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What is Live Streaming Software

Dec 15, 2022

Live streaming software encodes the video into digital format while it is playing. Thanks to it, you can stream from multiple cameras in HD quality and switch between them.

There are two main forms of live streaming software :

  1. One that gets downloaded and installed on a PC
  2. Built into the web browser, no download required

The first option has steep hardware requirements - the computer has to be powerful. 

The second one is more accessible, as it requires fewer resources and the main processing is being done in the cloud. 

What does live streaming software do?

In essence, it helps to shape your content and open it to the intended audience around the world.

Let's take a closer look at the two functions of live streaming software - encoding and mixing/production.


Encoding is the primary technology that enables the real-time and on-demand streaming of video over the internet.

To live stream, your video must be encoded to a specific format. Video encoding is the process of making the video ready for output by compressing the size of RAW video files into a form that can be stored and played by a variety of devices. During the encoding process digital video is modified to meet standards, specifications and formats for recording and playback.

Video encoding involves two main processes: compression and transcoding.

Compression significantly decreases the size of a video file so that it is more manageable and can be delivered even if the network is bad. Without compression, most video files would be too big to upload easily, load quickly, or play smoothly on users’ devices.

Transcoding means a process of converting audio and video from one format to another. It ensures that a video is compatible with the player or a platform that is being used. Without transcoding, users would not be able to watch the video file at all.

Live streaming software also allows you to work from multiple computers at once, for example, to add graphics to your broadcast. If you transmit it through the NDI network device interface to the host computer, where streams from different cameras are mixed live, then there will be no delay.

Live video mixing and editing

On-the-fly editing has been used by the media in the TV industry for decades. Now this technology is available to anyone who wants to generate video content.

The main functions of this department :

  1. Switching between multiple cameras
  2. Mixing video and audio sources
  3. Insert pre-existing materials (videos, pictures and audio tracks);
  4. Adding overlay graphics and titles
  5. Add transitions and video effects
  6. Use tools for mixing and editing

Who needs live streaming software

If you are in the business of creating video content, this software will help you create an immersive user experience. When a video is filmed from multiple cameras, engagement increases. The viewer stays on your site longer.

If you want your video to look professional, a single camera won't be enough. To keep your viewers interested and able to get information from several sources at once, try this method of creating video content.

Most popular live streaming software

1. VidBlasterX is only compatible with Windows OS. Easy to set up.

Comes with 5 main tools:

  • Mixing and switching between live sources
  • Audio mixer
  • Chromakey
  • Custom scripting language.

VidBlasterX is a paid solution.

2. XSplit broadcaster is suitable for all types of media. Compatible with Windows only.

Support for multithreading support (for webcams, multimedia, HTML, games, etc.); 

  • Flow layout customization
  • Input ordering
  • Preview of the broadcast before going live
  • Adding .PNG icons and images
  • Image combining in chroma key
  • Speeding up games
  • Creating interaction patterns in YouTube Super Chat, Facebook Watch, Twitch
  • Widget integration and alerts with an app to manage comments, gifts, donations, etc.;
  • Clear interface. You simply drag and drop elements.

XSplit is a paid solution.

3. OBS Studio is free and open source video recording and live streaming software. It is one of the most popular live streaming programs, because it’s free and functional.

  • Multiple options for sources and scenes
  • Easy to change bitrate and output size
  • Ability to record simultaneously
  • There are a lot of extensions that can be used to add more functionality to OBS Studio
  • Suitable for "techies". The average user may be frustrated by the lack of technical support, however, solutions for the most common technical difficulties are already on YouTube
  • Multiplatform software. Suitable for Windows, Linux and Mac. 

4. Riverside

  • Content transcription
  • Local recording with video resolution up to 4K. If the connection is bad, the recording will not be interrupted
  • Uncompressed (48 kHz WAV audio)
  • Works through a web browser
  • Supports multiple inputs, can share a screen and show camera at the same time
  • Local recording of guests on separate tracks.
  • Intuitive interface of the editor. You can make clips and “share” them on social networks.
  • Supports streaming to platforms: LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Twitch through direct integration; any other platform through its own RTM.

How Callaba works with live streaming software

Callaba Cloud is fully compatible with all of the popular streaming software.

Callaba comes into play right after the live streaming software which, if used, usually acts like the source of the stream for Callaba. Callaba then takes the stream and performs the tasks that it was set up to do.

In Callaba, you can create custom workflows for your streams to deliver different types of content to different viewers and provide the best user experience on any device.

The service is equipped with a flexible transcoding and multiplexing module. You can convert any protocol and codec to any on the fly.

Regardless of the protocol, you can play your stream in the browser and share it with your team or audience via a link. Alternatively, you can embed the live streaming player directly on your website.

And, best of all, you can monitor the health of your stream with all the key quality parameters being displayed in one page. 

Callaba Cloud offers a cloud-based solution and a self-hosted one.

Amazon Web Services

You can try Callaba Cloud for free on Amazon Web Services.

5 day free trial. How to launch How to launch Callaba on AWS

Microsoft Azure

Callaba Cloud is also available on Microsoft Azure Marketplace.

How to launch on Microsoft Azure.

Self-hosted solution

One-time payment for a perpetual license. You can get exactly the amount of functionality you need and keep your monthly expenses at the same level ever since.

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