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Livestreamers: check out the new OBS features and get tips and inspiration from NVIDIA and WATCHHOLLIE

Woman recording a podcast
(Image credit: NVIDIA)

At the start of August OBS Studio unleashed its biggest update ever. Right now it’s just a test build so some things might not work properly, but it's packed with exciting new features that will save you time and improve the quality of your livestreams.

The first thing you’ll notice when you load up OBS Studio 28.0 is the slick new interface. Lots of little changes have been brought in that make it easier to line up and arrange your sources, and there’s an accessibility menu that lets you change the colors of interface elements to make them easier to see. These tweaks make all the difference when you’re setting things up. 

A big new feature is HDR and 10-bit color support for Windows, which will massively boost the quality of your output and help you to stand out in the streaming world. Another biggie is application-specific audio capture (just Windows again), which enables you to capture game sound and voice separately from each other. You can have them in different channels and adjust volume independently, without having to install a plugin. And a really convenient one is the file splitting feature, which automatically splits your files by size or duration, or manually via a hotkey. 

In this OBS build you’ll see integrations of many elements that until now have required a separate installation. WebSocket functionality now comes with OBS by default, and the obs-websocket plugin has been completely rewritten. It’s more reliable and has a ton of new features. 

OBS features for NVIDIA RTX graphics cards

If you’re a GeForce RTX owner, you can enjoy native integration of two more NVIDIA Broadcast features: virtual background and room echo removal. Virtual background is a really clever feature that adds polish to your streams. It uses AI to separate you from your surroundings, so you can remove, replace or blur your background. It beats having an unmade bed in shot and spares you from having to share your private space with the world. 

Room echo removal makes your voice more pleasant, which again makes your channel seem more professional and well put together. Used at the same time, these two features can make you look and sound as though you’re in a recording studio—even if you’re actually sitting in a messy room with construction noise in the background. 

You’ll be pleased to hear that the popular HEVC codec is also supported natively in OBS 28. It’s powered by the NVIDIA Encoder (NVENC), which is a part of the GPU dedicated to video encoding—so you won’t see a drop in the performance of your game. You can even livestream HEVC and HDR content to YouTube, providing your followers with an extra level of quality that will set you apart from other streamers. 

These are some of the biggest updates but there are loads more features in OBS 28 that will boost your livestreams and make your life easier, so head over here to check it out

More inspiration from NVIDIA

If you’re a livestreamer or any kind of creator and you have an RTX graphics card, you can learn tips and tricks that will help you make the most of it over at In the NVIDIA Studio. It’s a portal where artists share their work and show how their RTX GPUs and NVIDIA’s software improve their creative process. It’s fun to explore and a great way to learn about all the cool features of the NVIDIA Studio platform and what they can do for you. 

Every week there’s a featured artist, and this week it’s livestreamer WATCHHOLLIE. Hollie describes herself as “caps-lock incarnate” and a “compassionate, colorful streamer”. She’s funny, and brings a vibrant personality to her streams. 

WATCHHOLLIE is all about using livestreaming to bring people together through a shared love of gaming. Hollie builds connection with her followers by putting her full self out there, openly sharing her struggles with mental health, ADD and disability. She looks to create a warm and welcoming community for anyone with similar challenges, and as a lesbian, she strives to make her channel a rainbow-friendly space. 

Building people up

Now that Hollie is a Partnered streamer she channels much of her energy into lifting others up, providing advice and support for less-established streamers. She has created WatchUs, a stream team that provides members with mentorship from a crew of experienced people. New streamers get coached on everything from improving their hardware setup to growing their channel and attracting partnerships. 

Outside of WatchUs, Hollie provides a constant supply of positivity for her followers and other streamers. She encourages people to be true to themselves and not hide distinctive personality traits, championing the view that if you put your real self out there you’ll find your tribe. 

She also knows that putting yourself on the internet means receiving negative attention as well as positive, and she’s good at standing up for herself. Hollie is a strong leader who encourages her followers and fellow streamers to confidently set the boundaries they need to look after themselves and not to feel guilty about it. And she’s not afraid to wield that ban hammer to protect her community from anyone bringing hostility or bad vibes. 

Hollie’s RTX-powered system

Hollie began her streaming journey during the pandemic with a gaming console, a Mac and an external capture card. As her interest deepened and her follower count picked up, it was time to upgrade her setup and she built a PC with a GeForce RTX 2070 GPU. This was upgraded to an RTX 3080 as things got more serious. 

The NVIDIA Encoder (NVENC) makes GeForce RTX GPUs ideal for streaming your gameplay because it’s a separate part of the hardware dedicated to video encoding, so it doesn’t take any resources away from your game. Some people use two PCs - one to encode the video and one to play the game - but an RTX GPU lets you do both on one computer without sacrificing performance. So Hollie’s single-PC setup with an RTX 3080 is everything she needs to handle gameplay and video encoding with ease. 

Getting an RTX GPU also gets you access to NVIDIA Studio, which is a platform of hardware and software that’s geared up for the needs of creators. There’s far too much to go into here, but suffice to say there’s an amazing suite of software for 3D artists, video editors and all kinds of content creators. The Broadcast features we mentioned earlier are part of NVIDIA Studio, and they can do wonders for improving audio and video quality—to the extent that it might seem to your viewers like you’ve invested in fancy recording equipment when in fact you’ve just got a fairly basic setup. 

To see what Hollie is achieving with her RTX system head over here. To explore what other artists and creators are doing with the NVIDIA Studio platform, take a look at In the NVIDIA Studio portal. Happy streaming!