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    Equipment for live streaming boadcast (HDMI switch) suggestions?
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    Canon DSLR Moderator M. Gilden's Avatar
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    I was asked to set up a sort of DIY "mini studio" for an office that wants to produce live training videos to stream with real time questions from viewers.
    The plan is to have 3 video sources (2 cameras and one screencast from a tablet), and audio from lav mics mixed in real time, and fed to either an hdmi streaming box or laptop with HDMI-to-USB interface. Any suggestions for an HDMI switch that would handle this well, while also allowing me to independently source the audio?

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    Black Magic Design ATEM Television Studio HD, works well. priced right. https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...studio_hd.html
    All the best, James

    Dynamic Videos, Inc.


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    Quote Originally Posted by M. Gilden View Post
    I was asked to set up a sort of DIY "mini studio" for an office that wants to produce live training videos to stream with real time questions from viewers.
    The plan is to have 3 video sources (2 cameras and one screencast from a tablet), and audio from lav mics mixed in real time, and fed to either an hdmi streaming box or laptop with HDMI-to-USB interface. Any suggestions for an HDMI switch that would handle this well, while also allowing me to independently source the audio?
    Or you can do all of this via Wirecast on a laptop.


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    Canon DSLR Moderator M. Gilden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jredmond108 View Post
    Black Magic Design ATEM Television Studio HD, works well. priced right. https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...studio_hd.html
    This looked great, and was also recommended highly by the guys at B&H, so I bit.
    Just got it, and I must admit, I'm very very frustrated trying to set it up. First, it didn't come with a power cord, which isn't a big deal but I had bought everything else we needed as part of the order (hdmi cables, streaming interface, etc) and had no idea this trivial thing was missing until I went to set it up. Then, the thing didn't come with an instruction manual. So we had to go pull up a laptop and put the little SD card in, only to find it blank. Yes, the card didn't work in our windows 10 laptop. No idea why. No matter, I'll just Google the Blackmagic ATEM manual. Found a manual that I spent some time trying to understand until we realized it was for the OLD VERSION, and wasn't applicable to this one. All of this could have been avoided if they just included an actual manual, and would it kill them to include a power cord? I mean, this thing is cheap for what it is but at nearly $1,000, how much could it have cost to just throw those things in already? $5? $10? I'd gladly have paid that much more and the experience would have been a LOT more positive opening the box.

    Meanwhile, bigger issue that no one mentioned: THERE IS NO HDMI OUT! There is only SDI. I was just looking to swap between HDMI devices to go to an HDMI box / computer capture card for streaming. Now I need to purchase yet another adapter to turn the SDI back into HDMI, like the source inputs were. I'm starting to think this device is way too much overkill for what I'm looking for- all I want is the ability to switch between cameras (cuts are fine, no cross fades necessary), yet have uninterrupted audio (so audio from external source rather than from cameras). This ATEM box is super cool on features (even has titles and chroma key support!), but seems overly complicated for what I want to do, not to mention won't even work without yet additional hardware to change the signal back to HDMI.

    But, from what I gather from the good folks at B&H, there isn't anything that fits my description without being much MORE expensive than the BM ATEM studio. :/

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskacameradude View Post
    Or you can do all of this via Wirecast on a laptop.
    Can you elaborate as to how this would work? How would you work out multiple inputs? And how would the sound work?

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    The original ATEM Television Studio (not the newer HD version) has an HDMI program output. I think officially this original model is discontinued, but there are lots of used ones available, and you may even be able to find some retailers that have still have new units as well (the original version still switches HD video, despite what the name would suggest). The key limitation of this original ATEM Television Studio version, is that it only accepts AES digital audio input, so if you don't have an audio mixer or other source with a digital audio out, it may require extra hardware to do the analog to digital audio conversion. You can, however, have the switcher pull the audio embedded on one of the camera feeds and use that, so if one of your cameras has an analog audio input, that might be a possibility (you can set the ATEM switcher to always use the audio from one camera, even if you are switching the video between different camera sources).

    Another option to consider is the Roland V-1HD which is about the same price as the ATEM Television Studio HD, but has all HDMI inputs and outputs. It's a bit more limited as a switcher than the ATEM units (fewer inputs and keying options), but does have the benefit of a built in control surface with buttons and T-bar.

    If you want to stay with the ATEM Television Studio HD, you can get a Blackmagic SDI to HDMI Micro Converter ($85) to convert the SDI program to HDMI. Also if you haven't actually invested in an HDMI to USB capture device yet (or hardware streaming encoder), you might look at some options that have SDI input capability. For example, the AJA U-TAP comes in HDMI and SDI versions. And if Thunderbolt is an option, then the Blackmagic UltraStudio Mini Recorder has an HDMI and an SDI input and is one of the cheaper video capture devices available ($145).

    While it is technically possible to get 3 or more video inputs into a laptop (with multiple USB 3.0 capture devices, for example), I probably wouldn't recommend this approach. Most laptops only have a couple of USB 3.0 ports, and it's easy to exceed the bandwidth of a laptop's USB bus with multiple uncompressed video streams. The Wirecast example setups document (https://www.telestream.net/pdfs/tech...ple-Setups.pdf) even mentions this in their Intermediate laptop setup (page 4 of the PDF). Usually a better approach to get multiple streams into a laptop is to use a multi-input Thunderbolt video capture device since Thunderbolt has a higher throughput than USB. The AJA Io 4K has 4 video inputs (over SDI) or its also possible to put a Blackmagic DeckLink Quad capture card in a Thunderbolt PCIe enclosure. But these setups will likely end up costing as much (if not more) than a hardware switcher like the ATEM Television Studio.

    One final note is that HDMI often does not do well over long cable runs. So unless all of your cameras and video input sources are within close proximity to your switcher, you might have to consider SDI connectivity somewhere in your setup anyway.
    Last edited by davedv; 10-28-2017 at 12:37 AM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by M. Gilden View Post

    Can you elaborate as to how this would work? How would you work out multiple inputs? And how would the sound work?
    No matter what other people say, I will 100% guarantee you can do this with a laptop and Wirecast....as a matter of fact I have done
    up to 4 cameras on my 2013 Macbook Pro. You need a couple other pieces to make it work. (HDMI/SDI to Thunderbolt and HDMI to
    USB 3 capture cards for example. These cards will cost between $70-$150 each.) The 2013-2015 Macbook Pro is a good laptop to use,
    because it has 2 Thunderbolt ports and 2 USB 3 ports so you can do up to 4 cameras. This is one key thing that wasn't mentioned by
    the poster who said that you would exceed the USB bus limits on a laptop using multiple cameras. That may be true, but you can use
    2 cameras on USB 3 connections, and then 2 more on Thunderbolt as long as your laptop has Thunderbolt ports (and those Macbook Pro's
    have 2 Thunderbolt ports.) They also have an HDMI output, so you can send the HDMI out of the laptop to a IMAG screen or just a
    flatscreen TV in the lobby as well as livestreaming it. As for sound, you just use a mixer (with as many mics as you need input to the
    mixer) to capture sound, then send the output of the mixer to the input of one of your cameras. The HDMI cord from the camera to the
    laptop, will carry the mixed audio with it. You then use that audio as the audio for all cameras....in other words, you just switch the
    'video angle' but keep the 'master audio' which comes in via the HDMI from the mixer.

    I have a blog entry, which is technically a review of a cheap HDMI to USB 3 capture card, but also talks about which HDMI/SDI to
    Thunderbolt capture cards I use, and a lot of other info about doing a 3 camera livestream with my laptop here:
    http://alaskacameradude.blogspot.com...and-other.html


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    Have you looked at the Roland video switchers? Here is one that has HDMI I/O...

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...mi.html?sts=pi


    Most switching units require your framerates be identical and many doing 1080 require 1080i59.97. Make sure your cameras can output identical frame rates and know what frame rates your cameras and other input devices can output. Obviously that will require a deinterlacer at the end of the signal chain. Decimator makes one. A lot of switchers will do 720 progressive but you probably don't want that but something to keep in the back of your mind.

    BM stuff can be quite fincky to setup.

    Switching using the NDI protocol is also making some traction and there are interesting options out there but haven't researched this is the past six months or so. It is changing quickly.

    The comment about HDMI not doing well over long runs is true. Most people doing switching end up buying HDMI to SDI converters.

    Video switching even on the cheap ends up costing a lot more due to all the add ons. Thing about switching is you only have ONE shot at it which requires prep, redundancy and risk mitigation throughout the signal chain.
    Last edited by Andrew Stone; 10-28-2017 at 01:24 AM.


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    Canon DSLR Moderator M. Gilden's Avatar
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    Thanks guys.
    Yeah, I think the Roland might have been a better choice for this job (I especially like the T-bar!), but the BM ATEM is really quite cool, and does most of everything else in the box already (including an rudimentary on-board audio mixer, which I think well get the job done without an additional mixer. Working with just one mic most of the time, sometimes two). Since it costs at least $50 less than the Roland, I decided its silly to pay more for a box that does less, and just keep the ATEM and just buy an SDI to HDMI adapter to go between the box and the streamer. Ironically, SDI for long distances would be nice, but the output is the shortest distance I'm running (the box is literally right next to the laptop). The video sources are all HDMI so I'll have to keep runs short (should be OK, its mostly software product demonstration, so we're talking a guy, maybe two, with an iPad. Video sources can be 1 wide, 1 tight, (maybe 2nd closeup too), and feed from ipad. The cameras can be pretty close to each other, but I'm actually wondering now if the iPad video out will be too far of a run. I do own an HDMI-to-CAT5 adapter for running a long distance in the past, but I'm really trying to keep this as light a setup as possible.

    Alaskacameradude, thanks for the insight into the software solution. It sounds cool, but 1) We have a basic Windows laptop doing the streaming. No thunderbolt ports available. 2) Buying 3 - 4 input boxes + a mixer, even if I HAD a Macbook to run it, would easily cost as much if not more than a dedicated switcher, 3) Too much to go wrong if I'm not running everything myself. I can teach one of the other staff how to operate the ATEM switcher, and not worry that they might accidentally close the live feed or something. And setup is mostly physical too.
    If I only had 2 cameras, I'd totally try Wirecast. Maybe next time?

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    Senior Member QuickHitRecord's Avatar
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    I was going to start a thread, and was so glad to see one already created. I have a similar scenario (C100s and one PowerPoint via HDMI over WebEx), but it is a one-off so I'll be renting everything. The Roland V-1HD looks to be right for my needs.

    My question is this: do I need a BlackMagic Web Presenter between the Roland and streaming laptop so that the video stream is recognized as a webcam, or can I get away with an HDMI to USB adapter? I've heard about audio sync issues with the Web Presenter, so I'm trying to see if there's a better option here in 2019.


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    Most encoder software will take any input method. There are also encoders that have HDMI inputs where all you do in enter the stream server details and connect it to video/audio, and network, and press the go button. You can get them for as low as $150 and seem to work OK.


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