Have you ever wondered what types of television broadcast graphic packages there are? Or how you can edit them? Perhaps you’ve seen a nice graphic on the news or tv drama, and thought ‘I’d like to learn about that.’ Well now’s your chance, as I’m going to explain what goes into television broadcast graphics. Now, whether you’re entirely new to the world of graphic design, or even if you’ve just taken some introductory classes on the subject – this article is going to be eye-opening. And if you haven’t had much experience with broadcast graphics and are hoping to learn more – read on!
Software and equipment play a big role in the creation of television graphics, which is why it pays to know what’s available in the marketplace. I have previously written a guide to broadcast graphic design software , but since then, several new applications have been released, and I’d like to share some other options with you.
Wirecast is a media production software that lets you stream, record, and edit live events. With Wirecast, you can produce high-quality live broadcasts from anywhere in the world. You can also use Wirecast to record and edit live events for later viewing. The software supports multiple sources such as computers, cameras, microphones, and more.
Wirecast’s intuitive user interface makes it easy to create professional-looking broadcasts without any prior experience in video editing or streaming technology.
Wirecast is a video production software for live events, produced by Telestream.
It’s used to produce and stream live events in HD, or record them for later playback. It can also be used to create professional-quality videos from pre-recorded footage.
The software supports a variety of different inputs and outputs, including HDMI, SDI, analog audio/video and USB devices; and it integrates easily with other popular video production tools like Adobe Premiere Pro.
Wirecast software is compatible with a wide range of capture cards, devices, and camera inputs. This encoding option includes live switching, picture-in-picture composition, titles, audio delay, and other similar features.
If you need to use pre-recorded video within your live broadcast, Wirecast makes this aspect easy, as well.
Wirecast supports a range of other technologies, including:
- Support for multiple video capture and live inputs simultaneously (USB, Capture Card, NDI, Wirecast Go, Webstream IP sources)
- GPU-accelerated encoding
- Pro Audio FX Built In
- RTMP, RTP multi+unicast
- Multi-channel audio ingest
Wirecast is compatible with both macOS and Windows.
- Easy-to-use, user-friendly platform
- Compatible with most popular operating systems
- Fully loaded with valuable features
- Green screen
- Instant replay
- High price point
- Many features locked in the “Studio” version
- Consumes a lot of computer memory
The latest version of Wirecast is 14.3.3. It is the newest full version and was released on October 4th, 2021. It features several enhancements and fixes, regarding bugs and other technical mishaps with the previous version, and includes FBLive polling, a re-written WebStream plugin, and Virtual Camera improvements.
vMix is a video mixer for live streaming, recording and video production. vMix is a video switcher, video mixer and live video mixing software for live TV, news, and sports broadcasting. Use vMix to mix live streaming or recorded videos, and add subtitles and graphics to your content.
vMix has been around since 2011 and is used by top broadcasters and YouTubers all over the world. We have worked with broadcasters such as Sky Sports and BT Sport, as well as YouTubers like PewDiePie and many more!
vMix is a video mixing software that lets you mix your videos, add graphics and transitions, and play it all back on your screen. It’s basically like Photoshop for video.
vMix is easy to use, but powerful enough to make your own music videos or even do live streaming. If you want to try it out, you can download a free trial from their website (www.vmixlive.com).
vMix is a highly powerful encoder and was developed by StudioCoast. The latest version of the Windows-specific software is 18.104.22.168 and includes an upgrade to a free 60 day trial of vMix PRO for download. While vMix 24 is for Windows only, the software can be installed on a Mac via Boot Camp if the machine has a Windows partition. Like Wirecast, vMix software supports a wide range of inputs. These include:
- Video cameras (supported capture cards) at up to 4K resolution
- NDI: send and receive HD low latency video and audio
- Video Files: AVI, MP4, H264, MPEG-2, WMV, MOV and MXF
- Audio Files: MP3 and WAV
- Web Browser, RTSP, PowerPoint, Photos, Solid Colour, and more.
- Webcams, DVDs, playlists, PowerPoint, and other sources
vMix includes native support for multi-bitrate streaming, which is very useful for professional broadcasters who highly value user experience.
Additionally, this software supports the Network Device Interface (NDI). NDI sends your secure video upload over gigabit ethernet networks and green screens.
vMix also includes a built-in titling tool that includes animation support. Additionally, it offers an instant replay and slow-motion feature.
vMix is only available for Windows PCs. However, it is possible to run it on a Mac using a certain technique. While vMix cannot be installed directly on OSX, the solution when using a Mac is to install it on Windows via Boot Camp.
- Some limitations on compatibility
- Plans for every budget
- 60-day risk-free trial
- Users rave about switcher functions
- Streams in relatively low bitrate
- Some “bugginess” (which users suggest could be fixed with software update)
vMix is available in five different versions, ranging from Basic HD to Pro, and the software comes with a free 60-day trial. Each version supports a different number of inputs, your purchase never expires, and includes the following versions:
- Basic (free), which supports 4 (up to 2 camera/NDI) inputs and video up to 768 x 576 resolution
- Basic HD ($60), which supports 4 inputs (up to 3 camera/NDI) and video up to Full HD 1920×1080 resolution
- HD ($350), which supports 1,000 inputs, adds vMix call functionality, 4 overlay channels, and supports full HD video in 1920×1080 resolution
- 4K ($700), which supports 1,000 inputs, 4K resolution video (4096 x 2160), PTZ control, 2 recorders, instant replay, 4 SRT outputs, and much more
- Pro ($1200), which also supports 1,000 inputs, includes all 4K features and 2 records, plus up to 8 callers, up to 4 cameras for instant replay, and 4 SRT outputs
VidBlasterX is a powerful, multi-platform movie maker that gives you the tools to create, edit and share your videos.
With VidBlasterX, you can create movies from scratch or convert existing files into high-quality movies. You can also use VidBlasterX to enhance your video by adding special effects, captions, music and much more.
Next up on our list of video streaming software is VidBlasterX, an RTMP-enabled live video production software. VidBlasterX enables streaming to most streaming platforms including Dacast. The input support and other features on VidBlasterX are similar to Wirecast and vMix.
For studio users, VidBlasterX supports:
- Video routing
- Recording streams to local disks
- Displaying outputs on a monitor of your choice
- Outputting to a Blackmagic DeckLink video card
VidBlasterX utilizes a unique modular design. For example, broadcasters can add each feature via a “module.” You can then add, rearrange and remove these at your discretion.
VidBlasterX is compatible with the Windows operating system.
- Has plans for a wide range of budgets
- Easily customizable
- Not compatible with macOS
- Not well-suited for inexperienced live streamers
- Slightly complex
VidBlasterX is available in three versions. Each of the following options is priced with an annual subscription model:
- The Home version ($9/year) supports 7 modules.
- The Studio version ($99/year) supports 25 modules.
- The Broadcast version ($999/year) supports 100 simultaneous modules. This version also supports multiple recorder & streamer modules in a single profile.
Setting up VidBlasterX with Dacast:
Check out our tutorial to learn how to set up VidBlasterX with Dacast.
“VidBlaster is now a subscription-based local software installation that provides live streaming and recording up to 4K/UHD. Send streams to Facebook, YouTube, and other CDNs using RTMP app or the virtual camera driver.” – BCBLive Live Video Production Software Review
Now, let’s discuss OBS Studio. This encoding option is a free and open-source live stream broadcasting software package. OBS supports RTMP broadcasting, switching between multiple sources, capture cards, webcams, chroma-key (green screen), video and audio streaming, and application windows.
Though it’s light on features, it’s quite easy to use, even for those new to live broadcasting. Note that OBS does not natively support any plugins. However, community members have developed a wide range of plugins that broadcasters can use to add more basic OBS Studio features.
These OBS settings for plugins include NDI, a feature formerly only found on high-end encoders. Another notable plugin supports pulling Tweets into your streams in real-time.
Please note that OBS does not support multi-bitrate streaming.
OBS is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux. Windows Vista is no longer supported by OBS Studio.
- It’s free
- Easy-to-use for beginners
- Frequent updates
- Able to function on lower-quality internet
- Some limitations on features
- Room for improvement for plugins
OBS Studio is open-source and completely free. There is no cost to accessing and using this software.
Version 27.1.3 was released on October 4th, 2021, and is available for download here for macOS 10.13 or newer, Windows 8, 8.1, and 10, as well as Ubuntu 18.04 operating systems. For the Linux version, FFmpeg is required.
Streamlabs OBS is another open-source streaming software. It is free to download, but users must upgrade to the Prime version for access to all of the resources. The latest version of Streamlabs OBS is v1.5.0 and is available for download here.
Streamlabs offers quite a few features for editing and multicasting live streams. It is the chosen broadcasting software for many professional streamers. One of the most unique aspects of this software is their web-based live streaming studio called MelonApp. The app allows you to broadcast to Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, or Twitch with 1 click, and without leaving your browser.
The Streamlabs website doesn’t indicate any limitations on operating system compatibility.
However, the platform is suitable for streaming to Twitch, Facebook, Mixer, and YouTube.
- Easy for beginners
- Tools for designing stream layout
- Selective recording
- Gaming overlays
- Tools for tipping and donations
- No scoreboards
- Limitations on graphic overlays
- Some features are clunky
The Streamlabs app is free to download, but users must pay for “Prime” for full access to all of the features. Prices for prime are not listed on the website.
Setting up Streamlabs OBS with Dacast:
We do not have a specific tutorial for setting up Streamlab OBS with Dacast, but you can follow our encoder setup guide for some general tips.
FFmpeg is yet another open-source streaming software that can be customized based on a large library of programs that are geared towards production and multimedia management.
This platform is pretty basic, but it can be customized to achieve great things due to its open-source nature.
FFmpeg is compatible with Linux, Windows, and macOS.
- Open-source nature makes it easily customizable
- Loaded with many valuable tools
- Multiple encoding configurations
- Suitable for business use
- Compatible with most popular operating systems
- Minimal educational materials, tutorials, or manuals for using the platform.
- No support for HLS testing
- Can be difficult for new broadcasters
FFmpeg is free to download and use.
Setting up FFmpeg with Dacast:
Check out our guide for using FFmpeg on Dacast.
There are so many amazing places where you can learn about and learn from television graphics today. Knowing what the best TV graphics software is, will help level the playing field for you. It is a wonderful feeling to realize that if you only had a better TV graphics software, your product would be that much more amazing, and your business that much more successful!