XSplit is a commercial broadcasting software and offers a free limited software version and a premium one ($ 449). As a free user you are limited in video and audio quality so musicians should use Open Broadcaster Software instead. Artists are free to use XSplit since the only important limitation is the fullscreen quality mode. Free users can use a resolution of up to 720p.


Getting started

After you downloaded and installed XSplit please open it and register or log in:

If everything is ready you get the following screen to start with:

We start with our setup for the source. The source is the content you want to be streamed on your channel. You need to tell XSplit exactly what's allowed to be streamed and what's not. To set a source click on "Add" in the lower left corner and choose "Screen capture" for a custom resolution for a fixed area of your screen.

Since XSplit is primarily for gaming streams you can choose the "Game capture". In this option you can choose software like Photoshop etc. so only the content in Photoshop is visible in your live stream. Please keep in mind that some software is not fully compatible with "Game capture", so if something is wrong just use Screen capture".

You can also add media files like images, videos, HTML etc. It's useful to activate this source if you are in BRB mode or gaming mode. So you can use this option as an overlay. Other creative ways are to show GIF loops or private videos in a corner to make your stream more lively. We recommend at least one moving overlay so watchers can see if your stream is still active or frozen.


Customize your broadcasted screen

If you select a source and click on "settings" a popup opens and provides you customization options for your screen:

You can change the color, angle, contrast, saturation, form, brightness and hue.We recommend to make a test stream to try all of these options. Some of them are pretty useful.


Scenes & Transitions

You can also set different scenes to switch during a streaming session. Just click on "Scene x" and set another source. This way you can switch from Scene 1 -> Scene 2 with a smooth transition.

You can also decide what kind of transition should happen when you switch between scenes to make your stream look fancier.


General settings

If you click on the gear icon next to the volume bars you get the following window:

Here you can set sources for audio and microphone. So if your watchers can not hear you or your computer sounds you might have to change these settings. Just go to the dropdown menu for "Microphone" or "System sound" and select the audio source you want people to hear. Please keep in mind that your stream is usually delayed by 5-15 seconds. So wait a little before you ask your watchers if they can hear anything yet.

For the time being you can ignore the other tabs in the general settings window.


Connect your Picarto channel with XSplit

Now we are almost ready to stream! We just need to connect your Xsplit with our server and channel so people will see what you are about to stream. Therefore go to the menu and click on "Output". Go to "Set up a new output" and click on "Custom RTMP". Now the following window should open:

The most important task is to type in your Picarto credentials for streaming. You can find these in our livestream setup tutorial by clicking on the "Go Live" button at the top right corner and following the setup tutorial.

Last but not least you have to find the right settings for the quality of your livestream. It depends on how good your computer is and the speed of your internet connection. Here you can find a good overview about what bitrate and keyframe interval you should use depending on your internet speed.

Your Upload

Your Upload


Bitrate in kbit/s

Keyframe intervall

under 1 Mbps


350 - 500


1.5 Mbps - 5 Mbps

720p -1080p

500 - 800


over 5 Mbps

1080p - 4k

1000 - 2000


You can set your keyframe interval and other quality options by clicking on the gear icon in the middle of the window. Please keep in mind that the maximum video size for free users is 1280x720px (recommended).

If you are not sure if your settings are OK, just click on "Test bandwidth" next to "Stream name". A speed check will open and you can test if your set bitrate is alright compared to your upload speed. Click on "View details" to find information about the test. If your dropped framerate is 0% and you should be able to stream without issues.


Start livestream

Finally we are able to stream live on Picarto.TV. Last thing you have to do is to click on "Output" in the menu and select your configured "Custom RTMP". Your broadcast will start as soon as you click on it. Please keep in mind that it takes some seconds until your channel will show your livestream. Maybe you have to refresh your channel page to see the livestream.