6 Video Streaming Software Compatible with your Live Streaming Platform

6 Video Streaming Software Compatible with your Live Streaming Platform

If you’ve missed the trend, we’ve entered a very exciting time for online video. In fact, video is taking over the internet, with users watching more than ever before! Live streaming helps individuals and businesses alike to build authenticity. In turn, this improved authenticity drives revenue increases. For example, recent years have seen a rise of OTT (Over the Top) video advertising, and sponsored videos. As a result, these and related applications have made the live streaming market more lucrative than ever before. And that’s where the importance of video streaming software comes in!

This article reviews six examples of popular video streaming software applications. We’ll cover some of the main advantages and features of each software to help you objectively weigh your options.

To start, we’ll review the basics about video streaming software functionality in general. First, we’ll discuss RTMP vs. HLS streaming to make sure the terminology is clear. Next, we’ll turn to our review of platform comparisons for specific video streaming software options.

With that outline in mind, let’s jump right into a description of video streaming software, also know as encoding software, below.

Introduction to Video Streaming Software

Encoding softwarevideo streaming 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!

RTMP, HLS, and video streaming software compatibility

Before 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.

Originally, Apple pioneered HLS, or HTTP Live Streaming. 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, RTMP (Real Time Multimedia Protocol) is still the most popular protocol for stream ingest by video streaming platforms. From there, HLS can deliver this RTMP feed to viewers.

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

Overview

live broadcasting softwareFirst, let’s review the OBS Studio video streaming software. 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 enhance the basic OBS software. They add 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.

OBS Studio 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

Overview

ffmpeg 6 Video Streaming Software Compatible with your Live Streaming PlatformSecond, 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 10video streaming software (the newest version as of August 2018) is available for both Mac and Windows. In October 2018, Telestream also released Wirecast 11 Beta to the public as well.

There are two versions of Wirecast 10 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.

Wirecast 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

Overview

ffmpeg 6 Video Streaming Software Compatible with your Live Streaming PlatformNext up in our video streaming software review here is VidBlasterX. VidBlasterX is both a software encoder and live switcher. In fact, broadcasters can use this software for many tasks. For example, broadcasters can mix video and audio from many different sources, add images and graphics, make adjustments, add transitions, and more. 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 and assign custom names to each source. It also adds a 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

video streaming softwareVidBlasterX 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. All software purchases include free upgrades.

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.

VidBlasterX 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. Particularly, reviewers note that broadcasters may need the Studio or Broadcast versions to support enough concurrent modules. 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

Overview

ffmpeg 6 Video Streaming Software Compatible with your Live Streaming PlatformAustralian-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 21video streaming software, 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.

vMix 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 software is. However, other reviews note 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

Overview

Xsplit logo 6 Video Streaming Software Compatible with your Live Streaming PlatformYet 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 targets video games specifically. The second version, “Broadcaster,” is what we’ll focus on here. XSplit markets this option as a simple, powerful live streaming and recording software. It’s ideal for video content production and in conjunction 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. Before committing to a subscription, however, the free license allows users to test the software. 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.

XSplit 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

Overview

ffmpeg 6 Video Streaming Software Compatible with your Live Streaming PlatformFinally, let’s move in a different direction to compare the above video streaming software 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, FFmpeg is mainly a command-line application. This means that this encoding software targets professional users in particular. 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

video streaming softwarePricing 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.

FFmpeg Reviews

To learn more about this alternative approach to video streaming software, check out the Softpedia review here. Furthermore, you can 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 this post highlights, there is a wide range of video streaming software available for today’s broadcasters. In this comparison article, we’ve reviewed several encoding software that could be compatible with your chosen live streaming platform. From here, it’s up to you to pick the best option for your needs.

Do you already have an encoder? Still not sure if it’s compatible with video broadcast platforms you’re considering? Not to worry! You can start by taking advantage of platform free trials (when available). We always recommend testing out the features and functionality whenever possible before committing.

In fact, you can test out your encoding software now with the DaCast 30-day free trial (no credit card required). Just click the button below to sign up and start streaming live in no time.

video streaming software

Any questions, comments, or ideas about encoding software? We love to hear from our readers, so post your thoughts in the comment section below. We will get back to you. Also, for exclusive offers and regular live streaming tips, you can join our LinkedIn group.

Thanks for reading, and as always, best of luck with your live streams!

By Max Wilbert.

*Note to our readers: We’ve updated this article to reflect the latest platform comparison information as of January 2019.