Wirecast Review - Scalable Streaming for Creators
Written byBranko Krstic
Updated · Nov 16, 2022
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- Advanced functionality
- Powerful features
- Customizable layers
- Multistream capability
- No live chat
In the modern era, when everyone is cooped up in their homes, live streaming has become the go-to source for news, information, and entertainment. From gaming and makeup tutorials to live concerts and national crisis updates, live streaming is replacing traditional broadcast media – and Wirecast streaming software is here to make sure that there isn’t a drop in production value.
Using Wirecast is like having a TV production studio on your computer – you can create high-quality content for a fraction of the price! In this Wirecast review, we’re going to break down the essential parts of this remarkable piece of software. Keep reading to see what makes it one of the best streaming software and what you can use it for.
What Is Wirecast?
Wirecast is one of the best live streaming software for capturing, producing, and streaming high-quality content to the internet.
It’s the go-to option for broadcasting social events, sports, seminars, TV, radio, news, and worship services.
Wirecast streaming comes with a diverse set of features.
It can be used as a video switcher software, for live streaming, online learning, corporate communications, and even for Facebook and YouTube gaming (although it’s not necessarily the best Twitch streaming software).
Wirecast has a host of built-in title templates that can be adjusted for your stream.
You can add motion or still titles to your broadcast.
Wirecast has a full set of compatible cameras, microphones, webcams, and IP cams that can be used for capturing.
These can be used not only with the Windows and Mac versions but with Wirecast Go, too – the iOS app available for Wirecast 13.4.1 and above. iPhone owners could use the Wirecast Cam app, but it isn’t compatible with the newer iOS (11 and above).
Wirecast’s built-in screen capture tool also allows for unlimited capture of content directly from your computer screen(s).
Wirecast has top-of-the-line professional audio, including:
- Multi-audio ingestion
- CoreAudio compatible devices
With Wirecast multiple streams, you can easily broadcast to YouTube, Facebook Live, Periscope, Vimeo Live, and multiple other RTMP destinations and simultaneously record your stream.
Stock Media Library
Gain access to over 500,000 media assets directly in Wirecast.
Use them for whatever you please: broadcasts, including videos, music, lower thirds, backgrounds, and more.
Social Media Integration
Wirecast has a built-in comment curation and displays for Twitter, integrated polling for Facebook, and live viewer counts to help you stay engaged with your community.
You can use Wirecast for Facebook Live and Facebook mobile streaming, as well as for YouTube, Periscope, and other social media platforms.
Types of Streaming
As people turn to the web both for entertainment and information, Wirecast is designed for many different streaming solutions.
Our review of Wirecast showed that it is excellent for remote worship services, educational events like virtual lessons and graduations, live sports, conferences, concerts, interviews, TV, radio, and news broadcasts.
Wirecast also has native integrations with Facebook Live, Periscope, and YouTube, so it works equally well as a live video marketing tool.
Ease of Use
To test the product’s ease of use, we downloaded and installed Wirecast for Windows.
The software has pretty reasonable system requirements – Windows 10 version 1803 or higher, i5 dual-core up to 2.3GHz 6th generation or higher processor, and 4GB RAM.
There are some additional requirements like a minimum 2GB hard drive with 720 RPM for record to disk and a minimum Intel HD, DirectX 11 capable graphics card.
The installation process was relatively easy; we downloaded the Wirecast free trial version and installed the Wirecast 13 Studio version in two easy steps.
There’s a handy tutorial video on the website that walks you through the basics. We encountered some issues after the installation because we were using the Windows Classic theme. Wirecast strongly advises running the software in the Windows Aero theme, and for a good reason – it includes a hardware-accelerated window manager.
Despite the issues we faced and the Wirecast demo limitations, the user interface is intuitive and accessible, even for beginners.
Wirecast enables users to pick which functions to be displayed in the main window for maximum ease.
Wirecast Plans & Pricing
Wirecast has two price plans.
Here is a breakdown of Wirecast Studio vs Pro:
Telestream Wirecast Studio is the perfect all-purpose streaming tool and it’s incredibly easy to set up. The plan gives you access to virtual camera and microphone outputs, unlimited inputs and output destinations, and even enhanced production features like integrated stock media and advanced audio mixing.
This plan is designed with the most dedicated streamers in mind. Pro has every feature in the Studio version, plus expanded inputs and audio capabilities, up to seven guests on Wirecast Rendezvous, 3D virtual sets, and so much more. This plan is great for sports games and full production news broadcasts.
There is no difference in the price of Wirecast for Mac and Windows.
Wirecast has a blog where you can find information on various topics and get advice from fellow streamers. If you’re a visual or auditory learner, you can watch Telestream’s video tutorials, which cover everything from the installation process to the more advanced functions of the software.
If you can’t find a solution to your problem there, or you prefer someone to help you solve it instead of fretting over it, Wirecast has two paid support plans – Standard and Premium:
- Standard Support – $99 – This plan provides online case submissions with a guaranteed response within eight business hours. You also get access to self-service resources like Forum Community Support, on-demand training, and a Knowledge Base.
But most importantly, you will receive free software updates to the latest version of Wirecast and access to a Stock Library filled with over 500,000 media assets.
- Premium Support – $299 – Premium cuts down response time to a maximum of four business hours. Plus, it includes phone support and the opportunity to schedule a call with a Wirecast expert. What’s more, you become eligible for Remote Access Service, which means a support technician can access your device through remote desktop software and help you with technical issues.
Standard Support is included for free in the first year when you buy Wirecast Studio and Pro. You can renew the support plan for $99/year. But be careful – if you let it lapse or expire, the renewal will increase to $199.
Wirecast User Reviews
We read through a ton of Wirecast reviews to get a sense of how users feel about the software. Wirecast has professional production capability and its features are a big hit with users accustomed to producing large-scale events.
The most common complaint was about the high Wirecast price. Still, some users believe that the software is well worth the cost as it has high-quality features, TV studio-like functionality, and convenient presets that make setup easy.
The Wirecast Reddit community is somewhat critical of the software. A typical Wirecast review on Reddit would describe it as being buggy and crashing often. Given the software’s price and reputation, the last thing you want and expect while streaming is a bug.
Although unfortunate, we think this could be attributed to the Wirecast system requirements, which can be heavy on the CPUs, causing them to crash repeatedly. So, if you want to use this software, make sure your PC can handle it first.
Though less frequently, other small bugs are reported by users too. For example, the Wirecast virtual camera often doesn’t appear on Skype, especially with the older versions of the software. One way to go around that is to use Zoom instead. Telestream even released a video tutorial on how to do that.
Wirecast is committed to making each version better than the last with new features, fixes, and constant improvements with every new update. Hopefully, the company will resolve these issues with the release of Wirecast 14.1, and we’ll be able to write an even more positive Wirecast review in 2022.
When to Use Wirecast
Our Wirecast review revealed that this Telestream product has numerous applications.
It can be used as a video mixer and switcher software, to produce professional-looking content, and to stream live events – from conferences and seminars to live concerts and worship events.
Additionally, Wirecast and Wirecast Gear allow stations and media producers to cheaply and easily deploy professional content production systems to anyone in the organization. That way, it is much easier to stream live news coverage to OTT and social platforms or augment premium content with second-screen live and interactive offerings.
You can download Wirecast 13, 14, or even try one of the older versions for free and take advantage of some of the software’s features. But if you want to go pro, we recommend investing in a subscription and a support plan so you can always be up to date with the latest edition.
New releases come out a few times a year, so any version below Wirecast Pro 12 would be outdated at this point.
While Wirecast is arguably among the best streaming software for professional usage, it is not the ideal solution for everyone.
Let’s see how it fares against some popular alternatives.
Wirecast vs OBS
Wirecast and OBS are both fantastic live streaming choices, but they excel in different areas.
OBS is more difficult to use than Wirecast. It’s also open source and it has no presets for live streaming, which means that setting it up will require some grunt work.
On the flip side, OBS isn’t heavy on the CPU, which is why it is so popular among gamers.
Xsplit vs Wirecast
In terms of price, XSplit comes out on top. Its free version might have some limitations, but a lifetime license costs only $199 and you don’t have to pay for upgrades.
Plus, the software has great gaming and broadcasting capabilities, while Wirecast lags behind with the former.
But, much like OBS, XSplit doesn’t have any presets, so you’ll need some encoding knowledge to set it up, which makes Wirecast more suitable for beginners.
Streamlabs vs Wirecast
Streamlabs offers the same capabilities as OBS with a slicker interface and a cleaner design.
It is free, open-source, and a lightweight program, so it has low CPU usage.
Wirecast is powerful and has robust features and functionality for high-end streaming productions, but it might be heavy on the CPU.
Another advantage Streamlabs has is its popularity among gamers.
It comes with tons of gamer-related native features and plugins, plus the Prime membership allows paid sponsorships and lets you monetize your stream. Wirecast doesn’t stand a chance here.
Wirecast vs Livestream
As far as gaming is concerned, Wirecast doesn’t hold a candle to Livestream. Users familiar with YouTube live streaming will find Livestream somewhat similar to it. Like YouTube, it has a tier that allows you to set up a channel and monetize your stream, plus tools to help interact with viewers.
Livestream doesn’t require a powerful machine – all you need is a device with a camera, and you’re ready to stream to social platforms and premium OTT. Plus, Livestream is cheaper than Wirecast.
Wirecast is a great platform for users who are ready to pay for quality.
The Wirecast upgrade cost might turn away some users looking for a cheaper or even free solution, but the outstanding capture, production, and streaming tools at your disposal are well worth the price.
Wirecast wasn’t made for Twitch or Facebook gaming, but it works wonders for professional streaming and large-scale broadcasts.
Wirecast is way easier to use than OBS. It provides significantly more functionality and power and has high-quality production value. But if you’re looking for streaming software mainly for gaming, OBS might be a better choice for you.
Each platform serves different functions well. OBS is free to use and open source, making it incredibly customizable and great for general streaming. Wirecast is powerful and has robust features and functionality for high-end streaming productions. XSplit is affordable and easy to use for gaming and broader live streaming needs.
Wirecast has two price plans – Wirecast Studio for $599 and Wirecast Pro for $799.
Yes, purchasing a Wirecast license is a one-time payment. However, if you want to keep the Standard Support subscription that gives you access to email support, online case submission, free software upgrades, and more, you will have to pay a yearly fee of $99.
In our Wirecast review, we’ve covered the basics of the download and installation of the software and some of its main functionalities. If you need a more detailed explanation, you can visit Telestream.net for free videos, tutorials, and webinars created by the company.
Branko is a round-the-clock tech geek and loving it. His ideal vacation destination is the Akihabara District (or really any place he can take his computer). If there’s a server out there, count on him to find out what it’s made of… and tell you all about it.
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