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There are several video streaming software solutions available today.

Each is equipped with a unique set of features and functionality at different price points. In order to determine which is the right video encoder software for your broadcast, you want to ask yourself the following.

Is the encoder compatible with my streaming platform?
What features does the encoder provide? Is it the best option for my broadcasting needs?
What’s my budget?
Keeping those questions in mind, let’s explore the top encoding software on the market.

  1. Wirecast
    wirecast Live Stream Encoding Software
    Telestream’s Wirecast is a high-end software encoder.
    Telestream’s Wirecast offers encoder software that is widely compatible with many online video platforms. The professional video streaming services that Wirecast works with include Dacast, IBM Video Cloud, and Wowza. These streaming platforms, among others, allow you to live stream your event to any RTMP-enabled streaming destination. They also support recording MP4 or MOV files to any drive.

Wirecast recently launched a new streaming encoder that features several enhancements and fixes, including Facebook Live polling, re-written WebStream plugin, and Virtual Camera improvements. Wirecast is compatible with a variety of capture cards, devices, and camera inputs.

Wirecast supports live video compositing via a “layers” architecture similar to many graphics programs. The encoder facilitates live switching, picture-in-picture composition, titles, audio delay, and many other fine-tuning compositional elements.

Wirecast’s video encoder software makes it easy to incorporate pre-recorded video content into your broadcast. It also supports the encoding of HD and SD sources for streams broadcast simultaneously to multiple servers and platforms.

The Wirecast Pro enhanced program adds several other specialized features, including:

Replay
Live scoreboards
Virtual 3D
Use of IP cameras and web streams
8-track audio output
These advanced features of Wirecast Pro make it a better choice than the basic Wirecast program for most live-streamed events. With all those features, Wirecast’s biggest downside may be the price. To start, you can download a free trial version of the basic software.

Key Features:
Support for unlimited sources, including cameras, mics, IP cams, capture cards, and NDI
Multiple bitrate streaming
Built-in graphics and titling tool
Integrates with Facebook Live and Twitter for sharing comments on-screen
Includes instant replay, scoreboard, and timers for sports
Free wireless camera app turns iOS devices into mobile live video sources
Stream to multiple destinations simultaneously
Integrated video chat via “Wirecast Rendezvous”
Local program output
The latest version of Wirecast is 14.3.3. It is the newest full version and was released on October 4th, 2021. It features several enhancements and fixes, including FBLive polling, re-written WebStream plugin, and Virtual Camera improvements. To know more about it, you can check out its tech specs here.

Pros:
Easy-to-use, user-friendly platform
Compatible with most popular operating systems
Fully loaded with valuable features
Cons:
High price point
Many features locked in the “Studio” version
Consumes a lot of computer memory
Pricing:
The software comes in two versions:

Wirecast Studio for enhanced live production & streaming: pricing is $599 with a free trial
Wirecast Pro for advanced live production and streaming: pricing is $799 which also comes with a free trial
Pro adds support for:

7 guests via Rendezvous
8-track audio output
Instant replay
Scoreboards
3D virtual sets for green-screen use
Program feed
Support for a wider range of capture devices
ISO camera recording
“Present” version of NewBlue Titler Live.
Additional Wirecast upgrades are available, including:

Premium support: $299/yr
Firewire HDV camera input support (Studio users only need to purchase this feature; the Pro version includes it): $99
NewBlueFX Titler Live (for creation of animated graphics and titles): $245 Standard version, $445 Advance version, $945 Ultimate version
Virtualsetworks (pre-made virtual sets for green screen use): $329
Compatibility:
Wirecast caters to a variety of live streaming contexts, including:

Live event production
Broadcasting Live Sports
Faith-based events
Education
Television and radio broadcasts
Digital marketing and social media.

  1. Open Broadcaster Studio (OBS)
    OBS studio encoding software
    Dacast offers access to OBS Studio to our users for free.
    OBS Studio is an open-source software encoder for live streaming. OBS Studio is a great option for those new to live streaming as it’s effortless to use. OBS Studio’s broadcasting software offers downloads for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

The encoder is equipped with a powerful API, which enables community-generated plugins and scripts. These add-ons can provide further customization and functionality specific to your needs.

Advanced features of this streaming encoder software include:

Real-time video/audio capturing and mixing
Unlimited number of scenes and custom transitions
Intuitive audio mixer
Modular “Dock” UI
Key Features:
Real-time video/audio capturing and mixing
Unlimited number of scenes and custom transitions
Intuitive audio mixer
Modular “Dock” UI
HLS Live streaming and recording functionality
Audio and video mixing, filters, and transitions
Support for hotkeys
Chroma key / green screen support
Scenes allow you to prepare overlays in advance for rapid switching
Support for a wide range of video, audio, and image sources, as well as screenshots
Expandable via plugins to add NDI functionality, remote control via WebSockets, advanced scene switching, and more
One notable negative is that OBS Studio does not offer multi-bitrate streaming
Detailed wiki and highly active user forum for support/help. Many YouTube tutorials are available as well.
Pros:
It’s free
Easy-to-use for beginners
Frequent updates
Able to function on lower-quality internet
Cons:
Some limitations on features
Room for improvement for plugins
Pricing:
OBS Studio is open-source and completely free. There is no cost to accessing and using this software.

Version 27.1.3 was released on October 4th, 2021, and is available for download here. for both macOS and Windows operating systems.

Compatibility:
OBS Studio is compatible with macOS 10.13 or newer, Windows 8, 8.1, and 10, as well as Ubuntu/Linux 18.04 operating systems. For the Linux version, FFmpeg is required.

Additionally, Dacast offers a customized version of OBS Studio that easily connects to save our users time. We offer a customized version of OBS Studio’s live broadcasting software to our customers. This version makes it easier to directly connect to your Dacast live streaming service account.

With this option, you don’t need to manually enter details. Instead, simply login to your Dacast account via OBS to start streaming live in minutes.

Check out our OBS for Dacast guide for Windows users, You can also review this OBS for Dacast guide for Mac users.

Dacast has developed a customized version of this video encoder software. As a Dacast customer, you can access this customized software for no charge with direct Dacast integration of the OBS Studio platform. Within just a few clicks you can be up and streaming.

See for yourself in this video:

Please note that OBS Studio does not support multi-bitrate streaming. Multi-bitrate streaming can be crucial when broadcasting to diverse users in distinct locales.

Regardless of this minor setback, we still highly recommend this encoder, particularly for those who are testing or becoming familiar with live streaming.

  1. VidBlasterX
    vidblasterx Live Stream Encoding Software
    VidBlasterX is a budget-friendly software encoder.
    Like Wirecast, VidBlasterX is a professional-quality streaming encoder software.

They offer three packages: VidblasterX Home, VidBlasterX Studio, and VidBlasterX Broadcast. The main difference between each version is the number of modules each supports. Each successive module also adds additional advanced features pro broadcasters will appreciate.

VidBlasterX Home is a basic product. It supports up to 7 modules. VidBlasterX Studio has several features for studio production of videos (hence the name) and allows for more versatile video. The Studio version supports HD and full-screen television-quality production, as well as community support.

VidBlasterX Broadcast incorporates all the features of VidBlaster Studio, adds more module capacity, and is recommended for professional broadcast studios. With Broadcast, you get direct email support from the developer.

Key Features:
Modular user interface; everything is customizable
Includes macro and scripting functionality to automate or hot-key actions
Supports overlays and lower thirds
Chroma key support
Live streaming and recording up to 4K resolution
Compatible with social media platforms as well as most OVPs, including Dacast with a direct integration
Audio mixer
Multiview support
Pros:
Has plans for a wide range of budgets
Feature-rich
Easily customizable
Cons:
Not compatible with macOS
Not well-suited for inexperienced live streamers
Slightly complex
Pricing:
VidBlasterX is available in three versions. Each of the following options is priced with an annual subscription model:

The Home version ($9/year) supports 7 modules.
The Studio version ($99/year) supports 25 modules.
The Broadcast version ($999/year) supports 100 modules. This version also supports multiple recorder & streamer modules in a single profile.
First, the difference between the versions is the number of simultaneously active modules you can have. The Home editions support up to seven modules, enough for basic live streaming. The Studio edition supports up to 25 modules, and the Broadcast edition supports 50 modules. These higher limits allow professional users with multiple monitors to set up and oversee complex workflows.

Additionally, the Broadcast edition also supports UDP streaming, multiple streaming sources, and recorder modules in a single profile, and includes priority support.

Compatibility:
One drawback of VidBlasterX is that it does not come in a Mac OS version, so it requires a Windows machine to operate.

This VidBlaster help site provides a walk-through on setting up VidBlasterX as your encoder for live streaming. For more information on VidBlaster, you can also click here.

  1. vMix
    vMix encoding software
    VidBlasterX offers professional broadcasters live video production, encoding, and streaming software solutions.
    vMix is another amazing live video production software for streaming. This Australian-based software is a strong option in terms of encoding software. The latest version of the Windows-specific software is 24.0.0.71 and includes an upgrade to a free 60 day trial of vMix PRO for download. While vMix 24 is for Windows only, the software can be installed on a Mac via Boot Camp if the machine has a Windows partition.

It includes a wide range of excellent features, and the vMix app includes regular software updates. vMix provides support for a wide range of inputs including webcams, cameras, capture cards, DVDs, soundcards, playlists, photos, PPT presentations, and more.

Key Features:
NDI support
Chroma key and virtual streaming sets
Built-in titling tool that supports animation via XAML
Live streaming platform integrations (including with the Dacast streaming platform)
vMix Social allows you to pull and display content from popular social media platforms
Instant replay, slow motion, and scoreboards
Training videos available
vMix “reference systems” ease difficulty around building a custom live production system
Pros:
Wide range of features
Support for a wide range of inputs
Plans for different budgets
Free updates to the software
Cons:
Not a dedicated solution
Some features are a bit tricky to use
Only compatible with Windows
Pricing:
vMix is available for Windows computers only, and it comes in 5 different lifetime license editions. Each purchase never expires, and all editions include free updates for a year. The versions are:

Basic (free), which supports 4 (up to 2 camera/NDI) inputs and video up to 768 x 576 resolution
Basic HD ($60), which supports 4 inputs (up to 3 camera/NDI) and video up to Full HD 1920×1080 resolution
HD ($350), which supports 1,000 inputs, adds vMix call functionality, 4 overlay channels, and supports full HD video in 1920×1080 resolution
4K ($700), which supports 1,000 inputs, 4K resolution video (4096 x 2160), PTZ control, 2 recorders, instant replay, 4 SRT outputs, and much more
Pro ($1200), which also supports 1,000 inputs, includes all 4K features and 2 records, plus up to 8 callers, up to 4 cameras for instant replay, and 4 SRT outputs
The following is a subscription license and includes, and is charged on a monthly basis:

MAX ($50/month), which also supports 1,000 inputs, 1,000 NDI inputs, and includes all 4K resolution video (4096 x 2160), PTZ control, 2 recorders, instant replay, 4 SRT outputs
vMix also offers a 60-day free trial and has all the features of vMix Pro including the ability to use resolutions greater than HD such as 4K, particularly to ensure vMix supports your computer hardware works with it before purchasing. This is a great perk, as most encoding software offers only up to a 30-day free trial.

Compatibility:
vMix is compatible with Windows operating systems.

  1. LiveU Solo
    LiveUSolo encoder
    LiveU Solo is a reliable hardware encoder.
    The LiveU Solo is a highly capable hardware encoder that is well-suited for encoding and producing remote streams. It is a powerful device that supports up to 5G 4K HEVC streaming.

This encoder is globally renowned and has contributed to massive streams, including Presidential events, World Cups, Olympic events, Super Bowls, and more.

Key Features:
Seamless integration with modems and cellular data
Robust remote streaming
Lifetime support
Responsive bandwidth consumption for uninterrupted streaming
Boost up to 3 connections at once
Pros:
Suitable for live event streaming
Team friendly
Some issues with streaming to social media platforms
Supports network bonding
Geared towards remote streaming
Cons:
Can get a bit complicated
Access to some basic features r
Pricing:
LiveU Solo’s pricing is based on location. Please check out their pricing page to see how much this encoder costs in your region.

Compatibility:
LiveU Solo is compatible with USB sources.

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