This is a question I get more often than not. There’s not an easy answer to this because it depends a lot on your computer and equipment in general too. I’m gonna do a quick review of what’s out there and give you what I suggest as of now…and this changes a lot as technology evolves, softwares stop working with certain versions etc, etc.

Internal encoder

This one is the one you get when you log in to your account on Streamate. It’s a pre-built “encoder” that even though says HD is everything but HD. Unless you live far far away where internet sucks I highly DON’T recommend to use any of the built-in encoding options on Streamate. It’s bad user experience and most importantly it does affect your placement.

External Encoder: Flash Media Live Encoder

A couple of years ago I would have advised to use it. It was also the only options for an external encoder on Streamate. Adobe stopped completely supporting this software since Flash itself is also dying. It might work still but expect weird behaviors, bugs…that might make you believe something is wrong with Streamate where really it could be the encoder.

External Encoder: SMB

The Streamate Encoder aka SMB seems like a great idea. It allows Streamate to control how it works with their platform and troubleshoot if there’s anything wrong…well that’s the theory. From the many many beta versions to this day it has been nothing but bugs and really not such a good experience. All the issues with Flash Media Live Encoder (FMLE) like having to deal with 2 windows…cough cough. I tried to use SMB a few times but got a lot of issues with it like dropping frames randomly, using a lot of CPU…all the way to not working at all. If you are a Mac user, I couldn’t use any of the latest release of SMB up and till a few months ago.

External Encoder: Wirecast

Wirecast is a prosumer option. As you can guess it’s not cheap, about $700 but it’s packed with awesome features. If you want to play with muticameras, add graphics, animations, etc, this is an awesome software. I personally like to use on Streamate for contests as it allows me to add videos, little animations, put members names on screen…and overall make a fun experience for users. It’s as easy as the 2 previous softwares to copy and paste Streamate server info and it works way better than SMB.

External Encoder: OBS

Even if Wirecast is for me hands down the best streaming encoder for Streamate, I understand that the price can be an issue. That’s where OBS comes in handy. It has very similar features than Wirecast and can handle multi cameras, multi audio sources etc, and the best part it’s absolutely FREE. This is my go to encoding software when I’m on cam because where SMB fails, OBS delivers.

If you have any questions about any of these streaming encoders, you can get in touch with me anytime.