Open Broadcast Software (OBS) Tutorial - Windows

Or check out the tutorial for Mac

1. Download

Go to the OBS downloads page and select 'Windows' and 'Studio' in the red section. Then click on OBS + Browser Source in the green section to download OBS Studio with the BrowserSource plug-in (this will speed up the set-up of stream notifications after).

Download OBS

2. Open the file

Open the downloaded file either from your browser's quick download bar or your usual Downloads folder.

You'll see a dialog asking: "Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your PC?" Click Yes.

Open the file Open the file

3. Install

Once you've opened the file, Setup will begin. Click Next then I Agree. Select the folder you'd like to keep OBS in, then click Install. Watch the green bar fill up. Afterwards, leave the checkmark for 'Run Open Studio' and click Finish. This will open OBS.

Welcome License Install Location Install Progress Complete

4. Set up OBS

Recommended Settings

The best settings for you will depend on a lot of different factors. Here are a few suggestions to get you started under File --> Settings:

Output:

  • Start with a mid-bitrate, around 2000 - 2500.
  • Leave encoder at Software (x264)
  • Leave audio bitrate at default setting.
  • Choose a folder to store your streams locally. The default recording quality and recording format will work OK. (Your streams will be automatically recorded on our servers and can be downloaded from your StreamMe Video Manager, if you have archives enabled). Output settings

Video

Ensure your base resolution is set to your display's native resolution or the resolution you use in your game. Set your output resolution to the same value as your base resolution. Do not change downscale filter. Keep FPS at 30 to start and try to maintain this. Go down to 15 later, if you're experiencing issues or your network connection is poor. Video output settings

Adjusting Settings / Troubleshooting

Once you've tried the recommended settings, you can adjust up or down depending on your network connection and the awesomeness of your computer. Below are a few more-detailed explanations of the basic settings.

Output

Video bitrate:

The video bitrate should be based on your upload speed. You can google sites that will help you find out what your speed is. Your bitrate should be just below that. 3000-3500 is probably the max you'd want to raise your bitrate to. If you find that your output is not matching the bitrate you've entered, try going to Settings --> Output and select Advanced from the Output Mode dropdown. Make sure that the Rate Control dropdown is set to 'CBR' and apply those settings. You will probably have to restart your stream. (The below encoder adjustments can also be made in Advanced output mode, if you need CBR). Video bitrate settings

Encoder:

If your computer can handle the CPU impact, you can leave this setting at Software (x264). Otherwise, if you have an nvidia card, you can try Hardware (NVENC) if CPU seems to be your issue. You can also try to lower CPU impact by clicking on 'Enable Advanced Encoder Settings' and increasing the Encoder Preset (if you're using 'Advanced' output mode, this is called CPU Usage Preset). Encoder settings

Audio bitrate:

Try the default setting to start and work your way up or down depending on your network connection.

Audio

Just make sure the correct audio device is selected, if you have several to choose from. Otherwise leave as default.

Video

Base resolution:

Choose your native resolution. StreamMe also supports 4k resolution. Just be sure to use the following origin server when setting up your stream: rtmp://sea-origin.stream.me/origin

Output resolution:

If you find that your stream quality is poor, try scaling down your output. Many streamers broadcast at 1280x720. This is the resolution that viewers will see your stream in. Lowering this can help with video quality but will decrease image size. We recommend the following upload speeds for each resolution.

  • Upload Speed for 1080p (1920x1080): 3.5mbps-5mbps +
  • Upload Speed for 720p (1280x720): 2mbps-3mbps
  • Upload Speed for 480p (854x480): 1mbps-1.8mbps
  • Upload Speed for 360p (640x360): 0.5mbps-0.8mbps
  • Upload Speed for 240p (508x240): 0.50mbps
FPS:

30 is the default setting and a good one to try to maintain. You can try lowering to 15, if your network connection is poor or increase to 60 if you're working with a better computer and network connection. 60 FPS would mostly only be good for gameplay with a lot of detail and/or fast-moving content.

For more detailed instructions, check out OBS' Official Quick Start Guide and Official Overview Guide.

5. Set up your stream

Open your StreamMe dashboard. Select the correct origin server closest to your location and notice your stream key (below Stream Title and Archive toggle): Select your origin server In OBS, under File -> Settings, select Stream. Select Custom Streaming Server as the Stream Type. Copy the origin server into the URL field (you can use the copy button to the right of the origin server link and then ctrl +V into the OBS field). Copy the Stream Key into the Stream Key field (keep this key secret! This is how you broadcast to your channel. If anyone ever gets a copy of your stream key, make sure to to use the reset stream key link on your StreamMe dashboard). Leave the Use authentication checkbox cleared. Leave the use authentication checkbox cleared Click OK to save your settings. Note: StreamMe also supports 4k resolution. Just be sure to use the following origin server when setting up your stream : rtmp://sea-origin.stream.me/origin

6a. Start streaming!

Once your settings are good to go you can click on Start Streaming and watch yourself in action! OR If you'd like to set up your stream notifications, continue to the next step.

6b. Stream Notification Set-up

On our stream widgets page you can set up notifications to display on your stream for follows, donations, subs and re-subs. We also have widgets to display chat, raffle winners and donation tickers. You'll want to choose the desired settings for your notifications and/or donations widgets before following the steps below. If you installed OBS studio packaged with the Browser Source plug-in as described in step 1 above, you can skip the first step below.

  1. Install the Browser Source plug-in
    If you're using OBS studio, it is recommended that you download the bundled version so you can skip ahead to step 2. (smile) If you do not have the bundled version, you can get the plug-in from the OBS Resources and follow the instructions there. If you're using OBS Classic, you'll need to install the CLR Browser Source Plug-in from the OBS Resources and follow the instructions there.

  2. Add a Scene
    To the bottom left in OBS, you'll see two boxes, one for Scenes and one for Sources. Scenes Click the plus button under Scenes to add a Scene and enter a name.

  3. Add a Source
    While that Scene is selected, click the plus (+) button under Sources and select Browser Source. Select Browser Source Select Create new and enter a name . Make sure Make source visible stays checked. Click OK. Make sure you've already set up your widget preferences on our site and then, in the Properties dialogue, paste the URL for the widget you want to display (e.g. Notifications URL, Chat URL, Raffle URL, Donations URL) and set the width and height (you'll want to set the URL at the same time as the width and height to avoid pixelation). Click OK. (You can get back to the properties to update the URL by right-clicking the Source and selecting properties, or by clicking on the settings cog to the right of the minus button). Widget URL

  4. Repeat step 3 for all the widgets you wish to set up. The notifications widget page includes 'Test' buttons for all alerts and you can copy-paste any of the URLs into your browser to preview the data (make sure that you've selected a font color that will show up on your background).

  5. Tips:

  • Make sure you've selected the correct settings for notifications. You can choose images, audio, text color and duration.
  • You can also choose text color for the chat and donations widgets, make sure to choose a visible color depending on the background.
  • The donations widget also includes the option to turn on text-to-speech. You can choose a minimum donation and a maximum duration.
  • Make sure the parameters are spelled correctly and in the proper format for notifications. (e.g. {{followerAvatar}} {{followerUsername}}, etc.)
  • If you make changes to the notifications or donations widgets, refresh the stream widgets page and give it a minute or two to update in OBS. If it still doesn't update, try removing and re-adding the so