How to Stream a 2-camera Live Production from your Laptop for less than $1,000
Over the past few years we have been getting a ton of requests from our customers for an affordable, reliable, easy to use, portable, laptop based live production and streaming solution. We have found what you are looking for at a price point that we know you are going to love - starting at just $999!
Introducing Videoguys’ exclusive Telestream Wirecast & Epiphan USB3 video grabber bundles! Each bundle includes Telestream Wirecast Studio and two (2) Epiphan video grabbers. (Upgrades to Wirecast Pro available, call our sales team for pricing)
For this article we used a pair of the new Epiphan AV.io HD USB3 video grabbers which are the first of 3 models they have available to choose from. Unlike other USB based capture devices, the Epiphan AVio HD, DVI2USB3 and SDI2USB3 units are bus powered, compact, light weight and extremely reliable. Epiphan builds their devices for the industrial, medical, education and corporate AV markets. They are built to extremely high standards, which makes them tremendously more reliable than other low cost USB capture devices on the market. They also deliver outstanding HD video quality. Both the AV.io and DVI2USB3 support HDMI inputs, the SDI2USB3 supports SDI.
Multicamera HDMI Bundle
Two epiphan AV.io HD HDMI video grabbers plus Telestream Wirecast Studio 6
Multicamera Bundle with
HDMI and SDI Flexibility
One epiphan AV.io HD HDMI video grabber and 1 SDI2USB3 SDI video grabber plus Telestream Wirecast Studio 6
Multicamera SDI Bundle
Two epiphan SDI2USB3 SDI video grabbers plus Telestream Wirecast Studio 6
We wanted to create a bundle that would run on laptops or desktops, Windows or Macs. For this article we used a Macbook Pro 2015 with 16GB of RAM and two (2) Epiphan AV.io HD and 2 Canon Vixia cameras.
We also tested it on a 27" iMac and it ran great. iMacs are a great choice, although they are not as lightweight and small as a laptop, they are portable, and the iMacs big screen gives you a much larger workspace.
If portability is not your concern and you are working with a fixed workstation then this bundle will also work great with any video editing machine including our Videoguys' DIY11 build, the Videoguys' Tech Select HP Workstations and Dell PC Worksations or a Mac Pro. Our HP Workstations have a plethora of USB 3 ports which means you can even expand this system to more than just the two grabbers if needed.
Tech Tip #1: You can also use a Windows laptop, but you need to make sure it has two independent USB3 ports on different buses. We had originally tried using our 3 year old HP 15" zBook, but when we had both cameras hooked up we started to run into problems, which we discovered were because both USB3 ports shared the same bus. So for Windows laptop users, make sure you have an Intel i7 processor, 16GB or RAM, and that the USB3 ports are on independent buses.
Setting the system up was very simple. The first thing we did was download and install the Wirecast Studio software. Wirecast is the only live production and streaming software on the market that is available for Mac or Windows. You can also upgrade to Wirecast Pro if you need any of the additional features it offers.
Next we plugged in our Vixia cameras via HDMI to the Epiphan AV.io devices. Then we plugged them into the Macbook Pro using USB3 cables. The Epiphan AV.io devices popped up as choices in the Wirecast pull down source window. We selected each camera and we were ready to go. Set up took all of 5 minutes.
Tech Tip #2: One thing to make sure of when connecting the cameras is to make sure that the HDMI cable is fully connected to the camera otherwise it could give you a shaky connection.
The performance of the system was incredible and an excellent value starting at just $999. Our Videoguys' techs recommend using 720p for all you live HD streaming and encoding because we have found that progressive video works much better over the internet and encodes cleaner. While 1080p offers higher resolution vs 720p, it also requires much more bandwidth. We’ve found that for the vast majority of your viewing audience 720p delivers the best possible picture quality and smoothest playback.
WireCast is a very powerful but easy to use live production and streaming tool. It is pretty easy to set up for streaming with your choice of CDN.
Here are two great videos that show you how to make it work with YouTube Live and Ustream.
How to Setup Youtube Live Streaming and Wirecast for Youtube 2014
Wirecast Tutorial | How To Connect Wirecast To Ustream
If you’re looking for a portable and affordable way to add live streaming capabilities to one or more computers, the Wirecast AV.io bundle is a great option.
In this tutorial we’ll explore how you can affordablly produce live streams from multiple video and presentation sources using a new product bundle that combines Telestream Wirecast Studio and two Epiphan AVi.io frame grabbers.
The Wirecast/AV.io bundle includes Wirecast 6.0, which is Telestream’s live streaming production software, and two Epiphan frame grabbers that install without drivers and can capture HDMI, DVI, and VGA input at up to 1920×1200 resolution at 60 fps via any USB 3.0 connector (Figure 1, below). Read the full tutorial here