About OBS Studio
OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) Studio is free, cross-platform streaming software. It’s a popular choice for beginners especially, because it doesn’t cost anything and there’s a ton of documentation and resources to help you get started.
With OBS Studio, and other livestreaming software like it, you can manage your stream like a TV show. You can cue up different scenes so that you can easily switch between your webcam, browser, slides, video call, and pre-recorded video with the press of a button. You can also add overlays like text, images and much more, letting you achieve professional-looking results for your broadcast.
In this tutorial, we’re going to share step by step instructions for how you can set up your first livestream from OBS Studio to online event platform Vito. For tons of useful information about how to get started with streaming generally and how to run your livestream on the day, check out our Ultimate Guide to Livestreaming.
Download and configure OBS Studio
First you need to download OBS Studio from their website. The software is free to install and there are versions available for Windows, Linux and Mac. Select the logo for your operating system, and then click to download the installer, open the file, and follow the instructions on screen to complete installation.
Once installed, you may want to explore and configure your settings. Open the software and navigate to the Settings section, accessible from the Controls menu in the bottom right of the screen. There are quite a few menu items, many of which you don’t really need to worry about too much when you’re starting out. In particular you can skip the Stream menu item for now, as we’ll be looking at that in the next section. But now’s a good time to have a look around and make any changes to the default settings if you’d like to.
Connect your livestream key
OBS Studio and most other streaming software have preconfigured integrations with YouTube, Twitch and so on, but also allow for adding a Custom Stream Key. Vito’s streaming provider, Mux, provides us with an RTMP (Real-time messaging protocol) URL and a unique stream key specific to a hub. This is what we’ll be adding in OBS Studio to set up our stream.
Here are the steps you need to follow:
- Open your hub and activate Admin mode by clicking on the toolkit icon/li>
- Click to add a live stream (either from the Setup Guide or in the left-hand sidebar) — this will generate a page that contains the media player as well as the details you'll need to plug into OBS Studio
- Open up OBS Studio and navigate to Settings > Stream
- From the Service dropdown, select Custom
- In the Server field, enter the stream URL from Vito
- In the Stream Key field, enter the stream key from Vito
- Leave the authentication checkbox unchecked
- Click OK to confirm
OBS Studio is now connected to the Vito hub, and you’re ready to stream!
Set up and customize your stream
There are a few main sections of the OBS Studio interface to familiarize yourself with. The first is the large preview section at the top of the screen which displays what will appear on your stream.
Next let’s turn our attention to the scenes column on the left-hand side. Each scene is a different section of your livestream — for instance you might have a scene for a title slide, one for your webcam, and one for a pre-recorded clip you plan to roll. Click the plus icon to add a new scene, and give it a name. You’ll want this to be something that’s easy to identify so you know which scene you’re selecting during your stream.
Now it’s time to select sources for each scene, which you can do in the next column along by clicking on the plus icon. Sources are where you’re pulling the images or audio from, and there are quite a few options. Here are some particularly useful ones and what they allow you to do:
- Display Capture — share your screen
- Image — browse for an image to display, such as a holding slide
- Media Source — browse for a pre-recorded video to play
- Text — enter some text to display as an overlay, for instance over an image source
- Video Capture Device — connect to your webcam
You can right click on any scene or source to rename it, and you can click on the eye icon next to a source to hide it. You can also drag to resize and reposition all your sources.
In the third column you can tinker with the way scenes transition between one another, choosing from options like cut, fade and swipe. There’s a bit to pick up, but the best way to learn is to experiment and try stuff out.
For more help with setting up your stream in OBS Studio, check out their Quickstart Guide, Overview Guide and the rest of their documentation.
Streaming to Vito
We recommend running at least a couple of test streams ahead of your live event, to make sure you’re happy with how everything works. Vito automatically saves a copy of the stream file to the admin area of your hub so that you can watch it back afterwards.
To test your OBS Studio livestream in Vito, first check that you’ve entered the correct livestream key for your hub. Then open up your hub and enter Admin mode.
In OBS Studio, you can click to start streaming under the Controls menu on the right-hand side. You'll see the stream status in the hub change to Buffering for around 20 seconds, and then to Preview mode. Only you can see the stream at this point. To reveal the stream to your participants in the hub, hit the green button to go live. Here’s a one minute video showing what this process looks like from start to finish.
When you’re ready to stop broadcasting, click to stop streaming inside OBS Studio.
For more general tips on running a livestream, including what to do before, during and after, check our ultimate guide to livestreaming.
Recording your stream
A copy of the stream file will be saved to the Videos section in the admin area of your Vito hub automatically, so that you can attach it to a session if you’d like to make it available to play on demand.
It can also be useful to save a copy of the stream file locally to your computer too, so that you can trim or edit it if you need to. In order to save a recording of your stream locally, just click to start recording in the Controls section in OBS Studio, and then stop recording when you’re done.
You can also configure OBS Studio to automatically record your streams. You’ll find this option under the General tab in the preferences section. Check the boxes that say “Automatically record when streaming” and “Keep recording when stream stops”. Under the Output tab in the preference section, you’ll find options to change where your recordings get saved and in what format.
OBS Studio is a trusted, free piece of software you can use to run your livestream to Vito. It allows you to set up scenes and pull from different sources, and it’s easy to integrate with your Vito hub.
As an alternative, StreamLabs OBS is another very similar piece of software that actually builds on OBS Studio, so it has the same feature-set and is also free but has a slightly snazzier interface. So the tips in this post should be broadly transferable to StreamLabs as well.
We hope you found these instructions useful in getting set up to stream to Vito using OBS Studio. If you’re looking for more livestreaming content check out the rest of our resources. Happy streaming!