Streaming Part 2


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I thought it was about time that I gave you all a little update on some of the kit I have been using and testing of the past few months. So here are a couple of updates for you starting with:
Matrox MC100
This little beauty has been in my procession for about a year now. If you don't know it’s a little box that allows you to do things such as HD-SDI to HDMI conversion, HD-SDI switching, multiplexing two HD-SDI signals in to one 3G video feed and monitor 3D HD-SDI Signals in real time. It’s a great little unit to have in your kit. One function I particularly want to highlight here, and something I am constantly using it for now is as a loss of signal switcher.
I do a lot of live streaming and it important that you are always sending something over the air, even if you have an equipment failure. The MC100 has two HD-SDI inputs and two HD-SDI outputs. You can set the unit so that if it loses its signal on one of the HD-SDI inputs it will seamlessly switch to the other input. And it is seamless, no glitching or black frames. I used it recently on a live stream for the new Call of Duty game, that we were sending direct to the Xbox 360 dashboard and it was important that we had this failover system. We also use it on the BroadcastShow LIVE webcast we do once a month. On this event if the main system fails for any reason the MC100 will switch over to a direct Camera/Audio feed allowing us to continue broadcasting while the main systems are sorted.
It works really well, and for the sake of this one little unit gives you piece of mind that your broadcast will continue even after a kit failure further down the chain. Definitely worth checking out.
My Portable Studio system:
I wrote in issue 66 of TV-Bay about this portable production system I was building based around the amazing Blackmagic Design ATEM Switcher. If you have not seen in it, it is of course available online here (scan this QR to read the previous “part 1” article – flick to page 62)
Anyhow, I have made a couple of editions to the system.
Audio: I have now added the brilliant Presonus 1818 VSL 1u audio interface to the rack. This gives me 8 balanced mic/line inputs, as well as ADAT in and S/PDIF in. However the beauty of this unit is it gives me complete control over the mix just like a full blown digital mixer, such as the Presonus 16.4.2 mixer. Using the VSL software I have dynamics on every channel, noise gates, limiters, parametric eq, everything you could need. It means that if I have no room for a mixer and have to take multiple feeds into the system I can now plug them direct in and mix from my PC. I am a big Presonus fan, and their mixer hardware is amazing. I did a 30 min show on their mixer range which you can see here: http://bit.ly/presonus-mixer or scan this code.
Apple TV: I have added the new Apple TV to the system, which gives me the ability to wirelessly send my PC or Mac desktop to a channel input on the ATEM. This is, I must say, a work of genius! As long as your PC/Mac is on the same network as the Apple TV and you install a piece of software on your PC or Mac called AirParrot you can show your desktop and send your sound to your switcher.
Great for those jobs where you have a speaker with a PowerPoint presentation and no way to get that feed into your system. Just install this small piece of software, make sure it’s on your network and boom you have a full HD feed of either the main or second screen, or in fact just the application if you want. And now that the ATEM systems allow you to route audio as well as video, you also get the audio feed from the PC as well. Again we use it on the BroadcastShow whenever you see a PC/Mac/iPad screen. The above presonus review demos this well.
Finally it’s worth mentioning that I am playing with the Matrox Microquad, a simple 4xHD-SDI input to HDMI Multiviewer. It has some lovely touches like the ability to view the audio levels of each input and at a touch of a button make any input full screen. I have been using it with my portable system in order to preview feeds from my Playout decks and program feeds. Very impressed so far. I wish it had loop throughs for the inputs so you could have more flexibility as to where you put it in your signal chain, but so far I have got around this. However I am very impressed at how it just works out of the box and by plugging it into my laptop via USB I can control the switching and even name the inputs from the desktop. I will write more on this unit as I try it in different scenarios. So far though, very impressed.
If you have questions about anything I write about or the suggestions for BroadcastShow please contact me, I love to hear from you. If you’re all modern then tweet me @jpratchett or old school email jon.pratchett@me.com

Tags: iss070 | matrox mc100 | blackmagic | matrox microquad | multiviewer | presonus | N/A
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