OBS Classic and OBS Studio are both viable options when it comes to streaming, but which one is truly the best option? To answer that question for you, I’ll be delving into the major, and some of the minor, differences between the two. If you’re new to streaming, you don’t need to worry about this article very much and can just go right ahead and download OBS Studio, but if you’re already streaming and have been using OBS Classic, you’ll want to give this a quick read through and see why you should look at making the switch from OBS Classic to OBS Studio.
OBS Studio vs OBS Classic – which is better choice?
The main reason why you should switch is not because of bigger and better software, but because OBS Studio has been re-coded from the ground up with the idea of creating better streaming and recording software. This means that OBS Studio is better suited for newer systems and should run a fair bit smoother. OBS Studio also used to be called OBS Multi-Platform because it was, and still is, able to be used on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
One of the main differences between OBS Classic and OBS Studio, is that OBS Studio, as the name suggests, has a studio mode. Studio mode gives you the ability to set things up in a “behind the scenes” fashion. This allows you to set up and edit your scenes, and at the press of a button, push them up live. This means you can make live updates without your viewers knowing what’s going on.
Another important feature is the filters. It could easily be argued that the filters are one of the most powerful features of OBS Studios. You can use the filters to customize practically everything from your video itself to your audio, as well as adding various effects. They’re easy to learn despite how intimidating they might seem to be, and they will bring your streams to the next level.
A couple more minor upgrades that do not make or break anything, but they certainly make things easier, are how the plug-ins and the sources are set up. In OBS Classic you had to manually install your plug-ins and manually assign your sources to be global sources. OBS Studio takes out this hassle with all the plug-ins you need already installed, and all your sources are pre-assigned to be global sources, making it so every source is running at the same time and usable across scenes.
The reasons I have listed above are only the more major changes but there is also a multitude of smaller items unique to OBS Studio that makes it superior to OBS Classic. These range from increased audio tracks, the increased amount is six in case you were just a little bit curious, all the way to different encoders and bitrates. The most important ones, in my opinion, and based on my own experiences streaming and recording, would be:
- The better capture card support
- Different encoders for streaming and recording
- More hotkeys. You can hotkey pretty much anything you need.
- The ability to record in formats other than FLV and mp4
- Timers for automatic shutdown of streams and recordings
- Scrollable preview when using preview scaling (hold space)
- The support for fractional FPS values (Capture cards 29,97, 59,94 for example)
- The ability to have multiple audio devices (Global 2 Desktop / 3 Mics, unlimited non-global devices)
- Different resolutions for streaming and recording
There are far more, but since it would take far too long to list all the bonuses that you get from upgrading to OBS Studio, these nine are some of the more important additions, in my experience, that are for the Studio version of OBS only. Perhaps it would also be best to point out the things that aren’t yet implemented into OBS Studio (compared to OBS Classic). Some things may be deal breakers and some things might not be needed depending on just exactly what is it you’re trying to stream and how.
- You don’t have the ability to capture layered windows
- You don’t have the ability to change the video adapter that OBS Studio is running on
- You don’t have the ability to change the volume of the video capture devices when using “Output to desktop or monitoring” option without affecting the stream or recording
- You can’t copy scenes to other scene collections
- There is no DV/HDV support (firewire)
- DWM Monitor Capture (more efficient Monitor Capture for Windows 7)
- Individual filters for sources based on unshareable resources (Webcams and Game Capture for example)
- Option for enabling encoding while only the preview is showing (OBS Classic does this by default)
- Per-scene volume (without adding audio sources manually to scenes)
- Start recording from “Replay Buffer” (turn the Buffer into an ongoing recording)
- Sub region selection
- XINPUT devices (XBOX 360 controller for example) for hotkeys
- The ability to disable/hide the program controls
- The performance with OBS Studio is better vs Classic as reported by many users
Despite all of that, OBS Studio is still superior in what it can do compared to OBS Classic. The above list is simply things that haven’t been re-implemented from Classic to Studio. If one of the things mentioned in the list above is a deal breaker, I would still greatly recommend checking out OBS Studio, even if it’s just for a couple of streams, to see if it’s something you really needed or if you need the extras that come with OBS Studio more.
While OBS Classic has familiarity for many people, it is also outdated. It’s no longer being updated and it’s in the process of being phased out. Even if OBS Classic is working for you, it won’t be soon, and it would be better to move onto OBS Studio sooner rather than later so that you have a chance to learn it before you’re in hot water. OBS Studio is being updated regularly by the developers and has many patches and bug fixes, and if something does slip through the radar, it gets dealt with quickly, and while OBS Studio is missing a couple of the things that make OBS Classic familiar, it also has more to offer and more to come.