[TEST] How to Improve Your OBS Live Streaming from MacOS

Cristian MiculiEnjoy Better Streaming, How To

OBS Live Streaming on MacOS Essential Element: Solid Internet Connectivity

OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) is definitely the most popular live streaming software at the moment. It's free and it's got a great community that supplies all the plugins to support any live streaming fantasy setup you may think of. The beauty of OBS is that is appeals to both basic and advanced users.

But no matter how well you set up your streaming sources, scenes and transitions on your Mac, your Internet connection ultimately makes or breaks a successful OBS live stream. Whether you're going live on YouTube, Twitch, Facebook Live and other platforms - fast and reliable upload connectivity is something you'll need in order to get the best video quality for your OBS live streaming on MacOS. 

Dropped frames, buffering, low quality video and even disconnects from the streaming server - these are just a few symptoms of a bad Internet connection. That can lead to:

  • You appearing unprofessional to your audience.
  • You losing followers, if this happens frequently.
  • You losing progress in a game you're streaming with OBS on Twitch or people missing important bits from a discussion or interview.

This article explains how you can get a fast and reliable Internet connection at all times, so you can focus on the streaming and not on fixing the problems of your Internet connection.

How to Fix and Avoid OBS Live Streaming Internet Connectivity Issues on MacOS

Why is your OBS live stream experiencing issues? Dropping frames on OBS, buffering, network errors - how can you avoid all these?

These are just a few of the issues that often come up in the OBS live streaming community. Dropped frames, low stream quality and disconnects are usually related to connection issues. What you can do here is contact your ISP, choose another streaming server, restart your network equipment - more in this comprehensive troubleshooting guide.

Broadcasting with OBS on Twitch from MacOS requires a steady and fast Internet connection so your stream’s video quality doesn’t drop or disconnect. That’s why Internet connectivity is very important. Here at Speedify we get that - our service does everything to help live streaming - from optimizing live streams to making sure you never get offline during a stream.

Fix OBS Dropping Frames and Avoid Buffering and Low Quality Video on MacOS

OBS is the preferred platform for live streaming for many Twitch content creators. It’s available for free and it’s got add-ons to cover all the bells and whistles you may want. It's also very user friendly, and easy to configure.

Since here at Speedify we help live streamers from Twitch and other platforms improve their broadcasts, we always want to know exactly how much our service helps content creators. So, we put Speedify to the test with OBS on MacOS. Below are the results we got from testing and how you can enhance your live streams. Naturally, you can also forget about issues such as dropped frames, buffering, disconnects and network errors.

Twitch OBS Live Streaming Test on MacOS with Speedify

How Speedify Helps You Avoid Live Streaming Issues on Twitch with OBS

There are many online reviews and discussions where streamers agree that Speedify helps their live streaming. But we wanted to test it ourselves and see exactly how much it does that. Especially now, when we have the brand new Speedify protocol in place.

Test setup: our goal is to evaluate Twitch live streaming improvements with OBS when using Speedify vs. not using Speedify on MacOS. So we ran multiple tests on a full HD video stream. Data is according to the Twitch Inspector tool.

All tests were conducted via OBS on a MacBook Air featuring an Apple M1 CPU with 16 GB RAM running MacOS Big Sur 11.2.3

Streaming video: 1080p @ 30 fps, 30 minutes video

OBS and Speedify settings were left to their default. When active, Speedify was connected to the Newark server. The numbers are from the Twitch Inspector Tool.

Testing scenarios: we tested with and without Speedify using one or more of these Internet connections:

  • Bad Wi-Fi: a limited Raspberry Pi access point with 1 Mbps download / upload speeds
  • Wi-Fi connection: 300 Mbps download / 150 Mbps upload
  • Cellular hotspots
TEST RESULTS

The first test was using the 300 / 150 Mbps Wi-Fi connection. There was no significant improvement in terms of bitrate when using Speedify vs. not using Speedify. That's mainly because the bitrate needed to stream a full HD video at 30 fps is covered by the Wi-Fi connection.


1080p @ 30 fps streaming Wi-Fi No Speedify Wi-Fi + Speedify Wi-Fi + Cell + Speedify Wi-Fi + 2 Cell + Speedify
Bitrate Average: 2455 kbps 2479 kbps 2481 kbps 2500 kbps
Bitrate Max: 2700 kbps 2800 kbps 2917 kbps 2883 kbps
Bitrate Min: 2102 kbps 2081 kbps 2133 kbps 2150 kbps
Framerate Average: 30 fps 30 fps 30 fps 30 fps
Framerate Max: 30 fps 30 fps 30 fps 30 fps
Framerate Min: 30 fps 30 fps 30 fps 0 fps

Now, when it comes to live streaming from a bad Wi-Fi connection (think IRL, streaming anywhere outside of your home or studio) - Speedify is a real game changer. The improvement we saw when combining multiple internet sources with Speedify was up to 2.4 fold vs. no Speedify on a bad Wi-Fi connection. And, naturally, it would have gone even higher as OBS would have needed a higher bitrate.

1080p @ 30 fps streaming Bad Wi-Fi Bad Wi-Fi + Speedify Bad Wi-Fi + Cell + Speedify Bad Wi-Fi + 2 Cell + Speedify
Bitrate Average: 1045 kbps 1052 kbps 2451 kbps 2442 kbps
Bitrate Max: 2707 kbps 2916 kbps 2734 kbps 2921 kbps
Bitrate Min: 185 kbps 200 kbps 2144 kbps 2115 kbps
Framerate Average: 15 fps 16 fps 30 fps 30 fps
Framerate Max: 30 fps 30 fps 30 fps 30 fps
Framerate Min: 1 fps 1 fps 0 fps 0 fps
TAKEAWAYS FROM THE TESTING TEAM
  • Easy-to-use live streaming software with a lot of add-on options and fine tunings with a lot of external support for hardware and software;
  • When you stream videos that require higher bitrates (e.g. 4K video @ 60 fps) on a bad network, Speedify is going to help even more, gathering the necessary bandwidth from the best internet sources it has available.

Is Speedify Bonding Software Better than Hardware Bonding Devices such as LiveU and Peplink?

Connection bonding for faster, more reliable Internet connectivity comes in different forms. Speedify is the software flavor. Another much more costly flavor is dedicated hardware rigs, such as the LiveU series or Peplink bonding routers. Ultimately it’s your choice, but here are the main perks Speedify brings to the table versus those hardware options:

  • the Speedify protocol - opening up to 8 parallel sockets on each combined connection and intelligently utilizing them to prioritize your streaming traffic
  • dedicated servers for those truly dedicated live streamers - more performance, closer to the streaming ingest servers, and guaranteed service level agreements.
  • flexibility - you don’t have to carry a dedicated bonding device with you. Speedify can run on the device you’re streaming from. Or you can use Speedify to set up a custom dedicated bonding router on Windows or Linux, if you want.
  • cost - only a small fraction of what you have to pay for the dedicated hardware.

Somebody whose company and job depends on successful live streaming said this about Speedify:

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Download Speedify

Speedify is the only app that can combine multiple internet sources into one bonded super-connection for more stable and secure livestreaming, video calling, and web browsing.

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