OBS Studio 29.1 to allow AV1/HEVC streaming to YouTube

Published: Mar 27th 2023, 08:07 GMT   Comments

AV1 & HEVC streaming to YouTube with the next OBS Studio release

OBS Studio, the most popular software to record and stream videos to platforms such as Twitch or YouTube, will finally allow gamers to benefit from the capable video coding technology.

The AV1 is a royalty-free and video codec that allows up to 30% more efficient streaming at the same quality as HEVC. This means less bandwidth is required to share the same quality of content. This codec decoding support has now expanded to all modern GPUs and APUs.

The latest graphics architectures such as AMD RDNA3, NVIDIA Ada Lovelace and Intel Xe-HPG can now also encode videos in this format, however, support for video streaming has been lacking. Thus far, software like OBS could only record videos, but there was no way of sharing AV1 content live.

The upcoming OBS Studio 29.1 update will finally enable AV1 and HEVC streaming to YouTube. Neither YouTube nor Twitch or Discord were allowing AV1 streaming, but this has changed over the past few months. Gamers were still allowed to upload AV1 videos for video platforms to convert to a compatible codec, but there was no way of streaming it live.

OBS Studio 29.1 AV1/HEVC streaming feature, Source: OBS Github

Discord was the first major platform to enable AV1 streaming, but support is limited to GeForce RTX 40 series only. The video will either be served as a native AV1 stream or converted for users without decoding capability on their machines. The same method is expected from YouTube streams.

According to the changelog, the feature has been tested with NVIDIA NVENC and Intel encoders up to 4K 60 FPS, but there is no mention of AMD support. It is also worth noting that YouTube AV1 streaming is still in BETA, so it may not be production ready just yet.

OBS Studio 29.1 milestones are 92% complete, but the AV1/HEVC streaming enablement for YouTube is already fully implemented. The software update should be released once all open issues are closed.

Source: OBS Studio Github

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