With the epidemic still in full swing, people everywhere are looking to stream. Lots of customers are jumping to the amazing Wirecast software to help out. But many aren't sure what they need in order to build a computer to handle what they need.
This is a wonderful place to begin building your own system. Telestream recommends a minimum of i5 dual-core at 2.3GHz1 6th generation2. However they really push people to the Intel i7 quad-core which is 2.8GHz+, 6th generation 2 or higher. What does that mean? All this does is ensure your computer is powerful enough to handle everything being put into (IE: cameras) and being put out (the stream itself).
"My recommendation is always to get a bit more power than you need to help ensure future workflows are accommodated for." - Original Article
The Operating System
Wirecast can be used on either Mac or PC. Which is better?
Apple has the benefit of using Apple Script. This is a scripting language produced to make communication between applications easier. But this comes with the need to learn more about Apple Script. It can be a pain at first.
"Minimum OS requirements: Windows 10 version 1803 or higher, MacOS Mojave or MacOS Catalina. We recommend Windows 10 version 1903 or higher, MacOS Catalina, or higher." - Original Article
It's key to know how fast Wirecast can access things within the computer. Having lots of applications open at once means you need more RAM. Telestream recommends a minimum of 4GB RAM, but it's preferred to have 16GB or higher. The more you plan on running at once, the more RAM you will need for the device to run properly.
Telestream suggest 2GB3, 7200 RPM for record to disk. Though it's recommended 500GB+, Solid State OS Drive as well.
We'd recommend also getting an SSD (Solid State Drive) since they are so inexpensive now. These take a lot of processing power off your computer, letting you use more applications on the computer itself. These can serve a dual purpose as both a place to grab media and to record your content to.
Wirecast gives you the option change your stream encoding from the CPU (Central Processing Unit) to the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). The more video production being done, the better GPU you want. Changing the encoding from the CPU to the GPU will free up the CPU so the computer isn't processing as much all at once.
Telestream Says, "At a bare minimum, an Intel HD4, DirectX 11 capable card is suggested. Most of these cards come standard onboard the motherboard of a PC or Mac unless otherwise specified for a discreet graphics card. Recommended is an Nvidia GeForce or AMD Radeon, 4GB+ video memory discreet graphics card."
Every motherboard has a sound card already built into it. So this is something more preferential to the builder specifically. The Line In port is perfect for just using the simple one already built in.
There are also USB Microphones that work great on most computers and well with Wirecast. But often an audio mixer with both XLR and USB capabilities are of necessary to work. This is the cheapest and easiest way to get the best sounding audio for your production.
Just get an audio mixer that can take XLR in, but can be plugged into your computer via USB. Roland has some really great ones out there.
A lot of people have video capture cards (like the Epiphan AV.io family) that can convert any SDI or HDMI video signal from any camera into USB. The brand of camera being used no longer really matters. This can also be used for games.
What about NDI? If you plan on using NDI then there is no need for a video capture card at all. It's all done over IP.
What about distance? HDMI or SDI? If the camera needs to be placed over 25 feet away from your unit, then we suggest using SDI. But HDMI is great for smaller, more enclosed areas (and the cheapest).
Videoguys cannot recommend the Wirecast Gears systems enough. These take the hassle of building a custom system from scratch! Built directly by Telestream, these units come in three different models.
- Wirecast Gear 310: Comes with 4 HDMI inputs, XLR ports, NDI Capability and more.
- Wirecast Gear 320: Comes with 4 SDI inputs, XLR Ports, NDI Capability, and more!
- Wirecast Gear 420: Top of the line - 5 SDi inputs, 1 program output, XLR ports, NDI capability, and 4 simultaneous NVENC x264 encodes with affecting the CPU!
These are all-in-one systems! Instead of multiple workstations, these can serve as everything. Install Avid or Adobe products. Put everything needed to make your live streams the best they can be all in one unit.
Like Telestream, all we at Videoguys can say is good luck, happy hunting, and make the best stream you can! We wish you the best of luck!