OBS Video Delay

A noticeable lag can occur in OBS when you’re getting your audio and video from different sources. If you are streaming a video game and recording the commentary with a microphone, for example, the video comes from your screen recording while the audio comes from the microphone. At times, the audio track may lag behind the video track, making for a jarring viewing experience. 

A delay or lag in the video feed can be caused by improper settings, slow internet speeds, and hardware that is either overburdened or out of sync, especially if you’re using audio and video from separate sources and hardware from different manufacturers.

Why is your OBS video delayed?

There are many reasons for a delay in the video. The first one to check and often the most obvious reason boils down to settings. If you’re streaming your video game gameplay, for example, you may want the audio commentary to slightly lag behind the video feed so that you can provide commentary for actions just after they’ve happened. You might set this delay once and forget about it when you get back to streaming something else later. Therefore, checking your settings whenever you experience a feed delay is always a good idea.

The second reason could be speed. If your internet speed is low and you’re streaming a high-resolution video, say a full HD 1080 x 1920p video, a slow internet speed will lead to delays as you try uploading the huge video file. Trying to upload high-resolution video on a slow internet connection is akin to driving a car with bicycle wheels. 

The third reason could be insufficient system resources. If your RAM is full or your processor overloaded, then encoding and uploading high–resolution videos will be slow and contribute to delays. 

The final reason for a delay could just be problematic hardware. 4K Logitech Brio webcams have a sync problem, for example, with delays of up to one second. This problem can easily be solved by changing the video resolution from 4K to standard HD (1080x1920p). 

Some hardware could also have minor delays due to internal processing issues, say for example streaming gameplay on your desktop while recording commentary on a separate microphone, and capturing your reactions with a webcam. Each set of hardware may introduce its own delays. The easiest solution here is usually to add a slight delay to one source in order to synchronize everything. 

How do I get rid of video delay in OBS Studio?

  • Check your settings

The first step is to always check the settings. You may have set a delay for one reason and forgotten about it.

  • Check your internet speed

This is a simple test. You need a speed of at least 7 Megabits per second to stream a standard HD video. The minimum speed required for a 4K video is 25 Mbps. If your speed is below the minimum requirement or just above it, you’re going to have a lag.

You can quickly check your internet speed by going to fast.com. A timer will show you your speed. If the URL is too much work you can just google, “internet speed test.” “Run speed test” is usually the very first result.

  • Close bandwidth-hogging programs

Your stream may also lag even if you have a fast internet connection if you have too many programs open at the same time. Multiple programs clog your bandwidth and overload system resources. You can easily solve the problem by shutting down extraneous bandwidth-hogging programs during your stream.

  • Reboot your router

Rebooting the router and computer is a time-honored practice when you’re having problems. Turning your machines off and on again works because programs consume more and more RAM over time. Turning it off clears the RAM, allowing for better performance on startup. 

  • Connect your computer directly to the router

This is another possible solution to slow internet. A wired connection via a LAN cable provides faster speed on top of better security and reliability compared to Wi-Fi.

Adding a video delay in OBS Studio

You might also want to purposefully add a delay to your entire stream for various reasons. To do this:

Go to “Settings” > Advanced > Stream Delay 

Adding an audio delay in OBS Studio

This is easy.

  1. Add an audio source. Thus could be a microphone or even a video
  2. Go to “Mixer” and click the gear next to the audio source. This will give you a dropdown menu. Select “Advanced audio properties.”
  3. Set your audio delay under the “Sync offset (ms)” option. This is more of a trial and error thing so you can start with a low millisecond value and keep adjusting slightly until you get what you desire. You can also add a negative offset instead of a positive one if your audio outpaces the video. A millisecond is a very small value (1,000 milliseconds make up a second), so increments of 50 and 100 will be more helpful than increments of one.