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Comparison of the 15 Best Live Streaming Software: What You Need to Know [Updated for 2021]

By Max Wilbert

42 Min Read

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Max Wilbert

Max Wilbert is a passionate writer, live streaming practitioner, and has strong expertise in the video streaming industry.

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      Thanks to the development of technology over the past decade, live streaming has become easier and more powerful than ever before. Evidence of this appears all around us in our daily lives. 

      Research shows that the global enterprise video market should reach $25.6 billion by 2025. If you do the math, that’s an annual growth rate of more than 20%. There’s no better time than now to incorporate online video content into your business operations.

      Today, we’re going to explore an essential tool for professional live broadcasting in 2021: live streaming software. We’ll cover what you can do with video streaming software and a comparison of the best streaming software options. Since some live streams require support from hardware encoders instead of live streaming equipment, we will briefly discuss that, as well.

      Please note that the Dacast team has updated this comparison to reflect improvements and version updates in streaming software as of July 2021.

      Table of Contents

      • What is Live Streaming Software?
      • What Does Live Streaming Software Do?
      • Live Streaming Software vs. Hardware Encoders
      • Comparison of the 15 Best Live Streaming Software Options
      • Conclusion

      What is Live Streaming Software?

      Live Streaming Software
      The best streaming software is a vital tool for professional broadcasting.

      Not to be confused with a video host or live streaming solution, live streaming software is another essential program for streaming live video. Live streaming software performs several tasks related to broadcasting.

      Video streaming software allows you to mix multiple camera sources to create a professional-looking HD broadcast. Encoding is another major function of streaming software.

      The beauty of most streaming software is that they help you produce those professional-grade live streams without much broadcasting experience.

      What Does Live Streaming Software Do?

      As we mentioned, there are a few things that most live stream software can do. Typically, it serves two main purposes: encoding and mixing/production. Some streaming software is dedicated to specific functionality, such as simulcasting or chroma keying.

      Let’s look a little more into these specific kinds of streaming software.

      1. Encoding

      Live broadcasting software uses video encoding technology to convert your video feed into a suitable format for live streaming.

      Video cameras typically use formats designed for recording, but they’re not optimized for internet transmission. Broadcasting software is also crucial for video transcoding or making replicas of the video file in different sizes and qualities. This typically uses RTMP encoders or the HLS streaming protocol.

      Given that encoders perform this function, the best HLS-enabled broadcasting program applications are often also called live stream encoding software.

      To use live encoding software, you generally need to install and run it on a desktop. For more mobile streaming situations, you can use a laptop computer.

      You need a computer with a consistently fast internet connection. Once you have your computer in place, you can easily connect video cameras via capture cards. The same goes for other dedicated hardware.

      For more advanced live streaming situations, you may want to use multiple computers with distinct roles. For example, one technician could work to create graphics on an additional computer. From there, you can feed these graphics, for example via an NDI (network device interface) to the main mixing computer. That way, graphics display immediately with no lag time for your viewers.

      Although it is not ideal, it is possible to use a mobile device to run encoding software.

      2. Mixing and Production

      The second function of this software is both live video mixing and editing.

      The main purpose of live video mixing software, otherwise known as live video switching, involves selecting and displaying multiple sources while a live broadcast is underway. In short, mixing is a kind of on-the-fly editing that the TV industry has used for many decades.

      All the streaming software that we’ll cover below can mix software as well. These encoders allow you to do many tasks rapidly during a live broadcast, which is crucial to a successful live stream.

      You can use the broadcast overlay software to do the following:

      • Switch between multiple cameras
      • Live stream between multiple sources including video and audio
      • Insert a still image or a pre-recorded video during a live broadcast
      • Overlay graphics or titles on top of the video feed
      • Add transitions and video effects, such as “green screen” virtual sets

      As you may already know, mixing is essential to creating an engaging and well-crafted live stream. The alternativea single-camera feed without titles, images, cuts, overlays, or other finishesmay be sufficient in some situations. However, that approach is not usually professional or feature-rich enough for a good-quality broadcast.

      Live Streaming Software vs. Hardware Encoders

      In this article on live video streaming software, we’d be remiss to leave out a brief mention of hardware vs. software encoders. Some broadcasters have needs that exceed broadcasting software and may require a hardware encoder.

      As the name suggests, a hardware video encoder is a dedicated physical device (rather than a downloadable software) that functions in some of the same ways as a software encoder.

      Some individual broadcasters opt for hardware encoders when setting up access to mobile streaming. Why? Hardware encoders can connect to cell networks.

      Note that hardware encoders tend to be much pricier than software encoders. In a similar vein, they can be physically cumbersome, depending on your particular setup. However, since they are dedicated devices, they are typically more effective.

      Live Streaming Software vs. Hardware Encoders

      In this article on live video streaming software, we’d be remiss to leave out a brief mention of hardware vs software encoders.

      Some broadcasters have needs that exceed broadcasting software and may require a hardware encoder.

      As the name suggests, a hardware video encoder is a dedicated physical device (rather than a downloadable software) that functions in some of the same ways as a software encoder.

      Some individual broadcasters opt for hardware encoders when setting up access to mobile streaming. Why? Hardware encoders can connect to cell networks.

      Note that hardware encoders tend to be much pricier than software encoders. In a similar vein, they can be physically cumbersome, depending on your particular setup. However, since they are dedicated devices, they are typically more effective.

      Comparison of the 15 Best Live Streaming Software for Broadcasting in 2021

      Now that we’ve covered what live streaming software is, what it does, and the difference between hardware and software encoders, it’s time to review a few of the best software for live streaming options in more detail.

      Specifically, we’ll review and compare Wirecast, vMix, VidBlasterX, OBS Studio, Dacast, and more.

      Let’s get to it.

      1. Wirecast

      Wirecast streaming software
      With unlimited inputs, unlimited destinations, and simultaneous video conferencing, Wirecast studio is the perfect live streaming software. Source: Telestream.net

      Built by Telestream, the Wirecast live broadcasting software enables live streaming to any RTMP destination. This software also supports recording streams locally.

      Wirecast software is compatible with a wide range of capture cards, devices, and camera inputs. This encoding option includes live switching, picture-in-picture composition, titles, audio delay, and other similar features. 

      If you need to use pre-recorded video within your live broadcast, Wirecast makes this aspect easy, as well.

      Wirecast supports a range of other technologies, including:

      • Support for multiple video capture and live inputs simultaneously (USB, Capture Card, NDI, Wirecast Go, Webstream IP sources)
      • GPU-accelerated encoding
      • Pro Audio FX Built In
      • RTMP, RTP multi+unicast
      • Multi-channel audio ingest

      Compatibility:

      Wirecast is compatible with both macOS and Windows.

      Pros:

      • Easy-to-use, user-friendly platform
      • Compatible with most popular operating systems
      • Fully loaded with valuable features
      • Green screen
      • Instant replay

      Cons:

      • High price point 
      • Many features locked in the “Studio” version
      • Consumes a lot of computer memory

      Pricing:

      The latest version of Wirecast is 14.2.1. It is the newest full version and was released on May 18, 2021. It features several enhancements and fixes, regarding bugs and other technical mishaps with the previous version, and includes FBLive polling, re-written WebStream plugin, and Virtual Camera improvements. 

      The software comes in two versions:

      1. Wirecast Studio for enhanced live production & streaming: pricing is $599 with a free trial
      2. Wirecast Pro for advanced live production and streaming: pricing is $799 which also comes with a free trial

      The Pro version includes several features not available on the Studio version. These include:

      • Up to 7 guests via built-in video conferencing solution
      • ISO Record individual sources
      • NDI output
      • 8-track audio output
      • Wider device support
      • Live scoreboards
      • Multi-track audio recording

      Setting up Wirecast with Dacast:

      Please check out the posts that we’ve previously written about how to set up Wirecast with the Dacast video streaming software.

      User Reviews:

      “The best part of Wirecast is how easy it is to use. Being able to set up and plan a live stream is very simple. The user interface is intuitive. And it offers a lot of video solutions and flexibility of its set up.” – Steven K.

      “We use it for training and online learning. It works great and is relatively easy to use, even for non-experts on our team.” – Anonymous G2 Reviewer

      2. vMix

      vMix live video streaming software
      vMix is powerful broadcasting software, featuring simultaneous streaming, recording, and output. Source: vMix.com

      vMix is a highly powerful encoder. Like Wirecast, vMix software supports a wide range of inputs. These include:

      • Video cameras (supported capture cards) at up to 4K resolution
      • NDI: send and receive HD low latency video and audio
      • Video Files: AVI, MP4, H264, MPEG-2, WMV, MOV and MXF
      • Audio Files: MP3 and WAV
      • Web Browser, RTSP, PowerPoint, Photos, Solid Colour, and more.
      • Webcams, DVDs, playlists, PowerPoint, and other sources

      vMix includes native support for multi-bitrate streaming, which is very useful for professional broadcasters who highly value user experience.

      Additionally, this software supports the Network Device Interface (NDI). NDI sends your secure video upload over gigabit ethernet networks and green screens. 

      vMix also includes a built-in titling tool that includes animation support. Additionally, it offers an instant replay and slow-motion feature.

      Compatibility:

      vMix is only available for Windows PCs. However, it is possible to run it on a Mac using a certain technique. While vMix cannot be installed directly on OSX, the solution when using a Mac is to install it on Windows via Boot Camp.

      Pros:

      • Some limitations on compatibility 
      • Plans for every budget
      • 60-day risk-free trial
      • Users rave about switcher functions

      Cons:

      • Streams in relatively low bitrate
      • Some “bugginess” (which users suggest could be fixed with software update)

      Pricing:

      vMix is available in four different versions, ranging from Basic HD to Pro, and the software comes with a free 60-day trial. Each version supports a different number of inputs, your purchase never expires, and includes the following versions:

      • Basic HD ($60), which supports 4 inputs (up to 3 camera/NDI) and video up to Full HD 1920×1080 resolution
      • HD ($350), which supports 1,000 inputs, adds vMix call functionality, 4 overlay channels, and supports full HD video in 1920×1080 resolution
      • 4K ($700), which supports 1,000 inputs, 4K resolution video (4096 x 2160), PTZ control, 2 recorders, instant replay, 4 SRT outputs, and much more
      • Pro ($1200), which also supports 1,000 inputs, includes all 4K features and 2 records, plus up to 8 callers, up to 4 cameras for instant replay, and 4 SRT outputs

      vMix also offers a 60-day free trial and has all the features of vMix Pro including the ability to use resolutions greater than HD such as 4K, particularly to ensure vMix supports your computer hardware works with it before purchasing. This is a great perk, as most encoding software offers only up to a 30-day free trial.

      Setting up vMix with Dacast:

      vMix has integration with Dacast’s online video platform that is easy to set up. To learn how to check out our Dacast/vMix tutorial.

      User Reviews:

      “I like vMix because it is very easy to set up various shots by assigning various camera inputs, adding videos, presentation[s], and other graphics. It is an all-in-one solution for mixing video and streaming.” – Abhishek D.

      “vMix filled a hole for us several years ago where we didn’t want to spend the money required for a full production switcher but needed a Multicam switcher for our live stream broadcasts that were budget-friendly but was still feature-rich. vMix has only grown leaps and bounds since then, adding a multitude of features that have kept it competitive while still keeping the price low. The support team is great, and the community is excellent if you have questions” – Anonymous Reviewer on G2

      3. VidBlasterX

      vidblasterx live video production software
      VidBlasterX is a versatile live video production application, allowing you to capture, stream, and broadcast everything, anywhere. Source: VidBlasterX.com

      Next up on our list of video streaming software is VidBlasterX, an RTMP-enabled live video production software. VidBlasterX enables streaming to most streaming platforms including Dacast. The input support and other features on VidBlasterX are similar to Wirecast and vMix.

      For studio users, VidBlasterX supports:

      • Video routing
      • Recording streams to local disks
      • Displaying outputs on a monitor of your choice
      • Outputting to a Blackmagic DeckLink video card

      VidBlasterX utilizes a unique modular design. For example, broadcasters can add each feature via a “module.” You can then add, rearrange and remove these at your discretion.

      Compatibility:

      VidBlasterX is compatible with the Windows operating system.

      Pros:

      • Has plans for a wide range of budgets
      • Feature-rich
      • Easily customizable

      Cons:

      • Not compatible with macOS
      • Not well-suited for inexperienced live streamers
      • Slightly complex

      Pricing:

      VidBlasterX is available in three versions. Each of the following options is priced with an annual subscription model:

      • The Home version ($9/year) supports 7 modules.
      • The Studio version ($99/year) supports 25 modules.
      • The Broadcast version ($999/year) supports 100 simultaneous modules. This version also supports multiple recorder & streamer modules in a single profile.

      Setting up VidBlasterX with Dacast:

      Check out our tutorial to learn how to set up VidBlasterX with Dacast.

      User Reviews:

      “VidBlaster is now a subscription-based local software installation that provides live streaming and recording up to 4K/UHD. Send streams to Facebook, YouTube and other CDNs using RTMP or the virtual camera driver.” – BCBLive Live Video Production Software Review

      4. OBS Studio

      OBS Studio Broadcasting Software Version 26.1.1
      OBS Studio is free and open-source software for video recording and live broadcasting. Source: OBSStudio

      Now, let’s discuss OBS Studio. This encoding option is a free and open-source live stream broadcasting software package. OBS supports RTMP broadcasting, switching between multiple sources, capture cards, webcams, chroma-key (green screen), video and audio streaming, and application windows. 

      Though it’s light on features, it’s quite easy to use, even for those new to live broadcasting. Note that OBS does not natively support any plugins. However, community members have developed a wide range of plugins that broadcasters can use to add more basic OBS Studio features.

      These OBS settings for plugins include NDI, a feature formerly only found on high-end encoders. Another notable plugin supports pulling Tweets into your streams in real-time.

      Please note that OBS does not support multi-bitrate streaming.

      Compatibility:

      OBS is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux. Windows Vista is no longer supported by OBS Studio.

      Pros:

      • It’s free
      • Easy-to-use for beginners
      • Frequent updates
      • Able to function on lower-quality internet

      Cons:

      • Some limitations on features
      • Room for improvement for plugins

      Pricing:

      OBS Studio is open-source and completely free. There is no cost to accessing and using this software.

      Version 27.0.1 was released on June 11th, 2021, and is available for download here for both macOS and Windows operating systems.

      Setting up OBS Studio with Dacast:

      We offer a customized version of OBS Studio’s streaming software to our customers. This version makes it easier to directly connect to your Dacast live streaming service account. 

      With this option, you don’t need to manually enter details. Instead, simply login to your Dacast account via OBS to start streaming live in minutes.

      Check out our OBS for Dacast guide for Windows users, you can also review this OBS for Dacast guide for Mac users.

      User Reviews:

      “OBS has allowed our organization to enter the video streaming and recording arena. In a day where face-to-face interaction is limited by the government due to the COVID-19 pandemic, video interaction has become so important. OBS provides an easily accessible way to develop effective video communication.” – Michael A.

      “From simple streaming to bigger events, OBS has been able to handle all of it with full confidence from us. Have never questioned if it was going to be unreliable in a specific situation, even with minimal training. Software identified the external input source easily and had no issues setting that up (Blackmagic Mini Recorder), and great for pulling in separate audio from the computer input.” – Travis G.

      5. Streamlabs OBS

      Streamlabs OBS Live Streaming Software
      Streamlabs offers a wide range of functionality for broadcasters who are ready to take their streams to the next level. Source: StreamLabsOBS

      Streamlabs OBS is another open-source streaming software. It is free to download, but users must upgrade to the Prime version for access to all of the resources.

      Streamlabs offers quite a few features for editing and multicasting live streams. It is the chosen broadcasting software for many professional streamers. One of the most unique aspects of this software is their web-based live streaming studio called MelonApp. The app allows you to broadcast to Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, or Twitch with 1 click, and without leaving your browser.

      Compatibility:

      The Streamlabs website doesn’t indicate any limitations on operating system compatibility. 

      However, the platform is suitable for streaming to Facebook, Twitch, Mixer, and YouTube.

      Pros:

      • Easy for beginners
      • Tools for designing stream layout
      • Selective recording
      • Gaming overlays
      • Tools for tipping and donations

      Cons:

      • No scoreboards 
      • Limitations on graphic overlays
      • Some features are clunky

      Pricing:

      The Streamlabs app is free to download, but users must pay for “Prime” for full access to all of the features. Prices for prime are not listed on the website.

      Setting up Streamlabs OBS with Dacast:

      We do not have a specific tutorial for setting up Streamlab OBS with Dacast, but you can follow our encoder setup guide for some general tips.

      User Reviews:

      “Streamlabs is absolutely an incredible solution combining streaming and the wonderful opportunity to reach a worldwide audience. I’m grateful to be able to sell my merch as well.” – Harry D’Janite, via TrustPilot

      “Easy to use, has tons of great features. Takes the worries out of streaming for first-timers.” James F., via TrustPilot

      6. FFmpeg

      FFmpeg Video Streaming Software
      FFmpeg is a very basic broadcasting software that is compatible with Dacast’s live streaming platform. Source: FFmpeg

      FFmpeg is yet another open-source streaming software that can be customized based on a large library of programs that are geared towards production and multimedia management.

      This platform is pretty basic, but it can be customized to achieve great things due to its open-source nature.

      Compatibility:

      FFmpeg is compatible with Linux, Windows, and macOS.

      Pros:

      • Open-source nature makes it easily customizable
      • Loaded with many valuable tools
      • Multiple encoding configurations
      • Suitable for business use
      • Compatible with most popular operating systems

      Cons:

      • Minimal educational materials, tutorials, or manuals for using the platform.
      • No support for HLS testing
      • Can be difficult for new broadcasters

      Pricing:

      FFmpeg is free to download and use.

      Setting up FFmpeg with Dacast:

      Check out our guide for using FFmpeg on Dacast.

      User Reviews:

      “FFMPEG is the perfect tool for working with media files, it lends itself as a multi-functional tool offering almost everything (Media compression, Media file type conversion, etc., etc.)” – Chamika W., via G2

      “FFmpeg is a Swiss-knife for AV developers. It can transcode and trans package AV data in almost any format. The tools that come with it are very handy too. Its portability also makes [it] a strong candidate for writing mobile applications. Hardware acceleration support is widespread, too.” –  Ameya T., via G2

      7. XSplit Broadcaster

      xsplit live streaming software
      XSplit’s streaming software is intuitively designed with an easy-to-use suite of video content creator tools. Source: XSplit

      XSplit has four products: Broadcaster, Vcam, Connect Webcam, Capture (beta), and Presenter (Beta). The XSplit Broadcaster is the most fitting product for the context of this post, as it works for both live streaming and recording.

      XSplit Broadcaster is designed for professional broadcasting use for both businesses and creators who stream niche content like gaming.

      Compatibility:

      XSplit works with the Windows operating system. Although it is not currently compatible with macOS, a dedicated version that works with that operating system is coming soon.

      Pros:

      • Organization by title tags
      • Streaming and recording tools
      • Suitable for business needs
      • 24/7 support

      Cons:

      • The platform is a little bit confusing
      • Requires a bit of a learning curve
      • Puts strain on some processors
      • Some features require you to watch an ad before accessing

      Pricing:

      The pricing plans for XSplit Broadcaster Premium are as follows:

      • 1 Month License: $15.00
      • 3 Month License: $30.00
      • 12 Month License: $60.00
      • Lifetime License: $200.00

      Setting up XSplit with Dacast:

      Head over to our dedicated guide to learn how to set up XSplit with Dacast. 

      User Reviews:

      “XSplit Broadcaster has features that can help you create great streams to Twitch and other services such as Facebook and Youtube. I had my doubts at first. But I have to admit using this is a better option for the beginner streamer/gamer/media content creator.” – Steven L., via Capterra

      “From setup to broadcast, getting XSplit to do its thing is incredibly simple. It even has hooks built-in for just about any streaming service you could want.” – Verified User, via Capterra

      8. SplitCam

      Splitcam Streaming Software
      SplitCam is great for splitting and mixing peer-to-peer video streams. Source: splitcam.com

      SplitCam is a broadcasting software with many capabilities. Its primary use is for webcam splitting which comes in handy for use-cases where peer-to-peer streaming is necessary. Some use cases would be live training sessions, webinars, and other virtual streaming events involving viewers’ interaction. 

      Unfortunately, this tool is not an encoder, but it is a tool for simulcasting audio mixing and webcam splitting.

      SplitCam is compatible with many major peer-to-peer services and streaming solutions, which makes it useful to broadcasters with many different streaming needs.

      This platform also has a special community forum for users to share ideas, ask questions, and troubleshoot issues.

      Compatibility:

      SplitCam is compatible with Windows and macOS.

      Pros:

      • Split streaming from one webcam
      • Audio and video mixing
      • Wide range of capabilities
      • Free to use
      • Supports HD streaming

      Cons:

      • No encoding tools
      • No mobile streaming support

      Pricing:

      SplitCam is free to download and use.

      Setting up SplitCam with Dacast:

      We do not have a specific tutorial for setting up SplitCam with Dacast, but you can follow our encoder setup guide for some general tips.

      User Reviews:

      There are no user reviews available for SplitCam.

      9. Switchboard Live

      switchboard live streaming software
      Dacast integrates with Switchboard Live to provide you with the best solution for streaming on multiple platforms simultaneously. Source: Switchboard.live

      Switchboard Live is a reliable simulcasting software that supports streaming to several destinations at once. In addition to powerful simulcasting support, Switchboard Live also has tools for video player embedding.

      This software doesn’t offer much in the way of additional features, which makes it a great option for broadcasters who need a dedicated simulcasting tool.

      Compatibility:

      The Switchboard Live website does not provide any information on operating system compatibility or limitations.

      Pros:

      • Dedicated simulcasting support
      • Video embedding
      • Solutions for different use cases
      • Generally easy to use
      • Integrates seamlessly with most OVPs

      Cons:

      • Some minor “snags” in setup
      • Some settings require manual configuration (which are automatic on other platforms)

      Pricing:

      Switchboard Live has three different pricing plans that all come with unlimited streaming destinations. These plans include:

      • Indie: $29/month; 1,500 streaming minutes/month
      • Pro: $59/month; 4,000 streaming minutes/month
      • Business: $99/month; 10,000 streaming minutes//month

      Switchboard Live Reviews:

      There are no public user reviews for Switchboard Live.

      Setting up Switchboard Live with Dacast:

      Please check out our dedicated tutorial for more information on how to simulcast on Dacast through Switchboard Live.  

      10. FFsplit

      ffsplit streaming software
      FFsplit is built for creating seamless multi-source live streams. Source: FFsplit.com

      FFsplit is a live streaming software that is dedicated to production. It allows you to merge multiple inputs to create a fluid stream. The streams can be broadcast in real-time, or they can be saved locally.

      This platform is fairly basic, but it is a good option for broadcasters that support multi-source streaming.

      It is important to note that FFsplit is no longer being developed or updated. However, it is still available for download in several versions on the FFsplit website.

      Compatibility:

      The FFsplit site does not include compatibility information, but third-party sources claim that FFsplit does not work on macOS.

      Pros:

      • Free to use
      • Focused on live streaming
      • Support for local recording
      • Allows users to merge multiple inputs
      • Reliable tool
      • Easy to use

      Cons:

      • Not available for macOS
      • No longer being developed
      • Very basic

      Pricing:

      FFsplit is free to use.

      FFsplit Reviews:

      There are no public user reviews for FFsplit.

      Setting Up FFsplit on Dacast:

      We don’t have a dedicated tutorial for setting up FFsplit with Dacast, but you can use our encoder setup guide for some general instructions.

      11. Prism Live Studio

       

      prism live streaming software
      Prism is a more basic simulcasting streaming software. Source: Prismlive.com

      Prism Live Studio is a live streaming software that focuses primarily on video editing and production. This also supports simulcasting, but it is not the main function.

      The app for Prism Live Studio is available in both mobile and desktop versions

      Compatibility:

      Prism Live Studio is available for both Windows and Apple operating systems. This platform supports simulcasting to YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, afreecaTV, V LIVE, and NAVER TV.

      Pros:

      • Dedicated simulcasting tool
      • Mobile and desktop support
      • Live chat features
      • Special camera effects
      • In-stream widget placement
      • Donation box option

      Cons:

      • A limited number of streaming destinations
      • A very basic production tool

      Pricing:

      No pricing is published on the Prism Live Studio site, but the app can be downloaded for free on the App Store and Google Play Store.

      Prism Live Studio Reviews:

      “Great app! Use it all the time. My only critique is that it’s darker than my normal phone camera, so live streaming a video in a dimly lit room or night is pretty much too dark to see.” – David Pearson

      “This [app really helps] me for my live streaming activities and [it’s a] really good signal. Keep it up.” – Kazumae Perez

      Setting Up Prism Live Studio with Dacast:

      We do not have a dedicated tutorial for using Prism Live Studio with Dacast, but you can follow our encoder setup guide for some general tips.

      12. OpenShot

      openshot streaming software
      OpenShot is a great free, open-source video streaming software. Source: openshot.org

      OpenShot is a free video streaming software that is geared towards editing. It focuses almost purely on the aesthetic aspects of videos, so it is a bit different from some of the streaming tools we’ve discussed so far.

      OpenShot is open source, so it is customizable for different use cases. Since this platform is free to use, it is a great option for broadcasters and production teams that are still learning the ropes and testing the waters.

      Pros:

      • Free, open-source software
      • Video editing software
      • Cloud API
      • C++ Library
      • Provides user guides and other customer support
      • Easy to use

      Cons:

      • Only video editing support
      • Complaints about crashing when used on laptop
      • Some issues with video speed

      Pricing:

      OpenShot is free to download and use.

      OpenShot Reviews:

      “I enjoy using OpenShot, but [would it] be great if they added a splash screen and a notification window? It works well and competes favorably with similar programs, even with paid programs, given that it is free. Its performance is good overall but I have found that the processor you use plays a role.” – Gabrielle N.

      “OpenShot is an incredibly professional video editing software for video editors. The tools are really powerful and simple to use. You can edit and compose videos from scratch to the advanced level.” – Adnan H.

      Setting Up OpenShot with Dacast:

      We do not have a dedicated tutorial for using OpenShot with Dacast, but you can follow our encoder setup guide for some general tips.

      13. FXhome

      FXHome Pro streaming software
      FXhome is a post-production tool for broadcasters. Source: FXhome.com

      FXhome is a post-production software that is suitable for broadcasters of every level of expertise. Its relatively high price point makes it more popular among more advanced broadcasters.

      One unique feature of FXhome is that it offers support for creating animations. This is definitely different from the other streaming platforms that we’ve discussed, but it comes in handy for teams that are looking to incorporate animated graphics.

      Compatibility:

      FXhome works on both macOS and Windows. There are some limitations on compatibility with case-sensitive operating systems.

      Pros:

      • Video and photo editing tools
      • Features geared towards production
      • Easy-to-use software 
      • Access to training and support
      • Animation tools

      Cons:

      • No free trial
      • Can be a little buggy
      • No JKL shortcuts

      Pricing:

      FXhome offers several packages, including:

      • HitFilm Pro 2021: $349
      • Ignite Pro 5: $299
      • Imerge Pro 2021: $199
      • Pro Suite: $677.60
      • Pro video bundle: $583.20
      • Pro creator bundle: $493.20

      Setting up FXhome with Dacast:

      We don’t have a dedicated guide to using FXhome with Dacast, but we recommend checking out our general encoder setup guide for setup support.

      FXhome Reviews:

      “I was amazed when [I first] tried Hitfilm Express. I cannot [imagine] that it can be so rich in tools for a free editor. I am an artist and I use this software for editing my videos about my artworks. It offers really great features for slow motion, title transitions, camera movements, etc. It [supports] many export formats optimized for different purposes (for example Social media). It takes a while to learn the software, but there are many videos available illustrating and teaching the features.” –  Ildikó M.

      “I love that HitFilm Express is a program that facilitates editing and that contains many effects for high-quality audiovisual projects.” – Elias A.

      14. Restream Studio

      Restream Broadcasting Software
      Restream is a slightly different type of broadcasting software. Source: restream.io

      Restream is a simulcasting broadcasting software that has several solutions for broadcasters. Restream Studio is their solution that is focused on elevating broadcasts to better connect with your audience.

      Compatibility: 

      Restream works on Windows, macOS, Linux, and some gaming consoles.

      Pros: 

      • Multistreaming capabilities 
      • Features for boosting engagement
      • Peer-to-peer streaming support
      • Tools for audience interaction 

      Cons: 

      • No encoding tools
      • Difficult to support on Wifi
      • Some issues with video quality

      Pricing: 

      Restream has several pricing plans for both individuals and businesses. These include the following pricing, on a yearly basis:

      • Free: $0/months (for individuals)
      • Standard: $16/month (for individuals)
      • Professional: $41/month (for individuals)
      • Premium: $83/month (for businesses)
      • Business: $249/month (for businesses)

      Setting Restream up with Dacast: 

      We do not have a specific tutorial for setting up Restream with Dacast, but you can follow our encoder setup guide for some general tips.

      User Review:

      “I like that Restream allows me to showcase my work across all the platforms that are important to me. I can share my designs and games with the people I love around the world because Restream exists.” – Austin G., via Capterra

      “The user interface was easy to use and navigate. Streaming and RTMP were easy to connect and the streaming quality was great. I used it with OBS and it worked great. Compared to other software, this worked the best!” – Heather B., via Capterra

      15. Bonus Broadcasting Platform: Dacast’s Live Streaming Software

      dacast live streaming software
      Dacast’s live streaming software provides streaming and video hosting solutions with built-in software encoding capabilities.

      Video streaming software is important for professional broadcasting, but an online video platform is essential.

      Dacast is equipped with the tools you need to host and your video content. Our unified live streaming software platform integrates with OBS Studio, VidBlasterX, vMix, and Wirecast to provide the resources you need for a high-quality broadcast.

      Compatibility:

      Dacast is compatible with both streaming software for macOS and Windows.

      Some of the detailed features include:

      New Features!

      Pros:

      Cons:

      • Requires a bit of a learning curve

      Pricing:

      Dacast’s live streaming pricing plans start at $39/month and come with all the features required for professional broadcasting. Plans include:

      • Starter Plan: $39/month (includes 1,000 GB of bandwidth & 50 GB of storage)
      • Event Plan: $63/month (includes 6 TB of bandwidth upfront and 50 GB of storage)
      • Scale Plan: $188/month (includes 24 TB of bandwidth per year and 1 TB of storage)
      • Custom planContact us for custom pricing plans

      You can try all of these features 100% risk-free for 30 days with the Dacast free trial.

      User Review:

      “The pricing made it affordable for me to stream my bi-weekly broadcasts live to an unlimited number of viewers. I also like the fact that everything is included under one roof – live streaming, PPV, and on-demand video streaming, as well as the ability to collect fees charged that viewers pay to watch PPV. Also, Dacast’s customer service is top-notch. I receive replies to my questions usually within an hour regardless of who I need to contact.” – Stu S via G2 Crowd

      “Dacast is a solid streaming platform backed by an excellent support team which has helped me sort out configuration and integration into our e-learning platforms. I also like the fact that it´s highly customizable and integrates well into OBS studio and HTML pages, as well as Facebook. All in all, the quality/value for money ratio is well worth it.” – John C via Capterra

      Conclusion

      There you have it. Those are our picks for the best live broadcasting software of 2021. As a professional broadcaster, streaming software is essential. It is what allows you to add those professional touches that you’d see on traditional television broadcasts.

      We hope this article has given you a starting point for picking the best live broadcasting software for your streaming needs. We also hope that our top streaming video software reviews help you choose one that works well for you.

      If you are new to broadcasting, we recommend starting with OBS Studio since it’s free and easy to use. If you find that you need more, you’ll be equipped with the experience you need to navigate a more advanced broadcasting software.

      Interested in testing your chosen software with a streaming platform and professional-grade video hosting features? Sign up for the free trial on Dacast to see how your live streaming software of choice works in action.

      Our trial is 30 days long, and it provides access to nearly every Dacast feature. No credit card is required.


      GET STARTED FOR FREE

      Any questions, comments, or ideas? Let us know in the comment section below. We appreciate hearing from our readers, and we will get back to you.

      For regular tips on live streaming and exclusive offers, you can also join our LinkedIn group. Thanks for reading, and as always, best of luck with your live broadcasts!

      Please note that this post was originally written by Max Wilbert. It was revised in 2021 by Emily Krings to include the most up-to-date information. Emily is a strategic content writer and storyteller. She specializes in helping businesses create blog content that connects with their audience.
      author avatar

      Max Wilbert

      Max Wilbert is a passionate writer, live streaming practitioner, and has strong expertise in the video streaming industry.

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