Review: Teradek VidiU, a First Look at the Compact H.264 Encoder

Streaming Medaia by Jan Ozer

The Teradek VidiU ($699) is an affordable, service-provider agnostic on-camera H.264 encoder that produced very good video quality at all tested data rates. VidiU is also well-featured, with comprehensive preview and control provided via a free iOS app. The only thing stopping me from giving it an unabashed buy rating was a slight audio artifact that became evident when we listened to the live streams.

VidiU Hardware

VidiU is 3- x 4- x 1-inches in size, just slightly larger in all dimension than a deck of cards, and comes with a cold-shoe mount so you can sit it atop your camcorder. Powered by an internal rechargeable lithium-ion battery that's rated for 90 minutes of operation, the unit includes an Ethernet port, dual-band MIMO 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and a USB port for a 3G/4G modem.

The unit accepts HDMI input with an optional line for mic audio input, and there's a headphone output for monitoring. You can send the unit up to 1080p video, and the unit can encode at that resolution, though the maximum resolution for the two platforms that I tested, Livestream and Ustream, was 720p. You can drive the unit directly via a four line OLED display with joystick and navigation buttons in front, but most users will prefer using the free iOS application for configuring the unit.

VidiU Software

Whether you operate the unit via the joystick/OLED display or the iOS application, the basic menu structure is the same, with major categories for broadcast settings, audio and video configuration, network settings, and system settings (on the left in Figure 1). The broadcast settings are where you choose your service provider (new Livestream, Ustream, or generic RTMP server), enter your credentials, and choose your quality settings (on the right in Figure 1). read more...

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