How to Configure OBS Studio for Live Streaming Events

Mark Sergienko
Mark Sergienko
July 12, 2021
How to Configure OBS Studio for Live Streaming Events

This post belongs to a two-part series:

  1. Best Settings in OBS Studio for Live Streaming Events 📍 You are here
  2. How to Fix Your OBS Problems While Live Streaming Events

Live streaming events can feel a little overwhelming when you start using encoders like OBS Studio. Since nobody wants to watch a stuttering or laggy video, getting the settings right should be your top priority.

With the right guidance, configuring OBS Studio settings should be fairly simple.

The first thing you need to verify is your Internet connection. If you want to have a beautiful HD or Full HD stream, you will need at least a stable upload speed of, ideally, 3Mbps.

You can check your internet connection using one of the following websites:

Choosing the best settings for live streaming events in OBS Studio

To start configuring the software encoder, let’s open OBS and head to Settings > Output tab.

Your screen should look something like this:

obs studio settings for live streaming events

There are a lot of options to tweak in here to modify your live stream, but we’ll focus on the ones that matter the most.

  • First of all, set the Output Mode to Advanced. This will give you more options to tune the performance. 
  • Next, on the Encoder, choose x264 unless your computer has a dedicated graphics card. In that case, you'd want to choose Hardware encoder instead.
  • Head over to the Bitrate field, and type 2000-3000 Kbps (or more). This is the ideal bitrate for EventLive if your upload speed is above this number (2-3 Mbps).
  • Settings these parameters will ensure that your stream won’t lag and stutter, giving your internet connection a chance to keep up.
  • Next, on the field that reads Keyframe Intervals, you want to set it to 2.

What are Keyframe intervals?

They allow you to set how many frames will go until the whole image is refreshed instead of just updating the differences from the previous one.

Please note that your computer might sometimes struggle to keep up with video encoding using OBS Studio. If that’s the case, you’ll need to adjust your CPU usage.

To do so, change the CPU Usage Preset to veryfast or superfast, and your Tune to zerolatency.

Next, we’ll move to the Settings > Video tab.

You’ll immediately notice that this one is not as intimidating.

obs studio settings for live streaming events

Set your Output Scale Resolution to 1280x720. This will change the display of your stream! Don’t mess with the other one, the Canvas resolution, as we don’t want to move anything there.

An output of 1280x720 is perfect for HD streaming, and you’ll only need to tweak this value if your internet speed and computer can keep up with Full HD.

Then, set your Common FPS to 30. 

Now, head over to the Settings > Advanced tab, and do the following.

  • Automatically Reconnect should be Enabled.
  • Confirm that your Retry Delay is set to 1s.
  • Maximum Attempts need to be set to a high number, like 1000.

Most of these are security measures in case something goes wrong. If your stream disconnects for any reason, it’ll automatically try to reconnect. If all goes well, no one should notice anything wrong.

Download the Full OBS Guide

Get the right settings and fixes to all common problems in a PDF file that you can keep on your phone at all times.

Recommendations for live streaming using OBS Studio

  • Whenever possible, run a test on location ahead of the event and watch the live stream. If it's not playing smoothly it may be that your OBS video settings are too high for the internet bandwidth.
  • Make sure to test using your camera feed instead of a blank screen or slideshow, as this will stress your connection simulating real-life situations.
  • Incorporate the habit of testing before going live as this will help you fix little problems here and there before you have spectators connected to your live stream.
  • If the stream isn’t playing smoothly and you configured OBS Studio correctly, it could be an internet issue. Check if your bandwidth allows for an upload speed of 2000-3000 Kbps or more.
  • Still getting laggy, botched video? The simple solution is usually the best. Get closer to your WiFi router, use bonding to improve your internet, or lower your bitrate.

Live streaming events might look complicated, but it’s really not that difficult once you get the settings right. Setting up a basic stream is very easy with OBS Studio but it can get more complicated when you start adding different sources and cameras to your stream.

Remember to always have a backup connection at hand, and to test thoroughly before the action starts. At EventLive we offer unlimited free tests, so you can get everything in place when the event begins.

If you need any help or assistance configuring OBS Studio or any other aspects of your live streaming workflow, we’re here to help. Reach out to us and we’ll be happy to guide you.

fixing obs live streaming problems
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Mark Sergienko
Mark Sergienko

EventLive Founder, Entrepreneur. Live streaming & Wedding / Event Photography / Industry professional.

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