What is the best streaming software to use in 2018?
WRITTEN BY Ben
Posted on October 11 2018
n one of our more recent blogs, you may have seen a comprehensive description of streaming hardware as well as methods of using hardware. Once you have decided on your hardware, however, you have to decide on what streaming software you will use to take the next step. From top to bottom, we have you covered with what streaming software you can use. For software and applications that make your life as a streamer easier, scroll all the way to the bottom of this blog for chat-bot applications, stream alert systems for things like follower, donation, and subscriber notifications, and audio management software.
OBS / OBS Studio / Streamlabs OBS
It's no surprise that we are talking about the most widely-used streaming software that is both open-source and free to use first. It’s estimated that roughly nine out of ten streamers use Open Broadcaster Studio (OBS). Also, a must-have feature for any streamer is streamlabs integration. Streamlabs OBS is also integrated with specialized custom presets for your stream notifications that are free to use and look great on stream. The only downsides would be that novice users may find this software difficult to use initially, and it takes a while to set up new scenes in OBS. However, since so many streamers and YouTubers use this software to record gameplay, you can often ask other streamers for help and they could quickly provide you with a solution.
Xsplit Broadcaster / Xsplit Gamecaster
Coming in second on this list would be the Xsplit family. The simple reason is because it has been around for quite a while, dating back to beta use in 2011, and it’s 1.0 official release in April 2012. From start to finish the development team behind Xsplit has done their best to simplify the processes for live-streaming as well as setting up your stream to go live on different platforms. When necessary, they develop and update more plug-ins to make streaming to new platforms easier. It does, however, cost a fee for a license. The team at Xsplit is flexible, however, with packages starting at 3 month, 12 month, 36 month, and lifetime acess licenses. If you’re considering purchasing Xsplit, you could wait until the holiday season to make the purchase to get it even cheaper. In December 2017, users were able to purchase lifetime licenses for 149.99 USD.
Player.me is a relatively new piece of software that allows for local recording to your hard drive, streaming to Twitch, Mixer, or YouTube, and editing your overlay on the fly. They also have many overlay presets for those who may not have amazing editing skills. It also has a very friendly user interface and it does not have a steep learning curve for newcomers to streaming.
Bebo is an all in one software, similar to Player.me. However, it has its own alerts system, independent of streamlabs, and it also very easy to use and adapt to. The creators of the software itself boast that users can be ready to set up their stream and go live in two minutes time. Perhaps the only drawback of using bebo would be that it is restricted to windows 10 users.
These are four streaming softwares that are recommended for users that simply want to stream their gameplay and have a good time with their viewers. These are not particularly meant to be used with studio-grade production, but can be if used appropriately. If you are looking for professional, studio grade then we have these two to address as well: Vmix Production Software and telestream wirecast. Both of these softwares charge for licenses that are above typical end-users’ budgets.
Telestream Wirecast allows users to monitor multiple livestream scenes simultaneously, and then choose which one they want to use on the fly. This is important from a tournament production perspective in case something sudden and very important takes place at the event being live streamed.
The shining point of vMix would be that it places an emphasis on production and special effects when livestreaming. This software also allows for the viewing of multiple scenes simultaneously, again, in case something amazing happens behind the scenes that you want to show on stream.
This is has been a rudimentary explanation of streaming software. Below we have listed streaming software that will also aid streamers in making a better viewing experience for anyone watching.
Indisposable streaming tools
Techex Stream Bandwidth Calculator
As always you should make sure that you have the appropriate upload speed to provide a quality viewing experience to your viewers. This is to help streamers better understand what their upload speed needs to be to provide the most clear picture for their viewers.
Streamlabs Stream Alerts
Streamlabs is a third party website and service that allows you to display who has followed your stream, who has hosted your stream, who has subscribed to your stream, and who has donated to your stream. In this day and age perhaps 90% of all streamers use this tool to show the appreciation and support of their fans.
We at MSI are happy to give a hand when it comes to deciding your streaming software and what tools and plugins can be used with it. We are happy to assist with any of your streaming needs, and are glad to be of service to you.