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The Correct Keyframe Interval in OBS Studio

Question: What is the correct keyframe interval setting in OBS Studio?

A. We typically recommend a keyframe interval of 2 seconds.

  • IMPORTANT!! 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.

From the OBS Studio website:

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.

See more info on Optimal Encoder Settings here: