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Thread: How to split live video while its happening?

  1. Question How to split live video while its happening?

    Hi ,
    Is there a way to use a 3 -4 cam shoot maybe HDV, and while the live feeds come in to my comp, use some software to do A/B roll kinda switching between the feeds LIVE.
    Does anyone know any good proggy? Or is the alternative a Black Magic hardware like Tricaster....I mean is there a cheaper alt?
    I saw some DV Magic Pro and proggys like AVTake's CutFour.
    But has anyone here tried them??Whats the best??
    I want to make the final feed for Streaming live...(for some lo-end music shows in a pub).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Isle of Lewis, Scotland


    I did a similar thing a few years ago but there was nothing available then and even now the horse power needed on the computer would be quite monstrous.

    It may not be what your looking for but the way I did it in the end was to stay in the analogue domain doing the mixdown with a vision mixer (something like a panasonic mx20, mx30 or ave5 avoid the mx10 and 12 as they only have a single tbc) then feed the resultant composite or s-video signal to your pc (and maybe a dvd recorder for high quality archive and/or video projector...) for streaming, this way you will have no issues with sync, slow response times of switching from one camera to another and you will have a nice choice of wipes. and take audio from a seperate source (eg mix together a mike feed from one camera and take a line from the front of house pa mixer) and be able to keep tabs on the levels etc,

    A basic 4 camera rig would comprise, 4 cameras (2 banks of 2) each bank into a simple video switcher then each into one or other channel of the video mixer (unless you go for a more expensive 4 channel mixer) a pair of monitors for premix (monitoring the oposite chanel to the one you are outputting) and an output monitor.

    The only downside of the 2 banks of 2 system (though you can expand it to 2 banks of as many as you want) is the fact to get a clean wipe you must always go from one bank to another.. so if camera 1 and 2 are on bank 1 and cameras 3 and 4 are on bank 2 you cant wipe from camera 1->2 or 3->4 you must always go 1->3, 2->3, 4->2, 4->1 etc..
    having said that you can but there will be some picture disturbance and if your only using 2 pre mix monitors you wont be able to see what is on the opposite camera (eg if you are outputting camera1 that is what the bank1 and output monitors will be displaying).

    Add a couple of dvd players and a projector and your a VJ

    enough rambling for now, if you have any further q's let me know...


  3. Default

    Thank you so much for the light, Zarn.
    Most helpful .
    But it still looks expensive on the hire side.
    If all that equipment is hired per day, isnt it better to ask the guys to buy one of the softwares for 600 bucks? Makes sense for 1 month of streaming.
    However I dont know what the heavy machine needed is for such a proggy. Do u have any feeds for that?
    What do u think?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Isle of Lewis, Scotland


    Firstly, I am a bit out of date, I was doing this sort of thing back in 2004 (right back to the mid 90's) and I am also very biased towards the feel of live performance with twidley knobs and sliders, Having been a VJ and DJ it wasnt till the advent of dual core processors and external controllers that even mixing music was a decent experience, so I would have thought that video is going to struggle without hardware acceleration especially with the live sources, there have been various mixing solutions for video files for a while but that is a different game altogether as your shifting a lot less data, but I may be wrong, there may be something out there I haven't looked for 5 years.

    with that sort of budget you should be able to buy just about all the analogue gear you need. all prices below are UK from what I have seen US gear tends to be a bit cheaper, dont forget though you need to buy the right standard for your cameras as older mixing gear needs to be either ntsc or pal colour depending on which side of the pond you are on. Dont forget you will also have some nice gear to sell when you have finished which should not have lost much value being as you will be buying second hand anyway.

    You will need someone handy with a soldering iron as long cables are expensive, you will end up with great cables if you buy a drum and get someone to solder the plugs on rather than buying ready made.

    I recently bought some 5" lcd monitors for 20ukp a piece you will need 3 minimum, just the cheap TV/monitors you see on ebay will do fine, small light and often come with video cables.

    The video switches to select which camera you want to use are simply a change over switch you can buy from radio shack and a couple of sockets, else the most basic video selector box would do, bet you could find them for 10ukp that just leaves a mixer and cables, Dont forget you wont be wanting to switch the sound as well, just the video

    I had a quick look on flea bay and ave5s and mx20s seem to be going for anything from 130 to 250 which just leaves you with cable, Its along while since I bought a drum of cable but 50 should do it if you don't want anything too long along with a hand full of plugs to fit your cameras. I'm fairly sure that the long video cables would be a lot cheaper than long fire wire or usb...

    On top of that you are going to need a pc and some kind of capture device (a simple tv card would most likely do) but if like you say your looking at relitively low quality a 3gh ht p4 should do the job with windows media encoder (best bet is to check for the spec with whatever streaming software you plan on using) I know over here something like that is about 100 without a monitor (150 with a 17" lcd) second had (ex corporate) then 20 for a basic analogue tv card

    re going software only, I dread to think how much power you would need, if it is possible at all due to pc bus limitations, when I was looking into it the only solutions were thousands and needed special cards. Though things have moved on quite a bit since then, but i still don't think you can beat the hands on creativeness of a video mixer for live performance rather than fiddling about with a mouse, plus you have the advantage of DVD quality recordings and output to monitors or projectors which i would assume your going to struggle getting one machine to do on its own without specialist hardware.


  5. Default

    hey thanks man!.
    Thats quite a bit of reaaallly useful info.
    Much obliged.Will scout around here for the specs.
    Thank you again

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