disparities. Compare this with
Switcher Studio’s compatibility page, which lists only 14
devices (Figure 3).
Stepping Up the Game
Once you get to around
$1,000–$2,500, you can find very
capable streaming appliances
like the Matrox Monarch HDX/
LCS (see Jan Ozer’s Monarch
LCS review on p. 75), AJA HELO,
Teradek Cube, LiveU Solo, and
others that enable not just one
FullHD stream, but possibly
two, to different destinations
and different settings. These
devices also offer internal recording to flash media or over
USB. These appliances offer
the reliability of a dedicated piece of hardware—no apps to crash, no OS issues, and no
updates that can cause conflicts.
At this price point, the decision is between
capability and dedicated hardware. Do you
want to use software on a laptop and third-party hardware to ingest the camera feeds,
mix a shot, generate titles and graphics, and
provide playback, streaming, and recording?
Or do you want a dedicated piece of hardware
that can be one-button simple? Whether it’s in
a rack of gear, or mobile, one of these simplified compact streaming solutions can easily
be deployed by someone who doesn’t have the
video engineering or streaming knowledge a
computer-based setup would require.
At around this same price point, Cerevo offers the Live Wedge, which is not just a single-stream device, but also a hardware video mixer with four inputs, an audio mixer, and the
ability to record internally if it’s not streaming. This is a lot of functionality for a low-cost
streaming appliance. But to really leverage
the Live Wedge’s capabilities, you need to add
a 7" tablet for better control and access to the
copious audio adjustments, as I discussed in my
review of the Live Wedge ( go2sm.com/cerevo).
Streaming is limited to 720p, however.
Over the Hurdle
When you get to the $5,000-plus mark, your
capabilities expand dramatically. Arguably the
best-known appliances at the $5,000–$12,000
level are in New Tek’s TriCaster line of dedicat-
ed, purpose-built machines and software. The
TriCasters’ tight integration of video switching,
playback, recording, graphics, effects, titling,
and, of course, streaming represent the evolu-
tion of technology introduced in 1990. Popular
systems in the NewTek line include HDMI and
HD-SDI versions of the Mini ($7,995–$9,995; see
Figure 4) to the 24-channel 8000 ($34,995).