StreamYard Review – Is this the Best Live Streaming Software?

StreamYard Review

Pros

  • Browser-based streaming service
  • Intuitive and simple interface
  • Allows multistreaming 

Cons

  • Limited features for professional streamers
  • Carries StreamYard logo and branding on free versions

StreamYard is a very handy live streaming software that enables you to add engaging elements to your live streams.

Elements such as transition effects, branding, and banners give your content a professional touch, the key to increasing your dedicated audience.

In this StreamYard review, we will be uncovering all its features, advantages, and disadvantages to help you decide how it stacks against its competitors.

Hands-on Experience

This StreamYard review is based on the first-hand experience of using the software and assessing the features.

We have compiled our usage experience based on certain aspects – time is taken to create an account, process of broadcasting, and StreamYard features. We even had the opportunity to test the multistreaming service!

Registration

StreamYard

To use StreamYard, go to their official website. Create a login ID unless you already have one. If you don’t, create your maiden credentials and verify the OTP sent to your email address.

The website will ask your permission to access the microphone and webcam through a popup.

It is easy to get started with StreamYard. Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Periscope(Twitter), and Twitch are already included in the interface.

You can also use the Custom RTMP for streaming to websites that use the RTMP server, URL, and stream key for the streaming destination.

Make sure you know how to get the destination stream key in StreamYard to use this feature.

Streamyard User Interface

StreamYard Broadcasting

StreamYard has the simplest user interface among all streaming software, which makes it easier to use as compared to OBS or Streamlabs.

For social media networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Periscope, and Twitch, you will have to log in to the websites using your credentials and allow permissions.

Other than the live stream, you can also use StreamYard to record your broadcasts before time and broadcast them later.

StreamYard even keeps a log of previous broadcasts. You have the option to choose different layouts and control the audio, and camera of your device directly from the dashboard.

There is an integrated chat box to the left that displays comments from all live streams.

You can change your destination to reply to a comment from a different website by simply using the up/down arrow key besides post a comment option.

Features

StreamYard may seem like a simple web-based software but it’s much more than that. There are many features offered on the website including multistreaming, Interview mode, guest invites, recording, custom RTMP destinations, Logos, Overlays, Calls for Action, Backgrounds, and much more.

We will be covering all the features in detail. For the time being there are no StreamYard apps on any store, it’s completely web/cloud-based.

Broadcasting

StreamYard Camera Setting

The resolution of broadcasts directly depends on the purchased plans. All free plans only allow a restricted resolution of 720p.

Before starting your broadcast, you need to select the destination, add title and description of the stream.

You can even check if the attached microphone is working or not. There are options to mute audio, stop using camera feed or choose advanced settings for further calibration options.

We liked the option to choose between multiple hardware sources for Camera or Audio input.

For video quality selection, there are three resolutions to choose from – Low Definition (360p), Standard Definition (480p), and High Definition (720p). Each of the resolutions will directly be affected by the internet speed in your location.

StreamYard Audio Setting

From Audio settings, you can change both mic and speaker. We liked the added features including Echo Cancellation, Stereo audio, and Auto-adjusting mic volume. 

StreamYard Green Screen Setting

Green Screen is a method used by most streamers who cannot afford an attractive background.

Moreover, it helps in setting up a direct connection with the audience without creating diversions. But encoding a greenscreen video requires more computer resources and a dedicated graphics encoding chip will become mandatory.

You can add a green screen background or upload any virtual background for a stream. Use basic customization options, from Fade scale to Backdrop color option of either green or blue.

All these features add to the quality of the live stream you will be broadcasting to your audience.

Recording

StreamYard Recording

Apart from broadcasting content, you can even choose to record your stream before going live. This can be used in case you have other plans for the time and date previously dedicated for the live stream.

You can use the recorded video file to broadcast later on the time and duration of your choosing.

Recorded videos can be tuned with all the settings available for live streams and broadcasts. After you are done recording, the file can be accessed from the Past broadcast option on the homepage of your dashboard.

StreamYard Past broadcast

There is an option that allows you to Invite a guest to your stream by sending them a dedicated invite link. The copy of the recording is kept on the cloud only till you hit your cloud storage limits.

You can choose to download the audio or video file of the recording.

Multistreaming/Simulcasting

StreamYard Multistreaming

Once you have logged onto your streaming websites, you can choose to create a broadcast option for multistreaming. You can multistream to all the logged-in sites by just selecting all of them.

The multistreaming feature is not available on the free version. Even the basic subscription allows multistreaming to 3 destinations. Only the Professional pack increases the limit to 8 destinations.

You will further have the option to adjust streams for each website. The stream will be sourced from the cloud to each of the selected websites. Note that there will be limits in terms of resolution and the individual audio recording as per your subscription plan.

Stream Related Features

Comments

Stream Related Features

All streaming destinations have comment features and StreamYard provides you with an integrated comments app to make the best of each stream.

All comments from different streaming sites are shown in the app, enabling you to interact with your audience through one single platform, i.e., StreamYard. We found this very handy although things will get a bit complicated if you’re streaming to 10+ platforms.

Banners

Banners are the midway textual content that appears on your live stream. This feature on StreamYard allows you to create up to 200 banners.

You can engage and disengage a banner with just a single click. All banners can be stored in separate folders to access different banners at a different section of your stream.

Brand

streamyard brand feature to change overlay

Streamers often establish their channel or brand using logos, color themes, and merchandise to create a community. StreamYard allows you to personalize the content on the live stream by adding logos, changing the color and theme of your banners.

Pro streamers use a logo and a banner. Adding those to your stream/channel raises the bar. You can change multiple settings from the brand tab on the dashboard.

We got to choose any color from the menu although we preferred the 6-digit alphanumeric color code.

This color will be represented in banners, on-screen comments, and display names. You will have the option of selecting a theme from 4 different options.

We loved the minimal theme, it adds more transparency to the banners, a nifty add-on for beginners to enjoy.

The brand feature also allows you to use custom logos and overlays for your live streams. Logos can be used to market your channel and monetize different opportunities to sell merchandise and other goods.

Custom graphics on top of your stream is called an overlay, uploaded as a PNG/GIF file as they feature animations. The best overlays can up the ante for your stream/channel.

Overlays carry a recommended resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels with a maximum file size of 3 MB for GIF and 20 MB for PNG files.

You can even add introduction or countdown videos to your stream which recommends a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels.

These video files shouldn’t be over 10 minutes in length and 200 MB in file size. These introductions can add an outstanding touch to your content. You would have noticed all popular channels having an introductory animation or clip to hook the audience.

Private Chat

streamyard private chat

The private chat feature allows you to interact directly with your audience privately. This feature enables you to respond to specific comments made by the audience even during multistream.

Other Setting Options

streamyard settings page

The settings tab on the main dashboard provides you with extra customization options apart from the ones provided while recording.

General settings affect the appearance of your content during a stream while Guest settings enable you to control accessibility for guests in a live stream.

The guest mode can enable you to interview someone or interact with individuals on a live stream that could be shown to the audience.

You can invite a maximum of 6 members in a live stream.

We liked how you could control guests accessing audience comments, notifications when a guest joins, and guest authentication features that can be added to a live stream easily.

StreamYard Free vs Basic Vs Professional: Which one is the best?

StreamYard Pricing

StreamYard allows 3 different paid plans and even offers a StreamYard free trial, viz. –

FeaturesFreeBasicProfessional
PricingFreePaidPaid
StreamYard branding
Streaming Limits20 hours per monthNoneNone
On-Screen Participants61010
Logos
Overlays
RTMP destinations
Recording Limitations4 hours per stream8 hours per stream
Multistreaming3 destinations8 destinations
Allowed ResolutionsUp to 720pUp to 720pUp to 1080p
Individual Audio Recording

StreamYard Pricing: Subscriptions and Features

StreamYard pricing for Basic and Professional is as follows:

Monthly plan:Annual plan:
Basic$25 per month | $300 annually$20 per month | $240 annually
Professional$49 per month | $588 annually$39 per month | $468 annually

On top of all these plans and features, there is a plan for business owners, which offers customizable plans and solutions to individual business needs.

StreamYard Alternatives

There is no end to the StreamYard alternatives, but we have focused on software that offers similar features.

1. Restream

Restream

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Stream to up to 30 channels
  • Consistent streaming performance

Cons

  • Expensive

Restream.io has been around for a long time and offers some decent features meant to allow more customization to the stream. You can enjoy multistreaming, analytics, and chat integration across all channels. 

You don’t need to install any software as restream is a cloud-based service. Create your login credentials to start with the free version until you opt for more features by purchasing a higher plan. Read the detailed review of the restream here.

Price: Ranges from $16 to $41 per month

2. OBS Studio

OBS Studio

Pros

  • Easier to switch between streams and destinations
  • Lots of content customization features

Cons

  • Complicated user interface
  • CPU dependent software

OBS Studio is free-to-use open-source software, which is developed after the active contribution of multiple users. OBS Studio supports all major operating systems Windows, macOS, and Linux. This software requires installation, which takes some time before you can begin with actual streaming.

The settings and features allow integration with a lot of social media live features like animations and overlays. This software even allows screen recording.

Security is however a questionable thing as it is open-sourced, there will be no way of finding any bugs or malware. But it offers splendid features to start professional live streaming. 

Price: Free (Open-Sourced)

Is StreamYard streaming service worth using?

Is StreamYard streaming service worth using

Considering the features, user interface, and pricing, StreamYard is one of the best cloud-based live streaming software you can use today.

It is also cheaper to use in the long run and comes integrated with plug-ins of the most popular streaming platforms including Twitch, Facebook Live, YouTube Live, LinkedIn, and Periscope so that you can get going with a multi-streamed broadcast straight up.

You can start your live stream using StreamYard in less than a minute and keep adding CTA buttons, icons, introductions, breaks, and more to personalize your stream/channel.

StreamYard is a cloud-hosted streaming service so there is no need for changing anti-virus settings or adding firewall exclusions that can essentially put your network and PC at risk.

Is the StreamYard Website Safe to use?

StreamYard website and streaming services are safe to use. This website works on the cloud so there’s little to worry about other than unwanted access to StreamYard’s cloud network or your connection, although there’s little you can do in both cases.

Just be wary of unsolicited guest invite links sent to you!

All the cloud data is erased every 15 days saving older data from misuse. StreamYard website has an ESNI Cloudflare SSL, which maintains authentication of your device to the cloud server.

SSL basically encrypts all data communicated over the internet which makes it quite difficult for a hacker to access the details without a private decryption key. This security certificate is provided by Cloudflare INC EEC CA –3.

It is valid from 24th October 2020 to 24th October 2021, and we are sure that security will be continued!

Conclusion

Given the rising number of users searching for ease-to-use streaming software, StreamYard could be the answer to multiple queries. The simplistic interface of StreamYard can be helpful for individuals new to streaming.

Even professionals can use this software to stream to their audience using features like inviting guests on a live stream are something not readily available with other StreamYard alternatives. 

The ease of adding social media websites to your streaming account along with the comfort of recording the broadcast is a positive aspect. Moreover, there are provisions to remove social media accounts from Destinations in the main dashboard. This allows you to stream using different social media accounts using a single StreamYard account. The only complication is the limited features and services offered for professionals. 

FAQs

Can StreamYard stream to zoom?

StreamYard can be used for live streaming on zoom using the custom RTMP stream key. You can add a few streaming websites using the destinations folder in the main dashboard.

Does StreamYard automatically record?

The first four hours of every stream are recorded and stored on the cloud for 15 days. You need to download any audio or video file during this time, or the data will be erased from StreamYard cloud storage.

Can you use OBS with StreamYard?

For using OBS with StreamYard you will have to select OBS virtual camera as an input to the live stream from the settings menu. Once it has been added as a source, you will be able to relay live streams from OBS studios to StreamYard.

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