What is OBS Studio?

Is OBS Studio right for you?
Home » Learn Livestreaming with John Lacey » What is OBS Studio?

OBS Studio is free and open software for video recording and live streaming.

OBS Studio is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. You can download the software from OBSProject.com.

I can already hear you saying, “But John, isn’t OBS just for kids playing games?”

Well, no.

OBS Studio is just a tool, and it’s up to you how you want to use it.

  • Do you need to teach something?
  • Do you want to demonstrate the products you sell?
  • Do you want to have a more professional presence on video calls?
  • Do you want to create short feedback videos for members of your team?

All this, and more, is possible with OBS Studio.

Let’s unpack the three main ways you can use this incredible piece of software.

Local video recording with OBS Studio 

While many know OBS Studio primarily as a streaming software, you can also record videos to your local computer.

You can set up your scenes. Hit the ‘Start Recording’ button. Do your thing. Hit ‘Stop Recording.’ And you have a video!

This could be as simple as a short screen capture or image slideshow, or as elaborate as a key note presentation.

If you’re recording to MKV format, simply go to to the File menu and select Remux Recordings. Find your original MKV file and export it to an MP4 that’s ready to upload to social media, YouTube or wherever!

Video Streaming with OBS Studio

Obviously this is what OBS Studio is predominantly know for. You can stream to YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn… anywhere that will support a streaming API key, really.

Going live can be a great way to connect with your audience and encourage audience participation.

With services like Restream and Streamyard, and even with OBS Plugins, you can stream to multiple platforms at the same time.

OBS Studio Virtual Camera

Some of you, no doubt, spend a lot of time in video meetings. And my heart goes out to you… but for the purposes of this video, I want to direct you to a really cool feature of OBS Studio called Virtual Cam.

Install OBS, and you’ll suddenly have a new web cam option in your settings for tools like Microsoft Teams, Google Meet and Zoom. You can set up your scene and that’s what the other people in the meeting will see.

This could be as simple as changing how much space you personally take up in the frame. But it’s also a wonderful opportunity to incorporate branding elements such as logos, colours, fonts and promotional messaging.

Software: OBS Studio