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Old January 13th, 2014, 09:01 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Albury NSW
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Live Streaming Setup Help

Greetings,

Am setting up a live stream for a Church, was wondering if anyone has some tips, I have the hardware I am looking at -

Switcher - BLackMagic Design ATEM TV Studio Production Switcher

Cameras - 3x Cameras - They don't want to spend to much on the cameras, they already have a Z5 as the main production camera, so I am shopping still for cameras in the range of 1k each, and one of those with wifi compatibility so the can stream from an office or outside. The problem I found here was Sony do offer a wifi adaptor for USA customers on a few of there units, but Australia, they do not support it, which was a bit of a disappointment, and they seem to have the projector built into there Handycam models now, why I do not know...

Have not looked at other brands just yet, if anyone knows of a different camera than Sony, please tell.

Capture Device - The Blackmagic Design UltraStudio Express capture device. It supports the majority of formats and resolutions that they will be working with.

Computer - this is all sorted.

Streaming Service - This seems to be subjective to peoples opinions, as they all look fine, Ustream seems to be the leader?

Headsets - This is where I have no idea, they need some sort of communication between the operators, anyone have some information of what would be best here at affordable pricing?

Editing Platform - Adobe Cloud they will be using for all editing.

Streaming program - Have not used much at all in this, someone suggested Wirecast or use Adobe Media live encoder, input here would be very helpful, I was looking at wirecast, it looks pretty good.

That's all i can think of what is needed, I did have to connect their internet to a provider that has Annex M options for uploading at a higher speed, as they are located in a zone that has no cable or NBN in Australia, just ADSL 2+

Thanks for any advice or tips.

Cheers
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Old January 14th, 2014, 12:49 PM   #2
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Re: Live Streaming Setup Help

What does Annex M give you in sustained upload speed? Depending on what specs you encode to, you'll need somewhere between 800Kbps and 2Mbps. We don't have that particular service here, or at least not by that name.

Wirecast is great, it's my primary live encoder. However, if you are doing switching & titles externally with the ATEM there's no need to have a software switcher too. Adobe's live encoder is fine, and perhaps a little easier to set up and manage.

Don't know what you have available in Oz, but round here Clearcom is the standard intercom system, people use Production Intercom too. Wired is typical, wireless is much more expensive and many more potential points of failure.

Nothing wrong with Ustream. Somebody could write a book about the various live hosting choices, but it would be instantly obselete. Ustream is accessible and not so hard to manage. Many (not all) of the other choices call for good tech/server management skills.

I've not yet used Thunderbolt ingest for live. Best you find some user stories that support your intended workflow here. Check out Wirecast's & Adobe's forums & support. Major manufacturers have released some gear over the years that just didn't work for live streaming. If I'm remembering, there was a USB3 mobile capture device that only worked on a couple different laptops, and they went to market with it. Lots of webcasters were upset about that.

What I'm saying here is that live encoding is not like many other digital video operations, and you can't take compatibility for granted, even when you buy from a reputable manufacturer. If other users have been successful with a capture device then probably you will be too. Few of them on DVInfo, look to the manufacturer's user communities. You'll find what devices are generally expected to work with your encoding software, which ones have worked with some pain, and which to stay away from.

The ATEM is *not* running on the encoding computer, right? If it is, you may have streaming problems, depending on the computer. Separating these devices is usually best, as each function can use a lot of computer resources. Wirecast is the exception, but it requires a 2nd gen i7 or better to really do well for HD, integrating switching and encoding. But then you need all those capture devices, or a 4-input SDI card.

Can't comment about Wifi cam, other than to say that latency is the enemy of sync in live streaming. If the wifi link incurs latency you don't want it.

Understand that my bias is very conservative, no second chances in live streaming. I've been successful in large projects because everything was tested, tested, tested before we went live.
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Old January 14th, 2014, 08:03 PM   #3
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Re: Live Streaming Setup Help

The computer will be built for the ATEM and streaming, we will not be streaming HD, at the highest SD, as all depends on the upload speed we can get.

The Annex M allows for a 2-3.5mbs upload, its a Hardware upgrade on the dslams for the ISP's, some have the option, some don't, it takes download bandwidth and turns it around to upload. Depending what we can get for where we are, is what we will stream, we have tested streaming a clip, and best we could do with Ustreams software was low quality SD. Though it looked fine streaming from Tablets and Mobile devices.

I will look into clearcom.

The ATEM encodes to H.264 by itself, plugging it into the same PC would not use much resource, that's the whole point of the Production Switcher, to convert before the PC and speed things up?

I am still trying to get answers from blackMagic user base about the Thunderbolt, apparently if you use a Mac, you can plug the ATEM straight into it and Wirecast detects it as a source, but with a PC you need the thunderbolt box for your PC to detect it through Wirecast, but Wirecast 5 can detect it as a source now through PC, that I am still trying to find out, and finding I am getting mixed answers. Will email Wirecast about it as well.

Learning lots though :)
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Old January 14th, 2014, 08:49 PM   #4
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Re: Live Streaming Setup Help

Hi Wayne,

The streaming setup you are looking at sounds very similar to what I am doing currently. My setup is also based around the Blackmagic ATEM TVS switcher, though I am running a portable configuration for going out and doing events with.

You can check out how I did my system on my website here- Equipment Rental

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Dear View Post
Cameras - 3x Cameras - They don't want to spend to much on the cameras, they already have a Z5 as the main production camera, so I am shopping still for cameras in the range of 1k each, and one of those with wifi compatibility so the can stream from an office or outside. The problem I found here was Sony do offer a wifi adaptor for USA customers on a few of there units, but Australia, they do not support it, which was a bit of a disappointment, and they seem to have the projector built into there Handycam models now, why I do not know...
When I first setup my system, I had about the same budget. I wanted three cameras at about $1,000 a piece. Though I am in the U.S., so a dollar here is a bit different than a dollar there, what I ended up doing was purchasing three Sony FX1 cameras off of Ebay. Since I planned on using the cameras in a live configuration, I didn't care that they were tape based. Since the FX1 doesn't have any kind of a HDMI port, I had to purchase three Blackmagic Anolog to SDI mini converters.

These cameras really give me amazing quality. Since I am taking the uncompressed analog out and going straight to SDI there is no compression. The excellent manual control of the FX1 cameras let me match the shots between all the cameras, and they have really good low light performance. Plus, they are 1080i native, which is the highest resolution supported by the TVS. The result is just a beautiful, super sharp, noise free image coming into the switcher.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Dear View Post
Capture Device - The Blackmagic Design UltraStudio Express capture device. It supports the majority of formats and resolutions that they will be working with.
If you are using a Mac instead of a PC you can't do this. However, if your using a PC you might be able to save some money here. The TVS has built into it an excellent broadcast grade h.264 encoder. The hardware is capable of encoding an extremely high quality video stream, suitable for internet streaming, in real time. The problem is, the software doesn't support this.

There is a software package called "MX Light" from a guy in the UK. It allows you to take the h.264 stream from the switcher directly over USB. You don't need any kind of other capture device. It also gives you a fine level of direct hardware control over the encoder, allowing you to set the encoding bit rate manually. This way you don't have to rely on your computer to encode the data stream, it is all being done by the TVS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Dear View Post
Streaming Service - This seems to be subjective to peoples opinions, as they all look fine, Ustream seems to be the leader?
I am using DaCast. Their billing structure just seems to be the best fit for my business and the audience size I usually have. Since you are looking at doing live streams on a more frequent basis, you might find a better fit with another company.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Dear View Post
Headsets - This is where I have no idea, they need some sort of communication between the operators, anyone have some information of what would be best here at affordable pricing?
Right now I am just using inexpensive Motorola two way radios with headsets. It isn't the best solution, but it works and it's cheap. Upgrading to a professional intercom system is going to be my next major expense, and I do believe it will be worth it. Unfortunately, unless you are prepared to spend over a thousand dollars on an intercom system, there isn't much out there that is any good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Dear View Post
Streaming program - Have not used much at all in this, someone suggested Wirecast or use Adobe Media live encoder, input here would be very helpful, I was looking at wirecast, it looks pretty good.
The software package I mentioned before, MX Light, has streaming built in. There is a very long list of streaming services it is pre-configured for, which includes every streaming service I have ever heard of plus some. Additionally, it is extremely easy to add your own streaming service to it manually. All you have to do is select the service you want to stream to, enter your information, and click the stream button.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Dear View Post
That's all i can think of what is needed, I did have to connect their internet to a provider that has Annex M options for uploading at a higher speed, as they are located in a zone that has no cable or NBN in Australia, just ADSL 2+
I have streamed video at a bit rate as slow as 380Kbps using my setup and had good results. The stream was in widescreen SD, but it looked decent enough. I actually got comments about how good the program looked.

Some additional notes-

I noticed you didn't mention any kind of audio setup at all. I don't know what you are planning on doing for audio, but the only audio input on the TVS is an AES/EBU digital input. I use the Behringer Ultramatch Pro to convert two channel analog audio to AES/EBU.

Even though you can control the TVS with the software control panel, I find it difficult. It is just too easy to accidentally hit the wrong thing. I far prefer having a physical control panel. Yes, I know the panel from Blackmagic is insanely expensive. However, if you are using a PC, you can use a cheap USB control panel from Xkeys along with the Just Macros software to put together your own control panel for the switcher.

Anyway, I hope that this helps you out some. Good luck!
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