In January, Hitbox announced that they had been acquired by Azubu. In their blog post, Hitbox made mention that the sites would remain separate until they merged into a newer, bigger platform, which has now been launched as Smashcast.tv. Based on first impressions, much of the Smashcast UI is reminiscent of Hitbox which makes sense considering it’s “powered by Hitbox technology”.
Some of the basics of Smashcast list in their first blog post include delay-free streaming, 4K 60fps support, and even some new features. My limited experience with Hitbox left a strong eSports impression on me, with prominent competitive broadcast focus and even upcoming events on the front page. That’s not changing here and they’re trying to make subtle additions to the viewing experience. Esports streams will even have a “Hype-o-meter” where you can express your team allegiance by way of emotes under the video player. The Hype-o-Meter emotes fly across the stream as you click on them. Non-esports streamers will also be able to use the Hype-o-Meter but just as a fun emote thing.
The rest of the features and aspects to the UI seem to be adaptations to the Hitbox interface. The Polls and Giveaways from Hitbox are still here and built into the broadcaster interface along with static posts. These all appear under the player on a channel. There’s also Discord integration to sync subscribers in your Discord.
I’ve been saying “like Hitbox” a lot here because the interface is honestly very similar to Hitbox, which is entirely understandable. Why try and reinvent the wheel? The main alert system I could think of for Hitbox, Streamjar, already updated their settings to adjust to the new website.
I had previously said that Hitbox was, for the most part, unremarkable as a streaming site and I’m not necessarily sure how much that’s changed. I definitely appreciate the branding on display from Smashcast and the fact that this is a pretty good almost-white website amongst so many dark or dark-mode-enabled websites, but the service underneath all that hasn’t changed much, it seems. More options for viewers and broadcasters will never hurt but I most look forward to what Smashcast will do to diversify themselves even further.