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Old November 14th, 2017, 09:01 AM   #1
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Gear for live streaming?

Guys,

The company where I work has started doing a series of classes, interviews, etc via facebook live and my boss asked me to check out some gear to make them look better. Ideally we should have a portable sound mixer to feed the laptop several wireless mics and a way to use maybe use multiple cameras. If that is not possible, then we would need a camera that would allow us to pan and zoom easily (our current webcam does neither) and that can be used with facebook live (we have some canon dslrs and a sony shoulder cam, but neither have a usb output).
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Old November 14th, 2017, 11:25 AM   #2
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Re: Gear for live streaming?

Since you already are using a laptop, I suggest using a software switcher like OBS or Wirecast. For your camera inputs, you need a capture card. My favorite is the Magewell HDMI or SDI USB3 capture cards, available on Amazon. They show up in your system as a webcam, so you don't need any drivers.

Both OBS and Wirecast can stream to Facebook Live. You can also stream directly from the Magewell capture card without OBS, but then you don't have the benefits of camera switching or graphics insertion.

For audio, you can either run the mixer into your camera, if it has XLR inputs, or use a USB audio interface or a mixer with a built-in USB interface. Sound Devices' new MixPre series has a USB interface built in. Several Behringer boards do as well. If you already have a mixer, then a USB audio interface like the Focusrite Scarlett will work with any XLR signal.
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Old November 14th, 2017, 11:27 AM   #3
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Re: Gear for live streaming?

Loads of useful tips! Thanks!
Any advice on less expensive capture cards that allow an hdmi conection?
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Old November 14th, 2017, 03:40 PM   #4
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Re: Gear for live streaming?

Some people like the Elgato HD60, but I've never used it.
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Old November 14th, 2017, 04:00 PM   #5
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Re: Gear for live streaming?

I found for two camera shoot I needed two different makes Elgato and Avermedia to stop driver conflicts.
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Old November 14th, 2017, 06:39 PM   #6
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Re: Gear for live streaming?

I use Elgato on OBS and it has no issues at all. However it will simply not work on some switchers like Livestream Studio.

Do you really need a fancy camera? I have done lots of streams with a two camera setup using a Logitech Connect camera and as a cutaway a C930 conference webcam ... they even make 4K cameras ....By using these you son't need any sort of converter as they output direct to USB. That's a really low cost setup if you already have a laptop ... webcams are cheap as chips and OBS is free!! I picked up my Logitech Connect unit off eBay for under $200 and the 920 and 930 cams can be had for under $100
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Old November 15th, 2017, 12:18 PM   #7
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Re: Gear for live streaming?

Info/review on a cheap capture card on my blog here:
Digital cinema in the last frontier: You get what you pay for.....and other cliche's....
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Old November 15th, 2017, 03:36 PM   #8
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Re: Gear for live streaming?

I'll second (or third?) the Magewell HDMI (or SDI) to USB3 "dongle." BTW it's driverless so there'd be no conflict on that. Sometimes multiple USB ports are on the same bus so there's potential bus bandwidth issues.

My personal camera preferences of the moment is Sony PXW-x70 but there are cheaper equivalent cameras (Sony NX100, Canon XA30 for example).

I use webcams as well (Logitech C920) but unless you're directly in front of it or using it for a static wide shot it's limited.

You can add a sound mixer and if there's any sync offset between the audio and video, Wirecast allows you to delay either.

Wirecast has great Facebook integration. You can schedule streams in advance right inside Wirecast rather than using Facebook's interface. Also there's now the ability to post Facebook comments as lower thirds using the free NewBlueFX Titler Live that comes with it. I also do a local recording (MJPEG MOV on Windows or ProRes on Mac) as a "confidence" record and if I want to do post work (editing highlights for example). If you need to grab the presenter's computer screen (PowerPoint for example) you can do that with NDI to Wirecast over LAN. If you need to bring in a remote guest you can either screen grab Skype or use Wirecast's built in Rendezvous.
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Old November 21st, 2017, 10:35 AM   #9
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Re: Gear for live streaming?

As mentioned there are numerous ways of doing this. I have two ways of thinking about building a system. The easy one is building a system to meet YOUR needs. That means something that works with YOUR gear, the cameras and audio gear you own that will be used over again every time. Sometimes that works for inexpensive limited systems. Your situation falls into the OTHER category, you're the guy building a system for your employer. I can assure you that your input needs and expectations will change with time. If you make recommendations for a cheap limited system no one will remember how much it cost when your boss or a presenter wants to use an incompatible device and you tell them it can't be done. They will look at you and say "Why not? You told us what to buy, it must be your fault?" It is quite a conundrum for you.

Using a laptop full of dongles, external cards, audio feeds, and a software switcher is a very limited system. I am not saying it is a bad system if done properly but it is not versatile.

To be versatile and more compatible with different presenters needs, camera outputs, and audio mixing we use hardware switchers for the heavy lifting and use the laptop for the streaming. Fortunately hardware switchers have come down in price dramatically and are no longer limited to broadcast quality options. Take a look at the Roland line of switchers. They have an inexpensive line with USB output designed for streaming.

Hypothetically: Lets say your boss gives you a $1,000.00 budget for this. I would tell him now it won't work and not do it until he can afford to do it properly. That's better than spending his budget then telling him it won't work. Making corporate recommendations is different than cobbling together "something that works".

Kind Regards,

Steve
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Last edited by Steven Digges; November 22nd, 2017 at 01:08 AM. Reason: SP
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