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XSplit Broadcaster – A Live Streaming Software Review

XSplit v.3.2 | Broadcaster | by SplitmediaLabs | FREE (w/watermark), $25/3 mo., $60/yr, $199 lifetime

XSplit has two offerings on their website. One is Broadcaster and the other is Gamecaster. With over 8 million registered players, and 200k joining every month, you’ll find XSplit is geared specifically toward the video gaming industry. If you’re just planning to deliver a message with video, download Broadcaster.

This was my go-to software during the Blab Days, until I won that copy of Wirecast v.6 Pro I mentioned above! Looking like another OBS clone, XSplit is capable of desktop sharing, video playback, graphic overlays, multiple inputs and streaming via RTMP(Flash), RTSP(IP), and NDI (beta). This app will also record locally.  And that’s just the FREE version…

It can be used for Skype, Hangouts or Facebook, and any other site that grants access via WebRTC in the browser, but a virtual camera is not the only selling point..

The array of other unique paid features available inside of XSplit include: .mov stingers, widgets for virtual whiteboards, image slideshows, 8 addt’l scenes, local streaming. In the licensed version there’s even a built-in video editor! Setting up streams to Facebook, YouTube, Twitch and Mixer via RTMP are pretty straight-forward, but the controls are scattered about. The account and basic version are free, and you must be logged in and connected to your account before you can use the software, which I do not like. I suspect it helps them with their user analytics. Full access requires a very inexpensive upgrade to the paid version for three months of use, and they even have a Lifetime Plan for $199… that’s my kinda software – good until you die!

Previous versions included a software chromakey plugin, that seems to have been discontinued and is now handled natively. A substantial number of new features have been added to their latest 3.0 version. One clever concept that I haven’t seen in any other app besides this one is the ability to bring in remote guests using Skype.

A few years back, one of my biggest hangups with XSplit was it’s sluggishness. But then again, game aficionados tend to have the biggest, baddest machines on the planet. They care very little about processing overhead, because their machines are built to the hilt. Hard-core gaming machines typically don’t have a problem with lag like your average business machine do. At that time, I was running an older 4 core AMD unit with 8 GB of DDR2 that could barely keep up.  Currently, I’m using an AMD FX-6300 6-core with 16GB of DDR3 RAM.  I’m just about ready for an upgrade.

Their website does admit that the system requirements are a little higher than your average box will bear.  Oddly, it states XSplit’s MIN spec is Windows 8.1, a 2nd Gen. I5 CPU or higher, and 8 GB of RAM, which isn’t all that bad.

The only downfalls to the free version of XSplit is the constant reminding you to upgrade to Premium and the fact you’re restricted from using it for commercial use. So if this software suits your fancy, be sure to upgrade first.

About ½ of the highly sought after broadcast features including, get this… a fully incorporated video editor, cause an annoying pop-up to engage that asks you for your money. The image above shows which of those features will trigger such an event. Pay the man already, and lose that annoying delayed “Continue” button they installed on the front end upon entering if you don’t.

If your machine isn’t built for speed or at least able to match the required specs, then XSplit might not be something you should even consider, but if your newly built equipment is up-to-snuff, then this would be a fantastic alternative to some of the other higher priced software out there, at a far more reasonable price!

XSplit does have some known issues and some other limitations, but overall I have no problem at all giving it a “thumbs up” recommendation to not only my gaming friends, but to anyone new to broadcasting as a first step to going pro.

If you’re reading this in hard copy, you may want to browse to the site to check on the known issues in relation to your hardware to make sure your system would be compatible with the software as it stands currently. Most bugs are sure to be worked out over time.

XSplit Broadcaster

FREE-$199 Lifetime
9

Ease of Use

9.0/10

Stability

8.0/10

Features

10.0/10

Price

9.5/10

Upgrades

8.5/10

Pros

  • Free Demo/Limited Version
  • Built-in Video Editor (Pro)
  • Large User Base
  • Pro Features/Customizations
  • Lifetime Account

Cons

  • FREE Version Contains Watermark
  • Continuous Upgrade Pop-ups
  • Laggy compared to others
  • A Bit Complicated for Rookies
  • Must LogIn to Use Software

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