When I was first approached about doing a product review for SlingStudio (owned by DISH), I was pretty skeptical. What would a huge company known for delivery content know about creating content? But I digress. I come from the traditional sit behind the switcher in the truck produce and punch the show or game. You get it. Big setups, lots of presets and time. Then it dawned on me that multicamera (multi-source) is mostly the same however you approach it. It's really all about scaling your production plan to the scale of the production and what is it that you want your audience to see and experience.
The second part and third part of that large thought is how do you teach multicamera production and then execute that plan in a real-world setting. Oh yeah, add in also with without going broke doing it. No small task indeed. But after all that was said and done, I was all in and needless to say pretty impressed with SlingStudio and what it could do well beyond the obvious.
The SlingStudio System (Hub)
It all starts with this cool SlingStudio System. For the sake of understanding, this product will refer to the SlingStudio System as the (“Hub”). The “hub” which has a very cool design including an optional attachable battery so if you don't have AC you just click it easily on the bottom of the hub. I just left the battery on to lend stability to the hub and so that I wouldn’t forget it somewhere. Not that I’ve ever done that kind of thing...
From this one location, all signals from the cameras are sent back wirelessly — although you can run a simple HDMI cable back to the hub if you wish. The cameras can connect also with a small optional camera link, if needed. For testing purposes, we had three cameras (more on that shortly) one wired (HDMI), one with the camera link and one wireless smartphone via the Sling Capture App. Although I would say to really set this up most of the time, I likely would go totally wireless but having the option of connecting via more camera links up to 10 sources if needed was a handy option.
Other really cool features on the hub include an SD card and USB to run off to a larger hard drive. This gave us tremendous flexibility to record our sessions for later playback all the while streaming live. You can record directly to the hub, or feed that external drive one can immediately start the editing process without having to rearrange the universe. I also like the fact that the hub had indicators that you could see from across the room indicating a solid connection and power. The hub itself was very compact, smaller than most kitchen appliances but packing quite a punch.
The hub and the adapters were well built and rather sturdy. I found this to be almost reassuring given the fact that the crew (my teenage son and friends) had no prior production experience....read more