The Battle for Internet TV Broadcasting Software: OBS Project vs XSplit vs VIDBlaster vs Wirecast

by Rob | September 16, 2013 9:31 am

Since our last update, a few new contenders to the crown of “Internet TV Broadcasting Software” have come on my radar.

In this article we will discuss 4 various broadcasting solutions for Internet TV.  Make sure to leave a comment on which software you use below this article!

Open Broadcaster Software

Pro’s

Con’s

open-broadcaster-software-logo

OBS Project is the only free software we will be featuring today. It is an Open Source project,  meaning that it is free to download and use.  As well, anyone can take the software code and make modifications and tweaks which helps the stability of the product.

OBS took a little longer to setup than our other contenders, but once running it was remarkably solid.

I was really surprised that once you setup “Global Sources” (ie: your webcam) you could switch scenes without the annoying freeze frame effect.  This really helps add to the feeling for the viewer of watching a professional production.

Overall I’d recommend OBS for the beginner who is interested in video podcasting or Internet TV production.

OBS is great for those that just want to dip their toes in the waters of creating Video Podcasts/Internet TV shows.

Get OpenBroadcaster Here[1]

XSplit Broadcaster

Pro’s

Con’s

xsplit

XSplit Broadcaster from SplitmediaLabs is perhaps the most popular video broadcaster out there. A large portion of XSplit’s user base comes from the video game broadcasting niche.

I have personally used XSplit to create video podcasts, live streaming productions and even some of our digital training courses have been filmed with Xsplit.

For only $99 per year you get access to the full “professional” edition which allows you to use your recordings for commercial purposes (like my digital training).

Also featuring a multitude of plugins and features, XSplit is extremely flexiable for almost any type of show.  This includes IP cameras, live RTMP streams, screen captures and video games.

XSplit is also the only software on the list that supports native Skype interaction.   A simple 2 click process to add a Skype video window that will add a sense of professional atmosphere to your production.

I will note after being a customer for almost 2 years, I have noticed that their updates can be a bit slow.  This is annoying especially when you have a small glitch that needs fixing.

A few times I have been forced to use OBS in order to get my content completed on schedule.

XSplit is perfect for those that want to record shows from their home office using Web cams and Skype. It is also an excellent choice for those that want stream games.

Get XSplit Here[2]

Vidblaster

Pro’s

Con’s

vidblaster_pic

After hearing lots of people speaking about Vidblaster from CombiTech, I decided to give it a whirl.

It is extremely flexible and is geared to those running “bigger” shows with multiple camera’s, guests via video conferencing and screen captures.

Plus unlike OBS and XSplit, you are able to easily see what is going on in each one of your scenes before you switch to it.  I find this feature to be remarkable when producing a show.  If a guest is taking while picking his nose, I can quickly switch to another shot until he is done (or not… 😉 ).

While I was impressed with the interface of VidBlaster, the rest of the software left a  bit to be desired.

The MP4 encoding looked good but wouldn’t retain a descent framerate.   I opened the CPU usage monitor and I was at 85% across all 6 cores of my AMD X6.  I found that if I disabled the lower-3rd overlay I was using it would go down a bit (around 50% usage) but it was still wasn’t the best experience.

The other problem I found with VIDBlaster was the price points.  $199 for the Home version which limits you to 7 modules.   Each camera requires a module, same with screen captures and effect screens (Picture in Picture displays, Chroma Keys, Overlays, etc).

For example in my studio I have 2 camera modules, 3 overlay modules (one for each person on a 3 way conversation) and 3 picture modules.   Uh-ho…  I’d have to buy the Pro version for $499 (an additional $300 to upgrade directly from Home version).  That supports 15 modules (and a host of other features).

VIDBlaster may work well in some situations, but not in mine.  Steering clear of this software for awhile.  Hopefully they get the CPU usage under control.

Get VidBlaster Here[3]

Wirecast

Pro’s

Con’s

b287f2847b14f8a500e8c523b2555073

Finally, while I was writing this article I stumbled upon Wirecast from Telestream.

Featuring solid encoding, smooth transitions and effects Wirecast delivers on almost every level.

The UI is exactly what you would expect for a “solid” product.  It’s very clear and intuitive making it the best interface of this round-up.

I’ve had a bunch of Mac users ask me what software they should be using and Wirecast has become my recommendation.

Starting at $495 for the basic version which will work for most hobby & small single person productions, it is still a bit pricey. If you want to bring an HDV source (CamCorder, TV input, etc) you need to shell out an extra $99. Finally if you want features like 3d virtual sets, IP Camera’s and advanced audio controls you will need to slap down $995 for the Pro version.

Wirecast does stand out for those that want a “professional” setting. I’m seriously considering making the switch here at Smoking Man Studios due to the professional video encoding, seamless transitions and other features in Wirecast.

Wirecast really is the best of the bunch. I love the encoding quality, the features and the interface. I just wish it was cheaper.

Get WireCast Here[4]
Endnotes:
  1. Get OpenBroadcaster Here: http://obsproject.com
  2. Get XSplit Here: http://xsplit.com
  3. Get VidBlaster Here: http://vidblaster.com
  4. Get WireCast Here: http://www.telestream.net/wirecast/

Source URL: http://webtalkrevolution.com/battle-internet-tv-broadcasting-software-open-broadcaster-software-vs-xsplit-vs-vidblaster-vs-wirecast/