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Old August 19th, 2013, 07:21 AM   #1
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Very Low Budget 2 camera live switch. Need suggestions.

Hello all,

I work part time for a very small high school and we are looking to "morph" in a multi cam live switch of Friday night football games. I don't want to re-invent the wheel so I thought I would post up here to see what suggestions folks may have as far as hardware is concerned.

We already have several Canon XL2s which we use isolated for the football games but we want to eliminate post production and would like to have a live switch for our web broadcasts.

I have already dabbled with VidBlaster and have used it with one camera successfully for webcast using all of the bells and whistles like scoreboard, graphics and instant replay. In that configuration, I used the firewire on the PC to bring the camera signal into the switcher. I have tried to use a Blackmagic Infinity Shuttle to send a program signal to a DVD recorder and external monitoring but the video quality was not usable.(I have tracked the problem down to VidBlaster but don't have a fix) I also do not have a way to bring a 2nd camera into the switcher on the PC. I have thought of a cheap USB encoder but haven't tried that yet.

So the bottom line is I need a solution that will allow me to switch 2 cameras with basic switcher functions, and output a clean SD analog signal to a recording device. I already have a pretty fast PC Laptop with plenty of RAM with USB 3.0 ports and (1) 1394 port. I look forward to hearing your suggestions. Remember, this needs to be ultra low budget (Well Under $1K) Thanks for your help. Joe
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Old August 19th, 2013, 08:39 AM   #2
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Re: Very Low Budget 2 camera live switch. Need suggestions.

You might want to look at Wirecast software. Here is a link to a recommended 2 camera set-up with streaming and local recording to a digital format that can be converted later.
Live Streaming Software - Resources - Telestream Wirecast
I should hit your under $1k mark. You also might want to contact Newtek. They may be able to cut you a deal on an older Tricaster that they have from trade-ins. Even the original that has RCA inputs may work for you.
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Old August 19th, 2013, 09:48 AM   #3
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Re: Very Low Budget 2 camera live switch. Need suggestions.

Joe
What you need to use is VMix. (vMix - Video Mixing Software | Live Video Production Software) They allow you to try the full product for 60 days to see if your system will function with it. It is mainly the graphic card that does all the work. You could actually use the free version which allows two camera input with one overlay. You will even be able to have a score board. You can use your black magic as an output to record to DVD and get an usb for a second input. You can get usb with a firewire input as will as RCA. This program is a really good program and it works well.
Greg
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Old August 19th, 2013, 09:17 PM   #4
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Re: Very Low Budget 2 camera live switch. Need suggestions.

David,

Thanks for the Telestream suggestion. I will look into it. I had read about it when i was first researching but had initially went with the vidblaster and invested a lot of time with it only to get stopped by the poor output quality to Video Out. I might have to take another look at Telestream.

Greg,

I have actually tried vMix and it was working great. I actually thought it was going to be the one when it suddenly crashed when I was demonstrating it for the Athletic Director. Funny thing is now it won't even launch even after uninstalling it and reinstalling it more than once. Keep getting an error about a missing file. I should try to contact their tech support. The video coming out of the vMix was nice and clean as if it was coming straight from the camera.

If I get vMix to work again, how should I connect my 2nd camera to the computer. Would one of those $30 USB encoder cards work? The BM Infinity shuttle won't do input and output simultaneously. Can you run more than one infinity shuttle on the system?

Thanks both of you for the replies. I appreciate the suggestions. Hopefully I will be able to investigate further tomorrow. Joe
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Old August 19th, 2013, 11:57 PM   #5
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Re: Very Low Budget 2 camera live switch. Need suggestions.

with vidblaster what is your card for video out? i run vidblaster with great results to a black magic intensity pro via hdmi for hd and composite for sd.

my cameras are canon a1 and hv30; vidblaster only accepts progressive inputs. the studio and broadcast release have deinterlacing that must be used for interlaced camera inputs.
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Old August 20th, 2013, 07:02 AM   #6
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Re: Very Low Budget 2 camera live switch. Need suggestions.

George,
I am using an Intensity Shuttle as output. I don't think it is the BM shuttle because I get the exact same results when recording the output to a hard drive using the recorder module. I do think you are right about the program not being able to handle interlaced frames. I have tried every configuration of the camera module with de-interlacing turned on and off plus the Canon XL2 connected through the 1394 port can shoot 30P which doesn't make a difference either. I really like the interface of VidBlaster as it is very intuitive and works like an old school production switcher which is comforting. It is also very reliable as I did use it all last year for single camera web streaming. I would commit to it as the platform for us if I could lick the stutter frame problem in output as it is useless to us if we can't get a clean SD archive of the programs.
Thanks!
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Old August 20th, 2013, 01:21 PM   #7
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Re: Very Low Budget 2 camera live switch. Need suggestions.

what release of vidblaster do you have?

do other videos sent through the shuttle display correctly?

do files from the vidblaster player display correctly? also what is the cpu usage shown in vidblaster?

my setup is on a pc but not a laptop; this allows for more options of input output. two cameras in sd on a laptop should be possible with vidblaster.
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Old August 20th, 2013, 08:01 PM   #8
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Re: Very Low Budget 2 camera live switch. Need suggestions.

George,

Thanks for the suggestions. I was running an older version 2.6 (I think) so first thing I did was update to current version. I still was getting very jittery playback from the camera no matter if I used 60i with de-interlacing on or 30P with de-interlacing off. I was about to give up when I saw the Camera II module and decided to give it a try. I set the camera to 60i and had the module set to de-interlaced and had motion smoothing turned on. To my surprise, using the Camera II module, the video settled down and became usable. I don't know why it works properly in Camera II module but not with the camera I module even though the settings were the same. The video is not perfect but it is usable. I did notice that the instant replay playback had jitters but I think that is a hardware issue using the laptop and not VidBlaster. So I think we are going to stick with VidBlaster as the switching platform. Now I need to figure out the best (cheapest way) to get the 2nd camera into the switcher. Joe
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Old August 20th, 2013, 08:33 PM   #9
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Re: Very Low Budget 2 camera live switch. Need suggestions.

Joe
I would post your problem on their board they are good to help solve problems. You could use your BM to use as the second imput and use the vga as an output. You will have to get a vga to composite converter to have video for a DVR use the audio out of the laptop as a input to the DVR. You can also record the final output to a hard drive.
Greg
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Old August 20th, 2013, 08:39 PM   #10
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Re: Very Low Budget 2 camera live switch. Need suggestions.

are you now at release 3.14? there is 3.15 beta also available.

Download - VidBlaster

improvements include a camera three module which has improved quality and uses less cpu resources. the recorder also records to mpeg with additional formats available soon.

release three may be a free upgrade depending on how old your license is.

if your pc is fast enough you can set an isolated recording of both cameras for instant replay. check tom sinclairs page for info on features and configuration.

thatvidblasterguy.com - Home

vidblaster works very good to switch, stream and record from one pc, it is worth the time needed to get it setup and running.
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