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Old February 19th, 2013, 01:07 AM   #1
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Live webcast switching

Have a client who wants to do live webcasts , throwing to pre recorded stories. Is it possible to be live, switch to a pre record and back again?
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Old February 19th, 2013, 03:07 AM   #2
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Re: Live webcast switching

In a word Yes but it all needs to be controlled at one location ala TV broadcasting.

You need a production mixer that can do the switching and a player for the inserts, you will also need to follow a production script or running order so everyone knows what is going on and a talkback system for the live camera's and presenter will also be very useful.
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Old February 19th, 2013, 10:47 AM   #3
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Re: Live webcast switching

Back in ancient times, I worked in TV stations where roll-ins and back to live camera were commonly used in live production, and they still are. The only difference today is that the roll-in can be stored in the video switcher, and preset to roll when selected. I recently speced a Broadcast Pix Mica switcher that has this capability; hope we get it at my college!

But, for my webcasting work I go out with a PC that runs Telestream's Wirecast, an all in one switcher, still store, clip player, live switcher, and webcast encoder. Very sweet on Intel i7 architecture, which can really move video.

However, that's only one third of the webcast solution; you also need your webcast distributed, an online webcast server, perhaps supported by a CDN (Content Delivery Network), and a player embedded on a web page.

There's some serious tech in all this; for beginners a webcast host that gives you a player to use, too, is probably the best way to start out.

The bleeding edge and very hot topic is webcasting for mobile devices, now working on iOS, but still flakey or no-go on many verions of Android.
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Old February 19th, 2013, 01:03 PM   #4
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Re: Live webcast switching

Wirecast does this, running on either a Mac or Windows computer. You can get a trial here:

Live Streaming Software - Overview - Telestream Wirecast

It can work with various streaming hosts.
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Old February 19th, 2013, 01:17 PM   #5
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Re: Live webcast switching

also check vidblaster.com

vidblaster switches, streams, records and has a player for your pre recorded stories. fully functional trial available for download. help/support is through the forum.

excellent weekly tutorial webcast explaining vidblaster here thatvidblasterguy.com - Home

if you do purchase tom sinclair the vidblaster guy is a reseller and who i purchased from.
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Old February 19th, 2013, 03:31 PM   #6
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Re: Live webcast switching

A couple of ways to do this as Seth and George mentioned, Wirecast and Vidblaster as software based solutions or you might also want to explore more of a traditional hardware based system. The NewTek Tricaster has been a popular way, lately we've been seeing more interest in the Blackmagic ATEM mixer switchers. There's also some great HD mixer switchers with HD-SDI and HDMI inputs coming out from Roland at amazing price points.

For some of these you would want a playback device (deck) like an AJA Ki Pro, a Blackmagic HyperDeck studio, an Atomos Ronin or I've seen people even use Final Cut as a playback source attached to everything from a Matrox MXO 2 Mini, to an AJA IO XT. Now the cheap way may even be a Mac Mini with a Thunderbolt cable and a $149 Blackmagic Ultra Studio Mini Monitor Blackmagic Design: UltraStudio or AJA T-Tap. T-TAP - AJA Video Systems
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Old February 19th, 2013, 03:44 PM   #7
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Re: Live webcast switching

any further details of price and availability on the Roland switchers?
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Old February 19th, 2013, 05:35 PM   #8
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Re: Live webcast switching

Thanks for the replies, love this forum.
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Old February 19th, 2013, 06:04 PM   #9
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Re: Live webcast switching

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phill Pendleton View Post
Thanks for the replies, love this forum.
Love this place too! Cool to see such a wealth of info in one place online.

Quote:
Originally Posted by George Bean View Post
any further details of price and availability on the Roland switchers?
Sure, I just checked on the new stuff and the Roland V-4EX is shipping in March at $1995. It is HDMI and also has a USB output for streaming.
Roland Systems Group U.S. - Product: V-4EX

For HD-SDI, there is the V-800HD which is shipping now, but the price jumps significantly to $12995.
Roland Systems Group U.S. - Product: V-800HD

For standard def, and to circle back around to the OP question, there is also the model that we see selling the most. That's the Roland VR-3 at less than $2k, again it not HD, it's SD only with composite, but it acts as a deck! You would put clips on an SD card and can cut to that source at any time during the show. So that device is actually multiple devices wrapped into one: a Video mixer/switcher, an audio mixer, an RGB scan converter (for computer input) and also acts as a USB streaming device (shows up like a web cam source). Pretty cool stuff.

Oh, and back to the ATEM for a sec, those have a still store library and the ability to play very short clips, just a few frames for backgrounds, titles, lower thirds etc. The ATEM units use a Mac or PC to control the "virtual" control panel. Take a look at Blackmagic's site Blackmagic Design: ATEM Television Studio Software
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Old February 19th, 2013, 10:10 PM   #10
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Re: Live webcast switching

I use an older, standard def Tricaster to live stream from my church. Plug in four cameras and your audio mixer for live stuff, prepare your pre-recorded video on a hard drive, connect your LAN and you're good to go. Titles, lower thirds, everything you need, basically a small studio in a Windows box.

$5K for an SD setup, all the way up to $40K if you need HD and more cameras. See here.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 03:46 AM   #11
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Re: Live webcast switching

Blackmagic do a laptop solution too with their ATEM software!
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Old February 26th, 2013, 06:45 PM   #12
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Re: Live webcast switching

I have been webcasting corporate gigs for about 8 years. All in SD so far. If someone is researching webcasting sooner or later they will come across the Sony ANYCAST. I was a very early purchaser of this mixer/switcher. From the beginning Sony touted it as a “Broadcast Truck in a Box”. Sounds good but of course not entirely true. It is an amazing piece of gear (and still is) with many good functions. Webcasting is not one of them. It claims to have an internal server (for very small audiences) and an internal encoder for webcasting. Those functions are useless as it encodes to Real Media only! Can you imagine telling your client that everyone who wishes to view the broadcast MUST download and install an OLD POS like RealMedia Player. So don’t be fooled by it’s hype about webcasting. So..I use the AnyCast as a live and prerecorded segment, switcher/player that outputs a fire wire program feed to a laptop doing the encoding and output to the real server.

Being one of Sony’s true broadcast products it is also an expensive tool, but worth it if you have a need to utilize all it that it does because everything else it does well, and that is a lot of stuff.

I have one college season of experience broadcasting basketball games on a schools tricaster. I am not a student, I was the freelance technician. For me, the TriCaster was too much of a Prosumer device. I believe the early models came out to compete with the release of the AnyCast at half the price. We experienced way to many crashes and outright system freezes for me to ever consider using a TriCaster on a paid gig. The model they had was SD and purchased about three years ago.

It does not look like it will be financially reasonable to upgrade my AnyCast to HD. They want $3,000.00 apiece just for the HD interface cards. I am currently researching options and the Black Magic ATEM system is at the top of my list.

I find webcasting treads kind of scattered around. Where should they be posted? I would like to start a webcast SD/HD thread.

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Old February 26th, 2013, 09:51 PM   #13
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Re: Live webcast switching

While I'm an advocate of software switchers, and I use Wirecast, as above, I don't think it can replace all the things a hardware switcher can do. For me, to pull in a camera via a capture card or firewire and mix it with light titles and roll-ins, it's totally a great tool for webcast encoding.

This is by comparison to e.g. Adobe's Flash Media Live Encoder, which has no such switching between sources or titles - it just takes your live capture and encodes it for a streaming server. It does do that one task well, though.

So, Wirecast gives me a level of finish that I like!

But, if I were switching sports, or any serious multicam, I'd absolutely want a hardware switcher. Have used various low-end Panasonic switchers for this, but for a hardware switcher "low-end" is about $10 or 12k. Rent!

I hear a lot of people talking about the ATEM, but not much from people actually using it. Anybody reading/contributing to this thread had hands on an ATEM? I've had hands on the Broadcast Pix Mica for demos, and there is a large install nearby, the operators seem to like it.

Then, for webcast encoding, I'd either use FMLE if I just wanted to send up the program as-is, or, more likely, Wirecast to do some breakaway switching, since a webcast audience usually has different needs than a TV audience. A standby slide and some music, perhaps...

Mica is built on PC technology, and it doesn't do webcast encoding because a switcher with graphics and roll-ins is quite enough. A switcher needs serious processor cycles, and so does an encoder. These are heavyweight tasks, and should be separated into different boxes for serious switching.
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Old February 27th, 2013, 02:04 AM   #14
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Re: Live webcast switching

well, for streaming a wedding on internet, i doubt you need all this broadcast level equipement...

a simple laptop with a 30$ usb video capture device should fit.
you load the pre-recorded video into the pc. Then you get the free version of VMIX2012 vMix - Download

So now you can take live video mix with recorded video or powerpoint presentation or get live desktop pc capture from network, record to disk, sned to streaming server.
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Old February 27th, 2013, 10:37 AM   #15
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Re: Live webcast switching

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phill Pendleton View Post
(Original post) Have a client who wants to do live webcasts , throwing to pre recorded stories. Is it possible to be live, switch to a pre record and back again?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Giroud Francois View Post
well, for streaming a wedding on internet, i doubt you need all this broadcast level equipement...

a simple laptop with a 30$ usb video capture device should fit...
I haven't worked in wedding webcasting. I'd guess there is a high-end market that calls for switching multicamera of the ceremony, and a low-end market that might be served as Giroud suggests. There are a lot of weddings being shot with 3 or more cameras, though...

My previous comments in this thread are not to the wedding market, but to the corporate communications and training markets I work in. There, absolute reliability is a critical need, as well as good performance.
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