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Buyer’s Brief: Live Streaming

In this Buyer’s Guide we examine a number of options for producing web and mobile video, each product designed to capture, compress, encode and distribute video. Whether you’re sharing live events, creating content for mobile users or developing new means of reaching audiences, these tools will expand your delivery options.



This H.264 streaming and recording device offers a range of professional workflow options, with both 3G-SDI and HDMI inputs and outputs, the power to handle up to 1080p/60 recording formats, and a simple web-based UI for easy configuration. It allows users to simultaneously stream video signals directly to content delivery networks (CDNs) while recording either to an SD card, USB drives or network-based storage. HELO’s small and robust form factor is designed to travel well, fit wherever needed and deliver continuously. HELO will be available soon for an MSRP of $1,295. 

Broadcast Pix

Flint Integrated Production Switcher

Earlier this year Broadcast Pix announced substantial upgrades to its Flint family of integrated production switchers. Improvements include a new motherboard and processor, as well as comprehensive support for NDI protocols and RTSP IP video streams from many IP cameras, including Sony and Panasonic models. Designed to deliver a complete end-to-end production workflow for live webcasts, Flint features integrated HD streaming, live program recording, and an eight-channel audio mixer in addition to the comprehensive toolset included with all Broadcast Pix switchers. Control options include three different Broadcast Pix control panels, desktop keyboard and mouse, or new customized BPCommand interfaces accessed through any web browser. 


Spark-E II H.264 Encoder

The Spark-E II is a portable, compact, single-channel H.264/AVC encoder and live streaming appliance with onboard storage to USB devices for archive or later playback. It encodes incoming 3G/HD-SDI, HDMI, VGA or SD analog (YPbPr or CVBS) video and audio into one H.264 compressed IP transport stream with various resolutions and wrappers. Audio output is AAC-LC. The unit converts computer output to H.264 stream. Ideal for streaming live productions and events to Wowza, Adobe or other streaming appliances. Supports HLS and RTMP. The Spark-E II is priced at $995. A companion decoder, the Spark-D II, is available. 

Full Compass

Roland V-1SDI

The V-1SDI from Roland is a flexible and versatile video switcher that makes it easy to connect and switch professional 3G-SDI cameras and playback sources, as well as HDMI sources including cameras, smartphones, computers, tablets and Blu-ray players. Compact and portable, the V-1SDI delivers professional switching results with its easy-to-use hardware interface, which offers a T-Fader and backlit buttons. With support for 3G-SDI, the V-1SDI can operate at full 1080p resolution and can take advantage of the longer cable distance of SDI, making this compact solution suitable for events and applications in large spaces. Ideal for webcasts, video performance, education, live events and meeting presentations, the Roland V-1SDI is available now at Full Compass.

JVC Professional Video

KY-PZ100 PTZ Camera

Ideal for studio or field applications, the JVC KY-PZ100 robotic PTZ IP video production camera features integrated support for RTMP, so users can stream directly to Facebook Live and YouTube. When connected to a Wi-Fi adapter or LTE modem via USB or directly connected to a LAN, the KY-PZ100 streams up to 1080p/60 video with two-channel audio at various bit rates and with minimal latency. Integrated Zixi technology delivers reliable streaming performance with FEC and automatic repeat request (ARQ), as well as adaptive bit rate control. Designed as a standalone remote camera or as part of a multi-camera system, the KY-PZ100 can also be used as a conventional PTZ camera.  


NewTek IP Series

The NewTek IP Series is a software-driven, modular video production system with virtually limitless access to video sources and video mixing options. It is designed for IP video while also fully backward-compatible with SDI. It uses separate scalable high-performance components for the mixing and control, input and output of sources, allowing virtually unlimited scalability. Video, audio and control signals from these components are transferred digitally using NewTek’s Network Device Interface (NDI) technology, allowing multiple video systems to identify and communicate with any other system over a standard computer network. The nucleus of the NewTek IP Series is the NewTek VMC1 Video Mix Engine, capable of switching up 64 source channels. Other components include the NewTek VMC1 4S Control Panel; the NewTek VMC1 IN Studio Input Module, which allows up to four SDI or IP inputs per module recognized by the VMC1; and the NewTek VMC1 OUT Studio Output Module. 



Streamstar has shattered the tradition of clunky, old-school, complicated streaming systems with its easily operated, professional-caliber live production solutions. The new Streamstar X7 packs powerful functionality and user-friendly features into a 2 RU form factor that offers six inputs, 1080 streaming capabilities, replays and slow-mo on six channels. Streamstar X7 offers professional features including comprehensive media playlists, high-quality video processing, a host of graphics capabilities, and an intuitive touchscreen user interface. It can be converted to a mobile production studio simply by enclosing it in a hard case with an HDMI monitor. Streamstar X7 will be available in September at the introductory price of $8,995. 


MGW Ace Decoder

At IBC, VITEC announced the MGW Ace Decoder. The MGW Ace Encoder and Decoder together provide a portable, hardware-based, end-to-end 4:2:2 HEVC solution that provides reliable, low-latency and bandwidth-efficient streams suitable for IPTV, broadcast and point-to-point applications. The MGW Ace Decoder delivers broadcast-quality decoding of HEVC streams up to 1080p/60 4:2:2 10-bit, supporting the most demanding and diverse video streaming use cases. The single-channel HEVC decoder offers a robust panel of connectivity options including 12G-SDI, HDMI 2.0, SD-SDI and composite outputs. Targeting broadcast setups, the appliance boasts two pairs of audio decode, carried over SDI/HDMI, as well as separate analog balanced or unbalanced stereo audio and digital AES outputs. Its flexible FPGA architecture supports ongoing video improvements up to 4Kp/60. 

EIZO Rugged Solutions

Tyton VS2

This low-latency, high-efficiency, rugged H.265 (HEVC) video encoder with dual 3G-SDI inputs is designed to serve video transmission needs in harsh field environments. The MIL-STD-810G and IP67 compliant Tyton VS2 is capable of capturing two 3G-SDI inputs simultaneously and encoding them using H.265 (HEVC) or H.264 (AVC). Both video inputs can be internally split and routed to each of the product’s eight built-in dynamic encoding engines. Each of these encoding cores can individually be configured to encode to H.264 or H.265 standards, allowing future-proofing of existing installations looking to utilize H.265 in the future. 



Joe Cerda, legal videography consultant, on the deponent’s end of VDEPO

Intended for the production of video depositions, VDEPO is small, lightweight (14 pounds) and noiseless. Functions are consolidated into a single hardware/software solution, eliminating the need for multiple peripheral devices. It is designed for quick and easy setup and operation. VDEPO is available with either four HDMI or four BNC inputs. The BNC inputs support both analog (SD) and SD/HD-SDI signals to accommodate multiple sources during testimony. It includes a separate 15.6-inch touchscreen monitor. VDEPO provides synchronized switching between the four inputs, including the deponent camera, document cameras and laptops/tablets. Toggle on/off the deponent camera as a picture-in-picture, moving and resizing the PiP anywhere on the screen in real time. 


Audio Transcoding SaaS

The StreamGuys Audio Transcoding software-as-a-service (SaaS) outperforms transcoding systems that lack compatibility with multiple audio formats or de-emphasize the significance of audio transcoding in the video stream. The new Audio Transcoding service was born out of a need to implement better compatibility with iTunes Radio for many StreamGuys customers. In addition to simply converting from one audio codec to another, the service can ingest live video feeds and extract the audio to provide an audio-only rendition of the output. This is especially useful to TV broadcasters who stream pure audio feeds to their end points. 

TVU Networks

MLink TE4500

The TVU MLink TE4500 H.265/HEVC and 4K encoding solution for live video transmission is a rack-mount encoder that transmits video using HEVC video compression but also incorporates TVU265-enhanced HEVC, Smart VBR encoding and Inverse StatMux Plus advanced IP video technology. The MLink TE4500 delivers the same high-quality picture that’s currently available with TVU’s cellular IP-based live video transmitters, but with more efficient compression, requiring less data transmission. The MLink TE4500 is fully compatible with TVU’s family of rack-mount IP-based transceiver video decoders. The MLink TE4500 and TVU transceivers operate within TVU’s cloud-based ecosystem platform for centralized video content management and control, supporting not just TVU solutions and services but SDI and IP video sources as well.



The Share application for Volicon’s Observer Media Intelligence Platform helps broadcasters repurpose and deliver timely content to viewers via new channels, whether for on-air broadcast or digital and social media platforms, and thereby increase both audience reach and ad revenues. Accelerating the clipping and distribution of content in the appropriate format for virtually any target outlet and device, Share offers a fresh, cost-effective and highly scalable approach to multiplatform content creation and delivery. The application is available on-premise and in the cloud as a service, providing instant browser-based access to media captured by the Observer platform as well as intuitive graphical tools that make it possible for virtually any staff member, working anywhere, to create content.