Today most people who are good at something, or simply want to communicate and find approval around the globe, try to show what they do best to the world. This is especially true for videogames, with live broadcasts of people playing them being some of the most popular videos on the Internet. However, it's not that easy to stream yourself outside your own private piece of reality. Here, streaming and broadcasting software comes into play.
XSplit Broadcaster is one of the most popular live streaming and video-mixing applications currently on the market. It was developed by SplitmediaLabs Limited. Its most common use is capturing game videos for streaming or recording, but the program is in no way restricted by this.
When used as a video mixer, XSplit Broadcaster offers a simple intuitive interface. In order to create a stream or a recording, a user simply needs to select media elements, without going through a lot of menus, simply by clicking or dragging and dropping. Then, pretty simple settings and adjustments options become available. I'm not really proficient in streaming, so I found it very pleasing that the interface was self-explanatory to such an extent I actually learned to do some things I hadn't known before.
XSplit allows creating up to 12 media sources, or scenes, for recording or broadcasting a video. You can dynamically mix a video from your camera with open windows working with different sources of video, Flash animation, music, Skype videochat. The program supports full screen video capture for Direct X 9, 10 and 11, which was especially useful in my case, since I have to switch between several graphics modes. There is also support for chroma key technology in real time and inclusion of 3D effect for several media sources.
The most comfortable thing about XSplit Broadcaster is the fact that it has built-in support for the most popular streaming and broadcasting services such as Justin.TV, Twitch_TV, Ustream, Own3d, Niconico (my personal preference, which is rare to be supported, strangely enough) and others. It's very well crafted to work online, since streaming to a user's RTMP server is possible, as well as working with a CDN provider.
Of course, my focus has been on games, but from the available function it can be seen very clearly that the program is good for podcasts, webinars, and online presentations as well. Basically, XSplit Broadcaster is universal. The only condition for quality streaming is to have a proper capture card, and XSplit wide range of those, including even Avermedia. You can easily create HD broadcasts and edit them with various accessible tools like preview mode, on the spot source changing menus or audio monitor. If you record a video, a cute little editor is available right there to help you make it more presentable. I didn't find it as useful as full-fledged editors, but the presence itself is a nice bonus.
To sum up, if you want to have an advanced, functional and stable streaming and broadcasting instrument, XSplit Broadcaster is your pick. It's not entirely casual, but simple enough to master quickly. The program is subscription-based, but not really that restrictive in its free version. Looks like 'user-friendly' has finally become the motto of all good developers.
- Easy to use
- Wide range of tools for broadcasting
- Wide range of supported hardware
- A lot of advanced settings