Picking the right live streaming encoder can be a real game-changer if you want to stand out as a great streamer.

A video encoder for streaming opens up huge possibilities to take your live stream to the next level. You can use external sources like a great DSLR for streaming, or fine-tune the bit rate settings to ensure the stability of the live streams.

Please note, people watched a whopping 7.2 billion hours of gaming live streams alone in Q3 2022. It’sIt’s clear that live streaming has some serious potential. Also, with audiences demanding top-notch quality from every channel, providing mediocre content is a considerable risk.

But let’s be honest, choosing the best live streaming encoder is not as easy as it seems. It can be time-consuming. That’sThat’s why, in this article, we’ll walk you through the best video encoders for streaming. So, you don’tdon’t have to do all that research on your own.

If you’re new to streaming, let’slet’s start by learning what a live streaming encoder is.

What is a Live Streaming Encoder?

A live streaming encoder is a tool for encoding video content to make it compatible with streaming in real-time, either in the form of hardware or software. It basically converts the raw video into a digital format suitable for live streaming.

This encoding process involves compressing the video file, too. This way, transmitting it over the web will be easier without losing its quality. This is good news, especially for streamers who use high-quality webcams for streaming so that they can deliver the best experience for their viewers.

Let’s say if you want to perform a live concert, using a DSLR camera is recommended. However, without a video encoder for streaming, the video output will be too large. This will cause a buffer on your audiences’ side, especially if their internet connection is slow. That process is known as decoding.

In other words, HD live streaming encoders can make a huge difference in your streams and play a crucial role in broadcasting smooth live video content online.

So, do you always have to use a live streaming encoder?

The answer is yes, especially if you need to use other devices to support a higher-quality live stream. The tool will support better compatibility with a wide range of devices. Not only that, it can be an excellent way to stand out from others who are relying on a dedicated webcam.

“But, why am I able to live stream on Instagram without using any video encoder for streaming?”

It’sIt’s because Instagram does all the encoding and decoding processes for you on their platform. While this is cool, you are limited to using that platform only. This means you might not be able to multi-stream to reach a wider audience from other platforms at once.

In short, using a hardware encoder for live streaming or an encoding software will give you these advantages:

  • Flexible video source. You are free to use the best devices to produce crystal-clear videos without worrying about any issues during live streams.
  • Optimized video quality. The video output will be much better than what you would get with a regular webcam.
  • More efficient bandwidth. Your viewers can choose the video quality that suits their preferences, making it easier to save on data usage.
  • A more stable streaming. The customizable output on the viewers’ side can guarantee a more stable connection to enjoy the live stream better.
  • Recording capability. Many live streaming encoders come with the option to record your streams. It is great to repurpose content or monetize the videos as on-demand content.
  • Additional functionality. A live streaming encoder allows you to open up for a more diverse functionality, like the multi-stream capability to make your livestream reach more viewers.

Now, if I want to use a live streaming encoder, which one to choose: the hardware or the software ones?

Types of Live Streaming Encoders

When it comes to a live streaming encoder, using an encoding software or hardware encoder for live streaming is great if it suits your needs and preferences.

1. Hardware Encoder for Live Streaming

As its name suggests, hardware encoders are devices built for audio and video encoding.

Like other dedicated devices, this type of live streaming encoder tends to be more reliable and robust. One of the main reasons is they have their own processing power, resulting in more significant compression and yet better video quality.

This means they can provide a more stable and consistent stream, which is crucial for professional broadcasts.

What’s great about a hardware encoder is its input options. You can use HDMI and SDI to connect to different types of video sources. Some tremendous live streaming encoders even support multiple inputs. With this feature, you can switch between different video sources during your live stream.

One of the popular hardware encoders is URayCoder. This HDMI live streaming encoder is known for its simple UI and ability to quickly recover from power interruptions.

2. Encoding Software

A software encoder is a program that needs to be installed on your computer or runs on certain platforms. This option is more handy and budget-wise compared to the hardware ones.

What’s more, you can find a great free encoder for live streaming that offers abundant features. This type of live streaming encoder is recommended for beginners or those on a budget.

While it offers flexibility, as you can use them on any device, including mobile phones, it certainly has drawbacks. One of the most noteworthy ones is it relies heavily on the processing power of your computer. If your streaming setup is not that powerful, you’ll soon bump into certain issues.

For example, when you use StreamLabs OBS on your low-spec computers, let’s say for streaming on Twitch, you’ll notice that your computer’s fans start making noise. That indicates that it works hard, and you may soon encounter lags.

However, a free encoder for live streaming like StreamLabs OBS is great as it is compatible with most live streaming sites.

Read : Streamlabs vs OBS Studio Comparation

Things to Consider When Choosing a Video Encoder for Streaming

Here are the things you need to consider when making a live stream encoder:

1. Hardware or Software

We’ve talked about these types of live streaming encoders earlier. So, you can weigh their pros and cons, and make a decision based on your specific needs and budget.

Hardware encoders are known for their reliability when it comes to handling issues like lags and buffers. But they tend to be a bit pricey. For example, to use the Teradek Vidiu, you need to invest around US$500 for this hardware encoder for live streaming.

On the other hand, you can get software encoders, like OBS Studio and StreamLabs OBS, for free. They offer more outstanding features that will make your broadcasts more engaging with transitions, effects, and more.

2. Types of Streaming Encoders

Bear in mind that different streaming platforms may have their own preferred encoder formats. For example, if you plan to stream on YouTube and Facebook, your HD live streaming encoder should support MP4 with H.264 video codec and AAC audio codec.

H.264 is generally a safe bet as most platform support that format. However, some platforms like Twitch and LinkedIn give you a bit more flexibility to use an encoder like HEVC or RMTP.

So, it’s always a good idea to check out their official guide pages.

3. Performance

The last thing you want is that your live streaming encoder runs slow, giving you poor video quality. With that in mind, always go for an HD streaming encoder with faster encoding. This means your video data is compressed and ready to be streamed quicker.

This is crucial for an enjoyable experience, especially during interactive sessions like interviews, or Q&A sessions.

4. Input Types

When it comes to live streaming encoders, you’ve got a choice between HDMI or SDI inputs. HDMI is the standard input that most users go for, while SDI commonly comes with professional cameras.

HDMI is pretty handy, that you can easily remove the HDMI cable whenever you need to. But, be careful. When someone accidentally trips over the cable, your broadcast will stop. That’s why HDMI live streaming encoder is great for indoor streams.

On the flip side, an HD live streaming encoder with SDI input is excellent if you need higher bandwidths and resolutions. Also, SDI can transmit signals up to 90 meters, making it ideal for outdoor streams.

If you can get the live streaming encoder with both inputs or even multiple inputs, that would be awesome.

5. Price

Your budget is an essential factor when choosing a live streaming encoder. But, don’t get caught up thinking that the most expensive option is always the best.

Again, if you’re just starting or a casual streamer, a free encoder for live streaming can be more than enough to meet your needs.

However, if you’re a professional who needs all the advanced features and superb reliability, buying a high-end hardware encoder might be worth the investment. It will help you to have rock-solid performance to take your streaming game to the next level.

6. Learning Curve

If you’re new to live streaming, pick the ones that prioritize ease of use and simplicity. Streamlabs OBS is one of the great free encoders for live streaming, known for its intuitive interface and user-friendly design.

However, if you’re a seasoned streamer who wants to have full control over your streams, the one with great customization options like Wirecast can be a better fit.

In short, choose a live streaming encoder that aligns with your expertise. This will make your live streaming experience more enjoyable and less stressful.

7. Customer Support

We always emphasize the importance of support in our articles. When it comes to an encoder for streaming, it is no different. Even with the most reliable and easy-to-use streaming encoder, there’s always a chance of running into issues.

Now think about it, what will you do if you encounter a problem and you have no technical support to help you out?

That said, when you’re dealing with live broadcasts where resolving issues quickly is supremely important, it’s essential to choose a live streaming encoder that offers excellent support.

Best Live Streaming Encoder

Here are the best live streaming encoders in 2023 worth trying:

1. Teradek VidiU X

  • Type: Hardware
  • Price: US$399
  • Best For: Any streamers who need a hardware encoder for live streaming at an affordable price

This is one of the most affordable live streaming encoders that allows you to go live anywhere. The Teradek Vidiu X is an HD live streaming encoder made for any streamer who wants to start professional live streaming video without needing a production studio.

What is great about this video encoder for streaming is its capability to let you use various sources, including cameras and smartphones. Also, you are free to use any network connection depending on your situation, from Ethernet to WiFi and LTE USB modem.

Key Features:

  • Compact — You’ll love its ultra-slim design to mount it to your camera and start streaming from anywhere.
  • Multi Streaming — Allows simultaneous live streaming to platforms like Facebook, Twitch, and more.
  • Multiple Network Option — Let you choose whether to use Ethernet, LTE USB modem, or even WiFi 6.
  • Network Bonding — Bond together bandwidth from all interfaces to gain more throughput using Sharelink.
  • Vidiu App Control — Gain control over the live streaming encoder from mobile apps, for iOS and Android. From configuring the stream settings to monitoring the live feed.

Technical Specifications:

  • Max Resolution: 1080p
  • Codec: H.264
  • Input Types: HDMI
  • Supported OS: Windows, macOS
  • Supported Platform: Many platforms, from YouTube to Vimeo

Is This Live Streaming Encoder Worth It?

A tremendous live streaming encoder with affordable price for those who have just started. It would be better to upgrade to Vidiu Go with H.265 encoder and SDI inputs for US$990.

2. NewTek TriCaster TC1

  • Type: Hardware
  • Price: US$13,995 (base configuration)
  • Best For: Professional streamers and businesses

If you’re on the hunt for a hardware encoder that’s packed with excellent features, the NewTek TriCaster TC1 should be on your radar. This streaming encoder is a complete solution for creating professional live streams that will amaze your audience.

Do you want to stream to various platforms or need a video encoder for streaming with social media integration feature? The TriCaster TC1 has got you covered. Its Dual-Channel Live Streaming feature will make your stream to Facebook Live, Microsoft Azure, Twitch effortlessly.

What’s more, the live sound experience is absolutely jaw-dropping! With this encoder, you’ll have a top-notch 4K live streaming encoder that’s totally worth your investment.

Key Features:

  • Switching, Streaming, and Recording. The TriCaster TC1 lets you effortlessly switch between different sources, stream your content, and record in various resolutions, from HD to 4K.
  • Multi-Source Video Mixing. With support for up to 16 external inputs, including SDI, HDMI, and USB, you can create stunning multi-source video mixes that will captivate your audience.
  • Control in the Palm of Your Hand. Take command of your live stream with the TriCaster TC1’s user-friendly and customizable interface. This will give you complete control over your live stream.
  • Live Virtual Sets. Transform your live streams with stunning virtual environments, augmented reality effects, and multiple angles using LiveSet technology.
  • Amazing Automation. Simplify your workflow by running macros for automated actions and accessing favorite settings and custom commands with ease.
  • Live Link. Seamless web rendering, no third-party applications needed.

Technical Specifications:

  • Max Resolution: 4K
  • Codec: H264
  • Input Types: SDI, HDMI, USB, and more
  • Supported OS: Windows
  • Supported Platform: Many platforms

Is This Live Streaming Encoder Worth It?
A bit pricey for casual streamers. One of the best hardware encoders for live streaming for professional broadcasters

3. Niagara GoStream Mini 200

  • Type: Hardware
  • Price: Not mentioned, please get in touch with Niagara
  • Best For: Any steamers or small businesses who are looking for a cost-effective stream encoder.

For those who want to stream online without breaking the bank, and yet wish for a solid video quality, look no further than Niagara GoStream Mini 200.

This live streaming encoder boasts its portability due to its small form factor. However, never underestimate this live stream encoder. The Niagara GoStream Mini 200 is not lightweight when it comes to features.

First, it offers support for a variety of input types, namely HDMI and SDI inputs. Secondly, you can have both H.264 and H.265 video codecs. This way, you’ll have the flexibility to choose the perfect compression method that suits your specific streaming needs.

Key Features:

  • Compact Design. Being small makes it portable to stream from anywhere with ease.
  • Dual Codec Support. Allows you better flexibility in choosing the preferred codec for your live streams.
  • Multi stream. With support for versatile streaming protocols like RTMP, it offers enhanced compatibility to stream on any platform.
  • Support SDI. Offering more than just HDMI, this live stream encoder offers greater flexibility in terms of input types.
  • Recording. A great feature to let you record your live streams as MP4 files for repurposing.
  • Low Power Consumption. great for live streaming in certain situations with limited power availability

Technical Specifications:

  • Max Resolution: 1080p
  • Codec: H.264, HEVC
  • Input Types: SDI, HDMI,
  • Supported OS: Windows, macOS
  • Supported Platform: Many platforms

Is This Live Streaming Encoder Worth It?
Affordable and compact, a great alternative to the VidiuX or VidiuGo for streamers seeking decent video quality.

4. Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini

  • Type: Hardware
  • Price: US$295 (Mini Pro), US$995 (Mini Extreme)
  • Best For: Any streamers, including eSport players, businesses, and educational institutions

What if you can broadcast online with up to eight cameras ready to capture the best moment in your stream? It will be a great experience for you and your audience, right?

The Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini is a production live switcher and a cool live stream encoder that lets you create professional-looking streams. Comes with awesome features, this HD live streaming encoder is perfect for Twitch streamers and even small businesses.

This streaming encoder offers fancy effects and transitions as its basic features to give a professional touch to your streams. What’s more, you’ll get features like picture-in-picture and chroma keying to make your stream more immersive and entertaining.

Key Features:

  • Intuitive Panels — Comes with a great control panel with easy-to-use buttons for selecting sources, video effects, and transitions.
  • Built-in DVE — Take advantage of picture-in-picture effects which is great for commentary stream with its built-in DVE.
  • Multi-Camera Streams — Switch up to 8 high-quality video camera inputs on Mini Extreme. This guarantees decent-quality images.
  • Direct Record to Flash Drive — Allows direct recording to USB flash disks and supports multiple disk recording, too. Great for quick upload to any platform.
  • 4G/5G Mobile Data Tethering — Simply connect your smartphone to the USB port, and you’re ready to live stream anywhere, no manual settings needed.

Technical Specifications:

  • Max Resolution: 1080p
  • Codec: H.264
  • Input Types: HDMI, USB C
  • Supported OS: Windows, macOS
  • Supported Platform: Many platforms like Twitch, Facebook Live, and even Skype

Is This Live Streaming Encoder Worth It?
One of the most recommended hardware encoders for live streaming for those who look for multiple camera capabilities. It is affordable, too.

5. URay Coder 4K

  • Type: Hardware
  • Price: Not mentioned URayTech site, around US$468 on Amazon
  • Best For: Any streamers who wish for a 4K hardware encoder for live streaming

If you’re searching for an amazing 4K live streaming encoder that can handle up to four video streams and supports multiple streaming protocols, URayCoder is a great choice.

URayTech has many live stream encoder products, and their HDMI live streaming encoder is no joke. Equipped with 4 HDMI ports for multi stream capability, this live stream encoder can be your pick if you want to reach a wider audience for your stream.

Key Features:

  • 4K Live — Stream with great 4K video quality with ease for any niche.
  • Multi Channel Inputs — Lets you stream live to multiple platforms at the same time, up to four high-definition streams for each channel.
  • Multiple Protocols — With multi-protocol transmissions like RTMP, RTSP, IDP, and HLS, you are free to choose which one you prefer for data communication.
  • OSD — Make your streams more unique with customized logo, texts and more with its OSD setting.
  • Adaptive Bitrate — Allows you to stream with the most suitable video bitrate for the audience, from 32kB/s to 32mB/s

Technical Specifications:

  • Max Resolution: 4K
  • Codec: H.264
  • Input Types: HDMI
  • Supported OS: Windows, macOS
  • Supported Platform: many platforms, including Facebook Live, YouTube, Vimeo, and Twitch.

Is This Live Streaming Encoder Worth It?
A great deal for those wanting a 4K live stream encoder with multi-stream capability, all for around US$400.

6. Elgato Game Capture HD60 X

  • Type: Hardware
  • Price: USD 179.99 (discounted from USD199.99)
  • Best For: Professional gaming streamers

If you are a professional streamer in the gaming niche who wants to have a decent 4k live streaming encoder, The Elgato Game Capture HD60 X is a great option.

This hardware encoder for live streaming gives all you need to stream gameplay from various consoles like the PS5 or Xbox. You heard that right, the Elgato Game Capture HD60 X allows you to capture your gaming session in 4K resolution, giving you a guarantee of a stunning live stream experience.

What’s surprising is the price is considerably affordable, especially when you consider the plethora of features it has to offer.

Key Features:

  • Easy to Setup — a convenient plug-and-play setup, making it a breeze to get started, especially for those who have just started.
  • High-Quality Capture — It lets you capture your entire gaming experience in stunning 1080p60 HDR10 or 4K30 quality with pristine 48kHz audio.
  • Stream Link — It allows you to stream with overlays and record uncompressed videos without overlays at the same time.
  • HDR10 Enabled — It allows you to record punchy colors and deep shadows in nice-looking 1080p60 HDR10 quality.
  • Variable Refresh Rate — automatically adjusts the refresh rate based on the frame rate of the content, making it effective to prevent screen tearing.

Technical Specifications:

  • Max Resolution: 4K
  • Codec: H.264, HEVC
  • Input Types: HDMI
  • Supported OS: Windows, macOS
  • Supported Platform: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook Gaming, and more.

Is This Live Streaming Encoder Worth It?
With awesome features like VRR and Stream Deck integration, it’s worth its US$199 price tag.

7. LiveU Solo HDMI

  • Type: Hardware
  • Price: US$995
  • Best For: Any streamers, from gaming streamers and sportscasters to businesses

LiveU Solo HDMI lives up to its name as an effortless HDMI live streaming encoder. Using this encoder is as simple as connecting your camera and going live. Thanks to its intuitive Solo Portal. This way, you can eliminate the need for any technical assistance.

Do you want to stream on Facebook Live or Twitch? Simply log into the Solo portal and choose the streaming platform you want to be online.

LiveU Solo HDMI is one of the hardware encoders for live streaming with awesome wireless streaming capability. Apart from ethernet, you can also get online with a WiFi connection. In fact, you can even combine up to four connections at once.

Key Features:

  • High-Quality Streaming — Allows you to stream with awesome video quality (up to 4K with Pro versions)
  • Multi-Stream — Whatever your favorite streaming platforms are, LiveU has got you covered.
  • Tiny Design — Do you want to take it to different places and start streaming from there? No problem. It has a small dimension, making it portable.
  • LiveU Reliable Transport — Allows you to take advantage of the Solo bonding technology, which guarantees reliable streams by combining all your available connections and adjusting the video bitrate on the go.
  • Intuitive Solo Portal — Simplify your workflow with Solo Portal, which offers multi-destination streaming easily.
  • Integrated Device — Encoding, transmitting, and broadcasting are all into one compact package. No need for multiple devices or complicated setups.

Technical Specifications:

  • Max Resolution: HD, 4K (Pro versions)
  • Codec: H.264, H.265 (Pro Versions)
  • Input Types: HDMI and/or SDI
  • Supported OS: Windows and macOS
  • Supported Platform: Many platforms like Vimeo, Facebook Live, Twitch, and more.

Is This Live Streaming Encoder Worth It?
A recommended live stream encoder due to its simplicity and user-friendliness. The Solo Pro is a great option with modem support and 4K resolution for better streaming quality.

8. Streamlabs OBS

  • Type: Software
  • Price: Free, USD5.99/month (Pro), USD19/month (Ultra)
  • Best For: Any streamers, from gamers to influencers, especially those who love OBS

StreamLabs OBS needs no introduction. This is a free and open-source software application for live streaming with encoding capability. It is a popular choice for gamers who want to stream their gameplay on Twitch and other content creators.

StreamLabs OBS is encoding software with awesome features to simplify the streaming process. This live stream encoder is known for its amazing customization options, widgets, and integrations. This allows you to improve the quality and functionality of live streams.

Key Features:

  • Stream and Record — Easily stream to any platform and record it for later upload for on-demand video content or repurposing.
  • Awesome Transition — Leave the old-school transitions between scenes and make the streams more engaging with StreamLabs OBS transition effects
  • Multistream — You can stream to many platforms at once to reach more audience
  • Branding Tools — Make it more professional with a logo on your live stream to boost your personal branding
  • Merch Store — Easily sell your merchandise from this streaming platform. This can include items like t-shirts, mugs, and more.
  • Cross Clip — A free tool to turn your video recording into short-form clips, making it suitable for TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts.

Technical Specifications:

  • Max Resolution: 1080p
  • Codec: H.264
  • Input Types: Any digital input like IP cameras, webcams, capture cards, and more
  • Supported OS: Windows, macOS
  • Supported Platform: Many platforms like YouTube, Twitch and more.

Is This Live Streaming Encoder Worth It?
One of the best free encoders for live streaming you can get in the market. With its amazing features, streaming on any platform is a breeze.

9. OBS Studio

  • Type: Software
  • Price: Free
  • Best For: Any streamers who need a free option for broadcasting live

Similar to StreamLabs, Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is a free encoding software for streaming any content, from gaming to interviews. If you’re looking for a live stream encoder that supports all major operating systems, OBS is a pick.

As a free encoder for live streaming, OBS allows you to broadcast to any RTMP-enabled destination. Let’s say you want to stream on Twitch, Facebook and LinkedIn, this encoder has got you covered.

With features like customizable transitions, real-time audio/video mixing and capture, scene composition, encoding, recording, and broadcasting, OBS is a comprehensive solution for creators, broadcasters, and gamers who want to produce high-quality content.

Key Features:

  • Video Capturing and Mixing — You can capture video from different sources and switch among sources in real-time as well.
  • Filters — Add filters as your liking, from chroma keying to image masking, and color correction.
  • Modular Dock UI — Allows you to customize the user interface to match your needs and workflow.
  • Encoder Support — Feel free to choose encoders like x264, Intel Quick Sync, and Nvidia NVENC
  • Studio Mode. — Let you preview scenes and sources before going live, ensuring everything is perfect without your viewers even noticing.

Technical Specifications:

  • Max Resolution: 4K
  • Codec: x264, NVIDIA NVENC, H.265(if supported by your hardware)
  • Input Types: Any digital input like web cam, capture card, and more
  • Supported OS: Windows, macOS, Linux
  • Supported Platform: Any RTMP-enabled destination like Twitch, DLive and more.

Is This Live Streaming Encoder Worth It?
An awesome alternative for StreamLabs with great features and supports multi operating systems, making it a worth-try stream encoder.

10. Livestream Studio

  • Type: Software
  • Price: Free Trial, US$65/month
  • Best For: Any streamers who are looking for professional-grade encoders

If you’re all about encoding software, then you definitely need to check out Livestream Studio. With this platform, you can produce professional-quality live streams from any device, including your mobile. It’s like having a whole production studio right in your pocket.

While it’s true that Livestream Studio doesn’t offer a free plan, don’t let that discourage you. There’s so much to love about this live stream encoder. You’ll have the opportunity to stream using multiple cameras and broadcast yourself to multiple destinations. Plus, there’s an awesome cloud recording feature that adds to the excitement.

Key Features:

  • Multi-camera inputs — Create an immersive, dynamic live streaming experience with awesome transition of various video captures
  • Overlays — Use customized logos, lower thirds, and more to make your stream more engaging.
  • Hardware Encoding — With the option enabled, you can improve performance and reduce CPU usage with Livestream Studio’s hardware acceleration.
  • Adaptive Streaming — Allows you to deliver a smooth streaming experience to your audience, regardless of their internet connection.
  • Simulcasting — an excellent feature for professional streamers who want to have many audiences from multiple platforms.
  • Live Streaming for OTT. Create a Netflix-style OTT app for live and on-demand videos to deliver a premium streaming experience to your audience.

Technical Specifications:

  • Max Resolution: 4K
  • Codec: NVIDIA NVENC, Intel Quick Sync, HEVC
  • Input Types: Any digital input like IP cams, Webcam, and more
  • Supported OS: Windows, macOS
  • Supported Platform: Many platforms like YouTube, Twitch, LinkedIn Live, and more.

Is This Live Streaming Encoder Worth It?
If you’re willing to invest $65 per month for your professional streaming needs, LiveStream Studio is absolutely worth it.

11. Wirecast

  • Type: Software
  • Price: USD 599 (Studio), USD799 (Pro)
  • Best For: professional streamers from live sports broadcasters to businesses

Another online platform that comes with a built-in live streaming encoder and is able to handle live streams up to 4K resolution is on our list. Wirecast by Telestream can be all you need to deliver high-quality live streams that will captivate your audience.

No matter if you’re a pro gamer, an educational content creator, or a musician, this encoding software is worth-try. It’s packed with features that will take your content to new levels. On top of that, if you’re looking for a live stream encoder with NDI output, never skip this 4K live streaming encoder.

Key Features:

  • Multiple Sources — It’s not just DSLR cameras you can use for live streams. Your IP cameras and even your mobile phone camera can also be great sources.
  • Recording — Record your live stream with ease. It’s like having a backup copy of your stream to share with the world anytime.
  • Easy Setup — Start your live stream by simply logging in and choosing your preferred streaming platforms.
  • Multiview — Let you see all of your sources in one window to ensure everything is in sync.
  • NDI Output — this live stream encoder can detect NDI-enabled devices automatically, such as switchers and PTZ cameras.
  • Wirecast Go — Allows you to stream live from your iOS or Android devices.

Technical Specifications:

  • Max Resolution: 4K
  • Codec: H.264, H.265
  • Input Types: Capture Cards, Webcam, and more
  • Supported OS: Mac and Windows
  • Supported Platform: Many platforms like Twitch, Facebook Live, and more.

Is This Live Streaming Encoder Worth It?
For optimized video output up to 4K, Wirecast is a top live stream encoder choice. Or, if you prefer a hardware encoder for live streaming, Wirecast Gear is an option, but it can be pricey (US$5,595).

12. vMix

  • Type: Software
  • Price: US$50 per month, US$60 for one-time payment (Basic)
  • Best For: Any streamers who wish for professional-quality live streams

Similar to Wirecast, vMix is an all-in-one live video production software that has a built-in encoder.
So, it is not for the mere encoding process. You can even manage the entire live streaming process with this platform once it is installed on your computer.

If you want to take your broadcasts to the next level with 4K resolution output, this live stream encoder can be your pick. With its affordable price, you’ll get up to 1000 inputs, whether camera or NDI inputs.

Key Features:

  • Recording — Recording and live streaming your content to popular platforms like Twitch has never been easier with this fantastic live stream encoder.
  • Multistream — If you want to do simultaneous live streams on up to three platforms, vMix has got your back to reach a wider audience.
  • GT Designer — Take advantage of more than 100 built-in animated titles, and scoreboards and add them to your stream.
  • Instant Replay — Allow viewers a second chance to watch important moments they missed.
  • Vertical Video Production — A unique feature that allows you to stream the vertical portion of your screen in full HD, without compromising resolution.

Technical Specifications:

  • Max Resolution: 4K
  • Codec: H.264, H.265
  • Input Types: Any digital inputs like cameras, virtual inputs and NDI sources.
  • Supported OS: Windows
  • Supported Platform: Many platforms like YouTube, Facebook Live, and more.

Is This Live Streaming Encoder Worth It?
One of the affordable live stream encoders with unique features like vertical HD video, 1000 inputs, and a dual pricing plan (one-time and subscription).

Wrap Up

Finding the right live streaming encoder is the key to delivering remarkable live streams and engaging better with your audience. This will surely take your streaming to new levels!

You’ve learned that when choosing a live streaming encoder, there are several key features to consider. Price, performance, encoder type, and technical support all play a crucial role in making the right decision.

We have presented an awesome lineup of the best video encoders for streaming above. Here is the wrap-up:

  • Teradek VidiUX — A compact and affordable encoder for beginners
  • Newtek Tricaster TC1 — 4k live streaming encoder with up to 16 inputs
  • Niagara Gotream Mini 200 — a compact hardware encoder for live streaming
  • Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini — a streaming encoder with direct recording to a USB flash drive
  • URay Coder 4K — amazing 4K live stream encoder with multi-stream capability
  • Elgato Game Capture HD60 X — an affordable live stream encoder with 1080p60 HDR10 quality
  • LiveU Solo HDMI — HD live streaming encoder with an intuitive dashboard
  • Streamlabs OBS —a decent encoding software with a merch store feature
  • OBS Studio — free encoder for live streaming for most operating systems
  • Livestream Studio — awesome hardware encoding for better live stream performance
  • Wirecast — a live stream encoder with NDI output
  • vMix — offering great vertical HD video production

We hope this article can give you valuable insights into choosing the perfect live streaming encoder. So, are you ready to make your live stream stand out from the crowds?

FAQ about Live Stream Encoder

What is a live streaming encoder?

A live streaming encoder is a tool to make your video accessible to your audience when broadcasting live. It can be a hardware encoder for live streaming or an encoding software.

A video encoder for streaming converts and compresses video files into a format which is suitable for live streaming with great quality.

Do I need an encoder for live streaming?

Yes, you need an encoder to make a live streaming possible. Without converting the format, live streaming would be challenging.

A video encoder for streaming converts your raw video feed into a format suitable for live streaming. This process reduces the file size, making it easier to send over the internet without buffering, while retaining video quality. This is more bandwidth-friendly, too.

What is an HDMI live streaming encoder?

As its name suggests, an HDMI live streaming encoder is a type of encoder that accepts HDMI inputs. So, it will be compatible with a wide range of devices like DSLRs, laptops, and gaming consoles that output video via HDMI.

Are there any free encoders for live streaming?

Yes, there are several free software encoders available for live streaming, such as OBS Studio, StreamLabs OBS, StreamYard, and many more. These options may not have all the features of premium encoders, but they are excellent for beginners.

What is a hardware encoder for live streaming?

A hardware encoder for live streaming is a dedicated physical device designed specifically for encoding. These type of live streaming encoder tend to be more robust, but more expensive.

Why should I consider an HD streaming encoder?

It is recommended to use an HD streaming encoder because it allows you to broadcast in high-definition quality. This provides a fantastic clear picture for your viewers that will enhance their viewing experience. On top of that, it will make your stream more professional.


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