Live streaming is not just picking up your cellphone and broadcasting your video. Hundreds of micro-operations work in the background to make your live streaming easy, smooth and possible. Live streaming software use specific tools and encoders to connect you with the world.
Hardware and software encoders work together seamlessly in the background to connect your video with the different devices across the globe. Furthermore, there are encoders and streaming protocols which go into work when you start streaming live. HLS and DASH are the top standard protocols for live streaming nowadays.
There are hundreds of online software available which claim the best live streaming qualities in the market. Let’s take a look at the top live streaming software compatible with Apple’s HLS.
Telestream invented Wirecast for capable, efficient and professional quality video streaming and quick encoding. It allows the users to switch between multiple sources, overlay graphics on the live feed and also stream high-quality video with ease.
You can also mix different audios, add some graphics or video effects while live streaming to your fan base. Here is a cursory look at Wirecast and its key features:
- Supports unlimited video and audio sources, such as cameras, mics, IP cams, capture cards, and NDI
- Built-in graphics tools for quick video effects and overlay
- Integration with Facebook Live and Twitter
- Multi-Bitrate Support for continuous playback on devices
- Instant Replays and scoreboard
- Turn iOS devices into mobile live video sources
- Local Output
- Stream to multiple destinations at the same time
You can purchase the simple version for $695, whereas the pro version is priced at $995. It is compatible with Windows and MacOS.
It is one of the best live streaming software compatible with HLS in the market. It offers a wide range of customization to the users and takes a brand-new approach towards live streaming. Let’s break it down in easily understandable categories:
- Modular interface for maximum customization
- Hot-key actions with scripting
- Supports overlays and lower thirds
- Support for Chroma Key
- Live streaming and recording up to 4K resolution
- Integration with social media platforms and OVPs
- Audio mixer and video effects available at the run-time
- Multi-view support to enjoy live feeds from multiple sources
The software is available in three different versions: Home, Studio, and Broadcast. The yearly subscription prices for these versions are $9, $99, and $999 respectively. It is only available for Windows OS at the moment, but will be made compatible with other OS in the future.
It is easily the best open-source live streaming software available right now. It started as community-based project for live streaming, but has now evolved into a powerful live streaming software compatible with HLS. Here are the key features that OBS Studio has to offer:
- Live streaming, recording with audio and video mixing, filters, and transitions on the run-time
- Scriptable hotkeys
- Support for green screen
- Graphics overlay for live feeds
- Remote control via web-sockets
- Advanced Screen switching between multiple sources
- Powerful online support from the community
It is available for free, but one of the biggest disadvantages is the absence of multi-bitrate support. However, it is compatible with all the modern OS, such as Windows 7 and later, OS X/Mac OS 10.8 and later, and Linux.
Video gamers use this live streaming software for its quick streaming and recording functionalities. It is a simple, yet powerful streaming software for quick broadcasting needs. Here are some key points for your consideration:
- Support unlimited sources, such as cameras, mics, and IPs, etc.
- Removes the background and only shows the webcam
- Professional features and enhanced audio system with noise cancellation
- Chroma key (green / blue screen) support
- Integration with Skype
- Record streams locally, edit and broadcast them
- Seamless chat function for quick comments and feedback
- Other custom plugins and integrations
- Edit and upload recordings with built-in video effects and audio mix
Xsplit is a subscription based software. You can get this software to test for free, but once the free trial period expires, you can purchase the personal license for $89.95 for a 3-year subscription and $14.95 for a 3-month subscription. The 3-month subscription for Premium license is $24.95, while the lifetime license is for $199 only.
It is not only a powerful live streaming software, but also a powerful and quick encoder for videos. It offers support for unlimited video sources, and can encode any format of video efficiently.
It offers NDI support and also multi-bitrate support for continuous live feed over varying internet speeds. Let’s take a look at other bells and whistles it offers:
- Live streaming, recording for up to 4k resolution
- Support for NDIs and capture cards
- Supports unlimited video sources, such as cameras, cards etc.
- Multi-bitrate support for all the users with different internet speeds
- Built-in titling tool that includes animation support
- Slow motion feature.
While it is only available of Windows PC, it is still a powerful software for all your streaming needs. In order to ensure that the software supports your hardware, vMix offers a 60-day free trial. Once you decide to buy it, the basic version if free. However, the pro version is available for $1200. The pro version can easily support a powerful and complex studio setup for streaming.
The Bottom Line:
In reality, there are hundreds and thousands of live streaming software available in the market right now, and they all claim to be the best at what they do.
It all depends on your needs, platform and device. The encoders need to be compatible with your device and your targeted platforms. Furthermore, if you are not into raw broadcasting and want to add some spicy feature and effects to your feed, you need to opt for software which offers run-time graphics overlay and effects.
Whatever you choose, make sure to test it for free first or watch review videos on YouTube beforehand. You don’t want to buy a subscription for something you don’t want to use. So, compare, test and then make the decision.