Working and convening remotely/Open Broadcaster Software streaming guide

Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is a free and open source software tool for recording video and live streaming on Windows, Mac OS, or Linux. It has been used in several Wikimedia conferences, for example ItWikiCon 2020, Wikimania 2019 and Wikimedia Diversity Conference 2017.

Two on computers on a desk
Two Open Broadcaster Software stations during the itWikiCon 2020

OBS scenesEdit

OBS uses "Scenes" to combine audio and video layers to send to the output stream. Each video or audio layer has one input source and these sources can be combined to form scenes. Only the currently selected scene is sent to the output stream, so you can prepare a number of scenes ahead of time and switch between them on the fly during the broadcast.

Studio ModeEdit

Studio mode allows for smooth transitions between scenes and also provides a preview monitor. The window on the left is the preview monitor and the window on the right is what is being sent to the output stream. Clicking "Transition" will swap the windows, sending what is on the preview monitor to the output stream and what was being sent to the output stream to the preview monitor. This is the best way to conduct a broadcast.

How to set up a streamEdit

There are a lot of ways to do a streaming.

RTMP serverEdit

There are effective ways to host everything by yourself using free software or self-hosted services:

YouTube liveEdit

See YouTube Live setup for more information.


Please complete this list with some experiences and some documentation related to Open Broadcaster Software (most recent first):

See alsoEdit