A p p effect that I imagine seldom gets used. But it also offers several easy-to-customize PiP
settings, such as a Dashboard that will put
up to four live cameras across the screen, in
an arc, with a reflection. It’s pretty nice. The
app also features split-screen, Flap, slots,
and basic PiP.
Switcher Studio’s polish is evident in such
simple things as the “basic” PIP (see Figure
6 on page 74), where you can customize
the ratio of the PiP, border color, thickness,
roundness of the corners, horizontal cropping, vertical cropping, position and scale
on the screen, and even the Yaw, Pitch, and
Roll, giving it some 3D-ness.
Best of all, you can specify all of these pa-
rameters in a Multi-view Type ahead of time,
and then just populate A and B and hit Go.
Prebuilt multilayer setups are huge.
Teradek Live:Air Action has these too,
called Scenes. In Live:Air Action, you can
see the layers as you manipulate them, and
even put in a background, and overlay on
top, and save all of that as a Scene, accessed
with a single tap. This is actually more powerful with backgrounds and overlays, and
calling up the finished scene is simpler. But
it has less finesse on the tiny details, and
building it can be a bit cumbersome and
fiddly. However, add an animated GIF and
you have some real network-looking video
Having used both Live:Air Action and
Switcher Studio on various projects over the
past few months, I have to say that I expect
both to remain in my arsenal for different
types of projects, as each has very specific
strengths. When I needed to incorporate a
real camera, I used Live:Air Action. I used
hardware interfaces for the camcorder and
the video out of the presenter’s laptop. I then
added two phones for other views.
When I needed the ability to have the
cameras move for a panel discussion, and
I expected to do a lot of titles on-the-fly, I
chose Switcher Studio. Using a remote head
allowed me to have a single camera cover
four panelists. A remote head at the back of
the room allowed me to swing around and
get someone in the audience who ended up
speaking for a bit. Plus, I was able to run the
lower-thirds during the show, so there was
no real post-production to speak of.
If I need to incorporate a person over
Skype, or maybe several laptop feeds, I’ll
use Switcher Studio. If I know I’ll need to
play back several videos with no way of previewing the audio and not enough time to
process them all to have the same audio level, I’ll choose Live:Air Action for the internal
If I have camera operators, I’ll likely use
real cameras and Live:Air Action. If it’s a
cost-conscious client and I need to make what
I have look better, I’ll leverage some remote
camera control tools in Switcher Studio. If I
need a 4K master of a live-streamed event, I
can use Switcher Studio and my 4K-capable
i Phones, or record locally in my 4K camcord-ers and use Teradek Clips to stream HD.
Both apps are designed for streaming and
using camera feeds over Wi-Fi. As such, you’re
not dealing with 50Mbps or 100Mbps streams
here. Data rates top out at 10 or 6Mbps (see
the chart in Figures 4 and 5 on page 73 for
feature comparisons), and a very busy image
can easily overwhelm that data rate in your
master record. This is where the higher data
rate of the internal recording in the iPhones
is an advantage, unless you’re doing full days
of conferences, in which case you might just
want to record a high-quality master and be
done with it.
Both apps are iOS-based video mixing
and streaming tools, but they are not the
same. They are different enough that each
provides a unique feature set that will serve
better than the other in certain contexts.
This enables me to choose the right tool for
the job. When more apps come to the market, that will only serve to provide streaming
producers with even more solutions to produce their live shows.
Anthony Burokas is a 20-plus-year broadcast TV video producer
currently based in Dallas. He has produced an extensive body
of event, corporate, special-interest, and broadcast TV. His
website is IEBA.com. His new studio space, Frisco Studios,
makes the latest live-streaming and VR technologies available
to his clients.
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