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Old September 10th, 2016, 08:37 AM   #1
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Streaming away from mains power

Sometimes we do wedding ceremonies that are miles away from any power source so our PC based vision mixer cannot be used so I have been hunting for a suitable used laptop that will be as fast or better than my trusty i7 2600 which I know does my mixing and can stream out 1080 happily without dying. So far it's been a mission impossible as most reasonably priced used/refurbished laptops with i7 processors are not much cheaper than $1000 and are still below spec compared to my desktop we currently use. The best found so far is an i7 3630M which is 2.4 - 3.1Ghz ...a lot slower than my desktop and the CPU runs at 95% on an HD stream so practically one has to settle for a 480P resolution which doesn't look that good!!

Yes the Dell Alienware does the job BUT $4000 for a laptop??? I need a better solution!

I actually had a look here and you can get a neat petrol powered genset (750W) for around $200 that will power a standard decent speed desktop computer easily ... ! At most venues we more often than not have power for wedding ceremonies and always have power at receptions. That might be the simplest option!! Anyone else have a better field use solution .. Yes I can use a 600W sinewave invertor for the same price but the huge batteries needed to supply the inverter are pretty sure enough to weigh a lot more than a 7.5kg generator and they will also be pretty expensive. I remember chatting to a guy on our East Coast that does football matches who uses the mixing gear in his van and a little genset outside it ..Seems to be a practical solution



Anyone else have a better field use solution
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Old September 10th, 2016, 09:57 AM   #2
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Re: Streaming away from mains power

I should read the whole post before answering.


OK stupid idea. But what about a good car battery and an inverter
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3000W Peak 1500W DC 12V TO AC 220V 240V CAR Power Inverter Charger Converter | eBay

Last edited by Donald McPherson; September 10th, 2016 at 10:02 AM. Reason: I should read the whole post before answering.
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Old September 10th, 2016, 11:14 AM   #3
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Re: Streaming away from mains power

Portable Solar Battery Charger | Portable Solar Panels | Off-Grid Solar Generators | Goal Zero - Extreme Portable Power do a range of battery powered inverters. They are pricey like most of this stuff but are compact and quiet. You can also supplement them with solar panels if practical.

I have a mains inverter in my pickup that runs off a second battery. I used a Redarc (Austrailian company so it's easy for you to get) dc to dc charger to manage the second battery and also have a 100W solar panel to keep it topped up when the engine isn't running. I only really use it to run a cooler in the summer when doing weddings but having mains in the car is handy for charging batteries or a laptop etc.

I like the goal zero stuff but don't can't really justify it at this point unless i did more of that kind of stuff.

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Old September 10th, 2016, 07:08 PM   #4
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Re: Streaming away from mains power

Thanks Guys

An inverter is silent yes and not really that pricey .. down where we are you are looking at roughly the same cost as a mini petrol genset I can get a 600W inverter for $200 and a vehicle battery is around $100 ... Only thing here is at 600W the inverter is sucking close to 50 amps so a standard car battery will technically be down to 50% charge in 30 minutes or less and even a basic 45ah model weighs close to 15kg ... I would suspect that a deep cycle higher capacity would be better but that pushes the cost and the weight up significantly .
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Old September 11th, 2016, 01:16 AM   #5
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Re: Streaming away from mains power

How many cameras and how are you feeding them into your computer.
I can get two streams into my laptop using HDMI - USB converters.
Laptop with i7 6700hq, Nvidea 950m and two ssd's. Cost just under 1000. As you are in USA I expect you could get a better deal.

The other way feed your hdmi into a Roland V-1HD switcher (using a battery adaptor) then HDMI - USB converter. I'm guessing you have self powered hdmi monitors to see your streams. I recon an i5 could cope doing this way. And maybe a spare battery or two.
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Old September 11th, 2016, 01:43 AM   #6
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Re: Streaming away from mains power

Hey Donald

Nope we are in Perth Australia and a 6700 laptop is around the just under $3000 mark!! The best used I can find is an i7 3630 which is only a 2.4Ghz Quad core and is about $700. If I try to stream 1280x720 on that the CPU runs close to 95% at a stream rate of 2360kbps and eventually stops the stream when it hits 100% ... If I do the same stream on our i5 in the office it can only manage 480 P at 1500kbps otherwise it simply hits 100% CPU and stops the stream.

OK bear with me on this now : I have a used i7 2600 in a desktop case with 8GB memory and a 250GB HDD ..it cost me $360.00 and will stream HD up to 3000kbps and the CPU rarely reaches 60% (OK I cheated a bit on the low price cos I already had a 17" monitor, keyboard and mouse in the office but it's still way better than anything except a pricey laptop. Yes there will be a few venues where brides want to have their ceremony in the middle of nowhere and more than likely I might have to do those by recording to card and then upload to our CDN later as they are unlikely to have any 4G reception there either.

Even with the option of having to drag along a 600W inverter and a ruddy great car battery, the barebones i7 desktop is probably a better way to go as having a venue that has no power but a great 4G signal is unlikely.

Oops forgot about your question ..Just one cam via Livestream Broadcaster going wirelessly back to the computer and then a wide angle action cam on a stand using USB and we switch between the two ...however doe to multiple events I do need to have titles to drop in at the start and end of each event to let viewers know what is next and when it's due to happen.
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Old September 15th, 2016, 10:53 PM   #7
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Re: Streaming away from mains power

An inverter is just silly. Modern PC's all run on a 12V, 5V and 3.3V rail/s. All you should need to do is bypass the initial AC/DC converter in the transformer and supply the DC voltage regulators with more than 12V dc. If that sounds too hard (and it isn't simple)then google DC PC power supplies. I found a 48V 600W model straight away. 4 V-locks in series would supply the necessary power or you can pick up a 48V Li-Ion battery designed for an electric bike that would do the job nicely and easily supply the 600W. Make sure you buy a quality battery though.
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Old September 16th, 2016, 01:16 AM   #8
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Re: Streaming away from mains power

Thanks John

Good point as that's all the PSU does anyway

What about the monitor ... I never checked if the LCD flat screens have the same sort of PSU inside???
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Old September 16th, 2016, 02:38 PM   #9
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Re: Streaming away from mains power

About gasoline (petrol) powered generators. I've had some experience with them as location equipment covering hurricanes and things. If you use a generator you need to attach a professional quality voltage regulator and stabilizer, as generators generally are not well regulated, and tend to large swings in voltage, particularly as the load upon them changes. Not the best thing for electronic equipment. And they are noisy and create fumes.
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Old September 18th, 2016, 03:37 PM   #10
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Re: Streaming away from mains power

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Thanks John

Good point as that's all the PSU does anyway

What about the monitor ... I never checked if the LCD flat screens have the same sort of PSU inside???
Correct - also you can buy battery powered monitors and tv's albeit more expensive than mains powered units..
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Old September 20th, 2016, 07:06 PM   #11
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Re: Streaming away from mains power

Black & Decker Portable Power Station and similar as others have suggested. Laptops are going to last the longest though.

Harvard uses the black and decker with a macbook pro to get a few hours before it dies powering their laptop and hotspot:

https://www.telestream.net/pdfs/cust...as_Harvard.pdf

would be interesting to see what kind of power your desktop pulls once you power up a monitor and such.
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Old October 8th, 2016, 12:17 AM   #12
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Re: Streaming away from mains power

Just having a look at Intel's new NUC mini PC ... 5th generation i7 processor and everything fits into a 4" x 4" plastic box ... The really nice thing about this is that at full load it only pulls 45 watts and input voltage is 12v to 19v so can easily be powered by a pack making any external power source not needed. In theory a 9000 mah Li-Ion battery pack could run it for 2 hours and of course at a site with power it comes with a mains adaptor which makes life easy. Around $700 down here. One of course would need a DC powered LCD screen. Any thoughts???
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Old October 8th, 2016, 10:10 AM   #13
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Re: Streaming away from mains power

Interesting little box, reminiscent of a Mac Mini.

Here is the config with the best i7 I could find:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ni_pc_nuc.html

That's without memory or hard drive. Apparently this is a gamer's config, in a slightly different chassis than most NUCs.

As I read through the specs & reviews, this seems to me to be a notebook architecture shrunk down without keyboard, trackpad, or monitor. Encoding is very demanding; the question I'd have is: "does it throttle down processor speed under heavy load conditions".

Control from a smartphone or tablet popped out at me on Intel's site, but couldn't find out much about it. I've been using an iPad Pro 12.9" with smart keyboard/cover and it has been a bit of a game-changer, very capable. Is it a maxi tablet? A mini notebook? If it were a reasonable controller *and display* for a NUC...?

***edit***
Never mind - no iPad display of a NUC's graphics. Keyboard & mouse only, apparently aimed at couch-potato users of a NUC as a home theater media system.
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Old January 31st, 2017, 02:26 AM   #14
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Re: Streaming away from mains power

I'd try one of those power packs from Super Cheap and a laptop car charger or an inverter to 240v
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