If you’re looking to get into live streaming, you’re going to need the right software to get started. There are plenty of options out there, including the two most popular ones: Streamlabs and OBS. Which one should you choose? Streamlabs vs. OBS, let the match begin.
Streamlabs vs. OBS
Let’s go through each software separately. Choose the right one for you.
The Basics Of Streaming Software
Before getting into the software options out there, you’ll need to understand the basics of streaming software. At their most basic level, these software packages will allow you to live stream video online. One of their major features is video mixing, which allows you to do several things on stream, including:
- Changing camera
- Playing pre-recorded video
- Change audio source
- Insert images
- Share your screen on the camera
- Add a green screen or visual effects
These features will all allow you to create a full streaming experience for your audience. Streamlabs and OBS are both very common platforms that let you do all of this, but which one should you go for?
Let’s look at OBS first. This stands for Open Broadcaster Software, and it’s one of the most popular ways to stream online. It’s one of the oldest platforms out there too, and is something that most streaming software has been developed from.
Benefits Of OBS
Free to use: This is probably the biggest benefit to OBS. “If you’re just starting out as a streamer, then you’ll be drawn to OBS as you won’t have to pay anything,” says Marianne Rowley, a tech blogger from Academic Brits and PhD Kingdom. “That allows you to get started without having to lay any money out for the software”
Open source: As it’s open source, you’ll see there are all kinds of plug-ins and add-ons that you can use with OBS. That also allows any bugs to get sorted quickly, as coders can handle them right away.
Low CPU usage: If you want your stream to be as smooth as possible, then you’ll be tempted by OBS as it has very low CPU usage. When there’s less load on your system, the streams will look better.
User-friendly interface: If you’ve never streamed before, you’ll see that OBS makes a lot more sense when you boot it up. You can customize the interface too, so you can get what you want out of it.
Drawbacks Of OBS
There will be some drawbacks you need to be aware of too. These include:
No audio files as sources: This is a small drawback, but if you’re looking to stream audio files on your stream, then you won’t be able to link to them as sources through OBS.
Not as many plug-ins: While there are plug-ins you can use, you’ll see that there aren’t as many here as you’d see on other stream software platforms.
Your other option for streaming is Streamlabs. This is essentially an improved version of OBS that was created by Logitech, to give you a better experience.
Benefits Of Streamlabs
Very easy to set up: You don’t need much technical knowledge to get started streaming with Streamlabs. To set it up, you’ll download the installer, run it, link your streaming account, run the optimizer, and add your stream key. That’s it.
Test button: This button allows you to test any changes you make to your stream setup before you go live, which is a very handy feature.
Built-in chat: You’ll be able to manage your chat in the program, without having to have multiple browsers open.
Drawbacks Of Streamlabs
More CPU usage: “Streamlabs is going to put more pressure on your CPU,” says Adam Neal, a writer at Next Coursework and Originwritings. “As such, you’ll need a more powerful PC to run it.”
No sound commands: If you want sounds from your chat, you’ll need to run the chatbot separately rather than being able to run everything through Streamlabs.
Streamlabs vs. OBS, the winner of its battle is entirely up to you. As you can see, there are lots of benefits to both OBS and Streamlabs. When you come to start streaming, the best ones to use will be the ones that have the best features to use. Try them both out, and see which one gives you what you need.
George J. Newton is a tech writer, focusing on streaming and games. He works to help new streamers get into the industry.