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Old July 30th, 2012, 03:03 AM   #1
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8 camera installation switching and streaming

Hi
A client has asked me to quote for the installation of an 8 camera set-up with switcher and live streaming online.

Does anyone have any experience of this - a bit out of my league. I am considering 8 Sony HXR-MC50U's, HDMI-SDI converters, a BMD ATEM 2, a powerful Mac and a big RAID, as well as Blu--Ray for archiving.

What is the best way of streaming from the ATEM 2? What capture card could I use, or H.264 converter, or other solution?

There will be a separate audio feed, but I would potentially like to use the onboard cam's mics as well.

Any other gotchas I should be aware of?
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Old July 30th, 2012, 09:58 AM   #2
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Re: 8 camera installation switching and streaming

Have you looked at the Newtek Tricaster? The 855 extreme has 8 inputs and 8 virtual inputs, graphics production, editing, an internal audio mixer, 2 channels of video playback and streaming all in one box. I would also consider cameras with just HD SDI out instead of converting if possible. I like the looks of the ATEM, but I think you would get more bang for buck with a Tricaster. I have 3 of them and overall have been happy with their performance.
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Old July 30th, 2012, 10:46 AM   #3
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Re: 8 camera installation switching and streaming

With the Tricaster you can stream directly so you wouldn't need any third party pieces. You can also iso record your cameras and record your master.
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Old July 30th, 2012, 03:12 PM   #4
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Re: 8 camera installation switching and streaming

I agree with the Tricaster recommendation - I have both ATEM and TC experience, and since you mention that you are a bit out of your league I suggest the TC 855 with 10 SDI-channels - everything is integrated (DDR, audio, graphics....) The Audio meters on the Tricaster will drive you nuts - they mix analog and digital audio levels on the same scales - you will get clipping and distortion if you don't get professional help from an audio engineer.

You will also benefit immensely from a SDI-router - get the Smart Videohub from Blackmagic Design.
Blackmagic Design: Videohub Models

The TriCaster has on-board encoder but I suggest getting an external encoder so that you always have a stream out even if you have to reboot or suffer other catastrophic failure - you can also transcode to multiple bitrates and formats, and patch different sources to the encoder using the Videohub. En external encoder is more stable - the Tricaster is doing a lot of other stuff in parallel.
Look at the gear from digital rapids
Digital Rapids - High Definition Media Encoding Solutions - HD Encoders - Video Encoder

You will also have to delay audio if you have it externally mixed to get lip-sync.
The Behringer Ultracurve audio mastering device can do that (and a whole lot more) for a reasonable amount of money.

Good luck.
/m
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Old July 31st, 2012, 12:50 AM   #5
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Re: 8 camera installation switching and streaming

Magnus, How bad is the delay? I am thinking about a workflow of mixing everything outside of the trickster then sending the mix back. I was hoping to send the DDR audio out via an aux to the mixer. What solution do you find works?
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Old July 31st, 2012, 02:23 AM   #6
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Re: 8 camera installation switching and streaming

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvin Bellows View Post
How bad is the delay?
It depends.

Not the answer you're looking for, I know.

The ATEM switcher delay has been discussed at length on atemuser.com - it's one frame (20ms at 50fps)

For the tricaster it appears that the delay is three frames Tricaster 850 Latency Test - Page 2 - NewTek Discussions

Quote:
The big downside of the Tricaster is in my opinion the delay (3 frames) that cannot really be lowered. As I understand it the Tricaster does a framesync at the input stage (1 frame) AND a scale, no matter if you have the matching resolution (+1 frame). And there must even be another processing - maybe at the outputs that cause another frame of delay.
If you add 1 frame of delay from your camera (typical) and maybe 2 frames of delay for your projector you end up with 5 frames. That is not acceptable for me for imag purposes. 5-6 frames is what I typically get if I use the TC for imag. That is a real-life experience. In PAL land that means 40ms for 1 frame and 240ms in total. You can lower the absolute time of the delay by using a 720p50 (in PAL land) preset, that still gives 5-6 frames of delay but in this mode 1 frame is only 20ms long - that means 120ms in total.
So if you use the Tricaster onboard DDR and (feed the audio to AUX to) mix it with external audio sources you will have audio with varying delay. You have to delay the external sources, but not the DDR, as this is 'internal' to the mixer. I think. Good idea to talk to Newtek tech about this.
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Old August 3rd, 2012, 10:05 AM   #7
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Re: 8 camera installation switching and streaming

I my experience we have not suffered from delay. Last season I did a live web stream of around 39 basketball games. 3 of the games were also live on one of our local television affiliates. We have usually 2 announcers, 3 for a TV game. Their audio feeds a Mackie external mixer that then fed the Tricaster 850. We allowed the Tricaster to do all of the streaming to USTREAM. Each game is 2.5 to 3 hours with press conference afterwards and we didn't have to stop and reboot the system once. We never got a complaint about delay or lip sync when the announcers were on camera. That has been my experience.
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Old August 3rd, 2012, 05:10 PM   #8
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Re: 8 camera installation switching and streaming

It seems to me that there are two kinds of professionals meeting in the broadcast engineering business these days, (1) the computer geek, and (2) the broadcast professional.

For the geek lipsync is not that important - "hey, worldwide distribution of my show in full HD for $20 using this fancy little gadget with multi-colored buttons."

For the broadcast professional there's professional pride and respect - "When my colleagues see my work I want them to see quality - all this new cheap gear is no good if I can't get accurate audio sync. broadcast or webTV - same thing."

I'm a geek myself "Hell, what's 20ms delay anyway, and I don't see much lipsync on digital terrestrial broadcasts today anyway.".... but I'm slowly learning. Frame-accurate sync can be achieved - so why not?

David - am I reading this right that you have external audio all the way and then feed single master stereo to the tricaster? If so, I believe the Tricaster has internal delay to compensate for the three frames delay in the switching, and will give you accurate sync'ed audio and video in PGM out, so you should be fine.

We produce a daily game show draw using XD 850's and don't have any problems with audio sync.

/m
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Old August 4th, 2012, 01:14 PM   #9
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Re: 8 camera installation switching and streaming

If the camera's are fixed cameras without operators, I would seriously consider using PTZ cameras. If you went ptz, you could cut the number of cameras in half. I've seen live switched 5 person shows done with 3 PTZ cameras being controlled by one person. Also, cutting the number of cameras down reduces cost quite a bit. My most recent installation used 4 Sony EVI-HD1 cameras and a Sony RM-BR300 controller for the cameras.

The switcher was the blackmagic ATEM Tv Studio which has a built in H.264 encoder in it. While it's not officially supported, I used a piece of software called MX Light to stream the video off of the encoder. The studio was quite small and had a really small budget. If I had more cash, I would have gotten a decent Digital Rapids card.

If you're planning on using livestream, they just came out with a hardware encoder for about $500. I haven't used it, but I hear it isn't bad.
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Old August 6th, 2012, 11:51 AM   #10
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Re: 8 camera installation switching and streaming

Magnus - I agree with the delay when mixing audio and video outside the Tricater, that's why I would suggest letting the it do all the streaming instead of outputting to another computer to do the streaming. Unless you want to encode to more than one format.
David - I agree with the use of the PTZ cameras. We installed two of them in our sports arena for cutaways and other B type shots. They work great and have been a great add on to some events that didn't want to pay for a full camera set-up and operator. I have various packages for the arena, but it's nice to give a "value added" feature for events.
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