Video streaming software is useful for many different applications. Many of the options on the market today can be quite pricy. Free options tend to lack features that are essential for a smooth broadcast. There is however, one option out there that is both free and loaded with features. That software is called Open Broadcaster Software , or OBS. This powerful program makes screencasting incredibly intuitive and is one hundred percent free to use. If you are looking into software to screencast for your podcast or other internet broadcast, read on to discover the features in OBS.
Open Broadcaster Software offers many important features that will make your online broadcast stand out. With real-time video and audio mixing and capturing and unlimited scenes to switch between using transitions that you can customize, you'll be able to create an incredibly dynamic stream with ease.
OBS has filters that allow you to use chroma keying, masking, and color correction, and an easy to use an audio mixer that can filter sounds for noise suppression and gain. Use the robust yet accessible configuration options to add new sources and adjust their properties without hassle. Studio Mode allows you to check your sources and scenes out before you start broadcasting so that you can adjust anything, or create additional ones to make sure your stream is just right. You can easily set hotkeys for pretty much any action, including switching between scenes, starting or stopping your stream, muting audio, and more.
The settings panel has been designed to allow for easy, the quick configuration of broadcasts and recording, and you can view all of these features in the default "light" interface theme, or choose the "dark theme" to take some strain off of your eyes.
OBS is lightweight and offers high performance comparable to pricier options. OBS supports streaming to Twitch, Hitbox, YouTube Live, Facebook Live, and more.
Open Broadcaster Software maintains ease of use through a clean and easy to read interface. The interface allows you to easily add sources and images, capture cards, specific windows, and more. You can add multiple sources with ease, and you are offered many different settings that allow you to configure nearly every aspect of your stream. As previously mentioned, you can also switch between light and dark program themes, a small feature that many people who use computers constantly will appreciate.
3. Video Quality
When it comes to video capture software, one of the biggest concerns for streamers is video quality and how many frames per second can be captured. Open Broadcaster Software doesn't fall short here. OBS allows you to customize your capture quality, a feature missing even from some of the most expensive capture software. You can set your own resolution, or choose to use the resolution of your monitor. You can also choose how many frames per second, and apply any resolution downscale that is necessary. Finally, you can customize your bit rate for the best possible quality video for your situation.
4. How to record and stream gameplay
With Open Broadcaster Software, users will find it easy to record gameplay and live stream using the easy to use interface. It is important to experiment with different encoding settings to get the best possible stream. OBS offers official settings estimator on its website to help figure out what your optimal settings might be. OBS also offers the ability to use an encoder other than the standard CPU encoding. For online streaming, the standard is preferred, but otherwise, the other encoders are worthy of tinkering with. OBS also allows you to use a constant bit rate, which will ensure that the stream is broadcast at exactly the bit rate that you specify. This can help solve any latency or other quality issues that you may be having during your stream.
When recording gameplay, using a custom buffer size affects motion quality. The higher the buffer size, the better the motion size. However, the downside to increasing the buffer size is that if suddenly there is a scene change, the buffer will fill up faster than the average bit rate, which can cause a network data spike, leading to latency both in the recording and in your gameplay. Lower buffer size will make transmission less rocky but will reduce motion quality. While playing with a custom bit rate is fun to play with, it is best to leave custom buffer alone, and just use the same rate as the bit rate.
5. Pros and Cons
Free, open source and cross-platform
Doesn't work on Windows XP
Streams to most live streaming video platforms
Can't link to an audio file as a source
over 20 plugins that enhance functionality
Every piece of software has its pros and cons. Open Broadcaster Software is no different. OBS does an excellent job of streaming to most live streaming platforms like Twitch, Facebook Live, and YouTube live. OBS also offers more than 20 plugins to enhance functionality, including plugins for countdown implementation, server ping, and Teamspeak implementation. The best part of OBS, however, is that it is completely free, forever, with no hidden costs. Unfortunately, OBS does not work on Windows XP, and is unable to link to an audio file as a source.
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After you have installed Open Broadcasting Software for your operating system, open it up. Next, you will want to open up whatever game you want to stream. Switch back to OBS after you have opened your game up. You will see, on the bottom left of the window, a blank box with the word "Scenes:" above it. Right-click that and click "Add scene." You can name it whatever you'd like.
In the adjacent "Source" box, right-click, then choose "Add" and then "Game Capture." This will trigger another window to open asking you to choose the application you want to stream. Select your game from the dropdown box and click "OK." If your game doesn't work in full screen with the default game capture option, you can use monitor capture instead.
OBS also allows you to add a webcam feed to your stream. To do that, right-click in the sources box and add a "Video Capture Device." There are many options to select here, but the important thing is to select your webcam from the dropdown box. You can then place it wherever you want on your stream.
Now you are ready to start streaming. You will need to navigate your browser to Twitch, YouTube Live, Facebook Live, or another favorite streaming service. After you have logged in, click on the tab on that website marked "Stream Key" and then click "Show Key" copy this key into your clipboard, and switch back into OBS. Go to "Settings" and then open the "Streaming Service" drop-down menu. Select your chosen service, and paste the key from your clipboard into the field marked "Play Path/Stream Key." Click through any warnings you may get. If you want to adjust any other options before you begin your stream, now is the time to do it. Make sure everything looks the way you want it to and then click "Start Streaming." You should now be broadcasting live. There are many other settings that can be adjusted to suit your needs, and you should experiment with them once you are more comfortable with the software.
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