For multicamera live production, there’s always been a ton of big production hardware available to capture, switch, and mix, then feed the pro- gram into a dedicated little box to stream it. But
today, consumer devices are so powerful that you can
do what looks like a professional multicamera live TV
show—with video playback, titles, and more—all with
just a few smartphones. But which app is the best?
The more correct question is, which app is the right
one for you Or, which one is right one for this project?
There is no “best” app because each one has certain
standout features that the other does not have, so depending on your needs, or the needs of your current
production as opposed to another one, you can pick the
tool that works best.
Currently, I’m aware of five multicamera, live-switching solutions you can run on an iPad (Figure 1).
Each uses an app to view multiple camera feeds, mix between them, add stills and titles, and record and stream
the output. However, I’m going to rule out three of them
right off the bat.
Sling Media’s SlingStudio, for example, can use an
iPad, but all of the camera ingest, as well as the mixing
and the recording, actually takes place on the hub unit.
This means your iPad or laptop could crash and the
streaming and recording would continue along happily until your i Pad took control of the hub again. This
alone means it’s not an iPad-based solution, but a hardware-based solution that an iPad can control—or not.
The second solution that I’m not going to discuss at
this time is Cinamaker. I met with the Cinamaker team
at NAB and the product was working, but still being finalized, so I’m not going to cover it in this head-to-head
comparison only because it’s not shipping yet. I’ve asked
Cinamaker to contribute to the feature comparison
chart so we’ll get a head start in understanding how
it might compare to our two main tools.
There’s also an app called CollabraCam, which is not
really a live-switching app. Each individual camera records its own feed while the “director” app only records
an Edit Decision List (EDL). The audio on Camera 1 is the
only audio used. Then everything must be assembled
later in post. It looks interesting, if recording is all you
need to do, but it does not offer video playback, titles, or
any other live production resources, so it doesn’t qualify
for this comparison article.