Q. What should I set my keyframe interval as in OBS Studio?
A. We typically recommend a keyframe interval of 2 seconds.
- Please note that if you set the keyframe interval to 0 seconds in OBS Studio, this does not mean 0 seconds, it will instead instruct OBS to change the keyframe interval to "AUTO".
- A Setting of 0 or AUTO is around 8 seconds.
- This will affect both the quality and latency of your stream.
A keyframe interval, also called an i-frame interval, is an encoding setting that determines how often the whole picture is transmitted.
When a stream is encoded, only some frames show the complete picture. The initial (key) frame includes a complete image, while subsequent (delta) frames only depict changes from that image. This helps reduce redundant data and lower the bandwidth.
If your video stream depicts static scenes such as a news desk or talk show, then a keyframe interval of two seconds would suffice. But action-packed streams of sporting events require a shorter keyframe interval of around one second.
It's important to remember the following:
- For HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) playback, video chunks must start on a keyframe.
- Adaptive bitrate streaming requires a set keyframe interval as a seek point for the player.
Please see this article for more information on Encoding Best Practices.