Web Presenter HD - does it work for you?

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eug__k

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Web Presenter HD - does it work for you?

PostSun Oct 24, 2021 4:19 am

Reading through the forum posts, it looks like the Web Presenter HD has issues with scaling not being done well, encoding artifacts, the cache filling up, and reliability.

However I'm also aware that people would normally only post about issues; if it's working fine people would probably just happily use it and not start a new forum post just to say "it works fine".

Do you have one that works totally fine for you?

Is it safer to get the Web Presenter 4K even though I'm only going to stream in 1080p simply because it's a newer product?

edit: I can't post URLs yet so here are the links:
Scaling: forum.blackmagicdesign.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=145904
Encoding artifacts: forum.blackmagicdesign.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=139374
Cache: forum.blackmagicdesign.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=143897
Reliability: forum.blackmagicdesign.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=148057


Thanks!
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Robert Betzner

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Re: Web Presenter HD - does it work for you?

PostTue Oct 26, 2021 8:25 am

The biggest issue for me is the fact that it can't encode in constant bitrate. That means that you have to have a rock solid internet connection with very low latency and jitter if you don't want to run into problems.

We often have to bundle some 4G services in some locations to get a reliable connection. That means typically that we don't have good latency as our bonding service adds some ms to the already mean latency of 4G. Then, if you stream a conference with alternating camera and powerpoint pictures you get huge bitrate spikes. When powerpoint is on PGM the bitrate drops down to 400kbit as the picture is static but as soon as you switch back to a camera the bitrate spikes up to 10Mbit and more even if you have set the bitrate to be 4Mbit in our case. That causes huge buffering issues as the internet line can't handle that spike in such a little time.

OBS has a function to fill unused bits in low complexity pictures. That means that OBS still stays at the desired 4Mbit encoding output - even if you show a static Powerpoint slide. That results in a MUCH smoother stream output as there are no spikes if you switch from powerpoint to a camera. We don't ever have issues when using OBS. With the Webpresenter HD this leads to serious buffering issues which causes the stream to stutter with the same signal and the same internet connection.

IMHO the constant bitrate it is a mandatory option if you want to use the Webpresenter HD in difficult network situations. We don't use them that often anymore because of that issue.

Cheers

Robert
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Andrew Gibb

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Re: Web Presenter HD - does it work for you?

PostTue Oct 26, 2021 6:47 pm

It has never worked for me, and by that I mean I have never used it for the purpose I purchased it for and have never used it on a job due to the issues Eugene highlighted.
The only times I have ever powered the system up was to see if I could find another use for it e.g. Using it as an MPEG-4 encoder to make HQ recordings to hard drive using a Raspberry Pi running an RTMP server but only to discover the encoding artefacts issue. So, why take the chance!
I understand that the developers are working on fixes which might turn it into the machine that was initially advertised, but no ETA can be given or even if they'll fix all the issues Eugene highlighted.
For the moment I'm using OBS to encode both the stream and a higher quality recording to disk. This puts extra strain on my system which occasionally causes my browser-based graphic animations to briefly stick, but at least I'm getting better quality encodings, especially at 720p.
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eug__k

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Re: Web Presenter HD - does it work for you?

PostWed Oct 27, 2021 5:28 am

Robert Betzner wrote:The biggest issue for me is the fact that it can't encode in constant bitrate. That means that you have to have a rock solid internet connection with very low latency and jitter if you don't want to run into problems.


Oh, I just assumed CBR could be set in the XML. I'm surprised it can't be.

We too sometimes switch between slides and live video, and sometimes stream over 5G as well. I sure hope it'll work for us. I've ordered it but haven't picked it up yet, I wonder if I should cancel and look at something else.
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eug__k

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Re: Web Presenter HD - does it work for you?

PostWed Oct 27, 2021 5:36 am

Andrew Gibb wrote:I understand that the developers are working on fixes which might turn it into the machine that was initially advertised, but no ETA can be given or even if they'll fix all the issues Eugene highlighted.


That's a concern; the Web Presenter HD is half a year old now and those bugs are still there. Does anyone know if the 4K model also has those issues?
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Robert Betzner

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Re: Web Presenter HD - does it work for you?

PostWed Oct 27, 2021 11:13 am

eug__k wrote:Oh, I just assumed CBR could be set in the XML. I'm surprised it can't be.

We too sometimes switch between slides and live video, and sometimes stream over 5G as well. I sure hope it'll work for us. I've ordered it but haven't picked it up yet, I wonder if I should cancel and look at something else.



Believe me - that is a BIG issue with the Webpresenter HD. You will experience huge bitrate spikes when you switch from low complexity content to high complexity content. That is very annoying. We don't use them anymore because of this serious issue.

I think it is actually CBR but the Webpresenter HD isn't able to fill unused bits in low complexity content. And that will let the bitrate drop and go nuts if you switch back to a camera.

Another huge show stopper for a product that was promising but now useless.


Cheers

Robert
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ColinMulcahy

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Re: Web Presenter HD - does it work for you?

PostSun Oct 31, 2021 9:08 am

I bought 3 of them when they came out.

We tested them at the studio and on numerous fibre broadband networks/5G Business Routers etc and they just don't work!!!!!! They never made into the production line.

All the caching issues etc. Completely unreliable. I bought them as standby encoders as they where cheap but they are now expensive paperweights.

And yes they where configured properly.

I've used numerous other SW and HW encoders without issue.

Others may have got them working, but I do not recommend them.
4K setup with 6 x URSA Mini Pro 4.6K (G1 & G2), 2 x BMDPCC 6K, BMD 4/ME Broadcast 4K, 6 x Hyperdeck Studio 12G's, CCU, Advanced Panel with all the other BMD units for Live Production.
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David Hutchinson

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Re: Web Presenter HD - does it work for you?

PostMon Nov 01, 2021 7:53 am

Don’t even mention the rec 2020 bug and the Constellation. I have 3 and only use them to input video to Teams and Zoom.

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