Subject: General Tech | March 11, 2019 - 11:33 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: OBS, xsplit
The makers of XSplit, SplitmediaLabs, has just become a Gold Sponsor of the Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) project, which is an open-source alternative to their XSplit Broadcaster. According to the OBS Open Collective page, this amounts to $20,000 USD, which ties them for first with Games Done Quick.
Note that the third-place organization has contributed $250, so there’s a lot of room for smaller companies to jump in.
At the same time, Andreas Hoye, COO of SplitmediaLabs, published the blog post “Why XSplit is sponsoring OBS” to answer the obvious question “Why is XSplit sponsoring OBS?” According to his words, there appears to be three main reasons. The first reason is that the developer of OBS did this as a passion project, and multiple companies have swooped in to make for-profit forks. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; companies, such as RedHat, have shown that you can be valuable by establishing a service atop an open-source platform. It’s reasonable for XSplit to see the open-source OBS as their true competitor, and they’re doing it for nothing, so why not show a friendly gesture to someone in your industry who is only there because they want to be?
This leads into the second reason: competition. The post claims to want to keep OBS strong so the open-source project innovates and thus shows XSplit new ways to better their own software. It’s the not-zero-sum way of looking at the world, where you make the entire industry grow rather than eat away at each other’s market share.
As for the third reason? XSplit makes other software than just Broadcaster, and their new VCam webcam background remover is compatible with OBS.
Regardless of the reason, it’s cool when a company supports open-source. XSplit being a competitor of OBS just makes the story better.
Over the past few weeks, I have been developing a device that enables external control of Wirecast and XSplit. Here's a video of the device in action:
But now, let's get into the a little bit of background information:
While the TriCaster from NewTek has made great strides in decreasing the cost of video switching hardware, and can be credited with some of the rapid expansion of live streaming on the Internet, it still requires an initial investment of about $20,000 on the entry-level. Even though this is down from around 5x or 10x the cost just a few years ago for professional-grade hardware, a significant startup cost is still presented.
This brings us to my day job. For the past 4 years I have worked here at PC Perspective. My job began as an intern helping to develop video content, but quickly expanded from there. Several years ago, we decided to make the jump to live content, and started investing in the required infrastructure. Since we obviously didn't need to worry about the availability of PC Hardware, we decided to go with the software video switching route, as opposed to dedicated hardware like the TriCaster. At the time, we started experimenting with Wirecast and bought a few Blackmagic Intensity Pro HDMI capture cards for our Canon Vixia HV30 cameras. Overall, building an 6 core computer (Core i7-980x in those days) with 3 capture cards resulted in an investment of about $2500.
Advantages to the software route not only consisted of a much cheaper initial investment, we had an operation running for about a 1/10th of the cost of a TriCaster, but ultimately our setup was more expandable. If we had gone with a TriCaster we would have a fixed number of inputs, but in this configuration we could add more inputs on the fly as long as we had available I/O on our computer.