


    The old events app always worked fine for me for these types of content so I can't help but think If it ain't broke....

  3. Jeffrey Tschiltsch

    I didn't have an issue with the video during the Xbox Gamescom announcement but the chat died the second it started (which honestly given how many people were typing gibberish I didn't see as a negative ;) ) I was actually surprised and the excellent video quality when I went full-screen on my Surface Pro. I watched the entire thing live and never fell behind, and I think only once did I see the video quality degrade for a few seconds (dropped to SD quality in my opinion) but then went right back to what looked like a 2K feed.

  4. SaintKaze

    I tried using Mixer on Pc with Xsplit to stream game play. It was horrible. The game I was streaming was unwatchable, everything was blocky. I switched my stream upload over to Daily-motion just to test out if it maybe a problem with Xsplit. Well everything looked great in Dailymotion. I was kind of surprised how well it the stream was on DM. I gave up on Mixer and figured it just was to new. But now reading this finding out that it was a re-branding… I can’t believe it 

  5. TekSoup

    I cannot watch twitch and read open other webpages up at the same time, it just stalls twitch and i have to refresh. i have a 50/10 all by myself so that should be fast enough. I have called Comcast many times and no answer. The wierd thing is , the mobile versions dont crash, so i have to watch on a tablet and then i can browse with chrome or edge on a desktop/laptop. I have tried search for a fix, but nothing so far. So try a Tablet Paul

  6. Jason Lakes

    Indeed, the Mixer stream was embarrassingly unstable the entire time. Watched the livestream from xbox.com. Mixer does not seem ready for prime time, despite MS promoting it heavily as the go-to platform for their broadcast experiences. "Cart before horse" appears to be a recurrent theme of late for our heroes from Redmond. I hope they can work these issues out soon.

  7. DerOi

    I really think, it's actually a xbox issue and not an app issue. I tried to watch it on my xbox one s but it failed constantly. As soon as I watched it on my phone the issues were gone. Furthermore the experience of streaming services on the xbox one s is "fubar" e.g. HBO Now keeps freezing every couple of minutes, Netflix is a homage to late 90 pixel porn, Amazon Prime is crashing or the voice is out of sync, but all the services are running great on tablets, FireTV and Apple TV.

  8. Tony Barrett

    I'm assuming 'Beam' worked fine before MS got their hands on it (not that I've ever used it). Looks like it's just a complete mess now (sounds very familiar!)

  9. Althalus

    Was trying to stream over Xbox but it was failing all the time through the app but through the browser on the console was ok (but unfortunately the log in doesn't work).

  10. JudaZuk

    The stream was rock solid for me, and I was streaming both to my xbox and my PC at the same time .. bad internet connection maybe ? The chat was broken though, but that was easy enough to hide on my PC at least . Can not hide it on my Xbox at the moment but that is the flaw in the alpha ring build .. Toggle chat with X does nothing at the moment, but hey ..it is alpha .

  11. Ron Diaz

    Microsoft software with subpar experience. What a shocking development!

  12. Noel

    Beam was renamed Mixer as they didn't have worldwide rights to the name, not because it's cute and cuddly.

  13. zybch

    To be fair, Beam/Mixer was never intended to cater for hundreds of thousands of simultaneous viewers. But you'd have thought that after the amazing 4K E3 stream the 2017 Gamecom one would be at least as stable even at 720 or 1080.

  14. Kryptryx

    And full-screen has no chat window.

  15. chaad_losan

    The amount of people on mixer at any one time is also a fraction of twitch.tv.

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