AudioVisual Pursuits is reader-supported. We may earn commissions if you buy through our links.
When you have a broadcasting website and you’re interested in live streaming events, you’ll need the right software in order to make that happen. There are numerous live-streaming software packages available; some are free while others are not. To determine which one is best for your particular needs, you have to find out which features are most important to you and then find software that can accommodate those needs. Two very popular live-streaming software packages often used today include vMix, short for Video Mix, and OBS, which stands for Open Broadcaster Software. This article will let you know about their differences and similarities.
Starting with the Basics
Naturally, one of the main questions you’ll ask yourself when researching different live-stream software is “How much is this going to cost me?” In that respect, OBS is free and open-source whereas vMix will cost you around $60. vMix does have a free version that you can use for 90 days without a watermark but for any type of extended HD use, you’ll have to pay for it. While cost should never be the only consideration when determining which software is right for you, it naturally will be a factor because nearly everyone is on a budget.
Even more important to remember is the fact that vMix has a professional version that is used by many broadcasters and this version costs $1200. It sounds high, of course, but it is used by dozens of industries and offers tons of features that you’ll likely consider very important.
Something else you’ll likely check out when comparing vMix to OBS is the support they provide for various systems. As a general rule, Windows is preferred when it comes to operating systems for video production and this is universal. While vMix is available only for Windows, OBS supports Linux and Mac systems as well so if you do just happen to use either of those operating systems, you’re better off with OBS rather than vMix.
Basic Overview of Features and More
If you want an overview of some of the main features of OBS, vMix, and vMix Pro, here is what it looks like:
- Color Correction: OBS = no / vMix = yes / vMix Pro = yes
- GT Title Designer: OBS = no / vMix = yes / vMix Pro = yes
- Instant Replay: OBS = no / vMix = no / vMix Pro = yes
- NDI Inputs: OBS = unlimited / vMix = 3 / vMix Pro = 3000
- Number of Inputs: OBS = unlimited / vMix = 4 / vMix Pro = 1000
- Overlay Channels: OBS = none (layering system) / vMix = 1 / vMixPro = 4
- SRT Outputs: OBS = no / vMix = yes / vMix Pro = yes
- Streams: OBS = 1 / vMix = 3 / vMix Pro = 3
And when it comes to streaming, there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, vMix offers three simultaneous video streams and this could be much cheaper for you than paying for a service such as Restream with OBS. OBS offers one stream as opposed to vMix’s three but OBS’s streams are perfection, in part because you can adjust the bitrate to whatever you want. Both of these programs have tons of content delivery network (CDN) integrations that let you log into a CDN such as Facebook, and then stream directly. You won’t even have to retrieve your secret key each time that you want something live streamed, which is a convenient feature to have.
If you want to stream to multiple destinations, purchasing vMix HD might be the best solution. This is because OBS requires that you pay for a third-party service when you want to stream to different destinations. Even though vMix HD may cost more, it’ll pay for itself in just a few months if this type of streaming is what you’re planning to do regularly.
When it comes to live-streaming software, graphics are what it’s all about. Both OBS and vMix offer incredible graphics; otherwise, they wouldn’t still be in business. But naturally, there are some differences between the two. First of all, OBS can accommodate gorgeous live streams and productions that are very good with After Effects and Adobe Photoshop. In fact, OBS allows you to do just about anything you need to do from the cloud. If you choose StreamLabs and the StreamLabs version of OBS, the process is even easier.
That being said, OBS doesn’t come with any stock graphics while vMix comes with tons of them. In addition, vMix offers two tools that make both animated titling and graphics very simple. With vMix, you get a stock list of virtual sets, animated graphics, titles, and a lot more. It also comes with two applications for making title creations easier. One is GT Title editor, which allows you to create titles with overlays and animations very quickly, enabling you to import customized titles directly into vMix.
The second software is called vMix Social. With vMix Social, you can integrate comments from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch directly into your titles using title mapping. This small tool is very powerful; in fact, it can host an IP address on your LAN, which means that anyone can control it and manage a queue of questions. All of these things make sorting through chats and picking the best ones to display on your screen a lot simpler and faster.
Conclusion Is OBS OR vMix Better?
These are not the only things to consider when you are trying to compare two different live-streaming software packages but this gives you some idea of what these two packages are like so that you can start to compare the two. Depending on the size of your operation and the features that are most important to you, it is easy to choose the best package for your needs, especially if you list the features side by side and take a good look at each of them. Live streaming is important to any broadcasting entity and it’s good to know that you can find the perfect software every time, regardless of what you were looking for in the first place. And if you do your due diligence you’ll be able to find the right app for you.