In this guide we’ll show you how to use your Elgato Video Capture with OBS Studio and configure the software to get the most out of your device for recording or streaming.
What is OBS Studio?
OBS Studio is a free and open source streaming and recording tool with powerful overlay systems and audio controls. It can stream to TwitchTV, YouTube, Mixer, Facebook, Twitter, RestreamIO, and more. It also can record and stream at the same time at different quality settings if desired.
You can download the latest version of OBS Studio here: https://obsproject.com
Current release as of this guide: 29.1.3
The Video Capture Driver for Windows can be downloaded here.
If the driver was already installed since you use the Elgato Video Capture software, then you don't need to install it again.
Make sure Elgato Video Capture is not connected when installing the driver, or unplug and reconnect when prompted.
To make Elgato Video Capture visible as an Audio device in OBS Studio you need to uninstall Analog Audio in (Elgato Video Capture) via the Windows Device Manager > Audio inputs and outputs
Hover over Analog Audio In (Elgato Video Capture) make a right mouse click and selct uninstall.
Getting Started With OBS Studio
Once you have OBS Studio installed and open, go to the bottom half of the OBS Studio window. You should find a column on the left called Scenes and next to it a column called Sources. Below the Sources column, click on the + button below. Then choose Video Capture Device.
A new small window will appear asking what you wish to name the layer. You are free to name it whatever you wish, but for this guide we will call it 'Elgato Video Capture'. Click on OK.
A new larger window with a preview will appear (seen below). This is asking you to choose the capture device from a list and to configure it. On the Device selection, choose “Elgato Video Capture”.
Configuring your Elgato Video Capture
Below the device selection and preview, you have a set of properties you can change.
Audio Output Mode
Choose/Leave on Capture audio only
This function is for essentially turning off the device from OBS Studio or turning it on. This can be helpful if you’re experiencing issues as a way to soft reset the device. More information in #Troubleshooting.
Configure Video can be used with the Elgato Video Capture to change the Video Standard
Configure Crossbar is unused with our devices.
This is used to switch between automatic or custom resolutions and framerates. You can usually leave this on Device Default. More information in #Troubleshooting.
Full and Partial refer to how expanded the range is. Having this incorrectly set could cause your video to appear overly contrasted or faded. If you’re capturing video from a PC, this may need to be set to Full. If you’re capturing from a console, generally Default or Partial is recommended.
Leave Buffering set to Disable.
Audio Output Mode
We’d generally recommend setting this to Capture audio only. If you wish to listen to audio coming from the Elgato Video Capture, we’d suggest using OBS Studio’s Audio Monitoring feature.
However, you can use the options Output Desktop Audio (Wave Out) or Output Desktop Audio (DirectSound) to do this as well. Keep in mind that the audio your viewers hear will be coming from your Desktop Audio track now and not from the Elgato Video Capture audio channel itself.
Adjusting The Scene
OBS Studio’s preview represents what the viewer sees. This is called the Canvas and you’re able to move, rotate, scale, crop, and stretch different objects in the scene. This area is also able to be changed live while recording or streaming. You are able to add or remove objects as well as move or scale them while you are recording or streaming and those changes will be in your recorded file or show up for your stream viewers.
To move an object around in your scene, you can hover over it in the preview or select it in your Sources list. Then drag it around in the preview.
If you didn’t wish for your Elgato Video Capture to take up the whole screen, you can grab one corner and drag in towards the center to make it smaller.
With a 4:3 or non-widescreen signal, you can hold the ALT key and drag in a side to crop the video from the Elgato Video Capture. You will see a green border where a crop as occurred.
For more advanced controls, you can right click on your Elgato Video Capture source, then go to Transform, Edit Transform. This is useful for typing in specific values.
OBS Studio General Settings
For a head start in setting up OBS Studio, you may want to try the Auto-Configuration Wizard. This Wizard can be found under the Tools menu.
This wizard will setup OBS Studio based on various details about your computer, such as monitor resolution, performance of your system, and internet speed. It’s a good option for getting started.
There is a lot of options inside of OBS Studio, but not all apply to the basics of using your Elgato Video Capture. So we will focus on the basics. Firstly, we need to make sure the software will be operating at the right resolution and framerate.
We can do this by going into File > Settings. Then go into the Video tab. If the Auto-Configuration Wizard hasn’t yet changed this, you will typically want to set your Base (Canvas) Resolution to 1920x1080. This is the resolution of your Canvas or the work area with you layers and overlays.
The next option for Output (Scaled) Resolution is what is ultimately recorded to your computer’s disk or sent to the streaming service. If you’re on a slower internet connection or a weaker computer, you can lower the Output (Scaled) Resolution to 1280x720 for example. This will reduce the performance impact of streaming and may also improve perceived quality if your bitrate was too low for 1080p streaming.
Next, you will want to choose the framerate or FPS of your stream or recording. Typically you will want to have this set to 60 but if you're looking to reduce performance impact of streaming or streaming slower games, this can be set to 30 as well.
Inside of the Audio menu inside of Settings, we will want to be sure that Sample Rate is set to 48Khz. Our Elgato Game Capture devices natively operate at 48Khz. Setting this to 44.1Khz may cause audio stutter, audio drifting over time, or other anomalies.
Our devices capture audio in Stereo and do not support surround sound. Set Channels to Stereo.
In the Devices section we're able to assign additional audio sources to be used in your stream or recording.
Desktop Audio refers to the sound that comes out of your system. Default will attempt to use the same device as you have set for your computer. But if you have a specific setup you want to lock in every time you use OBS Studio, you can specify a specific device.
Mic/Auxiliary Audio is for adding additional audio input sources. These could be USB microphones, Line-In inputs, or other inputs from mixing boards.
If you wish to hear audio from your card or other hardware inputs, be sure to select the device where you'd want to hear this audio. Generally this would be the same device as Desktop Audio.
Note: When Desktop Audio and Monitoring Device is the same, audio that is monitored in OBS Studio will play back through the Desktop Audio channel and will be broadcasted to viewers.
The Output tab is where we control the type of file we output, how big of the file will be, and where it is saved. Leaving the Output Mode set to Simple is recommended for starting out.
If you are using OBS Studio primarily to stream, the you will wish to set Video Bitrate to a level well within your Internet's upload speed. A good rule to follow is setting this to 80% of your upload. If you had 5000Kbps or 5Mbps as your upload speed, then setting this value to 4000Kbps would be a good starting point.
Twitch's official maximum allowed bitrate is 6Mbps or 6000Kbps.
More information and recommended settings: https://stream.twitch.tv/encoding/
Youtube's recommended bitrate for 1080p 60fps is between 4.5Mbps/4500Kbps to 9Mbps/9000Kbps
More Information and recommended settings: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2853702
The Encoder option refers to which part of your system will be doing the work of compressing your video for streaming or recording.
Software (x264) will use your systems' processor and generally will have a larger impact on computer performance but may result in higher quality.
Hardware (NVENC) will use your system's Nvidia graphics card and will generally have a smaller impact on computer performance but may result in lower quality depending on the age of your graphics card. Newer Nvidia graphics cards such as the 20 Series (Turing) or 30 Series (Ampere) architecture can produce quality very similar to Software (x264).
More information on Nvidia's NVENC: https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/guides/broadcasting-guide/
Find out if your card support hardware encoding and what capabilities here: https://developer.nvidia.com/video-encode-and-decode-gpu-support-matrix-new
Hardware (VCE) will use your system's AMD graphics card and like NVENC will have a lower performance impact when streaming though quality may be affected.
More information on AMD's VCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_Coding_Engine
This controls the bitrate and therefore quality of the audio of your stream. Between 128Kbps to 160Kbps is a good place to start.
If for some reason you're no longer seing the audio meter moving for Elgato Video Capture, then you can try decativating/reactivating the Elgato Video Capture via the Source settings, or unplug and replug the USB of the device.
If you restart Windows, it's also possible that you have to delete the Analog Audio In (Elgato Video Capture) again via the Windows Device Manager to make it work.