Portable live-streaming | Any tips?

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Hindrik Raap

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Portable live-streaming | Any tips?

PostWed Mar 15, 2017 10:27 pm

Hi there!

I'm Hindrik, a Media student from Stenden University of Applied Sciences (the Netherlands). Just recently, I started doing live-streaming projects for conferences and other events. Our current setup includes the Blackmagic UltraStudio MiniRecorder, connected with Thunderbolt to my Macbook Pro. My laptop is running MimoLive, a very nice piece of software offering simple video switching. The demand for live-streaming is getting higher and I am receiving more projects, although I am running into technical limitations.

At first, the UltraStudio MiniRecorder only offers 1 input, while some projects require 2 or more camera's. Besides, the program is running on my own computer, meaning if I'm not available, there are no live-stream possibilities. I know there is some budget available, but I'll have to pitch it. Therefore, I am asking you to help me compose a portable system (e.g. 19" options) and which is relatively easy-to-use, so students can also learn how to work with it.

I was thinking about two options, although I lack the experience to complete each setup.

1. Software based
- UltraStudio 4k
:?: Would a Mac Mini support 6 camera streaming with the UltraStudio 4k? What computer would be good?
- Two screens connected to Mac Mini
- Switching via MimoLive IF mac is supported
- If available, Windows solutions are also welcome

2. Hardware based
- ATEM Production Studio 4k OR ATEM Television Studio HD
- HyperDeck Studio Mini (for post-production)
- Two screens connected to ATEM?
:?: But how is the material being streamed to the platforms. Because if there is another laptop required, it is getting even more expensive.

3. Other investments
I also need two new camera's that just do the job, but allow someone to operate them if necessary.
- 2x camera (SDI out)
- A stable support kit for the camera to walk around with
- Audio mixer (since I want to premix all incoming audio)

I really liked the following image. It looks like a very portable kit that can be placed anywhere. I am really looking for something like this.

ImageImage

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and hopefully help me out.

Kind regards,
Hindrik
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Xtreemtec

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Re: Portable live-streaming | Any tips?

PostThu Mar 16, 2017 4:32 pm

Hardware based for sure.!!

Atem TVS HD with Hyperdeck, Use your Ultrastudio on the PGM output to stream as you are used too..

The laptop that is streaming can also be used for controlling the atem with the atem software.. You only need to set up a router with WAN LAN and network translation so your laptop and Atem can have the same fixed IP range.. And the router is handling the internet side of things for you.. But i'm sure there are enough students who can set that up easily..

1 screen is enough.. Just a multiviewer because it includes everything you need.. Can be as simple as a DELL pc monitor.. Or other brand as long as it supports YUV color scheme.


Cameras go for SDI for sure.. They have embedded audio.. The video mixer does have a Embedded audio mixer inside.. Or process it all directly on a external audiomixer and then feed that audio into the atem TVS HD.
Daniel Wittenaar .:: Xtreemtec Media Productions ::. -= www.xtreemtec.nl =-
4K OBV, ATEM TVS HD, Production Studio 4K, 2M/E Broadcast Studio 4K, Hyperdeck Studio, SONY FS7 4K, JVC HM700 Full HD Camera
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Hindrik Raap

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Re: Portable live-streaming | Any tips?

PostThu Mar 16, 2017 4:36 pm

Xtreemtec wrote:Hardware based for sure.!!

Atem TVS HD with Hyperdeck, Use your Ultrastudio on the PGM output to stream as you are used too..

The laptop that is streaming can also be used for controlling the atem with the atem software.. You only need to set up a router with WAN LAN and network translation so your laptop and Atem can have the same fixed IP range.. And the router is handling the internet side of things for you.. But i'm sure there are enough students who can set that up easily..

1 screen is enough.. Just a multiviewer because it includes everything you need.. Can be as simple as a DELL pc monitor.. Or other brand as long as it supports YUV color scheme.


Cameras go for SDI for sure.. They have embedded audio.. The video mixer does have a Embedded audio mixer inside.. Or process it all directly on a external audiomixer and then feed that audio into the atem TVS HD.


Thank you for your reply!

Would you think any of the Mac Mini's is capable of controlling the ATEM and streaming in 1080p? I guess a dedicated graphics card would be preferable. How would this work?

Do you have any idea what the audio controller in the picture is from? Looks fancy in that case ;)
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Scott Smith

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Re: Portable live-streaming | Any tips?

PostThu Mar 16, 2017 4:54 pm

I also personally prefer hardware live streaming encoders - and fully hardware versions, not the semi-hardware options from Blackmagic. Teradek has the Vidiu on the cheap end, and the Cube or Slice on the higher end. AJA has one called Helo. Matrox has one called Monarch HD.

Personally, I like the Teradek Cube best, though I haven't tried the AJA Helo, and suspect it is a nice box. AJA tends to make quality products. The Teradek Vidiu is just a little less smooth on the video streaming than I like, though it isn't bad. And I had some distaste for the MonarchHD's interface.

But there is something to be said for a streaming solution that isn't relying on a computer to operate.
Scott R Smith
BMD Stuff I use: ATEM 2-M/E, 4 x ATEM PS 4K, Broadcast Videohub, 6 Hyperdeck Pros, 4 Hyperdeck Shuttles, Multidock, Smartscope Duo, Smartview, Intensity Extreme, Decklink Studio, and lots of Miniconverters and Open Gear Converters.
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Hindrik Raap

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Re: Portable live-streaming | Any tips?

PostThu Mar 16, 2017 5:07 pm

Scott Smith wrote:I also personally prefer hardware live streaming encoders - and fully hardware versions, not the semi-hardware options from Blackmagic. Teradek has the Vidiu on the cheap end, and the Cube or Slice on the higher end. AJA has one called Helo. Matrox has one called Monarch HD.

Personally, I like the Teradek Cube best, though I haven't tried the AJA Helo, and suspect it is a nice box. AJA tends to make quality products. The Teradek Vidiu is just a little less smooth on the video streaming than I like, though it isn't bad. And I had some distaste for the MonarchHD's interface.

But there is something to be said for a streaming solution that isn't relying on a computer to operate.


Hi Scott!

The equipment looks cool, but also more expensive compared with BlackMagic. I think BlackMagic offers quite a user friendly experience for other students as well.
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Xtreemtec

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Re: Portable live-streaming | Any tips?

PostThu Mar 16, 2017 5:15 pm

Scott i agree with you on Hardware Encoders.. I do own a Cube..

BUT!! I have the feeling that the hardware encoders not quite get the crisp and compression that a modern software encoder does..

To explain: I had a streaming job a few weeks ago were we had a Decklink card going into livestream software. And we had the cube running the same output to another CDN.

To match the image quality between the Cube and the software encoder i had to put the cube in 8Mbps to get the same result were the software did it around 2,5Mbps stream.. The cube crushed all the details when we got lower in the H264 encoding.. But my cube is about 4 or 5 years old now.. So i guess modern software encoders have more optimalisation then hardware encoders of a few years back..

But that is my personal feeling.. I'm really like to see the Vidiu Pro perform.. And see what that brings me..
1 thing i don't like to the Vidiu is that it ingest only 1080 up to 30 frames.. :x Which means that running an atem in 1080 I50 you wont get a signal into the Vidiu it seems.. :roll:
Daniel Wittenaar .:: Xtreemtec Media Productions ::. -= www.xtreemtec.nl =-
4K OBV, ATEM TVS HD, Production Studio 4K, 2M/E Broadcast Studio 4K, Hyperdeck Studio, SONY FS7 4K, JVC HM700 Full HD Camera
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Scott Smith

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Re: Portable live-streaming | Any tips?

PostThu Mar 16, 2017 5:37 pm

. . . And the Vidiu is HDMI only. Wanted to like it, but do not.

I may have to revisit software encoding, just for comparison's sake.

I really like the Cube and Slice when used through the Teradek Core Service. I find that going through Core via Transport Stream, where it then gets turned around to RTMP has made a huge difference in quality. The straight-up RTMP was not as smooth. I wish Teradek would add Vidius with Transport Stream to Core. It would be nice to see if that improves their quality. I also like that Core allows you to easily configure multiple simultaneous streams.

But yeah, I will revisit the software streaming. I have a few computers that I can do that with now, and might like to at least have it set up as a backup, if nothing else.
Scott R Smith
BMD Stuff I use: ATEM 2-M/E, 4 x ATEM PS 4K, Broadcast Videohub, 6 Hyperdeck Pros, 4 Hyperdeck Shuttles, Multidock, Smartscope Duo, Smartview, Intensity Extreme, Decklink Studio, and lots of Miniconverters and Open Gear Converters.
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Scott Smith

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Re: Portable live-streaming | Any tips?

PostThu Mar 16, 2017 5:45 pm

Hindrik Raap wrote:
Hi Scott!

The equipment looks cool, but also more expensive compared with BlackMagic. I think BlackMagic offers quite a user friendly experience for other students as well.


There's nothing more user friendly than a single red button to push on a piece of hardware when it is time to stream your video. Economically, a good hardware encoder is certainly more money - unless you feel you need to buy a high end, dedicated computer along with an interface. Then they become much more comparable in price.
Scott R Smith
BMD Stuff I use: ATEM 2-M/E, 4 x ATEM PS 4K, Broadcast Videohub, 6 Hyperdeck Pros, 4 Hyperdeck Shuttles, Multidock, Smartscope Duo, Smartview, Intensity Extreme, Decklink Studio, and lots of Miniconverters and Open Gear Converters.
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Hindrik Raap

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Re: Portable live-streaming | Any tips?

PostThu Mar 16, 2017 5:53 pm

Scott Smith wrote:
Hindrik Raap wrote:
Hi Scott!

The equipment looks cool, but also more expensive compared with BlackMagic. I think BlackMagic offers quite a user friendly experience for other students as well.


There's nothing more user friendly than a single red button to push on a piece of hardware when it is time to stream your video. Economically, a good hardware encoder is certainly more money - unless you feel you need to buy a high end, dedicated computer along with an interface. Then they become much more comparable in price.


I thought the UltraStudio MiniRecorder is also an encoder. I looked at the Teradek Slice, but I think it is just too expensive for me to pitch. The AJA does the same job right? What are the differences between the Teradek Slice, the AJA and something like the MiniRecorder from BlackMagic?
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Scott Smith

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Re: Portable live-streaming | Any tips?

PostThu Mar 16, 2017 6:05 pm

Hindrik Raap wrote:
I thought the UltraStudio MiniRecorder is also an encoder. I looked at the Teradek Slice, but I think it is just too expensive for me to pitch. The AJA does the same job right? What are the differences between the Teradek Slice, the AJA and something like the MiniRecorder from BlackMagic?


I haven't used the AJA Helo, so I can only say that AJA is known for making very reliable stuff, and that it is probably a very good piece of equipment, based on their reputation. But I don't know for certain. If I had not become invested in using Teradek's Core service, I would have definitely bought an AJA Helo by now.

The Teradek Slice is basically a Cube in a rack mount, though it also has slightly different software. Its GUI is a little different when you log into it through the IP address. But it is essentially the same basic hardware as the Cube. For some reason though, I think our Cubes (we have 2) actually stream slightly better. I have no idea why, or if it is just my imagination.

Using the Blackmagic Mini-recorder, you are providing a method of inputting the video into the computer, then doing the encoding and streaming from the Computer. Daniel, above, claims that often a software based solution provides a better looking stream. My main issue with software based solutions is that i must rely on a computer, possible viruses, irritating software updates, and all of the other things that go along with an operating system while trying to stream video. I prefer a dedicated piece of hardware without all of those issues. You only have to be burned once from a computer shutdown in the middle of a live event to reconsider a hardware alternative.
Scott R Smith
BMD Stuff I use: ATEM 2-M/E, 4 x ATEM PS 4K, Broadcast Videohub, 6 Hyperdeck Pros, 4 Hyperdeck Shuttles, Multidock, Smartscope Duo, Smartview, Intensity Extreme, Decklink Studio, and lots of Miniconverters and Open Gear Converters.
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Xtreemtec

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Re: Portable live-streaming | Any tips?

PostThu Mar 16, 2017 6:15 pm

But why not keep the existing streaming setup as you have it now.. Macbook with Ultrastudio connected to it..

But instead of a camera direct to the Ultrastudio you connect the Atem to it.. And your cameras on the Atem.
Atem TVS hd can be controlled from the front panel. But also from the software panel on the same macbook as you are running your streaming software..
Daniel Wittenaar .:: Xtreemtec Media Productions ::. -= www.xtreemtec.nl =-
4K OBV, ATEM TVS HD, Production Studio 4K, 2M/E Broadcast Studio 4K, Hyperdeck Studio, SONY FS7 4K, JVC HM700 Full HD Camera
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Hindrik Raap

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Re: Portable live-streaming | Any tips?

PostThu Mar 16, 2017 6:18 pm

Xtreemtec wrote:But why not keep the existing streaming setup as you have it now.. Macbook with Ultrastudio connected to it..

But instead of a camera direct to the Ultrastudio you connect the Atem to it.. And your cameras on the Atem.
Atem TVS hd can be controlled from the front panel. But also from the software panel on the same macbook as you are running your streaming software..


The Macbook does not belong in the kit, since it is mine ;) Do you think a Mac Mini would do the same trick? What system does a software encoder usually require? Good CPU, or GPU?

What about the software of the ATEM? Is it good without an external controller? If not, I rather purchase the Thunderbolt interface and switch on my laptop instead. They offer great adjustable controllers, also accessible via network.
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Scott Smith

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Re: Portable live-streaming | Any tips?

PostThu Mar 16, 2017 6:36 pm

I see the HELO has actually just started shipping, and I don't see any real reviews of it online. So, it's hard to say about it right now. I suspect it is decent, but who knows?

One added positive on most of these units, is that they will also, simultaneously record an h.264 recording. This can be handy. And if you are having to buy a new computer to go with this system, it is worth considering doing it via hardware. If you already had a dedicated computer and a sizable investment in a input device, I would agree that you should probably stick with software, especially if you are on a tight budget. But if you are already buying stuff, including the computer, you should certainly at least consider a hardware encoder as an option.

You can easily use the ATEMs with software as your control surface. Though the newest one has perfectly passable buttons for switching on the front panel that can be used in addition to or even simultaneously with the software based interface. I'd guess that the vast majority of ATEM users do not have a hardware control surface. I do, but I am very hardware oriented as you can tell. :o
Scott R Smith
BMD Stuff I use: ATEM 2-M/E, 4 x ATEM PS 4K, Broadcast Videohub, 6 Hyperdeck Pros, 4 Hyperdeck Shuttles, Multidock, Smartscope Duo, Smartview, Intensity Extreme, Decklink Studio, and lots of Miniconverters and Open Gear Converters.
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Scott Smith

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Re: Portable live-streaming | Any tips?

PostThu Mar 16, 2017 6:53 pm

one last tidbit . . . . Think about the computers.
Lets say you have an ATEM, and you have a computer for the software control surface for the ATEM,
Next, you might want some graphics for lower thirds and such. You might end up with another computer with a Photoshop plugin to run graphics.
Then if you do the software encoding, there is another computer.
I often have yet another computer for monitoring the stream.

Start to visualize this setup, with potentially three or four computers with monitors (or optionally three or four laptops). It starts to get cumbersome. This is one of the other reasons I like the hardware encoder option. Especially a small one like the Cube, Vidiu, or HELO.

Anyway, it is something to consider when deciding how you go about this.
Scott R Smith
BMD Stuff I use: ATEM 2-M/E, 4 x ATEM PS 4K, Broadcast Videohub, 6 Hyperdeck Pros, 4 Hyperdeck Shuttles, Multidock, Smartscope Duo, Smartview, Intensity Extreme, Decklink Studio, and lots of Miniconverters and Open Gear Converters.
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Hindrik Raap

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Re: Portable live-streaming | Any tips?

PostThu Mar 16, 2017 7:34 pm

Scott Smith wrote:one last tidbit . . . . Think about the computers.
Lets say you have an ATEM, and you have a computer for the software control surface for the ATEM,
Next, you might want some graphics for lower thirds and such. You might end up with another computer with a Photoshop plugin to run graphics.
Then if you do the software encoding, there is another computer.
I often have yet another computer for monitoring the stream.

Start to visualize this setup, with potentially three or four computers with monitors (or optionally three or four laptops). It starts to get cumbersome. This is one of the other reasons I like the hardware encoder option. Especially a small one like the Cube, Vidiu, or HELO.

Anyway, it is something to consider when deciding how you go about this.


And this is why MimoLive is so friendly. It is software based switching, encoding, recording AND allows easy implementation of lower thirds with easy changeable backgrounds etc. In this case, I just need a Mac and the software for commercial use.

Setup 1
ATAM Television Studio HD (€1000)
HyperDeck Studio Mini (€1000)
Proper Hardware encoder (€1000)
Mac Mini (€800)

Setup 2
UltraStudio 4k (€1000)
MimoLive (€800)
Mac Mini (€800)

I don't know how the ATEM software works, and if it is easy to make lower thirds, include logo's etc. But MimoLive is rather easy.
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Jack Fairley

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Re: Portable live-streaming | Any tips?

PostThu Mar 16, 2017 7:46 pm

If you have the money, definitely go with a hardware encoder, and compose the feed on a switcher. In my experience it's much more reliable, with less room for error. That said, using a free software encoder and a Decklink/UltraStudio recorder for capture can be pretty good if the setup never/rarely changes, and it's very cheap.
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Scott Smith

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Re: Portable live-streaming | Any tips?

PostThu Mar 16, 2017 8:36 pm

There are many ways to set up switching a live streamed production. Some cheap, some very expensive. you can spend nearly nothing, or you can spend a million dollars. It is all about your budget and your needs. You asked advice, and I gave you my opinion. But there are many ways to do it. The choice is yours, how you want to proceed. Good luck.
Scott R Smith
BMD Stuff I use: ATEM 2-M/E, 4 x ATEM PS 4K, Broadcast Videohub, 6 Hyperdeck Pros, 4 Hyperdeck Shuttles, Multidock, Smartscope Duo, Smartview, Intensity Extreme, Decklink Studio, and lots of Miniconverters and Open Gear Converters.
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Larry Masters

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Re: Portable live-streaming | Any tips?

PostThu Mar 16, 2017 10:23 pm

Xtreemtec wrote:Scott i agree with you on Hardware Encoders.. I do own a Cube..

BUT!! I have the feeling that the hardware encoders not quite get the crisp and compression that a modern software encoder does..


Xtreemtec,

Now I am worried about the Cube 655 I ordered. Which version of the Cube do you have?
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Boon Seng Lee

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Re: Portable live-streaming | Any tips?

PostFri Mar 17, 2017 5:58 am

Let me share my experience using software streaming.

The setup was 2 cameras connected thru BM UltraStudio Mini Recorder into my Macbook Pro using Wirecast Pro software for camera switching, recording, playing out lower third and streaming concurrently. I was concerned about overloading the software and computer with so much stuff going on but Wirecast Pro was showing that I was only using around 30% or 40% of my CPU. Anyway I bought the software cause it said it can do all this and more.

So I thought all is well, but not. Just 5 minutes into the live session, the software suddenly hung and I lost control of it totally. I wasn't able to switch camera, play out any lower thirds and basically I was helpless. Interestingly, the software was still streaming out continuously to FB even though it crashed on my computer end.

This is not the first time it happen to me and I've also chanced upon other user who faced the same issue. So I concluded that it was a risk to depend on the software alone for camera switching and live streaming at the same time. Now I use the new Atem television studio hd for camera switching and lower third play out and also connect an Atomos ninja recorder to the Atem for external recording. Keeping everything externally, I then connect the Atem output to Wirecast on my macbook pro for streaming only. I think this solution works rather well now as when Wirecast decides to hang, it will still continue to stream but it will not affect my camera switching as it's now done externally thru the Atem.

Wirecast is still a very neat piece of software and I like it a lot. However, for critical live stuff, I'm more careful about using it as an all in one solution. For now, I use it just for encoding/streaming and the quality is good. Might consider getting the new BM web presenter to place it in between the Atem and Wirecast to further lighten the load.
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Håvard Njåstad

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Re: Portable live-streaming | Any tips?

PostFri Mar 17, 2017 7:38 am

FFMPEG's (OBS) x264 encoding is far beyond any quality any hardware encoders can do today.

I am unaware what encoders wirecast or livestream uses, I just know that Flash Media Live Encoder gets higher CPU usage for less quality due to inefficiency.

We often tweak the x264 "CPU Preset" in FFMPEG to sit about 80% max of our CPU, i.e. the "Faster" preset on a 1080p50 stream, at somewhere around 3500-4000 kbits/s on a 4790k and the quality couldn't have been better without trading out resolution or framerate.

Many hardware encoders' FPGAs are very good up to a certain resolution/framerate, i.e. the blackmagic H.264 Pro Recorder does good up to 720p60/1080p30. But if you try 1080p60 you will need almost double the bitrate to get the same quality as FFMPEG.

We always carry around a dedicated encoder PC (either a 2U Server or a top-end thunderbolt laptop depending on setting) and stream/record with OBS
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Xtreemtec

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Re: Portable live-streaming | Any tips?

PostFri Mar 17, 2017 8:36 am

Larry, i don't have the most updated version.
Mine is from the 205 series or something. 6 year old now I guess. But still gets updates from teradek with New encoding Things.

I do preffer hardware.. but if software blows away hardware we have to ask Our selfs whats better..
Daniel Wittenaar .:: Xtreemtec Media Productions ::. -= www.xtreemtec.nl =-
4K OBV, ATEM TVS HD, Production Studio 4K, 2M/E Broadcast Studio 4K, Hyperdeck Studio, SONY FS7 4K, JVC HM700 Full HD Camera
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Scott Smith

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Re: Portable live-streaming | Any tips?

PostFri Mar 17, 2017 5:19 pm

Larry Masters wrote:
Xtreemtec wrote:Scott i agree with you on Hardware Encoders.. I do own a Cube..

BUT!! I have the feeling that the hardware encoders not quite get the crisp and compression that a modern software encoder does..


Xtreemtec,

Now I am worried about the Cube 655 I ordered. Which version of the Cube do you have?


I'm not Xtreemetec, but . . .
I have two of the 3+ year old Cube 155, one 3+ year old Slice, and one 3 year old Cube 355 (which is a receiver). I've been surprised how much I use the receiver now that I have Core set up.

I was about 80% happy with the stream on these before I started using Core and Transport Streams. Now, I am about 95% happy with it. Sure, there is a little room for improvement, but it works pretty well. I've been very happy with the size, convenience, and other aspects all along. But yeah the actual stream could certainly have been better before I started using Core. And even with Core, there is a little room for improvement. But when you are dealing with streaming and compression, I am rarely 100% satisfied.

Scott
Scott R Smith
BMD Stuff I use: ATEM 2-M/E, 4 x ATEM PS 4K, Broadcast Videohub, 6 Hyperdeck Pros, 4 Hyperdeck Shuttles, Multidock, Smartscope Duo, Smartview, Intensity Extreme, Decklink Studio, and lots of Miniconverters and Open Gear Converters.
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Craig Seeman

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Re: Portable live-streaming | Any tips?

PostMon Mar 20, 2017 4:39 pm

Boon Seng Lee. For the Wirecast issue make sure you're using Wirecast 7.4. There may be an issue in the way Facebook is reporting the number of Viewers. For those who don't use Wirecast, on the status bar it shows you the number of views and comments you're getting on your Facebook stream.

In Wirecast 7.4 Preferences General there's a Show number of Viewers checkbox. Disable that and it may fix the freezing UI issue. Telestream is working on the fix.

Håvard Njåstad. Wirecast can use MainConcept (what FMLE uses) X264 (what OBS uses for example) as well as Intel QuickSync for computers with recent i7 processors (called Apple H.264 on Mac) or NVENC if you have a Nvidia GPU on Windows. QuickSync and NVENC are extremely efficient. Unlike many other encoders, Wirecast can stream to multiple destinations with different encoders for each at the same time. In addition it can recording locally using the same H264 type encoders or ProRes on Mac or MJPEG on Windows
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Markus Leodolter

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Re: Portable live-streaming | Any tips?

PostTue Mar 21, 2017 6:51 pm

My smallest portable setup is a Macbook Pro (2014) running on Windows 10, 2 BM Mini Recorders, and Livestream Studio (the paid version) as streaming/lower thirds/etc. software. Since the last update it uses Quicksync for rendering which reduced the CPU load from 75% to 30% at an 720p25+480p+320p stream. With the paid version you can also stream to other streaming providers, even to facebook.
You even can plug a BM intensity shuttle (usb3), if you need a third camera. At my macbook pro it´s working, unlike any other computer.

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