Comparison of the 15 Best Live Streaming Software: What You Need to Know [Updated for 2022]

By Max Wilbert

53 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.

    Over the last decade, live streaming has become easier to achieve, largely due to advances in streaming software. Streaming software allows anyone from a newbie to an advanced broadcaster to easily create live streams.

    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. To do this you need access to live streaming software.

    Today we’ll cover what you can do with live streaming software and a comparison of the best streaming software options.

    We will provide a comparison of the best streaming software options on the market today. 

    Some live streams require support from hardware encoders instead of live streaming equipment, so we will discuss that.

    Table of Contents

    • What is Live Streaming Software?
    • What Does Live Streaming Software Do?
    • Live Streaming Software vs. Hardware Encoders
    • Components of Live Streaming Tools
    • 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 primary 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. Live streaming software allows you to craft a broadcast that looks professional. 

    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 primary 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 replicating the video file of different sizes and qualities. It typically uses RTMP encoders or the HLS streaming protocol.

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

    To use live encoding software, you 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.

    You may want to use multiple computers with distinct roles for more advanced live streaming situations. For example, one technician could work to create graphics on an additional computer. From there, you can feed these graphics 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 live streaming software is both live video mixing and editing.

    The main purpose of live video mixing software or 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 best 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 various 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, a single-camera approach is not usually professional or feature-rich enough for a good-quality live broadcast.

    That is why you need live streaming software to create a multi-camera or multi-source experience for your viewers. 

    Live streaming software provides the tools to turn your RAW video files into the correct format for online broadcasting. Live streaming software should also provide you with the tools to mix and pro

    Live Streaming Software vs. Hardware Encoders

    Dacast Professional Streaming Platform
    Hardware encoders are quite powerful for live streaming. With live streaming software solutions you can organize live and on-demand content into channels.

    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 live 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 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. Similar they can be physically cumbersome, depending on your particular live streaming setup. However, since they are dedicated devices, they are typically more effective.

    Components of Live Streaming Tools

    A suitable live stream setting consists of several components. Once you are familiar with and comprehend the fundamentals, establishing your live streaming will be easy. The broadcast video is the most crucial element of your live stream setup, but there are also four other essential live streaming tools  to consider.

    • The HD cameras, computers, and required extra tools are the most expensive part of your setup.
    • You’ll need various audio equipment.
    • The video encoder is the most crucial gear you need for live streaming.
    • A software for live streaming is referred to as a “streaming destination.” Live streaming software requires a reliable internet connection, which is essential.

    You will need a specific workflow for live streaming. It would help if you had a connection between your encoder and streaming destination and set up your audio and video components, connection, and live stream.

    You will be able to start a live stream once everything is connected, and your audience will be able to watch it right away.

    Selecting the Best Video Equipment

    Choosing the right camera is one of the most crucial aspects of your live video podcast. However, selecting the perfect camera can be challenging. There are countless cameras with live streaming features available on the market.

    Despite the trade-offs, selecting the best camera with the right features is the most important thing, just like many other technological products.

    You should jump right in and buy an entry-level video camera if you’re new to video podcasting and live streaming. Beginner cameras are much more affordable and portable than other models.

    Prosumer video cameras are a great mid-range option for live streamers if you want to upgrade a little. The camera’s overall video quality will be noticeably improved, with a standard feature, HDMI, and connectivity will also get better.

    Professional video cameras offer everything you want but are at a hefty price. These professional cameras have pro-level connectors.

    Selecting the Perfect Audio Equipment 

    Although it necessitates some editing, the audio equipment many individuals use for their podcasts significantly improves your video podcast.

    Entry-level and prosumer cameras have a built-in microphone which is considered low- to medium-quality equipment. Several people use their cameras in addition to audio gear, which is advantageous if you have a limited budget.

    A wide variety of devices, such as USB and 3.5mm microphones and built-in microphones on professional, live video cameras, are considered medium to high quality. Professional-grade microphones are the top tier of equipment and can significantly improve professional-level productions.

    Selecting the Best Mixing Equipment 

    When setting up your podcast, mixing equipment is a crucial component of a live stream setup. You can record multiple audio or video streams by using mixing equipment. During a live broadcast, you can also change your sources.

    Think about the following when shopping for video mixing equipment:

    • The size
    • Input and output
    • User experience
    • Internet connectivity and automation

    Characteristics to Focus on When Choosing the Best Streaming Platform

    Most widely used broadcasting software options share a few features, such as recording video, connecting a camera and microphone, and including some video editing tools. But many things differentiate various stream software.

    If you’re determined to find the best live streaming software, keep an eye out for these key features:

    Potential compatibility problems: 

    Most video broadcasting software  work with social media platforms and streaming websites. It would be best to look for compatibility issues using other platforms like Vimeo, Panopto, or Dacast.

    Extra or sophisticated features: 

    There are different levels of live streaming software with other functions and degrees of difficulty.

    Some streaming software give you the option to stream simultaneously to multiple platforms, while other live broadcasting software give you more storage space to record your live videos. It’s possible to fall head over heels for a streaming video software only to discover it doesn’t work for you. Before choosing a particular video streaming software, check out these features.

    Pricing:

    Some of the best streaming software are free. In actuality, the most widely used streaming programs are free. However, remember that some for-profit quality enhancements can make your live stream more engaging.

    Examining these three features will assist in removing the livestreaming software options you cannot use. It would help if you didn’t use a web streaming software if they are out of your price range, don’t support your platforms, or are missing essential features.

    Comparison of the 15 Best Live Streaming Software Options

    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 streaming 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 also makes this aspect easy.

    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 are locked in the “Studio” version
    • It consumes a lot of computer memory

    Pricing:

    The latest version of Wirecast is 14.3.4. It is the newest complete version and was released on November 22nd, 2021. It features several enhancements and fixes, regarding bugs and other technical mishaps with the previous version, and includes FBLive polling, a 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 setting 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

    If you want a live streaming software solution that is compatible with almost everything you could want to pair it with, try out Wirecast. 

    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 and was developed by StudioCoast. The latest version of the Windows-specific software is 24.0.0.72 and includes an upgrade to a free 60 day trial of vMix PRO for download. While vMix 24 is for Windows only, the software can be installed on a Mac via Boot Camp if the machine has a Windows partition. 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. It is one of the best live streaming software options for Windows PCs. 

    Compatibility:

    vMix is only available for Windows PCs. However, running it on a Mac is possible using a specific 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 a software update)

    Pricing:

    vMix is available in five different versions, ranging from Basic HD to Pro, and the streaming 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 (free), which supports four (up to two camera/NDI) inputs and video up to 768 x 576 resolution
    • Basic HD ($60), which supports four 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, four 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

    The following is a subscription license and includes, and is charged monthly:

    • MAX ($50/month), which also supports 1,000 inputs, 1,000 NDI inputs, and includes all 4K resolution video (4096 x 2160), PTZ control, 2 recorders, instant replay, 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, mainly to ensure vMix supports your computer hardware and works with it before purchasing. It is a great perk, as most encoding software offers only up to a 14-day free trial.

    Setting up vMix with Dacast:

    vMix integrates 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

    If you are dedicated to your windows devices, vMix is one of the best streaming software for PC that you will find. 

    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 best 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 app or the virtual camera driver.” – BCBLive Live Video Production Software Review

    If 4K and UHD streams are your priority, VidBlaster is a good video streaming software.

    4. OBS Studio

    obs studio 27.0.1
    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 pretty 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. OBS Studio no longer supports Windows Vista.

    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 27.1.3 was released on October 4th, 2021, and is available for download here for macOS 10.13 or newer, Windows 8, 8.1, and 10, as well as Ubuntu 18.04 operating systems. For the Linux version, FFmpeg is required.

    Setting up OBS Studio with Dacast:

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

    With this option, you don’t need to enter details manually. Instead, simply log in 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.

    If you are looking for free live streaming software that also offers robust tools for a quality broadcast, you need to try out OBS, which works on all three primary computer operating systems. 

    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 live streaming software. It is free to download, but users must upgrade to the Prime version to access all of the resources. The latest version of Streamlabs OBS is v1.7.0 and is available for download here.

    Streamlabs offers quite a few features for editing and multicasting live streams. It is the chosen video broadcasting software for many professional streamers. One of the unique aspects of this software is its web-based live streaming studio called MelonApp. The app allows you to broadcast to Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, or Twitch with one 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 Twitch, Facebook, 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” to fully access 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

    If you want to play with many tools that allow you to customize your live streams, Streamlabs is an excellent software for streaming. 

    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 an open-source live streaming software that is pretty basic but can also be customized to create great content. FFmpeg underwent a major new release, FFmpeg 5.0, on Jan. 17th, 2022, entitled “Lorentz.” 

    A few of the top features of the Lorentz update include:

    • AVframe-based API system installed
    • New filters such as morpho video filter, varblur video filter, and others were added
    • New encoders and decoding systems implemented
    • DoVi support for tone mapping and remuxing
    • Improved AAC encoder settings
    • VideoToolbox update 

    FFmpeg only releases about two updates per year. A few drawbacks of using FFmpeg are that there are minimal educational materials on the site, and it can be difficult for new broadcasters to pick up. 

    Compatibility:

    FFmpeg is compatible with Linux, Windows, and macOS.

    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

    FFmpeg is an open-source solution, making it a great streaming tool if you want the ability to customize your content and live streaming experience. 

    7. XSplit Broadcaster

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

    XSplit has three primary products: Broadcaster, Vcam, and Connect Webcam. 

    • The broadcaster is a live streaming and recording studio
    • VCam is a webcam background remover tool
    • Connect: A webcam is a tool that allows you to turn your smartphone into a webcam for live streams, presentations, and conference calls. 

    XSplit can serve many use-cases, such as: 

    • Video interviews
    • Professional calls
    • Virtual events and conferences
    • Interviews
    • Q&A Sessions
    • Product demonstrations
    • Online classes and webinars
    • Pitching and presentations 

    XSplit Broadcaster is the primary tool we will focus on, although both the other tools XSplit offers can be used to allow you to live stream as well. Some of the top features of XSplit Broadcaster include:

    • Professional layouts
    • Multistreaming
    • Audio volume management
    • High video quality 
    • 24/7 support

    The most significant drawbacks to XSplit are that the platform can be a little confusing to navigate, and does have a bit of a learning curve. Some features require you to watch an advertisement before using the features. The program can strain some systems. 

    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.

    Pricing:

    XSplit Broadcaster offers three plans: Premium Bundle, VCam Premium, and Broadcaster Premium. Each package provides a 1-month license, a 12-month license, and Lifetime licenses. 

    The pricing plans for XSplit Broadcaster Premium are as follows:

    • 1-Month License: $20.00
    • 12-Month License: $70.00
    • Lifetime License: $230.00

    Setting up XSplit with Dacast:

    There currently is no integration nor guide on 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

    If you create gaming streams, XSplit is the right streaming software solution for you.

     

    8. SplitCam

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

    SplitCam is a unique live streaming software that is a handy tool for different types of use-cases, such as: 

    Live events where viewer interaction, or interacting with more than one presenter is necessary, are helpful with this tool. 

    Some of the most significant benefits of using SplitCam include: 

    • HD video quality
    • Stream to popular social media channels
    • Broadcast with HD camera and other video sources
    • Split the screen with different applications
    • Audio mixer with mic and audio files in one stream
    • Realistic 3D mask
    • Free to use

    One of the drawbacks of SplitCam is that it doesn’t have any encoding tools and doesn’t support mobile streaming, you have to be streaming from a computer. 

    However, if you want to live stream from your webcam to popular social media channels with some video editing support, SplitCam is an excellent resource to access.

    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.

    For broadcasters that want to mix and create peer-to-peer video streams, SplitCam is the unique live streaming software solution you need.

    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 very focused live streaming software focused on simulcasting. It allows you to simulcast to unlimited destinations. Switchboard also supports video embedding, allowing you to share your live streams directly on your website.

    One of the newer features of Switchboard Live is the ability to StreamShare. StreamShare allows your viewers to carry your live stream on their social media platform without a password or technical setup. 

    It allows you to stream not just to social media platforms that you own but also to those of your viewers and supporters, allowing you to access the audience potential of viewer’s live channels. 

    Switchboard Live’s top benefits and features include:

    • Simulcasting
    • StreamShare
    • Video embedding
    • Quick set-up
    • Cloud-based platform
    • Seamless integration with most OVPs

    Switchboard Live also has a comprehensive support system, including phone, chat, email, FAQs, forum, and knowledge base. 

    A few drawbacks include some snags with setting up the platform and settings that require manual configuration that is automated on most other platforms.

    Compatibility:

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

    Pricing:

    Switchboard Live has three different pricing plans with endless streaming destinations. These plans include:

    • Indie Unleashed: $29/month; includes 1,500 streaming minutes per month and it supports streaming to unlimited destinations
    • Pro Unleashed: $59/month; includes 4,000 streaming minutes per month and supports streaming to unlimited destinations for unlimited team members
    • Business Unleashed: $99/month; includes 10,000 streaming minutes per month and supports unlimited as the other plans but also adds a branded StreamShare page

    Discounts are available for users who pay quarterly or annually.

    All of the above plans offer a free trial, no credit card required, allowing you to try out the different plans and find the one that is right for you. 

    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.  

    Switchboard is a reliable simulcasting tools for broadcasters who want to play their content on multiple websites and social media channels simultaneously.

    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.

    It is freeware, which means that it is entirely free to use. However, it is not open source. 

    This platform is pretty 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. The latest build, FFsplit 0.7.0 Test Build 26, was released on December 13th, 2014. It states that you can download legacy versions 0.7.0 and up, as well as 0.6.0 and below, on their website; however, the links no longer appear to be active. 

    The most significant benefit of FFsplit is that it is free to use with a focus on live streaming. It allows users to merge multiple inputs and is easy

    The drawbacks of FFsplit are as follows: 

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

    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 is focused on allowing you to create videos with stunning effects. 

    There are three different camera modes: 

    • Live stream
    • Video
    • Photo

    You can use Prism Live Studio to create a dynamic and interactive live stream, create an engaging video-on-demand, or enhance your photos. 

    There is both a mobile and desktop version of Prism Live Studio. It works on both Windows and Apple operating systems. 

    With Prism Live Studio, you can add a variety of different types of external content to your videos, such as:

    • Music
    • Animated text
    • Web pages
    • Media
    • Gaming content 
    • Interactive effects such as GIFS and stickers via GIPHY
    • Donation box option 
    • Screencasting 

    Prism Live Studio also offers tools for simulcasting, allowing you to stream directly from the platform to multiple locations at once, including:

    • YouTube 
    • Twitch
    • Afreeca TV
    • VLive
    • Naver TV
    • Naver Shopping Live
    • Facebook via RTMP

    It supports a limited number of locations for simulcasting, and the production tools for live streaming are limited.

    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.

    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.

    Prism Live Studio is not a full live streaming software solution; however it provide you with simulcasting capabilities.

    12. OpenShot

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

    OpenShot is a live streaming software that is focused on editing. It is an entirely free editing live streaming software that is open-source. Being open source means you can easily customize OpenShot for different use cases. 

    If you are still learning the ropes of live streaming, and want to improve your live streams visual appearance and VOD, OpenShot is a great program to play around with. It can allow you to figure out how you want your live streams to look, without investing in an expensive live streaming editing and mixing software. 

    OpenShot stands out as a free live streaming software option as they offer: 

    • Cloud API
    • C++ Library
    • User guides and customer support

    A few drawbacks of OpenShot are that the software is only focused on editing, and some users complain that it crashed when using it on a laptop.

    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 type of live streaming software that is focused on the post-production experience. 

    They offer easy tools for newbies to master, using their simple built-in tutorials to help you learn the basics of video editing and visual effects. They also offer more advanced video editing and visual effect tools for professional broadcasters with more advanced video editing needs. 

    FXhome is two different tools, Imerge and Hit Film. 

    • Imerge is a next-generation image editing software
    • Hit Film is a VFX and video editing software

    You can use these two tools to take both your pictures and videos to the next level. One thing that makes FXhome stand out is they offer animation tools within their video editing software, allowing you to create your custom animations. 

    FXhome has recently streamlined its pricing structure, making choosing the right plans for your need simpler. They also offer a free version, making it easier to see if you like the software. 

    Pricing: 

    • Free: Basic video editing tools
    • Creator: Advanced video & image editing tools 
      • Monthly Rate: $9.99
      • Annual Rate: $75
    • Pro: Unlimited access to everything you need
      • Monthly Rate: $15.99
      • Yearly Rate: $119.88
    • Enterprise: Tailored solutions for organizations 

    FXhome also has perpetual plans, that provide you with access to 12 months of updates and technical support, as well as multiple licenses, so that you can use the professional versions of their software. 

    • HitFilm Pro 2021: $349
    • Ignite Pro 5: $199
    • HitFilm Pro + Imerge Pro: $548

    If you already own HItFilm Pro or Imerge Pro, you can extend your free update period for another 12 months, allowing you access to all the latest features: 

    • HitFilm Pro Renewal: $279.20
    • Imerge Pro Renewal: $159.20
    • HitFilm + Imerge Pro Renewal: $438.40

    Compatibility:

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

    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 different type of live streaming software. It doesn’t include any encoding tools. 

    Restream is a simulcasting broadcasting software that allows you to stream live to multiple locations simultaneously. For example, if you want to stream live to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn simultaneously, you can do that with Restream.

    Many other live streaming software products offer the ability to simulcast; however, that is the primary focus of Restream. 

    They do offer mixing and production tools focused on the live streaming experience, such as:

    • Customize video layout with professional logos, overlays, and backgrounds
    • Add a call-to-action message overlay
    • Engage directly with your audience by highlighting messages from your channels
    • Peer–to-peer streaming support. 

    There are a few drawbacks to Restream. 

    • No encoding tools
    • The reliance on WiFi isn’t great
    • You may experience video quality issues. 

    Compatibility: 

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

    Pricing: 

    Restream has several pricing plans for both individuals and businesses. These include the following plans:

    Individuals:

    • Free: $0/months (for individuals)
    • Standard: $19/month (for individuals)
    • Professional: $49/month (for individuals)

    Companies:

    • Premium: $99/month (for businesses)
    • Business: $299/month (for businesses)

    These prices reflect monthly rates when paid monthly, and offer discounts when paid for an entire year in advance.

    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. Dacast

    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 vital 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 live broadcast.

    Compatibility:

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

    Some of the detailed features include:

    New Features!

    Pros:

    Cons:

    • It 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 14 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 2022. As a professional broadcaster, streaming video software is essential. It allows you to add those professional touches you’d see on traditional television broadcasts.

    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 a free streaming software and easy to use. If you find that you need more, you’ll be equipped with the experience you need to navigate more advanced broadcasting software.

    Are you interested in testing your chosen streaming 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 14 days long, and 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!

    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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