Streamlabs OBS vs. OBS: Choosing the Right Streaming Software | 2021 Updated6 min readReading Time: 5 minutes
What Makes a Good Streaming Software?
In order to stream professionally, you need streaming software to record and stream videos and audio across the internet. OBS Studio and Streamlabs OBS are powerful streaming software that offers a host of features to customize the visual and audio to make the streaming content more compelling for the audiences.
Streaming software is also known as live broadcast software encoder. It helps transform the video format into a compatible one for streaming to a destination, also known as encoding videos.
A high-quality streaming software should allow you to:
- Switch between cameras
- Switch and adjust different audio sources
- Play a pre-recorded video over your livestream
- Insert pictures
- Add more video effects
Above are some of the live mixing features that most streaming software provides for customizing and making the stream engaging with the viewers. In the streaming community, the two most popular streaming software names are OBS Studio and Streamlabs OBS.
OBS Studio (Open Broadcaster Software)
OBS is probably the first software that anyone started streaming encounters. It is free, open-source, and easy to use for broadcasting and streaming. OBS has become the fundamental streaming software that set out inspiration for the development of other software like SLOBS.
The pros of using OBS Studio
Open-source project: OBS was first released in 2012 and has been developed by the community since then. There are also many third-party plugins developed for adding more customizations or creating new effects, all made possible thanks to its open-source code.
Straightforward interface: Even if you have no prior experience of using the tool, OBS’s user interface is easy to comprehend with straightforward design and settings. OBS’s interface is fully customizable for you to set up and adjust the stream as you want. Besides the drag and drop customization, OBS settings also support configuration in details for your stream, from the bitrate, audio bitrate to the FPS rate.
Low CPU usage: With a simple interface, OBS usually consumes less CPU usage when streaming than SLOBS. OBS offers just the essential features for getting started with streaming. Thus the software allows for good performance even when you stream with an adequate powerful computer.
Compatibility: OBS is compatible with most computer OS, including Windows, Linux, and macOS. Plus, as the software is one of the most standard broadcast software programs, OBS users are always the first to get new updates, patches, and features for recording and streaming videos.
Multi-platform connection: Finally, OBS offers livestreaming on almost all popular platforms, like Facebook Live, YouTube Event, Twitch, Castr, and custom streaming servers as well.
The cons of using OBS Studio
Lack of functionalities: The tradeoff of having a simple interface and design is that OBS lacks some of the most crucial features for streaming. To be able to import themes, overlays, or integrate chats, you will have to use the Browser Sources or plugins that are not built-in OBS.
If you decide to stream heavily on Twitch, you’ll need StreamElements or Streamlabs alerts to get alerts for donations or new subscribers when streaming. Additionally, adding more third-party plugins does not only require extra manual setup but also might cost you extra money for fancy decorations.
SLOBS (Streamlabs Open Broadcaster Software)
Streamlabs developed their updated version of OBS, with similar functionalities, packed with more improvements.
SLOBS is also free, yet more suitable for streamers with a built-in event queue and donation features so that they don’t have to worry about the hassle of setting up different software and start streaming right away.
The pros of using SLOBS
User-friendly: The installation of SLOBS is super simple and easy. All you have to do is download and run the installer, then the program’s starter setup will automatically suggest the best settings for your stream depending on your hardware specifications. The last step is to add your stream key and start streaming.
Feature-packed: After downloading Streamlabs OBS, you will get a host of out-the-box features for free! Here are a few of them: Donation alerts, widgets, themes, and built-in chat along with chatbots. These features give SLOBS users the capability to customize their streams to a great extent without any extra cost added.
Test Widget: For streamers, Streamlabs OBS’s test button is one of the most practical features to set up flawless livestreams. Once you have had all the settings ready for streaming, you can test out all the features–especially the alerts–with a simple click on the test button.
The cons of using OBS Studio
Substantial CPU usage: As nice as all the added features are for livestreaming, you’ll have to sacrifice your computer resources in return. That means, before getting started with Streamlabs OBS, make sure you have a rigged computer that can handle the heavy-duty first.
That is to say, all the built-in features are convenient for streaming, that is, if they fit your needs and the content being streamed. SLOBS all-in-one package is a double-edged sword: easy to use for beginners, but the bloatware in the long term can take up too much streaming resources from your computer.
OBS vs. SLOBS: The Best Choice for Streaming Software
The choice between OBS and Streamlabs OBS boils down to your use case and your streaming content. Both the software are free and can be easily set up for streaming with great performance, and are trusted by the majority of streamers around the world.
On the one hand, Streamlabs OBS is a great choice for newbie streamers to start streaming right away with all the much-needed features provided. If you plan to stream video game content, then SLOBS is a perfect choice and worth trying out. The only thing you need to be worried about is how many streaming resources you are spending on the software and getting a strong computer that can handle both streaming and playing video games.
On the other hand, OBS Studio is still the top choice of many streamers, even businesses and organizations. The configuration and setting for streaming with OBS can be overwhelming at first, but OBS has a strong community that is ready to help you with any issue you have. Once you are used to streaming and customizing the streams with OBS, you actually get more control over your stream compared with SLOBS.
In short, both OBS and Streamlabs OBS are powerful streaming software, give each one a test run, and you can have the final answer for yourself. If you want to take live broadcasting to the next level, try multistreaming with Castr. Castr is compatible with both OBS Studio and SLOBS, with more features for you to reach more audiences on multiple platforms.