Some advice on getting setup for live event streaming please

Questions about ATEM Switchers, Camera Converter and everything live!
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Mark Schilling Media

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Some advice on getting setup for live event streaming please

PostFri Feb 24, 2017 1:56 pm

Hi guys.

I have a production company that does video/photo. We are thinking of getting into offering live streaming also so I was looking into the equipment required to get setup.
As I am new to all this I would appreciate some advice from someone who knows about it.

The setup will involve 3 cameras (2 x sony a6000's + 1 x Sony A7sii)

I was going to get 3 HDMI to SDI boxes and then run SDI cables from the cameras to the Blackmagic Designs ATEM Television studio HD. This is the new TV studio so no longer has a h.264 converter.

So to get that to the computer I was looking at the Blackmagic Design H264 Pro Recorder. Then I'm hoping that OBS or Wirecast or similar software can detect the h.264 signal and use that for streaming.

I am torn between that and either the Blackmagic UltraStudio Mini Recorder or the Blackmagic Web presenter.

The ultrastudio mini can only take maximum input of 1080i @ 60fps and the WEb presenter downconverts everything to 720p.
I though the h.264 pro would be better because it could handle the full 1080p 60fps signal from the Tv Studio box.

For a streaming situation though for live shows etc, would it be better to downconvert everything to 720p?
The reason I want the conversion to be done on hardware is I haven't yet got a laptop to be the mobile pc interface so I was hoping if I can do all the heavy lifting with external units that I can save money on the laptop and not need to get a beast to handle conversions.

I could have the SDI out from the TV studio looping through a hyperdeck shuttle or some designated recorder to record the broadcast onto harddrive at 1080p for archiving later and then out of that to the Web presenter to downconvert to 720p for streaming?


So what would you guys recommend for a basic system for livestreaming events, gigs, sports events etc.?
Is h.264 a good format to work with to stream or would something else be better?

Regards,

Mark.
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Re: Some advice on getting setup for live event streaming pl

PostFri Feb 24, 2017 5:06 pm

we use SDI cameras and ATEM switchers for most of our productions. i have one small project that uses IP cameras into OBS and switch on the computer before streaming out. except for the latency, IP cams look great.

i think 720 for streaming looks fine, and is a whole lot easier to upload on a slower internet connection. bandwidth at the site seems to be our biggest problem. the H.264 recorder is not required for OBS (nor does it work IIRC), we use magewell and other capture devices that work without issues on an i5 laptop. OBS will also let you stream at 720 with 1080 content so you can record 1080 locally.

make sure your cameras can output formats that the ATEM can accept. if using 1080p, the LevelA or Level B thing can be a real issue. if you can't find a good format out of the camera, use the decimator MD-HX as your HDMI to SDI converter using its scaler to conform to an ATEM friendly signal. not familiar with the A6000, but have heard some photo cameras have issues with menu overlays on the output, or not working continuously.
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Mark Schilling Media

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Re: Some advice on getting setup for live event streaming pl

PostFri Feb 24, 2017 5:46 pm

Thanks for the reply.

The Sony cameras I am using both deliver a clean hdmi signal. They also transmit 1080p up to 60hz via hdmi. What is the LevelA or Level B thing?

As I said I was hoping to get a cheapo laptop to handle the upload. So you think I should let the laptop handle the encoding too? I thought it would be safer to have the encoding done on an external box so as not to overburden the laptop?

Ideally I guess I would like to have a 1080p signal(either 60hz or 30hz) going to the laptop, then being recorded as is to a hard disk as a h.264 format to keep size down, and also simultaneously being transcoded to 720p as a livestream.

I have decided that the TV studio HD is the main interface I want to use. So how best to get the signal to the laptop?

Mark.
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Re: Some advice on getting setup for live event streaming pl

PostFri Feb 24, 2017 6:17 pm

1080p comes in 2 flavors, Level A or B. BMD chose one format, the rest of world pretty much uses the other...go figure. Has to be the same on both ends or it doesn't work. Some of their stuff now accepts both, but not sure about the new TVS HD. As usual their documentation leaves out the good tidbits. You can check your camera menus and see if there is an option to output one or the other, otherwise you are stuck with whatever format Sony chose to use. Also, the ATEM only accepts 59.94 frame rate on the SDI inputs, not 60. The decimator can fix both of these issues if needed.

The H.264 recorder doesn't work with a lot of software. Media Express, MX Light and MXPtiny are the only options I have seen for it. We have one, but only use it for recording with Media Express. Actually, now that we have a Hyperdeck Mini, the H.264 days are numbered i think. Nice to see BMD finally hit the nail on the head.

Not sure where "cheepo" laptop leaves you, but our Lenovo Yoga 2 with i5 was only around $700 USD 2 years ago and seems to stream just fine with a Magewell USB-SDI capture dongle. Seems like if you capture the H.264 1080 stream for recording, and then go to web at 720, you are still asking something to transcode...
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Mark Schilling Media

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Re: Some advice on getting setup for live event streaming pl

PostFri Feb 24, 2017 7:07 pm

Thanks for all the info.

What to you think would be the easiest solution then to stream and make hard-backup from tv studio?
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Re: Some advice on getting setup for live event streaming pl

PostSun Feb 26, 2017 3:09 am

As stated, we use one computer with the Magewell USB SDI capture to OBS for streaming, and another computer with BMD H.264 recorder for our local recording. Will be definitely be switching the record computer out for a HyperDeck Mini for future shows. Wow do I really like these units... love that I can record to SD card, pull it out and save the show without having to transfer anything. So much smaller than our computer/capture too.
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Reuben

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Re: Some advice on getting setup for live event streaming pl

PostSun Feb 26, 2017 5:04 am

Do not use the H264 Pro Recorder. It will not do what you want. You will need to use a software h264 encoder that encodes from a Decklink or UltraStudio. (Which one depends on what type of system / hardware your computer uses.)
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Mark Schilling Media

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Re: Some advice on getting setup for live event streaming pl

PostSun Feb 26, 2017 11:31 am

This was suggested as being a solution to get the signal to the pc-
http://www.magewell.com/usb-capture-sdi

It supposedly detects as a webcam so can be used by any streaming program.

Then I was maybe going to loop the signal through a hardisk recorder on it's way to record a full quality version for archive.
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Doug Johnson

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Re: Some advice on getting setup for live event streaming pl

PostTue Mar 07, 2017 8:56 pm

The Sony cameras you mentioned are likely to be frustrating to use for live streaming, mostly because of the available lens selection. Photography lenses generally make pretty poor lenses for live production. For example, you aren't going to get a smooth zoom out of one unless it is one of the not-very-good low-end power zoom models which have a range of issues all their own. You'd do far better getting real video cameras. Even something like the Sony PXW-X70 would be a really good solution, and it isn't that expensive.

Someone mentioned above the Level A vs. Level B issue. That is a non-issue if you use BMD's HDMI to SDI converters. They output Level B, which is what BMD gear prefers. It's an SDI issue, not an HDMI issue, so the output level is determined by the converter, not the HDMI source. Incidentally, my Sony cameras all output Level B as well, so it isn't the entire industry outside of BMD that uses Level A. Sony's a pretty big player in the market too.

Personally I gave up on using software encoders for live streaming. I use a Teradek VidiU, and it works great -- as long as I plug it into Ethernet instead of relying on its WiFi.
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Mark Schilling Media

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Re: Some advice on getting setup for live event streaming pl

PostTue Mar 07, 2017 9:19 pm

Thanks for the info Doug.

Regarding the cameras, I was just going to use a few with fixed primes and not bother with zooms. Can get the operators to move instead of relying on zoom. Same procedure I use at the moment for covering gigs(although not live so far).

I'll look into the encoder you mentioned.

Cheers!
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Tim Pixley

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Re: Some advice on getting setup for live event streaming pl

PostThu May 18, 2017 6:19 pm

Regarding the Vidiu encoder, that takes HDMI in. No issues using SDI out/PGM with an SDI converter get HDMI into the Vidiu encoder?
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Gary Colon

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Re: Some advice on getting setup for live event streaming pl

PostMon May 22, 2017 3:19 pm

Mark Schilling Media wrote:Hi guys.

I have a production company that does video/photo. We are thinking of getting into offering live streaming also so I was looking into the equipment required to get setup.
As I am new to all this I would appreciate some advice from someone who knows about it.

The setup will involve 3 cameras (2 x sony a6000's + 1 x Sony A7sii)

I was going to get 3 HDMI to SDI boxes and then run SDI cables from the cameras to the Blackmagic Designs ATEM Television studio HD. This is the new TV studio so no longer has a h.264 converter.

So to get that to the computer I was looking at the Blackmagic Design H264 Pro Recorder. Then I'm hoping that OBS or Wirecast or similar software can detect the h.264 signal and use that for streaming.

I am torn between that and either the Blackmagic UltraStudio Mini Recorder or the Blackmagic Web presenter.

The ultrastudio mini can only take maximum input of 1080i @ 60fps and the WEb presenter downconverts everything to 720p.
I though the h.264 pro would be better because it could handle the full 1080p 60fps signal from the Tv Studio box.

For a streaming situation though for live shows etc, would it be better to downconvert everything to 720p?
The reason I want the conversion to be done on hardware is I haven't yet got a laptop to be the mobile pc interface so I was hoping if I can do all the heavy lifting with external units that I can save money on the laptop and not need to get a beast to handle conversions.

I could have the SDI out from the TV studio looping through a hyperdeck shuttle or some designated recorder to record the broadcast onto harddrive at 1080p for archiving later and then out of that to the Web presenter to downconvert to 720p for streaming?


So what would you guys recommend for a basic system for livestreaming events, gigs, sports events etc.?
Is h.264 a good format to work with to stream or would something else be better?

Regards,

Mark.



I'm no expert but I do this for my church.

I have 2 Sony VG Cameras VG-20 and VG-30 that output clean HDMI.

I run a HDMI > Ethernet extender > HDMI > ATEM TV HD > Capture card.

This goes into a custom build i3-2100 (old CPU) running vMix. The capture card is the Decklink Mini 4k. I get good picture and stream 720p just fine.

I recently started needing a mobile solution and I bought an HP Elitebook i7/Quadro Graphics and a Magewell USB SDI capture dongle. Ive only done small tests but so far so good.

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