This is a completely updated roundup of the best live streaming software for Windows PC right now. We’re gonna look at all the leading options, and what’s new, talk about the pros and the cons, and then we’re gonna finish up with my top recommendations no matter your use case. So, it’s a great time to be a live streamer right now with a ton of awesome options, whether you’re going live on YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, or LinkedIn, or insert your other live streaming platform here as well. But all those options make for a hard call and a lot of wasted time trying and testing what’s out there, to see which one is the best one for you. we’re gonna run through my shortlist for the leading options right now one by one, including the strengths, the weaknesses, the pricing, and my recommendations. So, everything that you need to know. So, the overall landscape for live streaming software is getting very saturated. You’ve got things like OBS Studio, Streamlabs OBS, Xsplit, Ycast, vMix, Nvidia ShadowPlay, LightStream, StreamYard, Zoom, BeLive and there are others well. So we’re gonna jump straight into the shortlist, which is my top option. I’m gonna ignore the options that aren’t worth your time. So, let’s go ahead and bring out that progress bar and start off with option number one.
Best Live Stream Software for WINDOWS PC 2022 Review
Best Live Stream Software: OBS Studio
The first option then was OBS Studio. And this one is probably one of the most popular options out there when it comes to live streaming software, because of the price tag. This one is 100% free. And what you get for free is pretty impressive. Lots of advanced features and controls and everything in there, to help you customize and dial in your live stream. But I will say that the overall interface and the user experience in OBS are not that easy or easy to navigate and find everything. So, if you’re a complete beginner and you haven’t done this before, there will be a pretty steep learning curve for you, because of all those features and controls, and because it’s pretty unintuitive. and interface. Now, with regards to which platforms you can stream, all the options I cover in this video will have support for all major platforms. And they also have support for RTMP, which means you can broadcast anywhere. Now, with OBS being a popular option, it means there is a lot of support you can get if you need help. Places like YouTube are a great place to help you set up, but yes, there are also OBS community forums and places like Reddit. So, even if it’s more of a complex ending to things, it’s pretty easy to get access to support, to help you set it all up. Now, I am someone who wants to have access to these advanced features and be able to dial at a split specific bit rate for audio, video, computer-based, and connection based on which I live streaming. . But OBS isn’t my go-to or not my top pick, because I think the overall interface isn’t intuitive enough to quickly sort things out and apply flight settings when you’re live. You’ll still need to dive through the menus to make those changes quickly. Now, one of the other things that is a popular to feature in OBS is its recording capabilities. So, you can directly record your live stream while you are live streaming. But also, you can use OBS to record a video without actually going live. So, you make a screen recording or you want to record your webcam, you can also use OBS for this. But that feature also exists in the next two options I also have for you. So, aside from the overall complexity of the settings and interface, another thing you need to know is that if you want to bring visitors to your live stream to run a Q and A session or a live interview, it’s not a feature that OBS has. It’s still possible, but it’s certainly not that simple. And that’s where the next two options shine. So overall, I would say OBS is for someone who doesn’t want to spend money because it’s free. Also, someone who is probably in the intermediate to advanced level because of all the advanced features and controls and things that are present, but also because of the complexity of setting it all up and managing it all while you are live. Or for someone happy to take some time thinking of all that stuff to set it up.
Best Live Stream Software: StreamYard
Now, that brings us to option number two, which is StreamYard. Now, this is a completely different offering. This isn’t something that you download and install on your computer. This one would just run in your web browser, which means that you don’t need to have a powerful computer to be able to run it and to be able to run it well. So, in a lot of regards, it’s almost the complete opposite of something like OBS. The interface is so intuitive, it’s so easy to use. If you’re an absolute beginner, you’re gonna be able to figure this out quickly. You won’t have to spend the time configuring different scenes or different layouts to use in your live stream. There are presets that you can click on to switch between different views. Now, what you won’t find in StreamYard is all of those advanced settings, things like being able to dial in your bit rate for your video or your audio or have access to things like video layers. StreamYard just makes live streaming so simple. And there are a couple of big standout features that I like about StreamYard. The first one is the ability to bring in guests. We said that you could do it with OBS, but it was a difficult, bit of a nightmare. With StreamYard, it’s the click of a button. You’re generated a URL that you can then send out to whoever you’d like to bring in as a guest, and StreamYard manages the whole process from there. Your guests can join from any device, their phone, their iPad, or their computer, and it supports having up to 10 people on screen at once. The other big standout feature with StreamYard is how easy they make multi-streaming or similar casting. If you want to broadcast live to Facebook and YouTube or Twitter, all at the same time, you don’t need to run through an additional service like Restream or switchboard. It’s actually all built into StreamYard itself. You just select which destinations you’d like to broadcast live to. You can even customize the title and the description on each of those platforms, and then when you go live, it’s automatically pushed out to those places for you. And all the comments and interactions, they’re all aggregated back into StreamYard for you. So, you could feature comments on your screen from YouTube, from Facebook, all in the one live stream with no extra work from you. So, that is a really powerful feature, and it’s something that they’ve implemented so well to make it so intuitive and so easy for you to be able to do it. Now, while I’ve said it doesn’t have all the advanced features as OBS or even the next option that I’m gonna cover, it does still have more than enough in there to help you create an amazing live stream. You can still bring in videos, you can still bring in images, or animations as overlays to help you create a more professional live stream. But I would say the biggest thing that StreamYard right now is missing for me, is keyboard shortcuts. So, being able to switch between the different views or different scenes, just with a keyboard button press. If they had that functionality, it would make it so much easier to use StreamYard with things like the Elgato Stream Deck to help you control and run your live streams without needing to rely on moving your mouse cursor around and clicking on the right thing while you’re live. Now, I’m a big fan of StreamYard. These guys are actively listening and engaging with their users, to help build this thing out. And where it’s already come in the last 12 months is amazing. So, I’m looking forward to seeing where they take this. Now, in regards to pricing, you’ve got three options. There is a free plan, which gives you access to a lot of the features, but it does have a stream yard branding or streaming out watermark on your live stream. So, I would recommend removing that by jumping onto one of their paid plans, either the basic plan at $ 20 per month which is going to give you access to bringing in those 10 guests or the multistream feature as well. Or if you need to broadcast in full HD 10 ADP and you want to restream or rebroadcast up to eight platforms, then that’s when you’ll be jumping on their pro plan for $ 39 per month. So, I think StreamYard is an awesome option for someone whether you are an absolute beginner Never live stream before, maybe identify as someone who is tech-averse, right through to someone more at that advanced level. But someone who’s not looking to be able to dial everything in and configure everything up, but someone who’s probably looking for that happy medium of control versus simplicity. And also, it’s probably the best option right now for creating a live stream where you are gonna bring in guests and to have up to 10 of them on screen at once.
Best Live Stream Software: VMIX
So, that brings us to option number three, which is vMix. Now, vMix is probably the most professional and most advanced live streaming software on PC. It packs in an absolute ton of features, and you could customize this up. Anything from a simple one-camera live stream right through to multiple camera broadcast solution. The overall interface and the usability are definitely on the more complicated end of things. But I will say I do prefer this interface far more, than the interface inside of OBS. Even though you’ve got so many more features and advanced controls here than you do have in OBS, I do think it’s easier to go through and find them and to change things and make adjustments while you are in life. They’ve got great built-in support for live streaming hardware. From top-level professional-grade hardware that you can use to control and run and manage your live streams, right down to consumer-grade hardware like the Elgato Stream Deck. And I like this because it bridges that gap and gives you the best of both worlds. You don’t need to just be doing pro-level top broadcast-grade productions. You can use vMix and set up something pretty amazing from your home setup as well. Now vMix does have a guest feature, which is pretty good if you want to bring guests into your live stream. It’s not as good or as simple as StreamYard, but it’s a lot better than a lot of the other options out there. And depending on which version you go to, you can have up to eight guests on your live stream. Now, I’m someone who likes users and appreciates having access to advanced features and controls and being able to dive in and customize everything up for the specific computer that I’m using, but also the amount of bandwidth that we’ve got access to as well. So, be able to dial in the specific bit rates for the audio and the video, right through to customizing the look and feel of each video source or a video camera. So vMix for me, ticks all of those boxes, especially when comparing it to something like OBS. vMix feels much more like professional-grade live streaming software which it is. But probably the biggest standout feature for me with vMix is ISO recording or isolated channel recording. So if you’ve got multiple cameras that you’re bringing into your live stream, you’re switching between multiple video inputs, you can have an isolated recording or an individual record quoting of each one of those camera angles or video tracks recording directly to your computer as an individual file. So this way, if you want to edit down your video afterward, you’re not just left with the completed recording of whatever it was that you broadcasted. You’ve got all of the individual video assets, and video cameras there, that you can use to edit something custom afterward. So, this also makes vMix a really powerful video creation system, not just live streaming. Gives you the ability to record a top-down camera if you’re going to be writing something, your primary camera to record you speaking, maybe even your iPad as well, if you want to bring that in, too. But recording all of these in sync all at once with one program to separate video tracks that you can go and edit up afterward or at a later date. So, I think that’s an amazing feature and it’s something that’s going to be powerful if you are gonna be setting out for a professional live stream solution, or even content creation solution as well. Now, in regards to pricing, there are quite a few options. There is a free version available which is heavily restricted. So, you’ve got a maximum recording resolution of 768×576. But then depending on your needs, you’ve got the basic HD license for $ 60, and the HD version for 350. Now, this will unlock that guest feature but it will let you only bring in one guest. Then there’s the 4K version for $ 700, which will unlock a lot more features. And this is probably where most people would probably sit. This will give you access to bring in up to four guests onto your stream, and this is also where you unlock the ISO recording feature or the multi recorder. And if you want to unlock all of the features, then the pro version sells for $ 1,200. So, depending on your needs and the features that you’re after, it’s awesome to see that they’ve got quite a few different offerings to make it more achievable. So, I think vMix is a great option for someone who is looking for the most professional solution with the most amount of features and the most amount of customizability, but also having things like the guest feature built-in and having the ISO recording or the multi-track recording as well. And if you are someone who is at that beginner stage but is interested in vMix, I don’t think it’s a stretch to be able to get up to speed relatively quickly in there. Once you navigate around and figure out where everything is and how it all works together,
Our top picks for Best Live Stream Software
So, for me, my top two are vMix and StreamYard. And which of those two will I use we will come up with what I am looking to achieve with a particular live stream. So, if I needed all the event features and controls, and I wanted to configure everything, it would be vMix. And if I wanted to do something simple and fast and bring in visitors without having to configure anything, then it would be StreamYard, hands down. So, those are my picks for the best live streaming software on windows now in 2020. Now, whichever you choose, you can easily increase the quality of your live streams by adding some simple graphics and animations.