To live stream, you absolutely need two things: a stable internet connection and broadcasting software. Without either, streaming is impossible. In this article, we’ll cover two popular options for broadcasting software. You’ll understand what live streaming software is, how it works, and which one you should choose.
The two most popular options for broadcast software are OBS Studio and Streamlabs OBS. Nearly every streamer on YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook Live uses one of these programs. Although both apps are similar, they also have different pros and cons. We’ll help you decide which one is better for you.
Gladiatorial fight: SLOBS vs. OBS Studio
First, let’s get all the technical stuff out of the way before releasing our valiant contenders into the arena. To keep the fight fair, let’s define streaming software, as well as the criteria we’ll use to determine the winner.
Streaming software enables you to live stream your videos. It transforms the video format into one suitable for live streaming, explicitly optimized for internet transmission. This is exactly why streaming software is also often called an encoder.
Another important feature of broadcasting programs is live mixing. You can switch audio and video sources, add cool video effects, and much more while the live stream is on thanks to live mixing. Here are a few examples of what broadcasting software allows you to do:
- Switch cameras
- Switch audio sources
- Play a pre-recorded video over your live stream
- Insert an image over your live stream
- Add a “green screen” and other video effects
There are three main characteristics you should consider when choosing the right broadcasting software: compatibility, performance, and pricing. As for our mighty gladiators, they live up to their reputation on each of these factors. We should mention upfront that both Streamlabs OBS and OBS Studio are free to use. You don’t have to pay a single cent to install these applications and start live streaming immediately.
OBS Studio (Open Broadcaster Software)
Even if you are new to live streaming, you may have already heard about OBS Studio. This free, open-source, high-performance broadcasting program is pretty much the precursor to all modern streaming software. So it’s no surprise that SLOBS and OBS have almost the same code except for a few tweaks.
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➕ Open-source code
Open Broadcaster Software was officially released in 2012. It is open-source, which means developers can create customizable plugins and awesome effects. Because anyone can review the code at any time, it also means that bugs and glitches get resolved quickly.
➕ User-friendly interface
The OBS Studio interface is fully customizable, from the position of the screen to the size of the windows. Simply drag and drop every element of the workspace. Additionally, the variety of settings allows you to configure the program to meet your specs, including the common FPS rate.
➕ Low CPU usage
Another great advantage of OBS Studio is the low CPU usage — an especially vital characteristic for streaming. In order to have the smoothest stream possible, you have two options. Either you buy a powerful computer and win the PC Master Race, or use the software that loads your system the least.
➕ First to have updates
Because OBS Studio is the oldest of its kind, it receives the latest updates, features, and patches first. For example, if Nvidia releases some new updates, like a new GPU encoder or driver, OBS Studio will be among the first broadcasting software to get it.
➕ Multi-platform support
OBS Studio supports live streams on practically every popular streaming platform, including Twitch, YouTube Live, Facebook Live, and more. It’s also compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.
➖ Low variability in plugins
Although the OBS Studio interface is user-friendly and straightforward, it comes with a downside. The software lacks a variability of perks, like chats and customizable themes, also called overlays. There are ways to add these, but unfortunately, the plugins don’t come in the package.
➖ No audio files as sources
If you have an audio playlist on your PC you would like to play on your stream, you won’t be able to link to those audio files as sources.
➖ No Windows XP support
Unfortunately, OBS Studio doesn’t run on Windows XP. Not that many would find it a huge minus, but it’s still a downside nonetheless.
SLOBS (Streamlabs Open Broadcaster Software)
Streamlabs OBS was developed as an improved version of OBS Studio. Logitech took into account the smallest flaws and fixed them — and they did a great job! Let’s get into the specifics.
➕ Easy setup process
To set up Streamlabs OBS, all you need to do is follow these five steps:
- Download the installer on your PC.
- Run the installer.
- Link your streaming account once installation is complete.
- Run the optimizer (automatically adjusts the settings).
- Add your stream key and run the stream!
➕ Built-in chat
With built-in chat, you don’t need to keep several browser tabs open. SLOBS allows you to manage the chat inside the program. The chat itself has tons of perks to help you engage the audience, including a Chatbot with useful mod tools.
➕ Free customization
SLOBS offers you a variety of free integrated themes with multiple overlays — from casual static themes to amazing animated visuals. You can choose one depending on the game you play and your personal preferences.
➕ Test button
One of the most practical features SLOBS offers is the Test Widget. This button allows you to check everything before going live with just one simple click. You can make sure your stream alerts are set up properly.
➕ Undo changes easily
One feature that comes in handy for many streamers is the ability to undo any changes with the simple “Ctrl + Z” command. It’s a small thing, but it makes editing your scenes quicker.
➖ More CPU usage
Unfortunately, all the fancy features, custom themes, and useful widgets demand more resources from your system. Therefore, make sure you have a decent PC before using SLOBS.
➖ No sound commands
The integrated Chatbot doesn’t have sound commands for your chat, unlike the standalone version. As a result, you would need to run the Chatbot separately from SLOBS if you really value the sound commands.
🤩 Live streaming with Restream Studio
Earlier we mentioned that broadcasting software was a must for live streaming. But what if you used a browser-based live streaming solution and didn’t have to download any software at all? Instead of fiddling with the hundreds of settings in either OBS or SLOBS, you could start streaming in a matter of two clicks via Restream Studio.
In addition to going live with no hassle, Restream Studio also allows you to broadcast your live content to multiple top platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, Twitter, LinkedIn, and many more at the same time. With Restream Studio, you can also:
- Add guests directly to your stream
- Share your screen
- Apply custom visuals
- Add copyright-free background music
- Schedule pre-recorded streams, and much more!
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Wrapping things up
Both SLOBS and OBS Studio have positive and negative factors to consider when choosing a broadcasting software. They’re both free and open-source, so anyone can download and try out the applications. Performance-wise, both SLOBS and OBS Studio have excellent results. However, OBS Studio requires fewer system resources.
On one hand, you have OBS Studio, a stable and simple software that supports any streaming platform. On the other hand, you have SLOBS, practically the same broadcasting software adapted specifically for gaming. So, if you are a gamer and have a strong PC, there’s really no question — you should try Streamlabs OBS. Simply put, SLOBS has everything OBS Studio has and even more. Therefore, we can announce the winner... Streamlabs OBS took it home by a narrow margin!
However, if you want to get the most out of your live streams, try multistreaming with Restream. It allows you to broadcast your content to 30+ platforms simultaneously! We also offer full support to ensure your streaming setup is optimized for the best experience. If you want to quickly grow your audience, multistreaming is the best choice for you!