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Old August 26th, 2010, 11:42 PM   #1
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Live Web Streaming...what hardware do I need.

Hello everyone. I have been working in live TV for 5 years now and everything has been sent via sat to master control. Some people have asked me about doing some live web streaming for the upcoming elections. I will be using a switcher and have an audio board output. I want to know what I need to get the signal from these two devices into my computer, then how do I get it online. Right now I am using a MacBookPro. I also have a ustream and livestream account until I can afford a CDN (if this takes off) My budget for this is kinda open. I'd like some cheap suggestions, middle of the road suggestions and top of the line suggestions just so I know what is out there. Right now it will only be a SD feed but in the future HD wouldn't be out of the question....how far in the future I don't know. Anyway look forward to the feed back. Thanks guys!
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Old August 26th, 2010, 11:54 PM   #2
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Software

Oh I forgot to add software. What software if any do I need. Thanks
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Old August 27th, 2010, 05:25 PM   #3
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Have you looked into Streambox? Perhaps it will do what you need.

Streambox Live
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Old August 28th, 2010, 05:57 PM   #4
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Tricaster

One of the "all in one" solutions is Tricaster. They have several models, choose the one that fits your budget and your needs. Accepts analog video (composit, S, component) and audio (XLR) and you can even add recorded video or put titles if you need to.

Then plug in your LAN wire and off you go - push wmv or flash to a streaming service provider.
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Old August 28th, 2010, 08:23 PM   #5
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You might check out this link, it has some good information and software:
Apple - QuickTime - See how far QuickTime technology can go.
You will need a service provider, of course....
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Old August 28th, 2010, 10:24 PM   #6
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Any ideas of hardware needed to get the signal into my computer? I'll have to look into the quicktime thing in more detail. It may work. I'll also need to do some looking into streambox. Thanks for the ideas. I hope they keep coming.
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Old August 29th, 2010, 08:56 AM   #7
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Viewcast Streaming Products

If your not Financially Challenged like of us then this might be your answer:

ViewCast | Streaming Media Solutions
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Old August 29th, 2010, 02:44 PM   #8
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A program in Adobe does it as well. I think it even allows for live chats and more.
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Old August 29th, 2010, 05:58 PM   #9
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I've used analog (via Viewcast Osprey boards) and firewire (via a dedicated analog to DV hardware converter, eg. Grass Valley / Canopus ADVC110) for capture into the computer.

For most video professionals, we're going to want to skip the tricaster solutions - when we have access to conventional switchers & distribution the tricaster is just another version of same, except it is a closed hardware/software system, less likely to be serviced locally, less rentable, etc. Let switchers be switchers and let computers be encoders, I say. Webcasting standards are a moving target, as are the PCs needed to encode to them.

The current state of the art is represented by products like Telestream's Wirecast. It will accept all the capture devices you have on your mac or pc, as well as serve as a software switcher for roll-ins and standbys (files on the computer). You can download and play with it - they have a nice authorization method that allows you to authorize or de-authorize a particular installation easily.

Other encoders of note include Adobe's Flash Media Live Encoder (free, but all it does is encode), and Microsoft Expression Encoder (a fave of the enterprise service providers).

A current i7 platform with 6GB or more of ram just chews through video encoding, and using firewire further takes load off. And this is what you want when you're encoding for live. You gotta' have zero stalls or frame skipping on the encoding side for professional results.
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Old August 30th, 2010, 12:46 PM   #10
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For a portable solution that gives you a full production feel I would recommend Tricaster. It's nice to have the seperate components, but money and space don't always cooperate with that. That being said it can still be a little expensive. Take a look a Wirecast software as well. On it's on it's more designed for a single camera along with graphics and computer, but you could also use an external switcher with it. It's very affordable.
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Old August 30th, 2010, 02:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvin Bellows View Post
Any ideas of hardware needed to get the signal into my computer? I'll have to look into the quicktime thing in more detail. It may work. I'll also need to do some looking into streambox. Thanks for the ideas. I hope they keep coming.
Strictly for digitizing I have used a Datavideo analog to digital converter. Component/S-Video/composit video and analog audio in, FireWire DV-AVI out. I don't see the particular model in their product line anymore, but if you Google around for the Datavideo DAC series, you will easily find one that fits your need. From there, use the software of your choice for broadcasting.
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Old August 30th, 2010, 09:22 PM   #12
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Check out the TeraDeck Cube, which converts HDMI or SDI directly to web streaming H.264. There are Wired and wifi versions too.
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Old September 9th, 2010, 10:33 AM   #13
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Thanks

Hey everyone. Thanks for the great suggestions. I will start looking into them right away. It's funny how you can google and google and never find the answers your looking for until you post on here. Thanks.
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Old September 9th, 2010, 10:57 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum View Post
The current state of the art is represented by products like Telestream's Wirecast. It will accept all the capture devices you have on your mac or pc, as well as serve as a software switcher for roll-ins and standbys (files on the computer). You can download and play with it - they have a nice authorization method that allows you to authorize or de-authorize a particular installation easily.
I also use Osprey Cards for live streaming.

What do you think about the Viewcast Niagara 4100 for live streaming without any PC:
The Niagara 4100 is designed with a combination of simplicity, portability and power to quickly and easily stream your HD content to broadband and mobile networks including live streaming to Apple® iPhones® and iPads®. With the ability to ingest high-definition video, the Niagara 4100 is ideal for live sports, live newsgathering operation, webcasting or any streaming application where you need rock-solid HD performance on the go.

This rugged, portable streaming appliance can ingest standard- or high-definition video sources through its SDI input, and accommodates a variety of audio input formats, including embedded SDI, AES/EBU, and balanced or unbalanced stereo. It's around $9,995. so it seems less expensive than some of the Tricaster models.
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Old September 9th, 2010, 08:15 PM   #15
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I think devices such as the Viewcast Niagra series make a lot of sense for their intended markets. Though they don't suit my business, I don't have anything bad to say about them.

Why don't the work for me?

OK, first, I'm cheap. Loading the encode onto a mass-marketed microprocessor makes economic sense, and justifies a pretty spiffy computer. There's a lot of horsepower in use in live encoding, a PC is the least expensive way to get that horsepower, IMHO.

Second, my clients require redundancy. That means a backup system ready to roll. Now we're at $20k instead of $10k with hardware encoders like the 4100, and that's starting to be some serious money.

Third, my clients require agility and flexibility. When I started in webcasting, we had RealAudio, RealVideo was just around the corner. There have been *so* many changes in the deliverable formats! Here's a real-world example; last year I did a live webcast in flash for a major athletic manufacturer, working for one of their marketing agencies. After we'd been on-site for 24-hrs, after extensive setup and testing, the agency revealed that the corporate standard was Flash 8 compatibility, just a couple hours before show. First we'd heard of it. And here we'd been pushing h.264 codec in a flash container, which is minimum Flash 9. We had to immediately change course to VP6 codec in a flash container.

Suddenly, Wirecast wasn't going to work, it doesn't have a hookup to VP6, even if you had a standalone license for the codec. 5 minutes later I'd updated my Adobe Flash Media Encoder and we were pushing the VP6 flash stream, we're back in business. Can a hardware encoder do that?

And, speaking of flexibility, what happens to your $10k or $20k investment in the encoder when HTML5 video becomes viable for live streaming? It won't be long now... I'd rather upgrade some software I have, or buy new software, than buy a new hardware box!

Same goes for Tricaster, as far as I'm concerned. I've spent too much money on hardware dead-ends to be comfortable with that sort of solution. What are you going to do with the darn tricaster when your next live webcast requires hidef? I've done several HD webcasts already, if I can capture the signal the software will use it!

My business is really as a boutique webcaster. Broadcasters have different needs, and, they don't require the same agility. Their chief engineer is looking for a box to put in a rack, configure it once, and forget about it for a couple years while it just puts everything they send to air on the internet. From the CE's perspective, that's a huge win, because once installed, the web team figures out what to do with the live stream.
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