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Live streaming software pertains to software that you can use while streaming. There is a wide range of live streaming software; this includes software encoders, extensions, and overlay apps, among many others.
Software encoders transform your input, such as the game you play, your face cam, and your audio sources, into a digital format for streaming. Extension and overlay apps can help you integrate on-screen elements like chat, donations, and shares to your stream.
These streaming tools are usually free and include tons of different helpful features that can improve your stream. To help you with your choice, we’ve broken down the best free video streaming software. We also talk about their features, compatibility, and system requirements.
First, we have what’s probably the most popular video streaming tool out there. Open Broadcaster Software or OBS Studio is one of the oldest recording software available today. It’s truly an old but gold streaming app.
It’s open-source software with many different features that can help you manage your stream. It can do screen capturing, video recording, and video broadcasting. It also has a built-in audio mixer, the ability to add multiple hotkeys, support for an unlimited number of scenes, and a lot of branding and customization options.
The best thing about OBS Studio is that it’s completely free to use and has no additional features that are hiding behind paid plans. It can stream to various social media platforms through the different integration methods. It also has a clean interface that displays your scenes, video and audio sources, audio mixer, and basic controls. If you are just starting, OBS is your go-to streaming setup with a nice studio mode for your stream.
The current latest version of OBS Studio is version 27.1.3. This version supports Windows, macOS 10.13 or newer, and Linux. It’s also a very easy software to run and consumes little processing power.
It’s recommended that you have at least an AMD FX series processor or an Intel i5 2000 series processor or newer. On the other hand, you can also use a DirectX 10.1 compatible GPU instead of your processor to encode. OBS Studio also works best if you have at least 4 GB of RAM.
Next, we have OWN3D Pro. OWN3D Pro is a different type of software because it’s actually a plugin for OBS. It gives you access to more than 600+ different overlays, alerts, and tools that can help improve the overall look of your stream.
Having different screen elements such as custom overlays and alerts can help make your stream look more professional and attractive to viewers. With the free version, you can access the basic features that only include five overlays and alerts. You also get a countdown widget, stream labels, copyright-free music, Twitch Chatbot integration, and a PayPal straight donation site.
However, OWN3D Pro has a premium plan that gives you access to all of the above features, an additional 479 premium overlays, 483 premium alerts, and access to 24/7 customer support. Getting the Pro plan can be very helpful if you want to find better overlay and alert options.
The premium plan is available for $12.99 billed monthly, $10.00 billed every 3 months, or $8.33 billed annually. It’s a great and useful plugin to have, especially if you’re first starting out and don’t want to create custom overlays and alerts.
Unfortunately, OWN3D Pro is only currently available to Windows users. However, it promises to support both macOS and Linux in the future. Since it only acts as a plugin to OBS Studio, OWN3D Pro actually doesn’t specify any system requirements.
For the most part, as long as your PC can run OBS Studio without any problems, you should be good to go.
OBS. Live is another free plugin that you can use in OBS Studio. The plugin is now called SE. Live, named after StreamElements, the company that created it. It’s one of the fastest and easiest ways to manage your stream and enhance your viewer’s streaming experience.
You gain access to different themed overlays, alerts, and widgets that work great with YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook. You also get a chatbot that you can use to run contests, automate announcements, post schedules, reduce spam, and a few other advanced features.
Another cool feature that SE. Live offers are the ability to link or connect your other social media accounts and automate posts for them during specific times or events. You can also host contests, giveaways, and leaderboards, sell merch, and set up your store straight from SE. Live.
Finally, SE. Live also offers a great data and reports summary field. This shows you data about the number of followers you gained, amount of tips, hosts, and raids within specific months. It also features an activity feed and revenue history from tips, cheers, and merch.
SE. Live is only compatible with Windows computers. But, since it’s only a plugin, it doesn’t have any specific system requirements. You can just follow the same requirements as OBS Studio: at least an AMD FX series processor, Intel i5 2000 series processor or newer, a DirectX 10.1 compatible graphics card, and at least 4 GB of RAM.
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Streamlabs OBS, now known as only Streamlabs, is an open-source broadcasting software that makes streaming easier than ever before. It provides professional broadcasting quality for novice users and veteran streamers. It has a simple and easy-to-use interface that supports multiple streaming platforms.
The Streamlabs software itself is free to use. However, you can also subscribe to their Prime plan to enjoy its available premium features. The free basic features include access to creating stream overlays, the logo maker, adding a tip page, an intro, and integrating an alert box.
You can also add in some of their built-in widgets, connect your different online wallets for donations, and view your monthly analytics through the dashboard. If you like, you can also add their Cloudbot that can help moderate and entertain your chat.
However, if you subscribe to their Prime plans, you unlock more custom overlays and themes, access to their app store, their YouTube Thumbnail creator, their library of Twitch Panels, and a custom tip page. This can help you greatly define your brand to your audience.
Additionally, you can also start simultaneous streaming to different streaming platforms if you are a Streamlabs Prime member. Their pricing plans start at $19 per month, but it gets lowered to $12.42 per month by paying annually instead.
The Streamlabs application or Streamlabs Desktop can be installed on Windows and macOS computers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support Linux or any of the consoles. But, you can still use some of the key features of Streamlabs by simply accessing them through a browser and copying the URL into software that your device supports.
The minimum requirement, according to Streamlabs, is to simply have a machine that runs Windows 10 or macOS 10.14 or higher and 8 GB of RAM.
However, if you want more widgets and on-screen elements, here are the recommended system requirements set by Streamlabs:
Of course, it still all depends on your streaming needs. You can probably get away with other pieces of hardware as long as you lower the stream quality or lessen your on-screen elements.
Nvidia ShadowPlay is Nvidia’s own video streaming software. It allows you to record or broadcast videos using your Nvidia GPU, which provides decent video quality. It’s a great software that you can use to easily and instantly record your gameplay.
Even though Nvidia ShadowPlay is only integrated into the Nvidia Geforce Experience app, it’s still a good choice for casual and beginner streamers. It mostly has the basic features that you would expect from a broadcasting and video recording software. You can use it to record high-quality videos, take screenshots and live stream.
It can support up to 8K HDR 30 FPS video recording for RTX 30 series cards and up to 4K HDR 60 FPS for all other supported cards. ShadowPlay uses hardware acceleration to record videos and is built to capture video without affecting your gaming performance.
Obviously, ShadowPlay is only available to people with an Nvidia GPU. Sorry to our AMD users out there, this software is only for Nvidia. Here are the general system requirements for ShadowPlay:
Bebo is a website that was founded back in 2005. During the height of its popularity, it actually overtook Myspace with over 10.7 million unique users. It went through bankruptcy and sales in 2013 before launching a messaging service in 2014. Bebo then launched a streaming software in 2017 that was similar to OBS that mainly focused on the Twitch streaming platform.
Unfortunately, they eventually closed it down in October 2018 to focus on tournament software. Finally, in 2019 Amazon bought Bebo and relaunched in 2021. They are currently in a private beta-testing phase. They are a new type of online community that focuses on individual profiles.
Sadly, the Bebo live streaming application is no longer available, especially since it actually had some pretty great streaming features. It was a simple app where you had everything within one window. It also has a lower CPU usage, add a video source, captures your desktop, webcam, microphone, and overlay, you can even use a browser source input.
Bebo also incorporated things such as a text box, built-in alerts and allowed streamers to host activities on stream. Some of the most popular activities include CoinSpin, MakeItRain emotes, and LootBoxs. When it was first released, Bebo was one of the top streaming software options for streamers. It really could’ve been a great streaming solution today.
Unfortunately, Bebo is no longer available to download or use. So, compatibility and system requirements are not available today. But, during its early days, it was known to Windows users and focused primarily on Twitch streaming.
XSplit is home to a wide range of video tools that can help you get high-quality professional broadcasting for your streams. Some of the tools include VCam, XSplit Broadcaster, Connect: Webcam, Presenter, and Capture. These are great apps on their own, but each has a specific purpose.
However, XSplit also has its own streaming app built for gamers called the XSplit Gamecaster. The Gamecaster is an all-in-one solution that can help you manage your stream, engage with your audience, and provide the maximum output quality you can.
The Gamecaster features an intuitive audio mixer where you can control multiple sources from. It also has built-in chat and stream events functions to help you keep track of your stream. You can also add various video effects, custom transitions, and other special effects by using their different overlay packs, adding widgets, or using their own in-depth editor.
The XSplit Gamecaster also provides a cool “Grooves” feature that allows you to add some copyright-free music to your stream. Additionally, they also have a “Remote” app where you can download a mobile app and use your phone as a remote control for your stream.
Gamecaster is also planning to add new features in the future. This includes enabling mobile streaming through casting and creating clips straight from the app. Overall, Gamecaster is an amazing streaming software to try out.
Gamecaster is available for Windows 10 computers. The team recommends that you have an Intel Core i5 4th generation, equivalent or better processor, an Nvidia or AMD GPU compatible with DirectX 10.1, and at least 8GB of RAM.
They advise you to stream on YouTube, Facebook, or Twitch for the best results. However, you can also go live on a different streaming service using a stream key via custom RTMP. This is helpful if you plan on streaming to multiple platforms.
Unlike the other live streaming options on this list, LightStream doesn’t actually require you to download an app or extension. This is because LightStream is a cloud-based live streaming service that allows you to go live using your browser. The whole LightStream studio is fully accessible through most modern browsers.
LightStream Studio allows you to mix live video feeds, bring remote guests, and capture console gameplay, all without the need for any capture cards. It supports Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch but can also use a custom RTMP.
You can easily build and adjust your stream by dragging the elements, creating unlimited projects, scenes, and layouts you prefer. You can also integrate alerts, graphics, and messages using third-party applications. Finally, you can control your stream using your mobile phone by logging into your LightStream account.
There are also different available paid plans, depending on your needs. The Gamer and Creator plans include various features focused on your specific needs. The Gamer plan starts at $8, $12, and $16 per month, depending on the maximum streaming resolution you need. While the Creator plan starts at $25, $28, and $50 per month, still depending on the maximum stream resolution.
The Gamer plan includes cloud-based console capture for both Xbox and Twitch and overlays and alerts. While the Creator plans also give you access to the Gamer features plus additional remote guests, RTMP sources, and custom RTMP destinations.
Since everything is cloud-based, the system requirements are actually very low. All you need are the following things:
LightStream Studio is compatible with Windows 10 and macOS computers. But, legacy operating systems are no longer supported. You can also access and control your stream using your mobile web browser.
vMix is an all-in-one video streaming, recording, and production software. It supports streaming to the most popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, Youtube, and many more. vMix allows you to create professional-looking video quality through their different apps and features.
With vMix, you can create overlay titles and custom graphics, mix & match content, monitor and adjust your audio, and stream directly to the top streaming platforms. It also allows you to record high-quality 4K footage allowing for easier and better post-production edits.
You can use up to a thousand different inputs, access to over 100 animated titles, other graphics, and their PSD files if you’re looking to improve or edit them further. Additionally, you also get access to professional color correction, multiple recordings per input, an instant replay function, and playlists.
Unfortunately, vMix doesn’t offer a free version. However, you can try the product using their 60-day free trial offer. Here are the following rates if you are interested in purchasing the vMix software.
|BASIC HD (1920 x 1080)||
$60 One time payment
|HD (1920 x 1080 + extra features)||
$700 One time payment
|4K ( 4096 x 2160)||
$700 One time payment
|PRO (4096 x 2160 + extra features)||
$1200 One time payment
|MAX (All features unlocked)||
$50 per month
vMix is only available on Windows desktops and laptops. Since relatively easy to run and here the minimum system requirements directly from vMix:
However, if you want to use most of vMix’s features and effects, here are the recommended system settings that you should have:
FFsplit is a free and lightweight utility software that allows you to capture videos from different sources and stream them directly or record them locally. It’s very easy to use and allows you to create professional-grade content quickly.
However, FFsplit is an old streaming software at this point and is no longer receiving any updates from its creators. The last tweet that’s available on the FFsplit Twitter account is dated April 2, 2019.
FFsplit can capture your monitor, a specific region of your screen, or a specific window. It also has a simple audio gain system with a simple canvas or scene editor. You can also quickly create multiple scenes and use multiple video sources within one scene.
Each video source is treated as a layer and can easily be moved around within your canvas. FFsplit also allows you to add text to your videos, making it easier to add labels and titles. Unfortunately, it no longer receives updates today.
You can still download and use FFsplit today. The minimum system requirements are very low since it never received any recent updates. A potato PC today can pretty much run it without any problems. All that you really need is a quad-core CPU, and you should be good to go. FFsplit also only works with Windows PCs.
Twitch Beta Studio or simply Twitch Studio is Twitch’s own attempt at a live streaming software. From a business perspective, this actually makes a lot of sense. Twitch is already the biggest streaming platform, by expanding into the live streaming software space, they can make their users’ life easier and better overall. This also keeps everything in-house and controlled by Twitch.
It’s a free app that’s designed for new streamers and allows users to stream directly to Twitch. It also provides guides and allows you to learn the ropes of setting up your stream.
One of the main features of Twitch Studio is that it’s integrated with Twitch. All you have to do is sign in using your Twitch account, and your chat and stream activity will automatically be displayed when you go live.
It will also help guide you throughout the process of setting up your microphone, webcam, green screen, resolution, bitrate, and other important stream settings. It makes the whole process of going setting up your stream and going live feel so easy, as long as you only stream to Twitch.
Finally, Twitch Studio also comes with some starter layouts and overlays to help you personalize your stream. The options are quite limited, though, so it’s still recommended to create a unique overlay and graphics for your brand.
If you plan on streaming while gaming on the same PC, you need a relatively powerful computer to pull it off. The minimum system requirements aren’t that far off from the specs that you should have if you’re planning on streaming. Also, Twitch Studio is only available for Windows users.
Restream is another cloud-based streaming service with headquarters in Austin, Texas. It’s free to sign-up and use their platform to stream to different websites. It’s one of the few cloud-based streaming platforms that allow you to stream to over 30 different social platforms and multistream from 2 to 7 different channels.
You can use your google account to easily sign up with Restream or use your email address to sign up manually.
It has a clean and easy-to-understand interface. You can easily record or stream content, use a third-party streaming app like OBS or vMix, schedule a stream, or go live using an uploaded video file.
Restream provides you with cloud-based video storage for uploads and recordings, and it also a good overview of your analytics for your past streaming sessions. One great thing about cloud-based streaming platforms is that you don’t have to download any sort of app on your computer to start streaming.
The free version allows you to stream up to 2 different channels, allows you to add a chat overlay, add background music, and stream using different third-party software. However, it does add a Restream watermark over your feed.
You can choose to sign up for their monthly subscription plans. The standard plan costs $19 but removes the watermark, allows you to stream up to 5 different channels, unlocks custom RTMP, and saves up to 6 hrs worth of stream recordings.
The professional plan is a bit expensive at $49 but allows you to stream up to 7 different channels, upload 10 1hr video files, full HD 1080p cloud streaming, split audio recordings, and saves up to 10 hours worth of stream recording.
Since Restream is a cloud-based streaming service, there aren’t too many system requirements and compatibility issues that you should run into. Of course, you need a web browser, an email address, and your other streaming hardware.
It supports direct streaming to platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, YouTube, and LinkedIn. For other sites, you have to unlock the custom RTMP feature available on their paid subscription plans.
OneStream is a cloud-based streaming service that you can use to schedule events, live stream pre-recorded videos and real-time streaming to 40 different social media platforms. They offer both free and subscription-based plans that can help you unlock more features and tools on the platform.
They simplified live video streaming by integrating the cloud. OneStream supports some of the most popular social media platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Twitch, and Vimeo, among many others.
OneStream allows you to easily stream while only using your browser as a cloud-based streaming platform. Most of the heavy lifting is done by the cloud, and your PC is free to focus on running your game. The free version allows you to stream pre-recorded videos to one social media platform. But, it does offer unlimited streaming and a 5 GB max file size for video uploads. It also adds a OneStream watermark to your videos.
There are three different paid plans. Basic costs $10 per month, the Standard plan costs $45 per month, and the Professional plan costs $99 per month.
The paid plans remove the OneStream watermark branding and give you access to support when you run into problems with the platform. Luckily, you can try all of the paid plans for 5 days before subscribing. This way, you can see which plan fits you and your needs the most.
All you need to get your stream up and running with OneStream is a modern browser, a stable internet connection, and a OneStream account.
It’s compatible with over 40 social media platforms, including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Twitch, Steam, OnlyFans, and Bilibili, among many others. It also has support for custom RTMP if they don’t happen to support the site you are looking for.
MelonApp or simply Melon is a free live streaming app made for creators, podcasters, streamers, and more. It also features a multistream function allowing you to stream to some of the top social media platforms in the world.
It’s a great app for podcasting because it allows you to invite guests to your stream and screen share. MelonApp also has some pretty great customization features that allow you to add themes and banners.
Melon’s interface is actually quite similar to video conferencing apps like Zoom and MS Teams. This makes it easy to navigate and isn’t intimidating to newbies. Most of the useful features are already visible once you open up the Melon studio.
There are three different plans that you can choose from. The free plan allows you to accept donations, receive real-time alerts, add up to two participants, and some brand customization options. It also adds a MelonApp watermark to your streams.
The Standard plan costs $15 per month, but you can add a logo, invite up to 6 participants, multistream to three platforms, unlimited branding options, custom RTMP access, and local recording.
The final plan is the Pro plan, which costs $49 per month. It includes all of the features stated above with up to 9 video participants, multistreaming to unlimited platforms, 1080p HD streaming, and separate audio and video files. You also get some priority support when you need help.
All you need to use Melon is a computer, a stable internet connection, and an updated Chrome, Firefox, or Safari browser. Of course, you also need your other streaming hardware like a microphone and camera.
MelonApp is compatible with Windows and macOS devices and supports direct streaming to YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can use the custom RTMP function available for the paid plans for other sites.
To help summarize the different streaming software, we’ve created a table that illustrates their features, pricing, and easiness to use.
When it comes to features, we gave them a score out of 5.0, where 5.0 means that they provide many useful features. The same goes for pricing, the completely free software will be graded 5.0, and the rest will be graded depending on how much they cost. Finally, ease of use will be based on how beginner-friendly the software is and how great their UI is.
|Twitch Beta Studio||
Since there is a lot of different streaming software available today, you might have a difficult time choosing the right one for you. These streaming software are of good quality and can help you easily go live to your chosen streaming platform. However, some do have features that can benefit you more and your needs more than others.
It’s important to interact with your audience and react to what they are saying. One of the main ways that you can interact with your audience is through your chat. Having a live chat integrated straight into your streaming software is essential. It allows your chat to show up on your stream, and it also allows you to keep up with your chat.
Having an integrated live chat also allows your audience to keep up with what other members of your community are saying. Down the line, you can always lock your chat to subscribers or followers only to decrease spam and improve the flow of conversation. But at the start, you definitely want everyone joining in.
Some streaming software already has built-in chat integrations. Streamlabs Desktop, OWN3D Pro, and SE.Live are great examples of streaming software that can help you integrate a live chat widget into your stream.
Others also allow you to design your own chat background and add in some more personal and brand-based touches.
A preview editor allows you to make on-the-fly adjustments to your stream or your scenes and view them before letting your audience see it. It’s a great tool to have because you never know when you’ll need to adjust your scenes.
Sometimes your face cam covers an important part of the game, or your chat covers a video that you are reacting to. These are the situations that the preview editor comes in. You can easily move widgets and on-screen elements using the preview editor before showing it to your stream.
Most of the popular streaming services have at least a basic preview editor. Make sure to double-check this feature first before committing to a certain streaming service.
During the early days of streaming, if you wanted to have some sort of design or branding to your stream, you had to either make it yourself or hire someone else to make it for you. Nowadays, these types of features like overlays, templates, and themes are already built into your streaming service.
There are others that offer a few free choices, but most keep their premium designs under a paid subscription or service. Sometimes, it’s worth it to subscribe to monthly plans on these platforms to simply gain access to the premium overlays, templates, and themes.
Using these different tools makes your stream more inviting and unique to the other streamers who don’t have themes or overlays. Famous streamers like Shroud, Pokimane, and xQc already have their own overlays created for them. However, it’s fine if you use the pre-made ones available on various platforms and services when first starting out. Just remember to stick to your branding and make it consistent throughout your different social media accounts.
The multiview feature allows you to view or monitor two video streams simultaneously. It’s a great feature to have since you can monitor your stream while viewing or editing the next scene that you want to use.
Multiview can also be used as a way to monitor your different video sources at the same time. For example, if you have a face cam, a hand cam, and your gameplay, multiview can allow you to view them individually and check each output.
It’s a great feature that’s often used in professional live video production. These streaming software make it easier for you to manage your content and attain a high level of video production quality.
Real-time analytics is getting the data and information served directly to you once they change. Like getting the number of likes or shares your stream received, the total number of followers or subs that you got, and even the total donations or bits within a specific stream.
Usually, these are monitored through a dashboard provided by your streaming software. It’s important to review your real-time analytics and keep track of them to know whether you are growing as a streamer or doing something wrong.
Other sites also include total watch time, total viewers, peak viewers, how long viewers stayed on your channel, new viewers to your stream, among many others. These can help you determine the content that your audience likes to watch, how they ended up watching your channel, where they came from, and others. You can then use the data to streamline your content, and better mold it for your audience.
The API stands for application programming interface and acts as a middle-man between two software or applications and allows them to smoothly talk and interact with each other. On the other hand, SDK means software development kit is sort of like a workshop and provides a set of tools to create software applications on a specific platform.
Usually, open-source programs and applications share things like the API and SDK to the public. This allows other people to create different software, widgets, extensions, plugins, and tools that complement the base program.
APIs and SDKs are a factor when choosing the right streaming software because they can allow you to access your video content and be used in different monitoring or control systems. You can customize the video watching experience according to your brand image.
Essentially, the API and SDK of a streaming service are mostly concerned with their compatibility with the different streaming platforms, the integration of built-in widgets, and the overall performance of your live video stream.
In a day and age where social media is king, it’s important to have some sort of social media integration built into your chosen streaming service. It mostly depends on what your specific needs are. If you only have a Twitch channel, then you should select the streaming software with the best Twitch integration. If you have other social media accounts, you’re obviously going to want those integrated as well.
Some platforms offer services such as scheduled posts or actions that can automatically post to your different social media accounts whenever you’re going live. Others integrate new likes and interactions across your social networking sites. While others simply integrate a chat and an events list when you are streaming.
You’re the only one who knows exactly what type of social media integration you need at the end of the day. Just remember to take into consideration how good a specific streaming software works for your social media needs, especially when you’re paying for their services.
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Now we move on to some advanced or additional features that the different streaming software can provide. This includes features such as an in-depth video editor, extra customization options, priority customer support, adding custom tip pages, mobile streaming, mobile remote options, DMCA music, among many others.
You should treat these features as “extras” that you get when you use their specific streaming platform. They aren’t super important, and you can still go live without them, but they are definitely nice to have and can help make your life easier in the long run.
Make sure to take these features into consideration as well, but don’t solely focus on them unless you actually need them for your streaming needs.
Finally, we’ve come down to the last factor, pricing. Most of the available streaming software have at least some sort of subscription service, additional purchases, or even software purchases. They’re still businesses and obviously need to make some money one way or another, even if they have a passion for streaming.
As a new streamer, I understand how hard it can be to shell out a couple of dollars for a subscription service straight out of your pocket. At first, it’s most likely fine that you stream using free software or the free version first. Not many people are going to expect the best quality of streaming from a new streamer. You also don’t have a consistent audience yet, so you don’t have to worry about most branding and networking things first.
Obviously, if you can afford to pay for additional services such as custom overlays, tip pages, additional themes, scheduled events, and other premium features, then it’s going to be better in the long run. But, you don’t have to force yourself if you can’t. At the start, all you have to focus on is creating content that people can enjoy and trying to grow your following.
I think that a good time to upgrade and start paying for premium plans is when you start to see consistent growth in your streaming career. When you’re starting to earn some money from your streams and are looking to gain a larger audience. These extra tools will help you stand out and reach more people on different platforms.
Obviously, that’s just a tip, and you can always upgrade to premium service when you feel that the time is right.
All of these streaming software can help you go live to your audience. But, before you can go live, you have to follow a series of steps. Here are the different ways you can go live and the best settings you can use for the most popular streaming software.
First of all, make sure that you have already created an XSplit account and have installed the XSplit Broadcaster app on your PC.
Now, the best settings that you can use will mostly depend on your hardware. If you have a more powerful PC, you can obviously increase some settings and vice versa. However, here are some values that you can use as a guide when tweaking your XSplit settings.
For the most part, the NVENC encoder is the best option if you are streaming and playing on a single PC. It’s simply the best option, especially for faster encoder presets. Unfortunately, it’s only available on new Nvidia GPUs. If you don’t have a supported GPU, make sure to use x264 at a faster preset.
However, if you are using a dedicated streaming PC, the x264 encoder will give you better quality at a slower encoder preset. Usually, this can be achievable with a good 8-core or more CPU.
OBS Studio is one of the most popular streaming software for content creators. It offers a lot of different customization options but lacks in overlay, themes, widgets, and other extra presets. But, it’s one of the most reliable software, and it also requires low processing power.
Again, the settings that you should use will mostly depend on your current hardware. Here are some guidelines for you to follow when tweaking your OBS Studio settings.
Finally, we have Streamlabs Desktop or simply Streamlabs. Streamlabs is a popular choice for beginners because of the chat and events list integrations and the easy access to different themes, overlays, and widgets.
Streamlabs’ settings are actually quite similar to OBS. Here’s our recommended settings for Streamlabs. Make sure to adjust the settings based on your current hardware.
For the most part, all you need to start streaming is a camera, a microphone, your chosen streaming software, a stable internet connection, and a PC or console. These are the basics, but there are some extras that you can get, like lights and a green screen, among many others.
Software encoders are the different applications and programs you use to convert raw video files to a viewable format. They mainly use the CPU’s processing power to convert these files through the software. An example of a great software encoder is OBS Studio, one of the most popular software encoders in the world today.
On the other hand, hardware encoders use a separate processing unit located on the device itself to process and convert raw video files. They usually provide high-quality streams, lower latency, and great reliability. However, hardware encoders can be quite expensive and can be hard to upgrade when needed.
Of course, you need the basics like a camera, microphone, PC, stable internet connection, and streaming software. However, there are also additional tools such as a macro pad like the Stream Deck, a green screen, additional lights, background design, and other things.
You also need extra tools like an overlay or theme designer, a widget adder, scene editor, statistics and data tracker, and other software or application-based tools.
Choosing a good streaming PC can be difficult, especially if you aren’t sure what hardware to choose. We’ll only be including newer hardware Here are some guidelines to help you choose the best streaming PC for your budget.
Budget Streaming PC Recommended Specs:
Processor: 4-core processor from Intel or AMD or better
GPU: GTX 1650 Super or Radeon RX 5500 XT equivalent or better
RAM: 8 GB of RAM or higher
Mid-range Streaming PC Recommended Specs:
Processor: 6-core processor from Intel or AMD or better
GPU: RTX 3060 or Radeon RX 6600 XT equivalent or better
RAM: 16 GB of RAM or higher
High-End Streaming PC Recommended Specs:
Processor: 8-core processor from Intel or AMD or better
GPU: RTX 3070 TI Super or Radeon RX 5500 XT equivalent or better
RAM: 32 GB of RAM or higher