Browser Broadcasts or External Broadcaster?
When it comes to live streaming, you may ponder over what are the different ways that you can broadcast a live event on your website. Here at WpStream – and on many more live streaming platforms- there are two options. You can broadcast via your browser directly or you could use an external broadcaster or App that you will have to download on your PC, tablet, or phone.
Broadcasting from the browser (or webcasting) means that you can live stream a live event straight from your browser. This is usually more suitable for beginners that want a quick and easy set up. A user can go live using the browser in less than 3 minutes and does not have to stress over downloading broadcasting software that can also take up space alongside the extra expenses.
An external broadcaster is a software that can be downloaded and used for live streaming. It is generally used by those who want to deliver a higher quality broadcast with the ability to adjust and customize the settings of the stream. Beginners could also use it as there are easy to follow tutorials in our articles and and on our YouTube channel. Generally, we recommend that users broadcast via an external broadcaster as they have more control over how their broadcasts will look like to viewers. OBS Studio is a great choice as it is a Free Pro Tool that delivers high quality live streams and you can also record your live streams.
Browser Broadcaster and External Broadcaster Similarities
Although the list of differences is important to consider before choosing the right broadcaster for your live event, you should definitely take a look at the similarities. These are all the features that are available in both the Browser and External Broadcasters. Whichever one you end up choosing, you will be benefitting from quality broadcasts and easy set up that could be accomplished by beginners and advanced live streamers.
- Quality Live Streams
- Quick set up- Go live in less than 10 minutes
- Both types of broadcasters have monetization capabilities- Free, Pay-Per-View, Subscription, and Hybrid (Diverse combinations)
- Ability to start and stop the broadcast
- Can select the camera and microphone
- Broadcast Bitrate and Video resolution adjustability
- Screen sharing
- Enable regular users (non-admins) to broadcast- Similar to Twitch
Pros and Cons
Now that you understand what you will be getting with both types of broadcasters, get a notepad and note down the pros and cons of each. Attempt to relate these to the type of live streaming that you wish to carry out. Some of these features may stand out over the others and some of the cons may be deal breakers for what you are hoping to accomplish.
- Works in all modern browsers, including Chrome (Mac, Windows, Android), Safari (Mac, iPhone, iPad), Firefox (Desktop, Android), Edge, Opera, and many more.
- Great for beginners
- Quick Set up- Go live in less than 3 minutes
- No need to download another external broadcaster
- Less options to customize
- May be unsuitable for advanced broadcasters
- Cannot switch between cameras while broadcasting
- Does not offer PIP, transitions, or other effects
- Can only be stored on WpStream – it is safer to save the live stream in at least two locations
- Generally broadcasts at a lower quality than external broadcasters
- May render incompatibility with older browsers
- Great for beginners and advanced users
- More options to customize
- Hundreds of External Broadcasters to choose from
- Can switch between cameras while broadcasting
- Offers PIP, transitions, and other effects
- Free Pro Grade Broadcast Software available (Example: OBS Studio)
- Almost all external broadcasters accept Custom Live Streaming RTMP
- Can record live streams to the computer as a safety net
- Can adjust settings more in depth compared to the browser broadcaster
- Must download/access an external broadcaster
- Some external broadcasters are expensive
- Takes longer to set up and go live
- More equipment necessary
Overall, the decision rests in your hands over which broadcaster is best for your streaming events and business. If you are a beginner and are just learning the ropes of live streaming, go with the browser broadcaster as it is easier to use and no extra downloads are necessary. However, if you are someone who wants to broadcast more ‘professionally’, we always recommend that our users live stream using an external broadcaster.
Our ‘go-to’ is OBS Studio as it is free, easy to use, and delivers quality content. Not only is it suitable for advanced live streamers, beginners can also benefit since we have created descriptive video tutorials that are easy to comprehend and follow. You can check out all the other external broadcasters and how to use them here. Whichever you wish to go with, WpStream will cater to the most popular requests from live streamers including user friendly broadcasting, monetization options, and the ability to create your interactive video streaming website.