When it comes to software for live streaming, Streamlabs and OBS Studio continue to lead the way. How do you choose which software is best for you? We’re taking a closer look at both of these options to help you learn more about what each one has to offer.
If you’re going to live stream you need a solid internet connection and you need a way to broadcast your video to the masses. Thankfully there’s software just for that. It is safe to say that anyone streaming on Youtube, Facebook, and Twitch is probably using Streamlabs or OBS Studio. The software makes the process seamless so your video can reach your audience in real-time.
Live streaming and streaming have become so common that it might help to be reminded of the basics of what software like Streamlabs and OBS Studio does in the first place. We’ll keep this simple.
Streaming software receives an encoded stream and makes the stream available through broadcast to viewers on the internet. Services like this are cloud-based and they serve an unlimited number of simultaneous viewers. Technology like Streamlabs and OBS Studio makes it possible for you to embed a video window on any web page so that your users can view it.
Modern streaming software does a lot more than encoding your video and broadcasting (streaming) it to the internet. Oh, a lot more! Streaming software does it all:
Modern streaming software basically turns you into your very own production studio. So, let’s look at Streamlabs and OBS Studio and see what makes them similar and what sets them apart.
OBS Studio is a free and open-source video recording and streaming software. OBS Studio dates way back to the first version released in 2012. Actually, most other streaming software is based on this technology. Let’s call it the grandfather of stream casting and streaming apps.
What’s good about OBS Studio? The Pros
✔️Free and Open-Source Code. This means it’s a collaborative system where developers create plug-ins and effects. Because it’s open source it means that any glitches are resolved swiftly.
✔️User Experience. The OBS Studio interface is one that’s completely customizable. You get to choose it all from the position of your screens to the size of your windows. It’s super easy with a drag-and-drop experience.
✔️Smooth Stream. Because OBS Studio has a low CPU usage it keeps things smooth. When your central processing unit runs smoothly so do your streams.
✔️OBS Easily Updated. We mentioned above that OBS is pretty old. Age has its benefits. Because OBS is the oldest software of its kind, it gets any new updates and it gets them fast. The software is set to automatically update, but you can also manually check if it needs anything.
✔️Stream Everywhere. OBS Studio, the OG of streaming software, has the capability to multi-stream in all the popular places like Twitch, Youtube, Facebook Live and is compatible with Windows, Mac OS 10.3+ and Linux.
Here’s what’s not so great about OBS Studio. The Cons
X No Overlays. Well, it’s not just about the overlays, but compared to other software OBS Studio has less when it comes to added features. These can be added through plug-ins but they don’t come in the standard software.
X Who’s Got Music? OBS Studio does not link to the music you have on your hardware, such as an audio playlist you may have on your PC. There are workarounds to play background music during your live stream but it’s just not that easy.
Streamlabs is an all-in-one live streaming software that actually got its start from OBS Studio open-sourced code. Streamlabs was created as an app based on the OBS Studio when it came to streaming and Electron (open-source) for the interface. Streamlabs is free and open-source on GitHub. It kind of took what was good about OBS Studio at the time and improved on it.
What’s Good About Streamlabs? The Pros.
✔️Easy. You’ll have Streamlabs set up easily. The app requires just five steps for you to be ready to go and they say you can go live in 5 minutes. Here’s what you’d do:
Install (install with a click of a button)
Link Accounts (link your social media channels and where you want to stream)
Optimize (automatically optimize your settings)
Add your stream key and it’s go time.
✔️Free Overlays. Access to free overlays and then even more with a prime account. This helps anyone stream high-quality content right from the start.
✔️Chat. With a cloud-based chatbot, Streamlabs helps creators moderate and entertain at the same time.
✔️Enhanced Streams. The software has over 62 apps to help enhance the stream experience. New ways to engage and interact with the audience.
Here’s what’s not so great about Streamlabs. The Cons
X Heavier CPU Usage. This one is going to use more of the central processing unit so it’s great to make sure your hardware can handle it.
X Sound commands are not included. This is just to say that the combined chatbot doesn’t include the sound commands for your chat. If sound commands are integral to your stream running the chatbot independently of Streamlabs is an option
There you have it, a general look at what Streamlabs and OBS Studio are all about. This is to help you consider which one is right for you. Both of these choices are free and open source, they can be easily tried out when downloaded. Both offer everything you need to stream for free!
With these two great choices to consider it’s no wonder that streaming continues to rise in popularity. Streamlabs offers a lot of features that enhance the experience but require more capacity for your system. OBS Studio has many benefits and does not require as much when it comes to your CPU. Maybe this is a deciding factor for you or maybe you’ll be upgrading your hardware too.