Create a Low Cost Streaming Solution

Streaming is not as pricey as it once was. Check out the many options to stream at an affordable price. Anthony Burokas from Streaming Media makes some great points about and recommends several affordable streaming options.

Assembling an Affordable Streaming Solution

Teradek offers the VidiU line, with different models costing $500, $700, and $1,000. It offers capabilities commensurate with cost. But even the lowest-end unit can send your stream to Ustream, Livestream, or YouTube, or you can build your own streaming server. These devices can also be used as sources in Teradek’s new Live:Air iPad production suite. The basic version of Telestream’s Wirecast Studio (Figure 1, below) software has an MSRP of $500. This software can mix multiple cameras, apply graphics and lower-thirds to the program, record, and stream. But what the $500 price doesn’t reveal is the cost of the computer needed to do all this. A basic i5-based laptop with “integrated graphics” can be heavily taxed trying to handle multiple live cameras, record internally, and stream the video. Wirecast software Figure 1. Telestream Wirecast 7 Since Wirecast can leverage a PC’s graphics card (GPU) for its image processing, you can ensure smooth performance by looking for a gaming laptop with a beefy GPU. These typically cost $1,500 and up. Then you’ll need to add external hardware to be able to ingest each of the external cameras. The Epiphan HD costs around $350 per video source. So now, for a two-camera event, you’re looking at $2,700 or higher for your streaming setup. Don’t try to use just any office machine, either. Your mobile computing device will perform best when it is dedicated to this purpose, and not also used for email, instant messaging, or other apps. This is why it’s important to consider the cost of the computer as part of your streaming solution budget. Think of it like buying a streaming appliance—you don’t check your email on a streaming appliance. Read the full article here for Anthony's full take on the affordability of streaming.

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