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Chris Harding January 9th, 2017 12:43 AM

Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
I sorta jumped the gun here on Steve and started a "what gear do I need to do live broadcasts so here goes on my basic setup and setups I have considered.

(1) Bare essentials is of course a mobile phone and I'm sure we have all seen the wobbly footage that people post on Facebook so I didn't even try this out for size.

(2) Basic single camera wireless setup ... assuming you already have a camera all you really need to start broadcasting with a decent image is a "broadcaster" that sits on top of your camera and a wifi hotspot unless you are working where you have a fast internet connection available. However bear in mind that most "normal ADSL2" services cannot provide an upload speed much more than 1 -2 mbps which means your quality will be horrible. You can use the VidiU Broadcaster US$699 which will broadcast to most CDN sites including Facebook Live and You Tube Live which are free but then anyone can see the video. You can also get the Livestream Broadcaster Pro (same machine but locked into Livestream) for just over $500.

It's important to choose a CDN wisely and get all the information before you use them ... Apart from the freebies other CDN's will offer plans and they need to be looked at carefully. Some will appear cheap but they also charge you for "views" so if 10,000 people watch your broadcast you are in for a shock!! I use Livestream as our CDN ..they charge you a flat rate of $499 per year to use their platform BUT you can host unlimited clients (each have their own event page) and have unlimited videos and unlimited views so we chose that one.

(3) Multi-camera setups : If you are going to want multi cameras then you need a software based switcher. I have tried vMix which allows you to broadcast anywhere but you will need capture cards and a camera with SDI outputs which means cables to each camera. We use Livestream's Studio software which is an audio and vision mixer which streams out to CDN's of your choice. If you are just dabbling they offer a free version too but restricted to one wireless camera and 2 wired cameras and you have to use their CDN. We use Studio as I like the fact I can use the Broadcaster unit as a wireless remote camera so no cables are needed. Even on the free version you can run a remote camera (using a broadcaster) and then add in a couple of USB webcams as cutaway cameras (Logitech make a conference Cam (C930) which works pretty well.

I'm sure many will add their setups and rough costs so anyone can see if it's worth the expense and I have obviously added the most viable options cost wise and much better systems exist as all in one switchers/pc's/capture

Lastly Donald has been playing with a really simple DIY setup using HDMI-USB convertors along with TV wireless transmitters/receivers but I'll leave him to describe them in detail!!

Roger Gunkel January 9th, 2017 04:42 AM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
Hi Chris,

I'm sure Steve won't mind you starting the thread:-)

The Livestream Broadcaster in the UK appears to sell at at a dove £500 which makes it a bit expensive just to experiment with. Their basic hosting package @$499 sounds reasonable in view of the unlimited videos and viewings.

You mention a software switcher being necessary for a multi camera shoot, but wouldn't a seperate hardware video mixer do the job, with a single output to say an internet connected PC, then to a CDN or do you need to have the proprietary software to connect to the CDN?

Roger

Chris Harding January 9th, 2017 05:02 AM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
Hi Roger

Livestream have free basic software that allows you to stream from your computer and it's free called Livestream Producer ..I used it the other day to grab a mixed output from vMix so I could broadcast to a specific event ...Your mixer is analogue??? (I think you said so) so you would still need to bring that signal into your computer so that would mean a capture card? surely? Is your mixer HD? It's a bit pointless to try and feed SD into the computer instead of HD. It should have HDMI inputs and outputs so if it does you still need to get that HDMI signal into the computer!! If you have a webcam then download LS Studio and sign up for a free account with LS and have a bit of a play.. Studio is an amazing package!!

Roger Gunkel January 9th, 2017 07:09 AM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
I have two 4 channel video mixers at the moment, one old videonics one and one more recent Grassvalley/datavideo SE500, both of which are analogue SVHS and component in and outs. I was intending to sell both and get a 4 channel digital mixer with HDMI for the odd corporate and conference work that we do, but it might be worth looking at the software alternatives instead. My only concern is getting 3 or 4 wired or wireless cameras into a PC for software mixing. I know that Vmix recommend a 4 input PC internal card, but that means taking out a Desktop or tower PC on location and the cost of the card is a lot more than I paid for my complete new PC. I would have also thought that mixing 4 video streams onboard a PC and recording it at the same time would take a lot of processing power, or is it all handled by the card. An external box would seem to be a more practical solution, plugged into a laptop.

Delving into stuff I haven't been into before is going to be interesting, but I will take your advice and download the free software available. I also have four old Panasonic 3xCCD mini DVD cams which can be set up to run as webcams through their USB outs which might be useful.

Roger

Chris Harding January 9th, 2017 08:16 AM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
Hi Roger

I have a small form factor i72600 that I use for indoor events ..got it on eBay really cheap and it's not that cumbersome to bring along ...cheap laptops tend to be low performance! Yeah Roland made a digital mixer but you still need an HDMI to Digital adaptor for the computer. Donald often adds a post here and he is using a DIY setup that works well. Yes I do prefer the wireless approach rather than running cables so we use the Broadcaster module which has a Livestream Studio mode as our main cam and then just two c930's on USB near our setup for cutaway cams. The free version of LSS allows 1 x remote cam (broadcaster) and then 2 cabled cams without having to buy the software but you are restricted to Livestream's CDN only. You will find the software switcher is feature packed with a nice audio mixer too!!

Shout if you need to know any of the features like the preset and variable framing on each camera which works very well. You can actually play with the switcher without broadcasting too which is useful when you are learning!!

Steven Digges January 9th, 2017 07:16 PM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
Hey Guys,

Of course I don't mind at all. Don't wait for me on anything. I am hammered right now. I jumped the gun with the statement your referring to. I will contribute more as I can.

Kind Regards,

Steve

Roger Gunkel January 11th, 2017 04:30 AM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
I downloaded the free versions of Livestream Studio and Vmix yesterday evening and played around with both for a couple of hours. The Vmix software seemed to be much more user friendly and with a lot more control over the input streams. That may be down to the free trial covering the full range of the software which may only be available in the top priced package. I may find it's considerably limited in the lower price range.

I'll have to go through some tutorials on Livestream as I was struggling to make sense of the programme as it stands. In Vmix I was able to control previously recorded video clips, audio, graphics etc, but struggled to import anything live apart from a 320x240 webcam. I tried HDMI from cam to computer, and USB, without any luck apart from the webcam, so It looks like either a capture card or external capture box is going to be needed although prices are very high for multi input boxes and cards.

As most current cameras have a wifi facility, I wondered if there is anyway of inputting a camera to computer wifi into the studio software. Looks like a fair bit of learning and researching is going to go into this.

Roger

Chris Harding January 11th, 2017 04:57 AM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
Hi Roger

It's indeed strange how different people find different packages. My experience was totally opposite!! I found vMix to be very "barebones" and hard to configure whilst Studio was easy for me. Bringing in a camera in vMix means a cam input must be configured and then you also have to assign an audio control for that cam. In Studio you go to inputs, select a camera and it adds it's and also adds an audio control automatically to the mixer. Different strokes for different folks I guess. In Studio you have unlimited graphics and you can also assign data (unlimted) to each so you use a lower third caption, say on the left bottom of the video and you can then assign as many titles and names to that caption as you wish, whereas vMix can only have 5 assigned and each must be on it's own.

There is a manual for Studio which also helps as well as one for vMix .... I love Studios's 4 take presets for each camera input too where you can reframe 4 different shots ...you can also do it manually of course with with or without transitions ...I find the manual reframe really useful if the subject moves out of shot and you simply follow them using the software.

For wifi inputs click the Remote Camera tab and it has a whole list of what can be connected via wifi (even GoPros)

Roger Gunkel January 11th, 2017 01:07 PM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
Hi Chris,

I gave Livestream another try today, but was very frustrated that I have to go online to even start playing around with the studio programme. With Vmix, I can work off line with no problem at all and have been quite impressed with what the free software can do, although whether that relates to the lower priced versions remains to be seen.

Frustration continues this week on a number of fronts, with one of the reasons I am looking at streaming being the lack of any equivalent low priced universal hardcopy replacement for the DVD. Today I became annoyed by the fact that up until quite recently it was possible to stream live footage from a dv output on the camera to a dv input in a pc, but such connectors are no longer fitted to cameras or computers. Most new cameras have a wifi connection and I can control and monitor my cameras remotely from everything from a phone to a variety of pads. However to get a live signal into the computer to output via Livestream or Vmix, it appears that I need to invest in yet more expensive hardware to either transmit back to the switching software, or a capture box to inport a live signal. Why can't manufacturers make an effort to standardise as the further down the road we get with technology, the more fragmented it all seems to get. RANT OVER!!

On a positive note, I experimented with the virtual sets in Vmix, what a great idea. I'll take some green screen footage tomorrow to use in some promotion material on our website.

Roger

Donald McPherson January 11th, 2017 03:28 PM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
My cheap DIY set up. Not used for paid work.
Sony PXW X70
Canon 600d (with HDMI out) or GOPRO. Just received a HDMI splitter so I can connect my Lilliput monitor to the Canon as when you plug in HDMI you loose the LCD
Different brands of HDMI game capture USB converters. Driver issues if the same make.
Laptop i7 running Xsplit Broadcaster. The free version gives up to 4 cameras at 720p
Experimenting with when I get time. HDMI transmitter / receiver LKV388A Wireless HDMI HDbitT Transmitter & Reciver Kit (200m)
To go completely wire free I am testing out 4.8 volt batteries they use for fire exit lighting. They are the only thing I could find with enough amps. Managed to get 3.5 hours out of them.
I can also stream to Ustream using Sony PXW X70 and Samsung Galaxy 7 (rooted)
Using Screen Stream app and VLC for android I can also stream to YouTube and add a link to Facebook.
The reason I rooted the Galaxy was so I could install Internal audio otherwise the lag was a few seconds apart.
Speaking about lag. Xsplit as I am sure with others can adjust the lag so you can match up the video for two cameras which is great help if one camera is wired and the other wireless.

Roger Gunkel January 11th, 2017 05:13 PM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
HI Donald, that's a very useful post and cheered me up considerably :-)

I was considering one of these to convert from HDMI to USB https://www.box.co.uk/Hauppauge_HD_P...FQ88GwodBccD1w I assume it is the sort of thing you are using and wondered if the cheaper ones I have seen do the job ok, there seem to be quite a few out there.

The range extender looks very interesting, any ideas on price? can't find any on the site.

I'll have a look at Xsplit tomorrow aswell.

Roger

Donald McPherson January 12th, 2017 12:32 AM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
I have the Avermedia and Elgato both were under £80 each. The HDMI video sender / receiver £230 and the two sets of batteries £15 each. If you are in the USA I imagine you will find them a lot cheaper. I did have problems with a cheaper HDMI video sender / receiver it kept putting up that signal to stop you copying videos. (Forgot what its called now) Solution was to buy cheap and I mean cheap HDMI splitter after a google for the fix.
Roger just checked see you are in the UK .

Chris Harding January 12th, 2017 05:24 AM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
Hi Roger

My apologies for making you so frustrated!! That's strange? I load up Studio any time I want to and it never asked me to go online (unless of course you are playing with the streaming tab) I stream via 4G wifi hotspot and when that's off it still loads and I can play with it with no issues.. maybe it defaults and finds my wifi network and connects to that, but I have never had an issue.

Yes I totally understand your rant!! Cameras have limited outputs nowdays so you are stuck with HDMI and nothing else ...most pro camcorders (upper range) have SDI outputs and input cards are much the same. Yes I'm fristrated that my FZ's can send an image to a phone but Studio cannot see it, yet it can see a GroPro 4 easily!! Wireless IS the way to go but one should be able to find a simple HDMI to wifi box that sits on the camera and you can connect to the camera. Yes the Broadcaster does it but it's pricey...it's only a 6"x3" plastic box so why is it so expensive?? I'm not sure if Donald's transmitter receiver units and a HDMI to USB converter will cost heaps or not but SURELY someone makes a wifi HDMI box that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

Just remember the vMix trial is for 60 days and they give you the full blown version ..the free version sadly only supports SD video. Yeah, the Chromakey sets in vMix are awesome I really liked them ...I might play with vMix again but the wifi issue comes up again so how would I get a wireless signal into vMix from my FZ2500 ???? With Studio I use the broadcaster and it's perfect because I have one already that I use for ceremony only shoots on the beach!

Roger Gunkel January 12th, 2017 08:53 AM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
Hi Donald,
Thanks for the info, I'll have a look at the Elgato products, as there are a number of them.

Hi Chris,
I'd probably be looking at the basic HD Vmix which gives 1080 res and 4 inputs including 3 cams. I think it's about US$66. I will also have a look at the Xsplit software that Donald recommended. The problem with Livestream may be that you are locked into it in a way that you aren't with others. Your Broadcaster unit for instance seems to be identical to another model that is not locked to any CDN, although the other one costs a bit more. I'm expecting a call from Livestream, so I will be asking a lot of questions.

The interfacing thing is so frustrating and is probably down to supply and demand. with the manufacturers chasing the mass consumer market.

Roger

Donald McPherson January 12th, 2017 10:16 AM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
Roger remember you need different makes for different drivers with the USB converters. I had two Elgatos and could only use one. Buying the Avermedia solved the problem for getting two streams in. I also can use my Sony PXW X70 WiFi to stream into VLC player then screen capture that with Xsplit. What surprised me there was VLC would sit under Xsplit and still stream the VLC video. But alas bottlenecked trying the three cameras. I may have to get yet another games capture for three.
The Roland V1 HD would really be the way to go and you would only need one USB convertor.

Chris Harding January 12th, 2017 05:46 PM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
Great Roger

My only issue with the vMix $66 HD version sadly is you only have 4 inputs..not cameras but total inputs. So if you need to control audio from each camera ...that's already 6 inputs needed for 3 cameras. In vMix you also sadly need an input for each graphic you want to use so in my opinion the 4 input version is simply only any use for a single camera and very basic use. The "1000" input version is really the only practical one even for a simple setup ..I still wonder why 1000 ..It would be awesome if vMix had a 25 input version that would be so much more practical for the small guy ... So have you checked out prices yet on a HDMI wireless system that would go into a HDMI to USB converter? Does it come out cheaper than a camera mounter encoder? Our local electronics shop seems to have quite a few units that allow you to connect any HDMI source and send it all over your house to another TV set so something like that (with an added HDMI/USB unit at the end should work.

I'm looking at Magewell stuff too ...my mate in Hungary is using these and says they are half the price of other encoders and converters so maybe worth some research?

Chris Harding January 13th, 2017 04:41 AM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
Just a thought guys that maybe you are getting way too technical on the camera side? We did a two cam shoot of a 75th Birthday Party using just a Logitech C920 and a Logitech C930e and the results we pretty impressive ..they output 1080P video but for us the built in stereo mics sucked so we had our own mic system running directly into the vision mixer.

OK the cameras are not $4000 pro-cams by any means but they do give out a decent image even in low light.. they are cheap to buy and most importantly they connect directly into the computer and you can also use action extension cables to get them closer to a stage or performance! I see no reason why one couldn't do a dance recital or play using these?? Livestream sell the MEVO which is basically a wireless webcam but cost $800 here .... It certainly would avoid issues with USB/HDMI converter boxes???

Roger Gunkel January 13th, 2017 05:17 AM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
Hi Chris,

I'm only playing with Vmix at the moment, so will check with the company exactly what is possible with the $66 version. The free version is brilliant, but quite possibly to suck you into buying the much more expensive licenses.

I've been looking at HD webcams but the problem there is that for the schools and theatres, it would be impossible to get the cameras close enough to be effective as we always have to film from the back. There is just no space nearer the front. Mevo is a brilliant idea, but the examples I have seen are not good when the camera is more than a few feet away. A good tool for situations when you can set up reasonably close though, like at the front of a wedding.

Video senders are a possible direction for remote transmission back to the switcher, but many are very poor quality and short range. Lots of research still to do.

I think that what you are doing is a simple approach to streaming which opens up a whole new market that you are obviously enjoying and is totally different from the conventional wedding style. I think that I am reluctant to go down a route that employs webcams with all their limitations or the alternatives of bringing together various bits of cobbled together gear, or of course spending out a lot of money for more professional equipment. We are talking here of going from sophisticated larger sensor video cameras, back to lower level consumer tech that I am not comfortable with. However, I can see taking a similar route as you just to test the market for something completely different and just see what happens :-)

Roger

Chris Harding January 13th, 2017 07:21 AM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
Hi Roger

Yes you are right with webcams ..like Mevo they die a sad death if you put them at the back as they have no optical zoom ( The PZT pro models are good but cost $1800 so might as well use the cams we have plus a broadcaster) I have only worked with them close up .... I would have thought that with the tiny footprint (mine are on a lighting stand and would be easy to put on the side of the stage without becoming an obstacle to players or parents) but you know your layout and I accept that if you cannot put them up front then that is that and the only option would be a camera (like the FZ1000) that has good low light and an optical zoom.

If the market does exist then the easiest connection method really is a Broadcaster Pro but then you have to use Studio to mix ..I don't think vMix will find the Broadcaster's wireless signal BUT I might be wrong!!!

I really don't mind spending money IF I'm going to get a return but ATM you are just playing with ideas so your hesitation is justified. I have 6 brides so far that have booked a live wedding so at least I know my investment is covered!!

Do you have the trial vMix or the free one? The trial one is a full blown version, does HD but expires in 60 days (that's what I'm using) The free version doesn't expire ever but will only stream SD video.

Good luck on your investigations and keep us updated!!

Roger Gunkel January 13th, 2017 12:59 PM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
Hi Chris,

I'm using the trial version of Vmix and learning a lot from it. One of the things that I have enjoyed is playing with the virtual studios and that has opened up some ideas to follow. I experimented today with making my own virtual studios and scenarios using photographs in Photoshop. I found that I could cut out parts of a photo like a desk then saving it as a seperate pic. That can then be loaded into my video timeline, and some green screen footage chroma keyed and scaled behind the dropped in desk. I then saved it to MP4 and putting it back onto the timeline allowed the whole moving footage to be zoomed and panned. I was so pleased with the results that I am now experimenting with building something more sophisticated in Google Sketchup.

The idea is that with a saved virtual studio or scene, it would make a great starting point for a live broadcast or interview scenario. It also opens up new possibilities for different marketing directions.

Roger

Chris Harding January 13th, 2017 07:36 PM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
Brilliant!! Just remember the trial version is the full version with all the bells and whistles so just be careful you are not disappointed if you switch to the $66 version if you decided to use the software and a lot of stuff is missing.

Yeah the virtual studios are awesome .... I had a whole bunch of virtual studios a few years ago so I must really look for them (must be on a DVD somewhere) Happy to share if I find them.... the nice thing about sets is that you can turn your office into a plush studio and have a video shot that suggests the talent is elsewhere. Might be a market in doing virtual presentations live ..who knows?

Roger Gunkel January 14th, 2017 05:03 AM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
Hi Chris,

I realize that the $66 dollar version of VMix will be severely cut down, but playing with the trial version gives me a better overall idea of what I would like to be able do before making any decisions. lIt has at least taught me that I don't need Vmix to create virtual studios, being able to do it all separately and importing later. Of course the other side of the coin is that the more expensive versions of Vmix are actually a lot more flexible than the equivalently priced hardware switchers, so could be a good investment if we expand the direct recording side.

We try to do a regular wedding blog on our FB page,, so a video blog from a virtual studio could be a good way of keeping it interesting and up to date. I've also only done very basic head shot chroma keying in the past, so I am finding more detailed green screen work fascinating. If you find your virtual studio DVD anywhere, I would love to have a play around with them. Maybe they could be put on Dropbox or Wetransfer.

Interesting times :-)

Roger

Chris Harding January 14th, 2017 07:00 AM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
I''ll look for the DVD Roger ..if I find it I'll make sure you get a copy of the backdrops! Yeah ...it goes well past just weddings. You could do your video blog from your very own plus studio so it's exciting stuff!!

While you are investigating vMix see if you can find a way to use just one graphic (like a lower third) and then have a data list so you can drop different names and titles into the same graphic as new talent arrives on set?? vMix also have quite an informative forum!! I can use it to stream to LiveStream but it does require me to use Livestream producer software (free) to actually import the vMix output so it can be sent to the correct event on my LS account.


I found them BUT they are sd so 720x576 ..the image cropped and resized to 1920 x 1080 looks pretty good I have emailed you one so you can try it but you will have to resize them all to use them ..it was a while back!!!

BTW The guys on the forum that I talk to found this in the UK http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/112253113381

Roger Gunkel January 15th, 2017 07:27 AM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
Hi Chris,

Didn't see your post yesterday, had a day off!

Thanks for digging out the dvd, I'll dowload and give it a try and I'll put the ebay livestream pro on watch. Haven't really played around with the Vmix graphics overlay but wil try more during the week.

Roger

Roger Gunkel January 16th, 2017 05:39 AM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
Following Chris's last post, I played with Vmix last night for a couple of hours and although I have been in email communication with him, thought that others would be interested.

You can use one of the available inputs out of the four available on the cheapest $66 version, to use bottom third graphics overlay. Chris was querying whether each graphic requires a seperate input, but it just requires one, with the facility to change the text live while you are broadcasting, by simply typing in the new text then clicking on it to add it to the transmission. You can also set up a list of different participants or titles in advance and again just click on each one in the list to bring it up.

I have also been playing with the included virtual studios which also require one input, but have different zoom levels available on the one input, which you can swap between. You can chroma key talent into the studio either live from a green/coloured background or from pre recorded video. I have also found that you can import the virtual studio files into Photoshop for a certain ammount of editing with your logo etc and possibly more detailed editing with a bit of thought.

As regards cost, I have been looking at replacing my analogue SD switcher with a digital one, but the most basic 4 input HD switchers are costing upwards of £700 to £Ks. That makes the Vmix HD switcher at $350 start to look very attractive, with 1000 inputs available, plus countless other invaluable processing, inputting and outputting facilities. Of course you need a fast computer but the licence covers you for two computers so could be a tower and a laptop for live work. With the Vmix you can also output to your chosen CDN rather than being limited. There are other software switchers available, but so far I have found cheaper but far less flexible. Xsplit looked OK, but after a bit of playing I deleted it as it was not in the same league as Vmix. Livestream I keep trying but seems very basic with even the more expensive versions not able to offer what I want.

You will also need to be able to output from your cameras to the computer input, so probably HDMI-USB boxes at £100-150 from various suppliers. You can also use good quality webcams straight into USB. The other alternative is wireless from the camera with a unit such as Chris's Livestream Broadcaster Pro, or possibly a decent video sender for short range.

Still open minded to alternatives but with a 60 day free trial on Vmix, I seem to be feeling that I will likely find it difficult to beat in the price range. I forgot to mention that there is also a 4K version available for $750 for those interested.

Roger

Chris Harding January 16th, 2017 06:46 AM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
Thanks Roger

You didn't mention the cost of other switchers and Livestream Studio is a whopping $799 which is pricey of course. The only reason at the moment where Studio is paying dividends is that my "main camera" has a Broadcaster on it which connects wirelessly to Studio without any HDMI>USB adapters or cables .. and I don't think that vMix can import the video signal from a Broadcaster (according to the forum anyway) but I might play with it this week and see anyway. One thing that you might need to be careful about with the $66 option is with the input restriction to 4 inputs you cannot have any level control on camera audio as that uses up an extra input per camera. However I do tend to not use the camera audio at all and rather have an analogue mixer going into my computer via USB ..(I have a simple 12 channel Behringer which works well so being live there are no sync problems)

We have a LiveStream account so to pull the mixed vision from vMix you do need the Livestream Producer software but it free so no problem there.

Just as a comparison Livestream have a free version of Studio restricted to 2 wired camera inputs and 1 remote input (I use my broadcaster for that) ...you can only stream to their CDN (no issue for me) but one might want to stream elsewhere like Facebook or YouTube. The other thing I haven't tested is the CPU usage of vMix compared to Studio ...Studio is really CPU hungry and I need an i7 2600 to stream anything over a 2000kbps bitrate and it runs at 50%-60% CPU ..I need to try vMix and see if it's less hungry than Studio ..if it is then it could mean the added convenience of streaming with an i5 laptop which is a lot less hassle to carry around compared to my HP SFM desktop machine.

I'm sure we will have more to follow??

Roger Gunkel January 16th, 2017 10:36 AM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
I think that being early days for multi camera budget streaming, there is a lot still to learn, especially with getting remote footage into the system.

Having played with Vmix and some of the other software switchers, I really like the ability to record directly to MP4 without even needing to broadcast. If I can effectively get 3 or 4 wired camera inputs, then I can see me going back to direct mixing of school performances initially, then streaming the results the next day. That would save a lot of work. That would then perhaps lead to live streaming for schools and other events as experience is gained.

Roger

Chris Harding January 16th, 2017 05:40 PM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
Admittedly my initial reason for looking at this kind of setup was to enable wedding ceremonies to be made instantly available to overseas family. We have a larger number of UK people down here as well as an equally large number of people from New Zealand. However after doing a few multicamera shoots I realised that eliminating post production work was just as large an asset even if one didn't actually stream the footage but just did the mix live and recorded to HDD. We still do single camera live broadcasts in parks and beaches for couples wanting just a simple wedding ceremony but doing live mixing and multicamera events is an exciting option and it's amazing how many markets open up and you find yourself saying "I can live broadcast that"

Roger Gunkel January 17th, 2017 04:51 AM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
For me, a live mix and recording would always have to have cameras that can also record at the same time, as I have has a number of experiences in the past where the main feed went down or the computer locked up. There has to be some sort of backup otherwise the whole programme could be lost. That is probably my biggest worry with live mixing.

Roger

Chris Harding January 17th, 2017 05:22 AM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
Hi Roger

Yes I do see your concern...With the FZ1000 I used to send the HDMI out to Studio (as you are aware the FZ1000 can either send out HDMI OR record to card but not both) and then have the 2nd FZ1000 just recording the same frame to card. The FZ2500 on the other hand can do both so I send HDMI to the switcher and also at the same time I'm recording to card so that's the backup

Yes a computer can easily freeze up or the 4G signal can die so I lose my DVR recording on Livestream so we have already had a poor signal at a wedding in the middle of nowhere where we had to abandon the live broadcast and do a delayed stream once we got back into a decent reception area.

Then again do you tandem shoot at weddings? I don't and have just a main cam on the couple with all the audio and then a cutaway camera handheld. If the main cam failed I could take over I guess with the 2nd cam but I would lose some audio in the process ..You actually have a better fail safe with live edits as the camera is recording, the computer is recording and the CDN is recording all at the same time. The chances of all 3 recordings failing is not ever worth mentioning ..one will always be there!! I feel it's a safer system unless you have 4 cameras all recording and pointing in the same direction.

It's fair to say that if the computer or stream died you would lose you multicam mix but then again if the camera at a wedding carrying you audio died you would lose the main audio too. I think one has to decide where to draw the line at how many video recordings you really can do and how many audio recordings you can do too before it gets crazy!!

Roger Gunkel January 17th, 2017 09:09 AM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
Hi Chris,

I don't disagree with any of that, although for my usual weddings have all cameras recording audio with the video, but the main audio is from the groom's lav and a close to Zoom H1 or Sony recorder. So not really a problem if one fails.

The problem with a live transmission and a recording of the stream and no in cam recording, is that the whole programme is on one output and if you lose that you are dead and buried. There has to be a some form of backup coverage for me to feel comfortable. To have that safety net, the only real answer is to have the cameras recording. At least if everything goes smoothly there is no extra work, but in an emergency you can at least save it with an edit session. Even the high priced software switcher options that have individual camera recording on the computer, are still reliant on the single system.

I have 3 Panasonic SD700/800s which record to card in HD and output through HDMI. They get used for B&C cams but could be enlisted back into a live recording/streaming scenario with the right adapters.

Roger

Chris Harding January 17th, 2017 06:30 PM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
I guess this issue is only limited to cameras that cannot record to card as normally one would use a cam that can output HDMI and record to card at the same time. If one is using conference cams or ones with just an output only then yes, you have to rely on the computer to record to HDD and the CDN to record the DVR from the stream. It all really comes down to what cameras you are using and what backup systems you need ... 2 webcams into a laptop makes the laptop the weak point. For one off events, I agree you need a source backup which means a card backup on camera and audio feed to a recorder too. You just have to decide how fail safe you want to be!!

What do others do to back up a live broadcast?

Chris Harding January 18th, 2017 05:09 AM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
Ok I must admit after giving vMix a decent try I still prefer Studio for mixing. Even the free Studio version has features I would need the $399 vMix to achieve. With Studio I have unlimited audio channels which doesn't reduce the number of camera inputs so I can bring in 3 cameras, an external mixer and still have level controls for each input on the free version. Also graphics are unlimited too...I can have 4 different types of lower third graphics each with unlimited data (like vMix can) and then I can also have multiple stills to overlay on screen if the talent needs them plus Chroma Key as well with unlimited virtual sets too and all these don't count as inputs! Then I have a media channel which plays videos, ads or whatever I need to play live and I STILL have all my camera inputs intact

Yes I can use vMix and stream to LiveStream but I need to go thru their Producer software to do so otherwise I cannot find the event page on a list. I'm not shifting from LS in a hurry as the Event Page you can create for each client looks professional and is unique to the client and has a fairly safe (no secure) URL so it cannot be stumbled upon like on Facebook or YouTube.

However vMix is great software still ..just doesn't suit me as much as Studio especially because I can have my main camera cable free by using the broadcaster pro... admittedly they cost a bit more than a 15m HDMI cable and a decent converter box (HDMI>USB3) but it's not that much extra and way easier to setup

Roger Gunkel January 18th, 2017 05:58 AM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
I understand your view Chris and if you are comparing the free or basic versions I would agree. I think we are probably looking from slightly different viewpoints. You are already up and running, focusing on the live streaming and want to keep it simple whilst earning income as you are doing now. On the other hand, I am looking longer term, with the idea of live mixing and recording in place of my old analogue mixers, then streaming the recorded results, with the occasional live streaming. That means that I would be looking at the $350 version of Vmix, which I think is better value with basically unlimited inputs than the Livestream equivalent.

I'm still looking at Livestream though and wondered whether it will take 3 wired camera inputs in addition to audio inputs from more than one audio source?

Roger

Chris Harding January 18th, 2017 08:07 AM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
Hi Roger

The free version will take 2 wired or USB cameras and 1 x remote camera then unlimited graphics on 1 channel and unlimited media on 1 media channel ... the free version cannot record onto your HDD but the CDN automatically records your stream anyway. Here are the differences between the free and paid versions https://livestream.com/studio/software

The paid version has 25 wired inputs and 10 remote cam inputs and all the other features too.

Our last multicamera run used 2 x conference cams (USB) and then the main cam was remote via a broadcaster. We also used left and right lower thirds plus caption screens on the media channel when the band took a break. Apart from not being able to live record to the HDD it didn't seem to lack any features.

Both versions have unlimited audio channels and unlimited graphics ..all you do is turn them off or on with a mouse click ... I also really like the crop feature on each camera input ..we were able to reframe (pan or zoom) in real time or save the framing into 4 presets ..very useful indeed if you need to switch framing on a camera.

I guess it's much like owning a car .. we all have different expectations and we drive what suits us.

Studio is still well worth a serious play though .. there is a lot more to it than meets the eye ,, that's why I spent a good time with vMix while evaluating it.

Roger Gunkel January 18th, 2017 08:49 AM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
Hi Chris,

Just been playing with the free Livestream again, and apart from the annoyance of having to go online every use, I am still struggling to do things that seem very easy in Vmix.

Chroma keying for example, I can't find any references in the programme at all for overlaying a green screen layer on say a background clip, or bringing in a vital studio. The bottom thirds titling is nice and very easy to understand, update and use. The other thing that I can't find is how to bring in 3 cameras without the broadcaster. I tried my GoPro but I keep getting asked for my network password. Not sure if it is asking for a password for the GoPro which I haven't got a clue on, or for my home network password, which it won't recognize. The GoPro works fine with my iPad, Android pad, Android phone and Balckberry. Very confusing!

The Livestream website says that the free version has only 2 camera inputs plus one remote which I assume is through their own broadcaster unit. It says one media player, but does that mean only one pre recorded video track or only one at a time but as many as you want waiting?

Is there an intermediate paid version with more than the free one or is it a jump to the $799 one, which is all I can find? Livestream emailed me after I registered and asked for a good time to call me to discuss my requirements. They suggested 2 possible times which I was quite happy about, but they failed to ring me on either. As that was over a week ago it doesn't inspire me with confidence in their support.

Roger

Chris Harding January 18th, 2017 06:49 PM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
Hi Roger

(1) Add a new layer in your GFX module and click on the paintbrush icon and in the designer click the camera icon
(2) select the camera you are using on the green screen with the gear icon then click the person icon to key out the background and add any virtual studio/background using the "push button" to the green screen camera already there....The auto key works pretty well but you can also manually key with icons in the designer ....there is a PDF manual which I downloaded.

There is no intermediate version it's either the free or the paid ..frustrating yes as is vMix but both companies are trying to make you buy the paid version so they make the free version just crippled enough to frustrate you! Nope only 2 direct inputs and one remote input on the free version so you need a remote camera to make up the 3rd cam....Studio has a lot of remote options ..click on the remote cam tab and look at them broadcaster is only one source of course. Again the PDF manual is very well written.

The Gopro must be a Hero 3 or 4 I think at least to work. Now, I really cannot understand why you are asked to connect online with Studio ...maybe mine auto connects to my home wifi but it never asks me and doesn't indicate any connection. I wonder if you have set/not set something in the stream tab regarding the connection ...make sure the provider is "Livestream" Mine only says "logging in" if I click the "Stream" tab and logs into my account automatically but only if I click the stream tab ...otherwise it loads normally ...does it ask you to log into your account or connect to the internet? If the latter then that's to check for updates which mine does automatically as well ...must be that ??

Both the GFX channel and the Media Channel can have unlimited inputs so you could import 10 videos into Media and select and play any one at any time.

Maybe vMix is more suited to your application.. I have no idea but at least we can choose!! What CDN are you thinking of using or will most be just recorded to HDD and no online video???

Roger Gunkel January 19th, 2017 08:10 AM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
Hi Chris,

I've had another go at the Chroma Keying in Livestream, but I want to use a pre recorded video of a green screen interview, but the graphics editor seems to need a direct camera input. Any ideas on whether I can use a video instead of a camera as I don't want to do a live chroma key?

My GoPro is a Hero 3 and the programme recognised it but keeps asking for a password for the network but I can't work out whether it wants my router password or something for the GoPro.

Roger

Donald McPherson January 19th, 2017 08:37 AM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
Maybe you could do a screen mirror and try that. Run it in VLC then screen grab that. Might work might not.

Roger Gunkel January 19th, 2017 08:56 AM

Re: Basic Equipment for Live Streaming
 
Hi Donald,

Thanks for the suggestion, although I can already do what I need in Vmix. Your suggestion may work, but I was hoping that Livestream could do something similar to Vmx without another level of compromise. I don't want to shut the door on Livestream but am struggling to get it to do what I want as efficiently as Vmix.

Roger


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