Best LIVE STREAM Software for PC / WINDOWS – Review!

– In this video, we’re
gonna look at the latest Windows live streaming
software, a round up and a review of the leading options and my pick for the best
live streaming software on Windows right now. Hey, it’s Justin Brown
here from Primal Video, where we help you amplify your business and brand with video. If you’re new here, make
sure you click that subscribe button and all the links to
everything that we mention in this video, will be down
in the description box below. Let’s jump into it. Now whether you’re looking
to go live on YouTube, Facebook, Periscope, Twitch or pretty much any other major platform, there are a lot of software options right
now, to help you do it. They’re also constantly
updating and improving. Which is awesome. So in this video we’re gonna
run through a quick review of the leading options
right now, one by one. Including the strengths,
the weaknesses, pricing, my recommendations and
everything you need to know to pick the best option for you. So I’m gonna start of
first by covering off on the software options, the
programs that you’ll actually download and install on your computer. And the make sure you stick
around, because after that I’m gonna show you some
newer options that just run in your web browser. And some of these are an
absolute game changer. So with that, to the landscape
of all of these options, is getting very saturated. But we’ll jump straight
into the short list, and we’re gonna ignore the options that aren’t worth your time. So our short list then
for best live streaming software on Windows
right now, includes OBS, Streamlabs OBS, Wirecast,
vMix, Zoom, Be.Live, StreamYard and Lightstream,
and yeah, that’s not really a short list,
but we’re gonna dive into each one of them right now. So the first option is OBS,
or Open Broadcaster Software. Now this is totally
free and it’s available on both Mac and PC. Now this is probably one of
the most popular solutions out there, when it comes
to live streaming software. Maybe because of the
price, but also because of the feature set. This is definitely on the
more advanced side of things, In regards to the level
of control and everything that you have over your live stream. That’s not to say that it isn’t good for an absolute beginner as well, but there definitely is a learning curve. As the overall user interface and experience isn’t really intuitive. Now OBS make it easy to
set up different scenes for your live stream, so
you might have a scene where it’s your webcam for the screen. The second scene might be
your computer screen share. So they make it easy
enough to set these up, and tailor up the look and
feel, but also to switch between them easily, while you’re live. So OBS gives you lots of advanced controls over the set up of your live streams. But there’s no wizards or
step by step set up pathways. There’s also no presets or
templates that you can quickly use and apply, for broadcasting to places like YouTube and Facebook,
with the recommended settings. You actually have to go and
do a little bit of research and look and see what those setting are, and what YouTube recommends,
and what Facebook recommends, or Twitch or any other platform. And key those in manually into OBS. So it’s not a deal breaker,
but it definitely doesn’t have a lot of the presets
and templates and those sorts of things that make it
much easier to get up to speed, then some of the other options
that we’re going to cover. But in saying that as well,
a lot of the other options that we’re gonna cover,
that have those presets and set templates, don’t
have the level of control that you can customize things up as much as you can inside of OBS. Now one big advantage with OBS though, is that you’ve got a
massive plugins library. So of all these bolt-in tools
and addons that you can get, to take your live streams up a notch. Adding in things like
social media integration and interaction, so that you
can bring in your comments from places like Facebook or YouTube, and overlay them easily
into your live streams. Some of the other options
we’re gonna cover, already have some of
those things built in, but just know that there
is a massive library of plugins and bolt-ons for
OBS, to really be able to get more power out of it,
and to be able to customize it up for what you’re looking to achieve. And also given that it
is such a popular option. And that it is open source. There’s also an amazing
community there for support, if you’ve got any issues. So if you’re an absolute
beginner, or someone who just wants to get up to
speed, live streaming fast, OBS could be a little bit overwhelming. And you definitely will
need to put in some time to learn where everything is,
and to get everything set up. The next option you’ve
got is Streamlabs OBS. Now you could think of
this as OBS on steroids. There is a heap of built in wizards and processes and things, to
help you get you set up fast. With presets in there for
everything, so that you don’t need to worry about understanding all the technical stuff. Like bitrates and ideal quality settings, to be able to stream. Interface wise, it’s a much cleaner, much simpler looking interface. And it also has a heap of
Streamlabs’ plugins installed. For managing things like
comments, receiving donations, bringing up alerts, and
those sorts of things, on screen, while you’re live. So this is really aimed
at gaming live streams, and Twitch streaming. But it does work well for YouTube and for other platforms as well. On the Streamlabs’ website, they also say that in comparison to
OBS, that Streamlabs OBS is much more optimized,
and actually uses less of your computer processing
power, of your CPU. We haven’t tested that, but,
hey, can’t be a bad thing. Now, it’s also worth knowing
that in Streamlabs OBS, that they have actually
stripped out some of the more advanced controls from OBS. So if you are someone that is looking for all of those advanced
controls, then Streamlabs OBS might not be the one for you. In regards to pricing, just like OBS, Streamlabs OBS is totally free, but there is a $5,99 Pro
Plan, which gives you extra customizability on some
titles and notifications and those sorts of things,
that you can display in your live stream. So I’d say for most
people, that’s probably not gonna be required. So if you looking for an
OBS-like live streaming solution, but something that’s much
easier to set up and use, then Streamlabs OBS could
be the perfect fit for you. The next option is Zoom. Now Zoom will work on both Mac and PC. Now it’s not really
live streaming software. Instead it’s more video
conferencing software that can live stream. Feature wise, it probably
has the least amount of features, of all the
options we’re covering. But that also means, it’s going to be really,
really easy to use. You can easily stream to places
like Facebook and YouTube. And you can share your computer screen. But probably the biggest
feature, is the ability to not just bring in one or two guests, into your live stream. But because it’s video
conferencing software, you actually can instead go
live with your entire call, of up to 100 people, who
are on, live, with you. So if you’re creating
live streams where you wanna be able to bring people in easily, and not be restricted by numbers. Then this is really the best option. While you’re live, you
get to choose between a speaker view, which is
where it will automatically switch between the active speaker, or whoever is speaking, or a gallery view. Which is really a Brady Bunch style view, with a number of people
displayed in a grid, on-screen, all at once. As for the downsides, besides the limited controls and functionality. Probably the biggest one
is, while you can stream out of Zoom, you can’t
read or respond to comments or interactions from your
streams, from within Zoom. So you need to head over
to Facebook or to YouTube or to wherever you’re
streaming, to be able to see all the comments and all the interactions, and to interact with your viewers there. So it’s not a real deal
breaker, but it would be awesome if the chat was integrated inside of Zoom as well. Now in regards to pricing. To be able to live stream from Zoom, you will need the Pro Plan,
which is $14,99 per month. So Zoom is gonna be
perfect for anyone looking for something easy to use. Where you can easily bring
in and manage multiple guests on the stream, without
all the bells and whistles included in a lot of the other options. The next option is Wirecast. Now this is definitely more on the much more professional end of things, then all of the other options so far. The interface itself is
actually really easy to use. It’s pretty easy to get your head around how it all works, and
how to get up to speed, and set up and running with it fast. I’ve done a lot of high
end corporate live streams in my time, and Wirecast has been a rock solid solution for all of them. One of the big advantages with Wirecast, and I did just touch on it, is it’s got all these advance features and things which is
awesome, so you really know that you’re covered, and
you’ve got a complete solution with Wirecast. But, it’s also really, really intuitive and easy to find things. And I think that is a critical distinction between something like Wirecast, and something like OBS, which also has a heap of advanced
control and functionality. But, if you’re in a pinch, and something goes wrong while you’re
live, and yes, this stuff does happen, it’s much
quicker, much easier and much more stress
free, finding and fixing these things in Wirecast, then it is in something like OBS, where you’re just going through menus and menus, just trying to find and fix things. So that is a massive advantage, as far as I’m concerned, for Wirecast. In regards to pricing, you’ve
got a few different options. There is actually a free
version called Wirecast Play. I don’t recommend that one,
that one is YouTube only. And there is some big limitations. The one’s that I’m talking
about, are Wirecast One, Wirecast Studio, and Wirecast Pro. Wirecast One sells for $249, and that will let you broadcast
out to one destination, like Facebook or YouTube. The next one up from
that, Studio, which is the one that I would
recommend for most people. Is $449, and that will unlock
a heap of extra features. And also have the ability
to bring in two guests. So Wirecast does have
it’s own guesting feature, to be able to bring in
guests to your live stream. And above that is the
Pro license for $699, letting you bring in up to seven guests, and unlocking all of
the advanced features. That’s advanced audio processing, PTZ camera control, instant replay and a whole heap of other
really advanced features. So Wirecast is going to be a great option for someone who is looking for something that is easy enough to use, but still has all of the advanced,
professional broadcast features, to be able to do some
really high end stuff. But even if you’re just
looking to create more straight forward, more
simple live streams. This is gonna be a rock solid solution, that’s going to be easy
enough for you to use and to master, and to get
really comfortable with. The next option is vMix. And this one here is for PC users only. Once again, just like
Wirecast, this is really your top line, advanced,
professional broadcast solution. If anything, vMix is probably the next step up from Wirecast, in regards to the amount
of features and control and those sorts of things. So this is gonna be
perfect for someone looking for all of those advanced features, and looking for the
most amount of control, and the most amount of flexibility, with the broadcasts that
they’re going to be creating. Now even in regards to the feature list. If you’re gonna be
comparing vMix to Wirecast, you’ll see that they’re
pretty much on par. And the biggest thing
you wanna be doing here, when you’re deciding, is looking at your individual use case. And looking at the features that you need, the tools that you need,
and really working out which one is going to
be the best one for you. Based on the different pricing plans, or which one is actually going to action, or implement those
features, in the way that is easiest for you, or best for you to be able you use them while you’re live. So in this case, if you’re interested in something at this level,
at vMix or Wirecast level. I can’t really recommend which one is going to be best for you. It’s really gonna come down
to your individual use case. Ideally, you’re grabbing the trial version of each of them, and
you’re testing them out based on what you’re looking to achieve. The other place that
you can start with this, is looking at what’s included
in the different plans. And trying to work out
which one is going to be the best one for you, that way. But what I strongly recommend, grab the trial version, give it a go, and see which one
implements those features in the best and easiest way for you to action while you’re live. Now in regards to
pricing options for vMix, there is a heap of options. They’ve got everything
from a totally free plan, where your biggest limit,
or biggest restriction is that you can broadcast
only at 480P, not even in HD. They then have an HD option for $350. That will then also unlock
their guesting feature. And let’s you bring in one
guest into your live stream. And have things like four
different overlay channels. To help you build out your live streams. If you wanna broadcast in
4K, or you wanna unlock more guests, and have two
guests in your live stream. Then the 4K option is $700. And to unlock all their features and advanced control, and have the ability to bring in up to eight guests into your live stream, then you’ll need their Pro option, which is $1200. But again, if Wirecast, or
vMix is the fit for you, strongly recommend
grabbing the trial version, and there’s links in
the description below. So I hope I haven’t scared you off with those Pro options, because now we’re moving on from software that you download and install on your computer, to browser based live streaming platforms. And this is where it
gets pretty interesting. So the first one we’re gonna cover, has been around for a little while now, but it’s called Be.Live. Now this one is probably
one of the simplest live streaming programs to use, full stop. You literally just sign up
and login to their website, and then you’re presented
with three streaming modes, or three streaming options. You can choose to go
live solo, by yourself, where you’ve still got the ability to share your computer screen. You can do an interview, live stream, where you’re able to
bring someone in with you. Or you can select to do a talk show, where you can bring in multiple guests. And the cool part about
this is, your guest, to come and join you on the live stream, doesn’t need to have
an account or anything. They can join from their
mobile, or from their computer. If you wanna bring more
than one person into your live stream, that’s
when you’ll be selecting Talk Show, and you can
have up to four people on the live stream, at one
time, yourself included. But you can also have up to 10 guests, that are waiting in the lobby. Like the green room, where you
can switch people in and out. Now it’s really easy, in Be.Live, to bring up any text on
screen, or titles on screen. You can actually create all the titles ahead of time, before you go live. And then you just click on them, and they’ll be featured on screen. It’s also really easy to bring in and feature comments from your
viewers on Facebook as well. This was one of the
first platforms that had this feature, to be able to bring in, and feature comments,
live on your live stream. You literally just click on the comment. It’s featured on screen, and you click on it again to hide it, and it’s gone. Now as for downsides for
Be.Live, up until recently, you could only use it to broadcast live to Facebook Live, and no other platform. But right now, they’ve also
added integration for Twitch. So you can’t use it with
YouTube, you can’t use it with any other platform. You’ve got Twitch and Facebook,
and that is it for now. Now in regards to pricing, there is a free plan, which gives you two, 20 minute broadcasts
per week, totally free. There’s also a Lite plan at $16 per month, which doesn’t include screen sharing, but it does let you do
16 broadcasts per month. Or there is a Standard
plan for $25 a month, unlimited broadcasting, with
screen sharing capabilities and some custom branded frames as well. So Be.Live is a solid option for someone, whether you’re an absolute beginner, first time live streamer, right through to someone who is a seasoned pro, but someone who is not looking for all
the bells and whistles. Someone who literally wants
to click a few buttons, go live, maybe bring a few people in. This will be a great solution for you. Now if you’re looking
for something similar, but with more advanced control, that’s what the next two options are. So the next option is StreamYard, and it is very similar to
Be.Live, but really on steroids. You’ve got so much more control over the look and feel of the broadcast. You can totally customize up the titles and the branding and everything, to really make it look like your brand. Unlike Be.Live, you can use StreamYard to broadcast to more places. Things like Twitter, Periscope, YouTube, as well as Facebook and Twitch as well. You can also have up to six people on your live stream with you. 10 of them can enter, what they call the broadcast studio, or the green room. And be swapped in and
out, but you can bring on up to six on screen, at a time. One of the features I
really like in StreamYard is that it is kind of
theme and template based. Similar to Be.Live, where
you’ve got the ability just to click on some different presets. Like 50-50 camera split. Or like you off to one side, and your screen share on the other side. There’s templates setup
for different scenes, but it literally is click of a button and it’s going to change
your scene to those things. Now they’re not highly
customizable at all, but this is the next level
on that scene integration, and swapping out things while
you’re live, then you get in Be.Live, and it is super
powerful in StreamYard. In regards to pricing,
there is a free version, which will add a watermark or branding onto your live stream. You can remove that if you upgrade to the Basic plan, for $20 per month. You can also then customize that up and add in your own logo,
and you can also add overlays and backgrounds and those sorts of things in there as well. Up from that, they have
a Professional plan for $39 per month, which
really just gives you access to priority support. So this is a really great option, again for someone, absolute beginner, right through to advanced. Someone who is looking to be able to bring guests in easy, to
easily be able to set up your live streams and go live without too much technical knowledge, or without a heap of advanced features. I think this is a really powerful option. And that brings us to the final option, which is Lightstream. Now this I this one I think
is also bit of a game changer. Compared to all the
other ones we’ve covered, this is closest to
StreamYard, but I would say that it has more features, and more advanced features and
control than StreamYard. Now just like Be.Live and StreamYard, this one runs in your browser as well. But you do also have
the option to download their software, or their
local client, as they call it, to unlock more advanced features. Just like StreamYard,
you’re able to go live to pretty much all the
major platforms out there. Facebook, Twitter, Periscope,
YouTube, you name it. And also like the others, it is super easy to invite and bring guests
into your live stream as well. And you can currently bring in up to seven additional guests, making it a total of eight
people, live on your live stream. There’s also a really cool
feature with Lightstream, where you’re able to log in from your phone and control your live stream. To be able to start and stop the stream. To be able to switch the different scenes that you’ve got set up, all
from your mobile device. So you’re not touching your
computer, while you’re live. Now this is a fairly new offering, and they’re still
rolling out new features. There is currently no full HD, no 1080P. But you can do 720P at
60 frames per second. With that said, 1080P will be out soon. And they’ll also be
very shortly, adding in the ability to stream
your video files as well. So you can playback a video
live, in your live stream. Which was a feature they
had, but they’ve removed it, but again, they’ve said that
they’re coming back soon. Now in regards to the amount of control and customizing out the look and feel. Especially compared to
Be.Live and StreamYard, you actually get a lot more control in Lightstream, then the other two. You can really dial everything
in and customize it up, and make it look amazing. And also make it match your brand as well. So while this is kind of
the new kid on the block, in this space, and it is
missing a couple of features. Like your full HD live
streaming, and the ability to playback videos in your stream. Out of these last three,
this is the one that I’m most excited about, I really like what they’re doing, and I
think this it the one to watch. Now in regards to pricing,
Lightstream is free. Now I’m gonna read this
out, so I don’t mess it up. Streaming with Lightstream
is free, and will always remain free, but premium
features may arrive with a price point in the future. So Lightstream is going
to be a good solution for someone who is looking for a simple but advanced live streaming platform, that you can run from your web browser. Without the need to
get caught up in a heap of settings and technical stuff. To be able to bring guests in, and set up your live stream and everything. As I said, I really think this is the one to watch, moving forward. Especially when they bring
out full 1080P support and also bring back that video file streaming feature as well. So that’s the round up
of the top live streaming programs on PC, right now. Now, with anything like
this, I would strongly recommend that you grab
the trial versions, and at least try out a couple of these that you think are going
to be the fit for you. And it really is just a matter of finding the right tool to get the job done. So test a couple, see
which one is a fit for you, and use that, there is no
right or wrong with this stuff. And again, we got links down
in the description below, to where you can grab
those trial versions. So from me personally,
when I’m live streaming on Windows, my current
go-to is Wirecast Studio. And it has been that
for quite a while now. But as I said, I really think offerings like Lightstream, are
going to be an absolute game changer going
forward, and I’m sure that we’re gonna start to use those, a lot more then these software based solutions. So those are the best options
for live streaming right now. Now one of the great ways to
maximize your live streams is to re-purpose your content,
after you’ve been live. Check out the video linked on screen now, showing you best ways to re-purpose your video content, for
portrait, for places like Instagram TV, and I’ll
see you in the next one.

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