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Martin Barrett
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OBS Screen Recorder Review

OBS Screen Recorder Review: Features (2023)

OBS Studio is a type of screen recorder that you can use to record videos and do live streams.

It’s open-source software, so it’s constantly being updated. But you may wonder if OBS is good for what you want to do.

Whether you want to demonstrate a feature for work or do a live stream, we’ll let you know if OBS is the right choice for you.

This review will explain what OBS is and how you can use it for educational purposes and live to stream.

We’ll let you know more about the kind of software it is and its features. We’ll even give you an idea of how reliable it is by looking at its sponsors and how you can contribute to OBS’s development.

But most importantly, we’ll give you an in-depth look at the OBS Screen Recorder review and tell you that is it worth it.

What Is OBS?

OBS stands for Open Broadcaster Software, an open source software that is free to use. However, if you don’t know what open source software is, the best way to think of it as collaborative work.

Anyone can inspect the source code and modify or enhance it. See, source code is the type of software that most users won’t see.

Most people get confused about how many people can access open source software.

Most people think that anyone can adjust it if they have the knowledge. However, open source code can only be modified with the approval of the community.

If a developer wants to get involved with OBS, they need to follow specific guidelines to ensure OBS runs smoothly.

They can then communicate with other developers about it on OBS’s Discord server or the GitHub page.

In other words, it’s completely safe to use and has become a popular choice for live streamers and so many others.

What Can You Use OBS For?

You can use OBS for live streaming and video recording. You’ll find that OBS is a popular choice among gamers, as you can choose what you want to share.

While you might believe that OBS is only good for gamers, you would be wrong. OBS can capture screens on your computers, such as a browser window or a document you want to show.

So you can easily use OBS to demonstrate how you would do artwork or even conduct lessons with it.

As it’s free software, that makes it useful for anyone who wants to give an example of their work. You can also use it as a video editor, as you don’t even have to use it live. Instead, you can use it as your main video editing software.

On What Systems Can You Use OBS?

OBS studio can be used on a variety of different systems. You can download it using Windows, macOS, and Linux. (Click here to learn more)

If you’re new to using OBS, they’ll direct you to the OBS studio quickstart guide and a link to the OBS Studio overview.

First, to use it, you’ll need some basic system requirements to meet with your computers.

Windows

  • DirextX10.1 Compatible GPU
  • Windows 10 (Ideally with the 1809 release) and Windows 11

macOS

  • Intel/Apple Silicon CPU
  • OpenGL 3.3-Compatible GPU
  • macOS “High Sierra” (10.13) or later

Linux/Unix

  • OpenGL 3.3-Compatible GPU
  • X Window System/Wayland

However, to make sure that OBS works correctly, they also recommend a number of Hardware Encoders.

These take off some of the workload from the computer and moves it to a specialized GPU component so that it can encode video more efficiently.

It’s a great way to ensure that you have good video quality without sacrificing performance.

However, you need to be wary of using an older hardware encoder, as they may provide images of lower quality.

While they do provide some performance impact, it sacrifices the quality of your video. However, you can use them as a final resort if you don’t have access to a higher quality hardware encoder if you need to.

Here are some good examples of hardware encoders that are integrated into these graphic processing units.

NVIDIA NVENC

You can use NVIDIA’s NVENC encoder on either Windows or Linux. However, you’ll need a few requirements first:

  • GeForce 600-Series and higher
  • A GPU that has 6th Gen NVENC – For example, you could get the GTX 1650 Rev 2 and any higher models. Don’t get the GTX 1650 Rev 1, as it will contain the 5th Gen NVENC.
  • Ensure that all of your drivers are up to date.

Intel Quick Sync Video (QSV)

You can use Intel’s QSV encoder with Windows or Linux. However, there are a few requirements you need to follow first:

  • You need an Intel HD Graphics GPU on Intel Core-i-CPU 2xxx or a newer version.
  • The earlier versions of QSV aren’t recommended, and the earliest you should go is Intel Core-i-CPU 4xxx or newer.
  • It can also be unstable when you’re using Windows 7, so you may need to make some adjustments.
  • You should also ensure all the drivers are up to date. These can easily be found online or provided for by the manufacturer.

AMD Advanced Media Framework (AMF)

You can use AMD’s AMF on either Windows or Linux. However, you’ll need to make sure you check the AMF plugin documents to see what GPUs are compatible and examine the troubleshooting guides. You’ll also need to make sure your drivers are up to date.

Apple VideoToolbox (VT)

Apple’s VT is only available on macOS. But there are a few requirements you should know first:

  • VideoToolbox will use the system’s GPU, no matter what brand you use.
  • If your Mac has multiple GPUs, then the choice will be decided by VideoToolbox. Once it chooses the GPU, you can’t overwrite it.
  • You also won’t be able to stream to any services that need a constant bitrate stream.

What Streaming Platforms Can You Use OBS For?

OBS Screen Recorder Review

You can use OBS to stream on multiple online video platforms, so long as they use a Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP).

RTMP is used to broadcast video and is essentially the most significant tool used for live streaming. Adobe Flash Player originally used it, but now it’s used for essentially all online video platforms.

That means you can stream with OBS using:

  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Twitch
  • Instagram
  • And any other video platform using RTMP

You can even stream to multiple platforms at once, but it isn’t very easy. One simple way is to download the Multiple RTMP Output Plugin.

Once you’ve installed the plugin, you can launch OBS and select your video platform, along with the RTMP server and the RTMP key. You need to ensure the RTMP key is correct, as one mistake could ruin your live stream.

You then need to repeat this step and keep adding a destination until you’ve got every platform you need. Once you do this, you can stream as usual.

What Video Editing Features Are There?

OBS Studio provides high-performance video and audio capture in real-time.

You can even mix the audio and create scenes made from multiple sources. So you can create scenes from window captures, images, text, browser windows, your own webcam, and capture cards.

Deciding what scenes you want to use is easy, and you can set up which window you want to capture your footage or audio from.

It includes an intuitive audio mixer with per-source filters. So you can incorporate a noise gate, suppress any noise, and gain.

You can take further control with VST plugin support too. You can easily configure your video and audio with OBS’s powerful options that allow you to customize your sources.

You can even duplicate ones that already exist. All you need to do is adjust the properties, but this can be done easily.

In fact, you’ll find that you can access the Streamlined Settings panel to give you a wide range of access to configure your video and audio.

You can then tweak the settings of your broadcast and recording. That way, you can adjust when you start recording or streaming or even access Studio Mode.

In Studio Mode, you can preview your scenes before you publish them online. Using Studio Mode allows you to make any adjustments or create new ones to ensure they’re at the best possible standard before they go live.

You’ll find that there’s also a multiview setting that will allow you to view your work.

You can monitor up to eight different scenes and set up a cue or transition to them. To do this, you only need to click or double-click your mouse.

Utilizing the modular ‘Dock’ user interface will allow you to arrange the layout to your own personal preference. If you prefer, you can create pop-out windows for each Dock to access them when needed.

The best part of this is that you can customize your own transitions for when you switch between your scenes. You can even add your own stinger video files too.

Then, when you want to do something, you can set your own hotkeys. With these hotkeys, you can start and stop your streams or recording and even mute different audio sources.

Just customize your hotkeys, and you’ll be able to customize your stream with the press of a button.

Getting Help With OBS

If you need any help with OBS, you can do so easily. OBS has several sources that are easy to access through their website, including Wiki, Discord, and Community Forums.

You can find any answers from the OBS community through any of these.

The Wiki covers a wide range of information and will provide links to a Quickstart for new users and an Overview Guide for all members.

If you can’t get access there and don’t want to access Discord or Forums, there’s also a Community Chat.

They even provide access to resources for anyone who wants to get involved with the development process of OBS. If you’re interested in looking at the Source code, they will guide you on contributing and provide tutorials.

Overall, getting help using OBS is easy, and it has in-depth tutorials and guides on the Wiki that provide access.

As so many people use OBS, you’ll find that there’s always someone available who has the answers to the questions you have.

Is OBS Free?

OBS is free to use, and it’s partly thanks to being an open source software. So many different contributors help it become free from ads too.

You’ll find numerous well-known sponsors back OBS and are contributors to its development.

These include YouTube, Logitech, Twitch, Facebook, NVIDIA, StreamElements, and Synura. That’s because many of these sponsors have seen OBS’s capabilities, making streaming more accessible to everyone.

If you don’t know how to code, you can even contribute to OBS by donating to the Open Collective and Patreon.

With these contributors, it’s easy to see how OBS can stay up and running successfully without having to saturate the software with ads. Thus, it’s become a popular choice for numerous streamers.

Final Thoughts – Is OBS Worth It?

OBS has numerous features that make it perfect for anyone who needs video editing or streaming software.

As it’s free to use, you can install it and learn how it works with the help of the OBS guides.

It’s always improving with the help of its contributors and open source software, but the code won’t change unless there’s approval from higher up.

OBS is definitely one of your best choices if you need software for streaming or video capture.

It provides numerous features and an easily customizable user interface that makes it accessible to even those unfamiliar with streaming.

So if you need a video capture software with which you can edit your videos, OBS is definitely worth it.

So if you’re looking for free software, you’ll find it in the form of OBS studio. You can stream everything live, and if you want to upload it later, you can edit it with ease.

So next time you’re looking for how you can demonstrate your work in a tutorial, consider OBS.

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