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6 Video Streaming Software Compatible with your Live Streaming Platform

As you’re likely aware, we’ve entered a very exciting time for online video. Video is taking over the internet, with users watching more than ever before! Live streaming helps individuals and businesses alike to build authenticity. This, in turn, drives revenue. The rise of OTT (Over the Top), video advertising, sponsored videos, to name only a few applications, has made this market more lucrative than ever before.

Encoding software is one key aspect of the live streaming process. Simply put, an encoder is the piece of equipment that turns a video feed into something ready for internet streaming. An encoder can be either hardware-based, or software based. Video streaming software, in particular, is used to send video to your video streaming platform for distribution to your viewers. Video streaming software also increases functionality for elements like mixing, graphics, transitions, and more. The result? Broadcasters can create more professional, complex, and visually appealing content!

This article reviews six examples of popular video streaming software applications, including the advantages and main features of each software.

First, let’s review some basic information about video streaming software and how it works. We’ll start by discussing RTMP vs. HLS streaming, and then move to a review of specific platform comparisons. (If you’re familiar with this topic already, you can skip this first heading and go straight to the software comparison.)

RTMP, HLS, and video streaming software compatibility

video streaming softwareBefore we consider the details of particular video streaming software we highlight here, it’s important to talk about compatibility. Most online video streams are delivered today via HLS streaming protocol. It’s the best streaming protocol for most uses, and basic understanding of that protocol can be helpful for live broadcasters.

HLS, or HTTP Live Streaming, was pioneered by Apple. It’s compatible with nearly every mobile device, tablet, computer, smart TV, and game console on the market today. That’s its main advantage. HLS is also being constantly updated to support new technologies.

RTMP ingest

video streaming softwareHowever, HLS isn’t widely used to send live streams from video streaming software to a video streaming platform. Instead, the protocol that is still widely used for stream ingest by video streaming platforms is called RTMP—Real Time Multimedia Protocol. This RTMP feed is then delivered to viewers via HLS.

Almost all live video streaming software supports RTMP. This includes all of the live encoding software we’re going to mention in this article.

Additionally, you can review our related article on how to choose the best video streaming protocol for more details.

6 popular video streaming software applications

Let’s turn now to compare six video streaming software compatible with most of the streaming platforms on the market. Both DaCast broadcasters and the streaming community at large have found these to be strong, capable applications.

1. OBS Studio

Kết quả hình ảnh cho OBS Studio

Overview

The first application we’ll review is OBS Studio. OBS is an open-source, community-developed project. This software is fairly asic in operation and features. However, OBS does offer a wide range of plugins that can add lots of functionality. These plugins help to beef up the basic OBS software, adding advanced features found in high-end (and therefore pricier) video streaming software.

Main Features

  • Switching between multiple sources, including cameras via capture card
  • Support for audio, video, image, web browser, and graphics sources
  • Pre-program scenes with multiple elements
  • Transitions, filters, and audio mixer
  • Studio mode and multi-view features
  • Chroma key (green / blue screen)
  • Overlays
  • Supports video recording or RTMP live streaming
  • Wide range of community developed plugins
  • NDI support via plugin
  • Websocket API for remote control (plugin)

Pricing and Compatibility

OBS Studio is completely free and is available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux operating systems.

Reviews

As it’s free and open-source, OBS does not offer much in the way of support or customer service. Though it is fairly easy to use, brand new broadcasters will have a small learning curve to make the most of this software. If you are familiar with adding and using plugins, this software can be as feature-rich as other, for-pay options.

Check out this review for more information. If you’re looking to use this software to stream over DaCast, you can review this OBS tutorial for DaCast.

2. Wirecast

Kết quả hình ảnh cho Wirecast

Overview

Second, let’s examine Wirecast. The company Telestream is the developer of Wirecast, and it is a capable live video streaming software. Wirecast expands the functionality of more basic applications like OBS Studio to include a wider range of powerful, professional tools. Wirecast 10 is the most recent version (as of August 2018).

Main Features

  • Input sources from cameras, mics, webcams, IP cameras, capture cards, and desktops
  • Ideal for sports: instant replay, scoreboards, clocks, and timers
  • Free wireless camera app allows you to use any iOS device as a video source
  • NDI support
  • Graphics and titling tool
  • Audio mixer and up to 8 audio tracks
  • Built-in social media comment curation feature
  • Built-in video conference tool
  • Stream to more than one destination simultaneously
  • Support for MIDI hardware controllers
  • Stream and record simultaneously, with re-stream and live captions options

Pricing and Compatibility

Wirecast 10 (the newest version as of August 2018) is available for both Mac and Windows. There are two versions for purchase: the more basic version, called Studio, costs $695. This version includes 2 guests via video chat, unlimited capture, live production, and more. Wirecast Studio includes 1 year of standard support.

The upgraded version, Wirecast Pro, adds additional features and costs $995. These include support for 7 guests via video chat and 8-track audio output. It also includes 1 year of standard support. The Pro version also supports instant replay, more capture devices and IP cameras, webstream input, program feed output, live scoreboards, 3D virtual sets, ISO recording, and a more robust titling application.

Reviews

For more information, check out this review of an earlier (but feature-similar) version of the Wirecast software, or this consumer review of the software functionality. If you’re looking to use Wirecast software with your DaCast account, you can review this how-to blog article.

3. VidBlasterX

Kết quả hình ảnh cho VidBlasterX

Overview

Next up in our video streaming software review here is VidBlasterX. VidBlasterX is both a software encoder and live switcher. This means broadcasters can use it to mix video and audio from many different sources, add images and graphics, make adjustments, add transitions, and so on. Software packages from the inexpensive to more pricier options, meaning there are options for diverse live streaming needs.

Features

  • Unique modular user interface
  • Overlay graphics, lower thirds, and scoreboards
  • Video effects including support for chroma key (green / blue screen)
  • Stream via RTMP and record streams to local media
  • Audio mixer with peak meters, input gain, and pan setting
  • Customize further via macros, custom shortcuts, and internal API with scripting language
  • “SyncLok” function syncs clocks between multiple sources to avoid mismatched frames or audio
  • Multiview allows you to monitor video, assign custom names to each source, and tally light to track which source is live
  • NDI and IP support
  • Supports wide range of sources including NDI, IP, TCP, DeckLink, and more

Pricing and Compatibility

VidBlasterX is priced at three different levels, on a subscription-based model. VidBlasterX has a modular design; as a result, each software level adds support for using more modules simultaneously. Free upgrades are included with all software purchases.

The Home edition costs $9 per year, and it allows you to use seven modules at once. The Studio version costs $99 per year, and it supports 25 modules. The Broadcast version costs $999 per year, and now supports the simultaneous use of up to 100 modules. The Broadcast version also supports multiple recorder & streamer modules in a single profile.

Reviews

Another difference in VidBlasterX encoding software options is the level of support: the Home & Studio editions come with community support, the Broadcast edition comes with both community and priority support.

Click here to read some VidBlasterX reviews. Among other factors, reviewers express serious broadcasters will likely need the Studio or Broadcast versions to support enough modules at once. For details on how to use this encoding option with your DaCast account, you can read this article on the best encoder settings for VidBlasterX broadcasting software.

4. vMix

Kết quả hình ảnh cho vMix

Overview

Australian-based vMix is another live video production and streaming software. vMix is a strong option in terms of encoding software.

It includes a wide range of excellent features, and the vMix app includes regular software updates.

Features

  • Support for a wide range of inputs including: webcams, cameras, capture cards, DVDs, soundcards, playlists, photos, PPT presentations, and more
  • NDI support
  • Chroma key and virtual sets
  • Built-in titling tool that supports animation via XAML
  • Live streaming platform integrations (including with the DaCast streaming platform)
  • vMix Social allows you to pull and display content from popular social media platforms
  • Instant replay, slow motion, and scoreboards
  • Training videos available
  • vMix “reference systems” ease difficulty around building a custom live production system

Pricing and Compatibility

vMix 21, the latest version as of May 2018, is available for Windows computers only, in six different editions. Each purchase never expires, and all editions include free updates for a year. The versions are:

Basic (free), which supports 4 (up to 2 camera/NDI) inputs and video up to 768 x 576 resolution

Basic HD ($60), which supports 4 inputs (up to 3 camera/NDI) and video up to full HD (1080p)

SD ($150), which supports 1000 inputs, 4 overlay channels, and 768 x 576 resolution

HD ($350), which adds vMix call functionality and supports full HD video (1080p)

4K ($700), which supports 4K resolution video (4096 x 2160), PTZ control, 2 recorders, instant replay, and much more

Pro ($1200), which includes all 4K features, plus up to 8 callers, up to 4 cameras for instant replay.

Reviews

Click here to read a vMix review, as well as this review of the Pro version. Among other feedback, some reviewers express satisfaction with how feature-rich this softwareis, but also challenges in understanding and applying the many features and capabilities of this complex software.

If you’re looking to try this software with your DaCast account, here is our support article on how to live stream with vMix over the DaCast platform.

5. XSplit

Kết quả hình ảnh cho XSplit

Overview

Yet another streaming software that’s widely used is called XSplit. XSplit comes in two versions, with a focus on live streaming in a video gaming context. In fact, the “Gamecaster” option is aimed at video games. The second version, “Broadcaster,” is what we’ll focus on here. This option is marketed as a simple and powerful live streaming and recording software for video content production and with video games.

Features

  • Support for a range of inputs including all major capture cards, videos, music, webcams
  • Display webcam and remove background
  • Professional production features, including enhanced audio
  • Chroma key (green / blue screen)
  • Remote guests via Skype
  • Record streams locally
  • Integrated chat function
  • Other custom plugins and integrations
  • Edit and upload recordings

Pricing and Compatibility

Like VidBlaster X, XSplit is priced with a subscription model. The free license is designed for users to test the software before committing to a subscription. The Personal license costs $89.95 for a 3-year subscription, and $14.95 for a 3 month subscription. The Premium license, for professional broadcasters, adds a number of additional features. A lifetime license currently costs $199. A 3-month Premium license is $24.95.

Reviews

Click here to check out these consumer XSplit reviews. For a tutorial on using this software with DaCast, you can review this how-to support article from DaCast.

 

6. FFMPEG

Kết quả hình ảnh cho FFMPEG.org

Overview

Finally, let’s move in a different direction to compare the previous five options with FFmpeg. Like OBS, FFmpeg is an open-source option; this software includes a library of tools for recording, converting, and streaming audio and video.

Additionally, it’s mostly a command-line application, which means that this software is geared toward professional users. However, there are some GUI interfaces available. FFmpeg compiles, runs, and passes the testing infrastructure FATE across most operating systems under a wide variety of environments, machines, and configurations. FFserver is the FFmpeg tool for live streaming. To learn more about FFmpeg streaming, visit this guide.

Features

  • Stream via RTMP
  • Encode content using H.264, H.265, and a wide variety of other codecs
  • Any resolution supported
  • Record streams locally
  • FFmpeg is first and foremost an encoder. It doesn’t have integrated features for mixing, overlays, and so on

Pricing and Compatibility

FFmpeg is free and open-source. It runs on MacOS, Windows, Linux, BSD, Solaris, and pretty much any other computing system you can find.

Reviews

To learn more about this alternative approach to video streaming software, check out the Softpedia review here. You can also review our article on how to broadcast live stream using FFmpeg. Though it’s not ideal for live streaming beginners, FFmpeg is a powerful option for those comfortable using this software.

Conclusion

As we’ve highlighted above, there is a wide range of video streaming software available today. In this video streaming software comparison article, we’ve encoding software that could be compatible with your streaming platform. We hope our reviews have helped you to narrow in on the right fit for you.

Do you already have an encoder? Wondering if it is compatible with the live streaming platforms you’re considering? We highly recommend taking advantage of their free trials to do some testing and see what works best!

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