With a rise in gaming and streaming, we get to use more broadcasting programs. Both Streamlabs and StreamElements use OBS in one way or another, but both are from two different companies. How do both compare in 2021? The comparison covers Streamlabs vs. StreamElements.
What’s the difference?
Both are streaming, broadcasting, and recording tools, and both use OBS to help them deliver their purpose. The difference is that Streamlabs uses OBS code and some of its code to bring easy-to-use software with many streaming and recording capabilities.
StreamElements is an online hosted tool that offers a plugin for the original OBS Studio to perform the same tasks. It is a browser-based tool so that you can expect a little bit more free CPU resources for games than Streamlabs.
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- Built-in chat function: Both come with a built-in chat function to chat with fans.
- Themes: The tool comes with several themes to customise the software.
- Auto-game detection: It provides an auto mode to detect the active game automatically.
- Open-source: The project is open-source, letting others see code and help in the development.
- Test option: A test button is available to test the setup before going live.
- Chatbot: Create a cloud-based chatbot that runs on the server to filter spam, emojis, and abusive language.
- Browser-based: The tool is browser-based, saving CPU resources on your machine.
- Low CPU usage: From the tests below, I found out that the StreamElements plugin is quick and fast and does not impact performance.
- Free Merch Store: Their merch store is free for users to use.
- Chat bot: Like Streamlabs, StreamElements offers a cloud-based chat bot to protect your fans from spam and other unwanted chat.
Tests are an essential part of this Streamlabs vs. StreamElements article. I did the same tests while comparing Streamlabs with OBS, and because StreamElements is just a plugin, I don’t see much changing here. But, let’s see how those tests go.
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While broadcasting on a laptop, it is essential to check the apps draining your device’s power. In this test, I checked the power usage of both while recording gameplay.
StreamElements uses OBS, which uses minimal power. The power usage of OBS before and during the recording was low, but in the case of Streamlabs, the power usage before starting was moderate, while it was very high while recording.
In the second test, we check the performance impact on our computer while opening and recording in both programs.
On start-up, there was an increase in CPU utilisation, but compared to Streamlabs, it was minimal in StreamElements. The average increase in CPU usage while opening Streamlabs was 20%, whereas the impact was 10% while opening OBS.Live.
While recording, I did not see any significant difference in CPU usage.
In the recording test, we record a game in both programs and see the storage space the videos take. After recording gameplay for about 50 seconds, I did not see significant differences in the video file size.
There was a difference of 2 MB of storage, but it could be because of the scenes in the game. Also, StreamElements saves videos in the MKV format while Streamlabs in MP4. You can change the file extensions in the settings.
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Streamlabs supports a handful of platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, DLive, and NimoTV. In comparison, OBS.Live (OBS) supports more than 90 platforms. The number is enormous, but most streamings only need one of those powerful platforms which Streamlabs also supports.
StreamElements, on the other hand, is only available for Android right now, and the app is still in the development stage. It only supports streaming of the webcam, but you get overlays for chat and notifications.
The last section of Streamlabs vs. StreamElements is pricing. Streamlabs is free to use, but there is a premium plan called Prime. It costs $149 per year to $19 per month on the monthly plan. Some of the features of Prime are:
- Pro themes
- Stream on multiple platforms simultaneously
- Access 46 apps to enhance your streams
- Customise the tip page according to your style
- Add links to your stores
StreamElements, on the other hand, is entirely free right now. Whatever they offer is free to use. Their policy, however, states that they may change pricing terms in the future.
Which one is for you?
If you have minimal knowledge about broadcasting and live streaming but have a high-end computer, go with Streamlabs. If you have a low to mid-range PC and don’t know about live streaming, you will need to learn to use StreamElements.
Lastly, if you have a low to mid-range PC and have the proper knowledge to live stream, then again choose StreamElements.
Streamlabs vs. StreamElements: Links
The bottom line
It’s challenging to compare both because, even if you like one software, there are at least a couple of things that you like in another tool more than the one you use. I hope the article Streamlabs vs. StreamElements helped you choose the right broadcasting tool and ultimately helped grow your brand online.
Please share this article with people interested in knowing about the two and help them make a decision.