In today’s world video is taking over the internet with users watching more content online than ever before. The use of television is drastically reducing as video streaming became easier and popular. Online video streaming is helping businesses and individuals alike to build authentic viewership.
The rise of OTT platforms has made the online video streaming market more profitable than before. Billions of users around the world are using the services for Online streaming for different events.
Whether you are a content creator or business owner who live streams for a main source of revenue you can be assured that there is a solution that suits your requirement. The market is flooded with so many online streaming software that can work through your needs to pick the right one whether you are a professional or beginner.
Video Streaming Software Process Explained
Streaming is a continuous transmission of audio or video from a server to a client. Video streaming is a type of media streaming, in which the data in a video file is continuously delivered via the internet to remote users. The video is viewed online without downloading. With the growth of internet streaming technologies, the multimedia files can be accessed quickly without any wait time for content downloads.
The key component of an online video streaming process is the encoding software. An encoder turns a video feed into something that is ready to stream live or on-demand live. An encoder can be either hardware-based or software-based.
Most of the online video streams reach viewers through HTTP live streaming (HLS) protocol. This is one of the best streaming protocols for most of the users as it is compatible with most of the devices – Mobile, Tablet, Smart TV, Computer and Game Console used in the market today. To support new technologies HLS is updated constantly.
What Can You Do With Online Video Streaming Software?
Online video streaming software transcodes a video into a format suitable for Streaming. These software also enable you to mix multiple sources together to create a professional-looking broadcast. Online video streaming software typically serves two purposes: Encoding and Mixing/Production.
Online video streaming software converts your video feed into a suitable format for live streaming. The video feed from the cameras is converted into RTMP or HLS with the encoder.
Mixing & Production
This is the second function of live broadcasting software. Video mixing involves selecting and displaying from multiple sources while the live broadcast is underway. All the Online Video Streaming Software we talk about below can mix different feeds as well.
Generally the online video streaming software is installed and run on a desktop. A powerful computer or laptop with consistently fast internet is needed to run the software. Video cameras can be connected easily to computers via capture cards or any other dedicated hardware. Depending on the complexity of the streaming there might be a need for more than one computer. For example, one technician works on graphics, one on titles and so on. Feeds can be shared via NDI (Network Device Interface) to the main mix computer.
Testing your network bandwidth is of utmost importance. No matter how good the software is, if the internet connectivity is poor you will not be able to upload. Due to this viewers might experience buffering and dropped frames. Your upload bandwidth should always be 1.5 x greater than the bitrate.
6 Popular compatible Online Video Streaming Softwares
Having looked at the above introduction, let’s now look at popular video streaming software in the market today. Let’s compare different online video streaming applications in detail. All of these software are compatible with most of the streaming platforms. All these online video streaming software monetize your videos, when leveraged well. Customer support is also available for each of these.
VMix is an Australian-based live production and live streaming software. Regular software updates with a wide range of features are the specialty of this product.
- Supports all your inputs including webcams, capture cards, DVDs, PPT presentations, photos, sound cards, etc.
- Supports NDI to send and receive low and high quality, low latency audio and video.
- Live streaming, Recording and Output of events happen simultaneously.
- Supports animation via XAML with a Built-in-titling tool.
This software is available for Windows Operating systems; however using Boot Camp, Mac can also run this software. This cannot be directly installed on OS X.
XSplit is one more streaming software that’s widely used which comes in 2 versions. One is “Gamecaster” that targets video games specifically, with a focus on live streaming in a video gaming context. The second version is “Broadcaster” which is simple, powerful live streaming and recording software.
- Supports all major capture cards, videos, music, and webcams.
- Edits multiple videos together and can be uploaded directly in minutes.
- Chroma key supports for background removal displaying webcam.
- Edit and secure video upload recordings.
- Record streams locally.
XSplit is compatible with windows, Internet Explorer 10, Adobe Flash Player for IE. It is priced with a subscription model.
3. OBS Studio
OBS is an open-source software developed with strong API’s enabling plugins and scripts that help further customization as per needs. It offers a wide range of functionalities that can extend to meeting several custom requirements for users. These plugins enhance the basic OBS software.
- Websocket API for remote control.
- Supports NDI via plugin.
- Adjust properties effortlessly. Can add new sources and duplicate existing ones.
- Studio mode helps to preview your screens before pushing them to live.
- Supports RTMP live streaming or video recording.
- Provision for Transitions, filters and audio mixers.
- Multiview provides a high-level view of your production. 8 screens are monitored at a time and transition to any of them is possible merely with single or double clicks.
This software is available for all types of Operating Systems -Windows, Mac and Linux; as it is open source and available free of cost.
Wirecast is an online streaming production tool developed by Telestream. There are 2 versions of Wirecast – Wirecast Studio and Wirecast Pro. For professional, dynamic and polished live streams, Wirecast Studio is the best option no matter what content you are producing. Wirecast Pro has advanced features compared to Studio. For best live streams Wirecast Pro is a good solution.
- Captures from unlimited sources – Cameras, Microphones, Webcams, IP Cams, Capture Cards, control surfaces.
- Free wireless camera app allows you to watch videos on any IOS device.
- Built-in social media and video conference tools.
- Can be streamed to unlimited destinations by streaming more than one piece of content at a time.
- Re stream and live captions feature improves the accessibility for deaf and hard-of-hearing with live captions.
- Built-in social media comment display.
- High-resolution ISO recording, 3D virtual sets and instant replays.
- Stream and record simultaneously.
- GPU accelerated encoding.
- Over 100 built in graphics and titles can be added to the broadcasts.
- Peer to Peer conferencing comes in built. A link to guests can be shared to join your live cast.
This software is available for both Mac and Windows.
VidBlasterX is a versatile video streaming software which has both a software encoder and a live switcher. This software can be used by broadcasters for multiple tasks. It is an easy to use production tool that creates anything from single camera recording to live multi-camera television broadcast. It is an RTMP compatible online video production software.
- It comes with a modular user interface.
- Supports various hardware controllers both local and remote.
- Overlays graphics and Scoreboards
- Built-in video effects supporting Chroma key (Green/Blue screen)
- Supports NDI, TCP, Deck link and IP
- The audio mixer includes peak meters, input gain, and pan setting.
- Multiview feature video sources are combined with labels and tallies and are output to a different monitor or stream at a different location.
- To avoid mismatch of video frames or audio “Sync LoK” function, sync clocks are built in between multiple sources during online streaming.
This software is subscription-based and comes in three editions – Home, Studio and Broadcast. It supports Windows 7 and higher as it is a native 64-bit software.
Phando is an established online streaming software that offers an end to end online video management for video streaming. It is an RTMP compatible software.
- End to End Video and Audio Management.
- Supports NDI via Plugin.
- Supports Chroma key with built-in video effects.
- Supports Overlays.
- Delivers high video quality across devices.
- Video Transcoding enables online streaming without buffering and delivers quality video.
- Provision for Video Analytics and an overall secured platform
This software supports Windows, Mac, and Linux. This cloud-based software is available on a subscription basis.
This post highlights that there exists a wide range of video streaming software for today’s broadcasters. It is challenging to choose the right one from amongst the range available. Start with analyzing the features of each software against your requirements. Each of these software discussed above has their own advantages, limitations and ideal use cases which are important to consider before selecting one to go with. To know more about these, take advantage of the free trial versions and contact them for demos to understand alignment for your needs.