Multiple Camera Live Streaming

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maloy8920

  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:18 am
  • Real Name: John Maloy

Multiple Camera Live Streaming

PostThu Jun 21, 2018 10:30 am

I need some advice on upgrading my 3 camera board game stream to a 7 camera stream. I'm posting this in the off-topic forum because while I do have a black magic capture card its not the focus of this post.

History

About 6 months ago I decided to start streaming our board game sessions on twitch and then uploading the videos to youtube. I knew I wanted at least 3 cameras; 1 for the top down view and 2 for a view of the players at each side of the table. I did some research and ended up with two logitech 1080p webcams for the player views and 1 sony camcorder for the top down view. The idea was some cheap cameras for the player view and a nicer one for the board game view.

Everything turned out well. I mounted the cameras and blue yeti microphone to my ceiling to keep the equipment away from the play area. I ran all the wires across the ceiling and used usb active extension cables to extend the range of the cameras. I bought a black magic capture card to capture the feed from the camcorder and the webcams are plugged directly into the pc. I use xsplit as my streaming software to manage everything.

I have pictures and links to examples of my stream but I'm not allowed to post URL's here I guess.

The Problem

The problem with streaming board games with multiple players and limited cameras is you cant get 1 perfect camera shot that includes everything on the table and is also clear enough for the audience to be able to read the cards and player boards. So most streamers I see, including my self, have 1 camera over the table which gives a broad view of whats going on. For the audience, this is usually fine if the viewers are familiar with the game but if not, it makes watching these board game streams difficult to follow. You have no idea why players are doing what they're doing or what the exact abilities of the cards they are playing are. The other end of the spectrum is solo gameplay videos/streams where the user is holding the camera or has it focused closely on their play area making it easy to follow for the viewer. These videos are great but obviously lose the "real" gameplay feel of multiple players.

My Solution

I want the best of both worlds. I want to upgrade from a 3 camera setup to a 7 camera setup. 4 cameras over each individual play area (4 player games), 1 camera over table for a broad view and 2 cameras looking at the players on each side of the table. Then, I would switch the on screen camera to the current players play area at the beginning of their turn and keep switching as the turns went around the table. Example. Player 1 turn-show camera above player 1 play area with camera of that persons face overlayed. Player 2 turn- show camera above player 2 with their face overlayed etc. Would also swap to the broad view shot as needed.
I've done some research but am having trouble finding resources for this many cameras. Webcams are fine for 2 maybe 3 camera set ups but fail after that due to usb bandwidth overload on the PC. I believe I'm moving into "professional" production territory and need to upgrade to a setup that reflects this. What do professionals use for videoing major events with many camera angles. Can I use any of my current equipment or do I need all new gear? What cameras do I need? All camcorders? I've read a little about video switchers which seems to be where I'm headed but I dont know where to start. Any help,advice or previous experience would be greatly appreciated.

Budget

The budget is not infinite but I dont want it to be the focus of discussion. I want to know the right way to make this happen without cutting corners. The setup I have currently with webcams is the cheaper way to do things and I understand to make 7 cameras possible were talking thousands of dollars.
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Andrew Martin

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  • Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:25 pm

Re: Multiple Camera Live Streaming

PostThu Jun 21, 2018 8:27 pm

Well considering your already here, you'll need an Atem switcher.
One with 8 inputs ( or more ) to take your 7 feeds.
Using the Atem to switch from shot to shot as required
the "program feed" coming out of the Atem will be what's recorded / streamed

Look at an Atem 1me the lower rated models have 8inputs but they're a mix of HDMI /SDI
Having SDI allows for using much longer video cables ( hdmi generally max out at 5mtrs )
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Denny Smith

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  • Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:19 pm
  • Location: USA, Northern Calif.

Re: Multiple Camera Live Streaming

PostThu Jun 21, 2018 9:03 pm

The new ATEM TV Studio Pro 4K has 8 SDI inputs and a built in control surface. This would be the switcher I would choose for straight switching situation.
See: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/produc ... sionstudio
Cheers
Denny Smith
SHA Productions
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maloy8920

  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:18 am
  • Real Name: John Maloy

Re: Multiple Camera Live Streaming

PostFri Jun 22, 2018 1:31 pm

I'm obviously new to this but on another forum i was recommended to use an NDI setup with 2 computers. Whats the pros and cons of doing something like that vs just buying the switcher as you guys suggest?

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