2. FROM YOUR DESK TO THEWORLD…
record in 4K for editing later. These can be useful as a general view camera for multicamera streams, too. Wi-Fi web-stream devices, like the Epiphan Webcaster X2, allow you to plug in your camcorder via HDMI to stream directly to Facebook Live or YouTube. It also plugs in via Ethernet. A simple HDMI switcher can be used to connect more than one camera to the Webcaster, but many don’t work properly for video from cameras. Audio is an issue, as the switcher takes the video and audio from each camera, whereas you might want to stick with a single mic. For more control, streaming from a computer can be easy, although you don’t want to use your PC’s webcam and mic. Plug in something like a Zoom Q2N-4K, a model that combines mic, recorder and 4K camera. It streams the signal and records to a memory card. More professional options include the Panasonic AW-UE4 (£1069/$895), recording in 4K and boasting a 111° wide-angle lens. Pan, tilt and zoom can be controlled via USB – working as a webcam or streaming camera over a Wi-Fi network. But options like this are not really built for more creative work. It’s best to use a professional-style camera for the quality from a larger sensor. Most cameras can’t be plugged into a laptop for streaming, as they output a high-resolution signal, while streaming often requires a low data rate, capturing HD up to 720p.
Livestreaming content to the world direct from your desk is easier and cheaper than ever, thanks to new hardware, software and telecoms technology. You don’t need an outside-broadcast TV unit, armed with an arsenal of hardware and staffed by legions of people. Cameras can be controlled remotely, live-switched by a single operator and sent out to the world, or recorded for editing into a tighter, higher-quality film later. For a basic operation, you can buy a small streaming system, such as a 1080p LivestreamMevo Start or 4K Mevo Plus streaming camera. These wirelessly link to your smartphone, working as the streaming device, via Wi-Fi or cellular, to platforms like YouTube or Facebook. They control the camera from a dedicated app. The 4K Mevo streams in HD, but can
You need an internet broadcaster device/encoder, or a more basic HDMI capture card, to turn your camera signal into something a computer can stream. AJA offer the U-Tap encoder (£360/$345) in both HDMI and SDI versions, while the Blackmagic H.264 Pro Recorder/Encoder (£420/$495) boasts the same connections. A basic web-stream capture card takes an HDMI lead from your camera, plugging it into your computer. But these are designed for gamers, so there is often a delay between the audio and video signals. You can solve this using some dedicated live software. (£699/$749) and the Blackmagic Web Presenter HD (£467/$495). Both take an input from an HDMI or SDI camera and plug into your computer, to deliver instant streaming. The Web Presenter HD includes a 12G-SDI input with down converter. This enables a connection to HD or Ultra HD equipment for streaming full 1080p video. It has a front panel with LCD and menus, USB webcam features, plus a unique monitoring output with audio meters, streaming status, full SDI and embedded audio technical details. For serious productions, multiple cameras are far better – and there are affordable options. The Blackmagic Atem Mini (£274/$295) can handle up to four HDMI inputs from cameras and has a two- channel audio mixer. It plugs straight into your computer for streaming. Meanwhile, the AtemMini Pro (£558/$595) has even more features, such as stream recording. The latest and more powerful AtemMini switchers now include eight inputs, four chroma keyers, 16-way multiview, two downstream keyers, two media players and more. The new AtemMini Extreme and Atem Mini Extreme ISO have a total of six independent DVEs, two USB connections and multiple HDMI aux outputs. Two far better answers are the Datavideo NVS-33 Video Encoder The latter even boasts a more powerful recording engine that captures all eight
EASY STREAMERS For the simplest routes into live streams, the Zoom Q2N-4K audio recorder and camera (above), as well as the Mevo camera (top), are designed to be inexpensive solutions to get your content online in a hurry
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