With OBS version 28, you can stream with HEVC to platforms that support it. HEVC is an improved codec that provides 15% better encoding efficiency than H.264 (i.e. it provides quality as if you streamed with 15% more bitrate). HEVC - and OBS version 28 - also allow you to record and stream HDR content.
How to Record and/or Stream with HEVC
If you want to record or stream with HEVC, in OBS navigate to your Output window and change the Encoder to Hardware (NVENC, HEVC) for the Streaming or Recording settings, as needed.
If you want to stream with HEVC, you will also have to adjust your Stream settings. Note that HEVC live streaming is currently only supported by YouTube. To stream to YouTube with HEVC, navigate to the Stream tab and change the Service to YouTube - HLS. You may need to click Show All… to find this option.
Now you should be able to connect your YouTube account.
Finally, navigate to your YouTube Live settings on YouTube.com, and make sure that your Latency setting is set to Low or Normal (do not use Ultra Low as it is not compatible).
Streaming or Recording in HDR
HDR - or High Dynamic Range - allows you to increase the range of light of your content. You can record and/or stream with HDR.
HDR content can look washed off in non-HDR displays, so you don’t want to turn this on if your display does not support HDR, or if the platform you are streaming to does not support HDR.
HDR requires HEVC; it’s not compatible with H.264.
In order to enable HDR, we’ll need to make sure that:
You have an HDR monitor.
Your Windows and Game settings have HDR turned on.
We configure your full pipeline in OBS to enable HDR.
Windows and Game Settings
Start by making sure that you have HDR turned on for your Display in Windows. Right Click on your desktop > Display Settings, and turn on Use HDR.
Next, open the game you want to record or stream, go to the settings and make sure HDR is turned on. In Windows 11 there’s a feature called Auto HDR that enables a virtual HDR mode for any game. This is also a valid option.
In OBS, start by going to the Advanced tab and changing the Color Format to P010 and the Color Space to Rec. 2100 (PQ).
Next, we need to adjust the Game Capture source. Double click it (or right click it and go to Properties), scroll down find the RGB10A2 Color Space. Make sure this is set to Rec. 2100 (PQ).
Your content should now be ready to be captured and/or streamed in HDR! But remember, in order to record and/or stream in HDR you need to change your encoder from H.264 to HEVC. You can visit the How to Record and/or Stream with HEVC section above to adjust this.
Updated Guide with info about OBS 24.0.3 new solution for high GPU encoding. Forget about complex fine tuning. You can now run OBS in priority mode to make sure your stream runs perfectly in any situation with NVENC. Just open OBS in admin mode and that will prioritize the stream over everything, ensuring you get max FPS in game with silky smooth 60 FPS streaming.
Updating the guide after the Windows 10 1903 release. For this new version of Windows, the new recommended settings are as follows:
Windows: Make sure you update to Windows 10 version 1903, and enable Game Mode. This version includes performance enhancements for streaming, as well as an updated Game Mode compatible with streaming.
GPU Utilization for 1440p and 4K streaming: When streaming higher resolutions, or using an asset that is higher resolution, if your GPU utilization is above 95% Windows will start prioritizing the game over everything, making your stream lag. This can also occur if you are streaming 1080p or below but have an asset that is 1440p or above, like a 4K webcam. To solve this, you can either reduce the game or asset resolution to 1080p, or make sure the game is using less than 90% of your GPU resources.
You can check your GPU utilization in the Windows Task Manager > Performance tab. To limit GPU utilization: cap FPS in-game, run the game in Borderless Windowed mode, reduce game graphics or resolution, or turn V-Sync on.
To reduce the resolution of your webcam, double click on the source in OBS and under Resolution select Custom and specify a resolution under 1080p.