5 Best Streaming Software for Twitch, YouTube, or Facebook
Revenue from live streaming is in the billions and rising by 20% each year. More than half of all internet traffic is due to video streaming, and there is no time like the present to get a piece of that internet pie.
It seems like every week there is a new software being released for live streaming. With so many live streaming software options, it can be hard to choose the right one for you. In this article, you will learn about the best live streaming software and have all your live streaming questions answered.
- What is Live Streaming Software vs. Hardware Encoders?
- What Does a Live Streaming Software Do?
- What is Encoding?
- What is the Best Capture Card?
- What is the Best Mic for Live Streaming?
- What is the Best Web Camera for Streaming?
- How do I Stream on Twitch?
- How do I Stream on Youtube?
- How do I Stream on Facebook?
- What Features Should I Look for in a Streaming Software?
Best Live Streaming Software for Twitch, YouTube, or Facebook
To be successful at live streaming, you will need high-speed internet and reliable live streaming software. Streaming software is not built into any operating system like Windows or Mac, so you need to find the best software and download it to your device. Here are the top 5 best live streaming software to use with Twitch, YouTube, or Facebook:
- PowerDirector with Screen Recorder 4
- Wirecast Studio
Let’s take a closer look at all 5
1. PowerDirector with Screen Recorder 4
PowerDirector with Screen Recorder 4 offers game streaming, screen recording, and video editing in an easy-to-use format for beginners or professionals. PowerDirector is the #1 choice of video editors and coupled with Screen Recorder, you get high-quality screen-casting and capturing plus desktop video editing all-in-one. It’s the perfect solution for streaming gameplay, vlogging, or cutting together YouTube videos.
Using Screen Recorder, you can connect directly to your favorite social media platform using custom streaming servers and multi-stream up to five platforms at the same time. Change the background of your live stream with Chroma Key technology. You can even overlay your logo or unique watermark onto your recordings. Set customized hotkeys that can mute instantly or take a screenshot. Even though Screen Recorder 4 comes with so many features, it minimizes CPU and GPU load for your gameplay.
You can change the background of your live stream with Chroma Key technology. Or easily overlay your logo or add a unique watermark onto your recordings.
Set customized hotkeys that can mute instantly or take a screenshot. Even though Screen Recorder 4 comes with so many features, it minimizes CPU and GPU load for your gameplay.
With PowerDirector, you can integrate webcam footage into their live streams and edit your recorded gameplay after.
Download PowerDirector with Screen Recorder 4 for free today and see what you can create.
Restream lets you multicast to over 30 platforms. You can go live from your browser without needing an encoder and it allows you to edit and add more channels without exiting your broadcast.
It offers tools to measure your live stream’s success, including tracking the number of views, the most popular part of your stream, and peak viewing times. With its chatbox design templates, you can overlay a chat box during your live stream and interact with viewers.
Restream Studio comes with many professional tools including background images, overlays, logos, screen sharing, copyright-free background music, and more.
But the problem with Restream is that the free version doesn’t come with much. No pre-recorded streaming, no video uploads or storage, and no stream recording. The Standard package at $16 a month has stream recording, but only up to 6 hours. Packages go up in price from there, ending with the Business package at $250 a month.
XSplit is a streaming software for Windows. With XSplit you can use a webcam but don’t need one. You can just use your smartphone and multi-stream to Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook all at once. XSplit comes with preloaded transitions and a video editor. You can use XSplit Presenter to make presentations with slides, media, and webcam videos.
It offers in-game control with chat and the ability to monitor stats. XSplit Gamecaster offers donation trains, subscriber goals, follower alerts, and more to make your gaming live stream stand out. The live status display shows new followers, the number of current subscribers, cheers, bits, and more.
Unlike PowerDirector, it uses a lot of CPU which slows down gaming. It does not come with presets, so you will need some knowledge of encoding. Reviewers also noted a lack of customization.
4. Wirecast Studio
Wirecast Studio is for TV-quality live stream production. It can stream from webcams, IP cams, microphones, and cameras. Mix up to 8 separate audio tracks and archive all live video inputs with ISO Recording. Wirecast Studio comes with over 100 built-in graphics and titles and more than 500,000 media assets in its stock library. It offers a variety of features for broadcasting live sports such as replay, scoreboard, and timers.
Wirecast Studio is great for live streaming sports or radio and news broadcasts, but unlike PowerDirector, isn’t a great option for a casual vlogger or gamer. Wirecast is for extremely professional broadcasts, and the price (starting at $600) confirms it.
Streamlabs is a streaming software for Mac or PC. It has an easy guided setup and offers professional overlays and themes. It offers link protection and mod tools. It works especially well for businesses looking for an open-source solution.
Streamlabs comes with an app store and 46 apps to help stream to multiple platforms at the same time, add automation, interact with viewers, etc. It also offers monetization tools to help earn passive income.
Streamlabs lets you chat and interact with viewers and offers a test feature, so you can make sure your technology is working before going live. The premium toolkit is $12 a month.
All these built-ins require extra CPU power, so you will need a very powerful computer. If you have a mid-range computer and prefer speed and performance over visuals and effects, then Streamlabs might not be for you.
Best Streaming Software Free Download
PowerDirector with Screen Recorder 4 is the best streaming software for Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook. It offers the professional bells and whistles of other streaming software but without the steep price. Screen Recorder 4 is easy-to-use for beginners and experts alike and seamlessly connects live stream video with video editing. And although it comes with hundreds of features, it does not use up CPU, so there won’t be a lag in your streams.
Download PowerDirector Screen Recorder 4 for free today!
Live Streaming FAQs
1. What is the Difference Between Live Streaming Software vs Hardware Encoders?
Live streaming software runs on your laptop or desktop computer. It is typically cheaper than a hardware encoder and is more popular for beginners. They are easy to set up and you can install updates when available. Hardware encoders are separate from your computer and therefore more expensive. However, they run faster because, unlike your computer, a hardware encoder’s only job is encoding your content.
2. What Does a Live Streaming Software Do?
Live streaming software converts video content into digital content. Most live streaming software offers more than just encoding, such as editing, adding graphics, using multiple cameras and audio sources, slides for presentations, and so on.
3. What is Encoding?
Encoding refers to converting video files from one format to another. It takes the raw video files from your camera or smartphone and converts them into streamable content.
4. What is the Best Capture Card?
Elgato is the most popular brand of Capture Cards among gamers for its excellent capture quality. The Elgato Game Capture Card HD60S is the most popular of Elgato’s cards.
5. What is the Best Mic for Live Streaming?
The best seller and best-reviewed microphone for live streaming is the Blue Yeti. Blue Yeti offers clear sound, a simple set-up, and is affordable.
6. What is the Best Web Camera for Streaming?
If you want the best picture quality at an affordable price, the Logitech C920S HD Pro is best. It also features dual microphones for excellent voice capture.
7. How do I Stream on Twitch?
Step 1: Create a Twitch account if you haven’t already. Make sure you turn on Two-Factor Authentication and establish your Moderation and Safety settings to keep your account safe before you begin.
Step 2: Customize your channel so viewers know how to find you.
Step 3: Choose your streaming software and make sure it is set up properly and you know how to use it. Explore all the features before going live so you look professional from day one.
When you are ready to go live, remember to title (the text in bold below your video stream), tag, and categorize your stream.
Step 4: From your mobile device, log in on the Twitch app, tap the profile icon in the top left corner and tap the Go Live! button.
From your desktop or laptop, you can go live directly from your streaming software.
8. How do I Stream on YouTube?
Step 1: Head over to the Live Streaming page on YouTube and activate the feature through your account. It can take up to 24 hours for this activation to be approved.
The live dashboard for YouTube can be more overwhelming than the video dashboard, so take some time to familiarize yourself with the new features, such as fan-funding cards and live chat.
Step 2: Select a streaming software and connect it to YouTube. On the live stream page of your YouTube account is a button that says Encoder Setup. Name and describe your stream.
Step 3: Then go live between 12-24 hours of announcing your live stream so viewers can plan to tune in. Do so through your live streaming software, or on your mobile device through the YouTube app.
Please note you can only go live through your phone if you have more than 50 subscribers.
9. How do I Stream on Facebook?
Step 1: From the Facebook app on your mobile device, head to the group, page, or event where you want your live stream to be published. Hit the Live button found at the bottom of the post composer.
Step 2: Next, add a description to your video, then hit Start Live Video.
To stream gaming videos from your computer.
Step 1: Create a page where you want your content to go (for example, a Gaming Video Creator Page).
Step 2: Go to the Creator Portal, hit Create Live Stream then choose your page.
Step 3: Copy the Stream Key and paste it into your streaming software. Make sure to select Facebook Live.
Back in the Creator Portal, tag and describe your game, then click Go Live.
10. What Features Should I Look for in a Streaming Software?
Below are the top 10 things to look for in Streaming Software.
- System compatibility – Does the software work on Mac/PC or both? Does it work with my gaming system? Is my computer too old to download the software?
- Advanced features – Make sure the features that are important to you are included in the streaming software you choose. With so many features available on even the free versions of streaming software, it would be a pain to pay for one that’s missing something you need, like editing or a media library.
- Price – Price points vary from free to exorbitant, so make sure you don’t pay for what you don’t need. If you are a vlogger with 100 subscribers, you don’t need the features of a professional TV broadcaster.
- Ease-of-use – Whether a beginner or professional, everyone benefits from a user-friendly interface.
- Low CPU usage – Don’t make the mistake of spending time putting in fancy graphics on your stream, only to have it freeze and lag.
- Camera capability – Make sure the software will work with your camera.
- Multistream – Does your streaming software allow you to stream on several platforms at once?
- Image Quality – What is the streaming bitrate on your software?
- Customizable – Customize and brand your channel’s theme to make it stand out and easily found.
- Support – Does it have a dedicated support team to go to when issues arise?