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Hardware Encoding and Decoding with Livestream Studio

Studio includes hardware encoding and hardware decoding which moves the video processing to a dedicated GPU, greatly reducing your CPU usage while running Studio. 

These features are only available on computers with Intel processors that include Quick Sync Video (which are listed here) or have an NVIDIA GeForce card that includes NVENC and NVDEC. We have instructions on how to determine if your computer has an Intel Quick Sync processor or has an NVIDIA card that supports NVENC and NVDEC.


If your system includes both Quick Sync and NVENC/NVDEC, Studio will automatically utilize Quick Sync.


The HD31, HD51 4K, and HD550 4K are the only Livestream-built units that have the required hardware that includes these features. Many laptops include them as well.


Computers that do not have the proper hardware installed will not display these features in Studio.

To enable hardware encoding in Livestream Studio, click the Settings icon in the upper right corner of the interface.

Navigate to the Streaming menu.

At the top of the menu, check Hardware Encoding. Then click Save.

As an example, here is the processor being used on a Windows 10 computer.

The CPU usage when hardware encoding is turned off—streaming a single bitrate averaging 2128kbps, with 2 media bins, and 1 animated graphics overlay—is nearly 100%. The stream timed out after about 1 minute due to lack of resources.

In comparison, the CPU usage with the same workflow while hardware encoding is turned on was cut in half, down to 48%.

To enable hardware decoding, navigate to the Advanced menu in settings. Make sure Enable hardware decoding is checked. This will reduce the CPU resources needed to bring in your camera sources.

Enabling hardware encoding will also give the ability to stream to Vimeo using high-efficiency video coding (HEVC). This means you can send a higher quality video at half the bitrate (or the same quality at half the bitrate) than you otherwise would. 

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