vMix vs. Wirecast Live-Streaming Software
Live-streaming software is the most important part of your computer and electronic setup any time that you’re broadcasting something live. Both vMix and Wirecast provide excellent live-streaming software that does a great job whether you’re a small company or a large major broadcaster. Still, there are some differences between the two packages that you should familiarize yourself with so that you can choose the right package in the end.
To Start with…
The first thing that you need to know about vMix is that there is a learning curve, although it is still one of the best programs on the market for any type of live streaming. Wirecast is easier to use but offers a lot of power and functionality. Plus, it is a paid tool, which is something to consider when comparing the two.
When it comes to capturing and the sources supported by these software apps, Wirecast supports many input sources, as does vMix. Here is the comparison between the two:
- Cameras and PTZ optics
- Video and audio files
- Application Windows or desktops via the free Remote Desktop Presenter software provided by Wirecast
- Video cameras (via supported capture cards)
- Video and audio files
- Audio devices, e.g., sound cards
- Desktop applications
- PowerPoint presentations
- Web browsing
Also, the Wirecast Cam is a mobile app that lets you stream wirelessly from an iPad or iPhone when a live broadcast is taking place. Wirecast also includes a feature for image slideshows.
The vMix video camera can run at up to 4K resolutions and vMix also supports network device interface (NDI) when you wish to send video over gigabit ethernet networks.
What About Streaming with Simultaneous Sources?
When you need to stream with simultaneous sources, your hardware is generally your limiting factor and not your software. Still, Wirecast can support as many sources as you are able to connect for your broadcasts and it can even stream multiple, separate live streams from the same device. On the other hand, vMix comes in six different versions from the basic free version to the pro version, and each version supports a different number of inputs. The basic version limits you to two cameras/NDI inputs while the pro versions each support up to 1000 inputs, which can include NDI devices or cameras.
Keep in mind, though, that every image, camera, audio source, and animation counts against the input limits set forth by the program so you can use up these inputs quickly.
Integrations of Social Media Platforms
If you want to integrate with your audience via social media during a live broadcast, you can easily do this by showing comments on your screen during the broadcast. Both vMix and Wirecast enable you to do this efficiently. With Wirecast, you get direct Twitter integration, which means that you can pull feeds into your broadcasts for a great look and a simple way to interact with your viewers. On the other hand, vMix uses a plugin called vMix Social to integrate social media and it is a free tool. It is also a very powerful tool and lets you insert posts, feeds, and more from various social media sites.
While it’s possible to bring in social media sources on Wirecast using screen- and window-capture tools, the native method offered on vMix is actually less buggy and runs a lot more smoothly.
What Are the System Requirements for Each Program?
In order to run either Wirecast or vMix effectively, your computer will need to meet certain requirements first. Here is a list of system requirements for each of these apps:
- A minimum of 2 GB of free disk space
- A minimum of 4 GB of RAM
- Integrated or discrete graphics card that is compatible with DirectX 10
- Intel Core i7 CPU at 3 GHz or higher
- Windows 7 or newer, or macOS El Capitan or newer
- 1 GB of DDR2 or faster RAM; 8 GB is recommended
- A hard drive of 7200 RPM; SSD is recommended
- Dual-core processor of 2 GHz or better (Intel Core i7 at 3 GHz or higher is recommended)
- Graphics card that is compatible with DirectX 10; Nvidia card with 1 GB RAM or more is recommended
- Windows 7 or newer on a Windows PC; Windows 10 is recommended
More often than not, these requirements are going to be what many broadcasters are already using; however, it’s good to know these things before you decide on the right live-stream app for your purpose.
Other Practical Considerations
Naturally, ease of use is an important consideration because when you’re broadcasting something, you have tons of other things to concentrate on besides this particular app. You need something that you can use without thinking much about it and both Wirecast and vMix make live-streaming a broadcast very easy indeed. Does this mean that the apps themselves are simple? Not necessarily. Both Wirecast and vMix are a bit on the complex side; however, you can easily learn each of them in just a few hours.
To master them, of course, will take longer but there are tons of dedicated forums and tutorials on YouTube that you can utilize to learn the apps a little at a time. Most people find Wirecast a little easier to learn and that vMix takes a little longer.
As far as price is concerned, comparing the two apps means that you have to look at the different packages that they offer. For example, Wirecast has two different packages called Studio and Pro. Pro adds features such as 3D set support, live scoreboards and instant replay, and additional support inputs such as IP cameras and web streams. You can enjoy premium support for an additional yearly fee and they offer a free trial that includes watermarks.
On the other hand, vMix has a more complicated pricing structure because it offers six versions and not two: Basic, Basic HD, SD, HD, 4K, and Pro. You get free upgrades to each of them because the license doesn’t expire and you also get a 60-day free trial period.
Conclusion – Which Is Better? vMix or Wirecast?
Both Wirecast and vMix have a lot to offer their users so comparing the pros and cons of each of these apps is important when you’re trying to make your decision. Fortunately, this is a lot easier to do than you likely thought.