If talk about streaming software, the most common choice of streamers is OBS (Open Broadcaster Software). Because it’s open-source, free and can be used for both PC and Mac. But, is it really the best one? In our post, we’ll discover other alternative streaming software that is commonly used by Twitch streamers.
Good For Game Streamers, Only for Windows
PROS: XSplit is one of the most popular alternatives to OBS. Some features that make XSplit stand out include: easy navigation, attractive, highly customizable effects, many inputs and capture devices. With XSplit, you can easily broadcast to multiple streaming channels, have Skype integration along with impressive number of overlays. What is more pleasant that XSplit provides two streaming programs to choose from. Gamecaster is good for those who want to stream on Twitch or YouTube: it helps to automate all technical processes allowing you to focus on the gameplay and chat. The second program, XSplit Broadcaster, is designed for more advanced and professional streaming.
CONS: For some purposes, you can use XSplit for free, but be ready to see your content watermarked with the resolution more than 720p. There are also a lot of paid features, such as simultaneous broadcast to multiple platforms, audio streaming, stream delay, source transition, preview editor, etc. Moreover, despite being a simple software, XSplit causes much slowdown and crashes to your computer. XSplit is available only for Windows.
TIP: XSplit might be a right solution, if you stream big gaming tournaments with participation of multiple streamers. If you don’t want to spend much time thinking about how to shift scenes, create a video, this software is for you.
#2. SLOBS (Streamlabs OBS)
Best for Beginning Streamers
PROS: Compared to OBS Studio and XSplit, SLOBS is simpler and up-to-date. Streamlabs is doing a good job in implementing the most requested plugins and features that streamers need. What most people like about SLOBS is that it allows them to have all apps (Twitch chat, stream preview, etc.) on one screen. So, there is no need to juggle multiple windows and control them during your gameplay. An integrated chat, a good auto optimizer, intuitive design, a wide variety of overlays – these are only some of the features that make SLOBS stand out of the crowd.
CONS: Among the most serious disadvantages of this alternative streaming software is that it actively uses CPU, and in case your computer isn’t powerful enough, it may crash often.
TIP: SLOBS is good for all beginning streamers that put simplicity on the first place. SLOBS is for those who love experimenting with multiple features and appreciate user-friendly interface.
Free and Very Easy to Use
PROS: Player.me is another quality alternative streaming software that is being developed actively. The main peculiarity of this software is a huge amount of professionally designed overlay templates and a powerful overlay editor. There are a lot of widgets, alerts, stream cups, donation system, live stream chat to make your stream more attractive and entertaining. With this software, you can always stay tuned in what is going on in your gaming community by sharing gaming updates, joining groups and making cross-posts to Twitter. The good news is that Player.me is absolutely free for now.
CONS: Player.me is available for Windows 10 only. There are still some features missing and bugs happening, but the Player.me creators continue to work on its functionality.
TIP: It’s a good platform for those who want to experiment with hundreds of overlay designs and try something new. Player.me can easily integrate with XSplit, OBS and help you send your content to Twitch, YouTube and Mixer.
Free and Cloud Based
PROS: Lightstream is a small, but growing team of video gaming enthusiasts that want to make live streaming simple and available for all people. They think that live streaming shouldn’t take you hours of investigations, setups and frustrations. The biggest advantage of this alternative streaming software is that it is cloud based. Lightstream provides streamers with “powerful features that use less power”. The software can easily be used in combination with other streaming tools, such as Muxy, Streamlabs, Streamjar, etc. It offers multiplayer streaming and allows several streamers to broadcast to the same stream – the creators call this feature Prism. On top of all of this, Lightstream is absolutely free of charge.
CONS: In spite of being super-easy to use, the software is lacking some features and customization. Moreover, the quality of video depends on your upload speed and Internet connection.
TIP: It’s a perfect choice for all streamers with weak CPU or graphic cards, Macs and Xboxes.
Oldschoolish, but reliable
PROS: It’s a free streaming software that has all basic features to support your live streaming and video recording. FFSplit is a lightweight software that won’t slow down your CPU. It allows broadcasting to multiple channels, has clear interface, nice overlays, supports several video formats, including FLV, MKV and MP3.
CONS: FFSplit needs an external program for capturing game source, it can only resize the source, adjust transparency and volume. Moreover, it’s available only for Windows 10. The software is out of date, its creators don’t develop the project anymore.
TIP: If you are out of options and want to come back to 90-s, FFSplit is here to give you all basic tools for your broadcast.
The Choice of Professional Streamers
PROS: It’s a quality software that is well-known for different business tools and technical options. Wirecast allows you to produce professional videos, do live streams, webinars, webcasts – almost anything you can imagine, – at a professional level. The most popular features include: the ability to stream to unlimited destinations (Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, YouTube, RTMP destinations at a time), access to Stock Media Library, unlimited sources (cameras, microphones, IP cams, etc.), 3-D animated titles, social media comments, streaming and recording at the same time. The software is available for both Windows and Mac.
CONS: Wirecast is one of the programs that many streamers have heard about, but haven’t tried yet. And this is because the software is high cost: for example, Wirecast Pro package will cost you $696.50. Another possible downside is the system requirements: in order to use Wirecast, your computer should have Windows 7, 8, 10, macOS Sierra, Mac OS X El Capitan, a processor: i5 dual-core @ 2.3GHz1. i7 quad-core @ 2.8GHz+, memory 4GB RAM. 16GB+ RAM, and a hard drive 2GB2.
TIP: Wirecast is not a software for beginners. If you can afford the price and are streaming at a professional level, this software is made for you.
Quality Software That Suits Every Taste and Budget
PROS: The software is similar to the previous one in terms of its quality and price, but with some specific set of tools and variety of packages. With vMIX, you can easily stream, record and produce professional live content in different formats, including HD, SD and even 4K. Among the features vMix provides are: the ability to have all inputs in one place, simultaneous streaming, recording and output, 13 transition effects, animated graphics, PC and Mac desktop sources, touchscreen web interface. With the help of vMIX, you will also be able to invite up to 8 remote guests to your stream, have multiview feature as well as 4 overlay channels. What is good about vMix is that there are 6 types of purchasing plans (including a free trial version), depending on the amount of features you need for your stream. The Basic HD plan costs $60, while the most expensive one – PRO- is $1200.
CONS: The cost of the fullest Pro package is impressive, but if you’re streaming at an amateur level the basic packages may be enough for you. To be able to use vMix, your computer system should correspond the criteria: Windows 7 or newer, a 2 Ghz dual-core processor or better,1 GB or DDR2 or faster RAM, and a 7200 RPM hard drive.
TIP: The software is good for different levels of streaming. If you have doubts about buying the full version, use a trial one: in spite of missing some features, it will give you the idea of what the software can do.
Whether you want to stream your gameplay, record videos or provide YouTube highlights, the options of alternative streaming software are unlimited. We’ve mentioned only some of the most popular ones. Before choosing your ideal alternative streaming software, take into account the system requirements, the quality of stream you would like to produce, your bandwidth and other expectations. Remember that the main goal of any software is to help you spend more time comfortably streaming and producing content and less time worrying about technical issues.