Twitch has a clear and concise guide to encoder settings. YouTube has a bit more detailed guide as well. Here's a very simple recommendation of where to start, but we do recommend playing with your settings to see what works best for your content:


Video Codec - H.264 (Main Profile)

Audio Codec - AAC

Great - 1080p 30fps

  • Bitrate - 5500 kbps

  • Keyframe Interval - 2 seconds

Good - 720p 30fps

  • Bitrate - 3500 kbps

  • Keyframe Interval - 2 seconds

Works - 480p 30fps

  • Bitrate - 1000 kbps

  • Keyframe Interval - 5 seconds

You should also consider your available upload bandwidth when choosing an encoder bitrate. For a more reliable connection, we recommend using no more than ~50% of the available upload bandwidth for your live stream ingest.


Any encoder that supports RTMP or RTMPS should work with Bettercast.

Software encoders

  • OBS (Free and Open Source)

  • Wirecast (Commercial)

  • XSplit (Commercial)

  • vMix (Commercial)

Hardware encoders

Standard input specs

  • 1080p/2K or smaller. Video up to 2048x2048 is considered standard, including 1080p (1920x1080) video. Video larger than this is considered non-standard.

  • 8Mbps or below. While Bettercast accepts high bitrate inputs, bitrates higher than 8Mbps are generally challenging for most viewers' connections and need to be compressed for streaming.

  • H.264 video codec. H.264 is the dominant video codec in use today, and almost every device supports H.264. While Bettercast accepts other codecs as input, other codecs must be normalized to H.264 and are considered non-standard.

  • Max 10-second keyframe interval. To stream well using HTTP-based streaming methods like HLS, Bettercast requires all keyframes intervals to be less than 10 seconds.

  • Closed GOP (group-of-pictures). (Warning: video jargon ahead. You can likely ignore this.) In the closed-GOP video, all B frames reference other frames in the same GOP. Closed GOP always begins with an IDR (Instantaneous Decoder Refresh) frame. This means that every GOP can be played independently, without reference to another GOP. Standard input must be closed-GOP, which means that open-GOP video will be treated as non-standard and will be normalized to standard.

  • 8-bit 4:2:0 or below. This refers to the colour depth and chroma subsampling. If you don't know what this is, you can probably ignore this since most streaming video is 8-bit 4:2:0. This means that high dynamic range video (HDR) is currently considered non-standard and will be normalized to SDR.

  • Simple Edit Decision Lists. Edit Decision List (EDL) is typically added during post-production and defines how certain segments are used to build the track timeline for playback. A good example of a Simple Edit Decision List is to fix out of order frames in the video. Video with more complex uses of EDLs is considered non-standard.

  • Frame rate between 10 and 120. Video with average frames per second (fps) less than 10 or greater than 120 is considered non-standard. Video framerates within this range will be preserved. Video with less than 10 fps or greater than 120 fps will be normalized to 30 fps.

  • Square Pixel Aspect Ratio. Pixel Aspect Ratio is the ratio of a pixel's width to the height of that pixel. The value 1:1 represents Square Pixel Aspect Ratio. Video with a non-square pixel aspect ratio is considered non-standard.

  • AAC audio codec. AAC is the dominant audio codec in use today, and almost every device supports this audio codec. While Bettercast accepts other codecs as input, Bettercast only delivers AAC audio, and non-AAC audio inputs are considered non-standard.

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