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BMD Ultrastudio mini recorder(thunderbolt) + GH3 + Wirecast for streaming
  • Hey everyone,

    To do some live streaming I’ve looked at many solutions and this one seems (at this point) the most ideal for my multi camera setup : hook up 3 gh3’s to 3 Ultrastudio mini recorders with thunderbolt and use wirecast to do the streaming and encoding on the mac pro/hackintosh.

    I’ve seen however some conflicting messages on forums where it seems that the GH3 signal will not pass through the mini recorder, so does any one have experience with this? Can anyone confirm the mini recorder works with the GH3 and wirecast?

    I believe the GH3 has 4:2:0 out and the codecs supported by the mini recorder are:   AVC-Intra, AVCHD, Canon XF MPEG2, Digital SLR, DV-NTSC, DV-PAL, DVCPRO50, DVCPROHD, DPX, HDV, XDCAM EX, XDCAM HD, XDCAM HD422, Apple ProRes 4444, Apple ProRes 422 (HQ), Apple ProRes 422, Apple ProRes (LT), Apple ProRes 422 (Proxy), Uncompressed 8-bit 4:2:2, Uncompressed 10-bit 4:2:2.

    So perhaps the GH3 might not work due to different colorspace?

 Here a post where you see a setup using to minirecorders thunderbolt + usb camera to stream live with wirecast: htttp:// The guy doesn't use a dslr but dedicated camera but you can use the mini recorders with wirecast, only question is, will it work with the GH3?!

    Hope one of you can shed some light on this matter


    Interesting links for this thread: Setup using mini recorders: How to setup GH3 for HDMI output:

  • 14 Replies sorted by
  • I've got a reply from black magic support in europe:

    I can confirm you would be able to capture the two cameras over HDMi with the Ultra Studio Mini Recorder. However you may need either 2 separate host computers or a third party software that can handle multi inout recording.

    You will be able to use the Ultra Studio Pro to stream with the new mac pro, however we do not have any software to perform the live stream.

    This means that by simply using wirecast (the 3rd party software) + mac pro + ultrastudio mini recorder you have a nice setup for live streaming up to 6 cameras! (New mac pro has 6 thunderbolt devices)

  • Andre - super interested to see how this setup works. I blend cameras, 55" touch screen and devices like ipads with Wirecast. Now if the GH3 just would do a software update to leave the LCD on it while shooting..

  • @NMS sorry, your comment slipped under the radar. Haven't been around PV much lately. Busy at work and been doing some digging at creativecow.

    Don't know if I would need the LCD during shooting, have to wait for that mac pro first. Status says february but that could also be end of february...

    But this is a workflow I'll be attempting pretty soon...

  • It might cost a little more.

    1 x ATEM television studio (6 inputs) $1000
    1 x BMD mini recorder $145
    and only one Mac needed to stream

  • @kavadni Wouldn't it be possible to do it without the ATEM? Perhaps it would work better with the ATEM but it could be a place to start. Would you still use the ATEM if you've also got wirecast on your PC/Mac? (sorry I'm a bit slow lately at responding lately)

  • @andrevanberio

    This means that by simply using wirecast (the 3rd party software) + mac pro + ultrastudio mini recorder you have a nice setup for live streaming up to 6 cameras! (New mac pro has 6 thunderbolt devices)

    6 cameras

    Mac Pro $6000
    6 x Mini Recorders $ 900
    Wirecast $ 500 - $1000


    ATEM TVS $ 995
    Macbook Air $1300
    HDMI monitor/TV .. say $ 500
    Teradek VidiU $ 695

    If I needed a lot of live graphics, I might consider using a second computer with wire cast instead of the VidiU. Mostly I record concerts for DVD/Bluray ... adding any graphics later.

    I think it's false economy, and a dedicated piece of hardware will always provide more reliability than a computer.

    In reality there is a bucket load of gear that you need, but that's two options for a base.

  • @kavadni Thanks for the reply. Now I understand what you mean! Thing is that I already have that mac pro which I bought to be an editing station first. I will not be streaming 6 cams but up to 3 probably. So there is only added cost of the 3 mini recorders&wirecast for me.

    Because I was looking into buying a new workstation and new I wanted to do streaming in the future this setup was a thought that went through my head. Wirecast 5 has some nice features and was 50% off on black friday.

    But I definitely agree that it is not a smart choice to buy a mac pro for streaming purposes only! Should someone do that would cost them $2999 for the base model. But if you need to stream multiple camera's on location I'd guess your best bet would be out of the box systems.

  • @NMS I thought I give you an update. I have the mini recorder and the new mac pro. Do they(gh3+mini recorder) work with wirecast? Yes they do! Image looks beautiful and I can do things with wirecast I simply couldn't with the BMD TVS. (I can add 4 cams, have all of them in 1 screen and resize each video input the way I want. Very very flexible.)

    The only downside is that the GH3 only outputs 1080i50 or 720p50 (I have a PAL model). I'm not completely sure why, Vitaliy did mention EDID but that's a bit out of my league. So for streaming purposes it works fine but I couldn't use the ultrastudio to record straight to disk unless the 1080i is 25p in a 50i wrapper.

    There are posts on the net saying you should be able to record also in 1080p24 1080p25 but I can't and I think it is impossible with the GH3 and ultrastudio combination. If anyone knows more, please post...

  • I thought I'd just add to this thread as it may be of benefit to someone. Ijust learned that there is an app for controlling wirecast with the ipad: Paladin Producer iPad app.

    There are also other options like remote desktop control, or a simple app where you create buttons and each button is a key command on the mac.(I'm sure there are similar options on the PC)

    here are some links:

    GH3+ultrastudio mini recorder+WireCast(pro)+Tablet= a very powerful and flexible solution for streaming!

    I'll start using this setup soon and I would setup my shots which can be very complicated or impossible to do with various other solutions (i think) and simply use the ipad as a switcher. I could go from 1 cam, to 3, to 5, with the touch of my finger. Very handy!

    What do I like so far?: - I can put 3+ cams in one shot - crop and/or resize and/or reposition and/or chroma key each cam within that shot

    (I don't think you can rotate as in turn the cam 90 degrees making it's view 1080 pixels wide and 1980 pixels high)

  • @andrevanberlo ... have you plugged three GH3 in at the same time?

  • @kavadni Not yet, I had 2 gh3 cams and my isight camera so I could fool around with the placing of the shots. I'm awaiting the arrival of my other thunderbolt cable(damn these things are expensive!) so I can plugin the other bmd ultrastudio as well.

    With the arrival of the GH4 and moving to NTSC territory I'm thinking of selling the gh3's (PAL) and going for 2 bmd pocket camera's and a gh4(still need to shoot pictures of our little one). I'll mainly be using the pocket cam's as studio cam's so don't need long battery life, they'll be hooked on an adapter the whole time.

  • Great @andrevenberlo, I am interested in running wire cast, probably between my router and switcher to compensate for lack of multiple pip.

  • @kavadni I think for PiP wirecast is super flexible and powerful. You can create very complex shots and switch between them with a keystroke or with ipad. You can also send your wirecast stream as a virtual camera to Skype, or google hangouts. very handy. Chroma keying is also pretty good, I can't test thoroughly as I don't have good lighting yet(I'm adding gear and software to my studio one piece at a time) at home and I'm not spoiled with expensive chroma key plugins in my NLE so I might have lower expectations.

    I use wirecast pro and don't know how much it differs from regular wirecast

  • disclaimer: I'm not a seasoned wirecast user so all could be up to my limited understanding of the software and streaming but...

    Skype gives me best picture but... It crashes regularly... Another thing is that when canvas is 1080p you don't get the full image in skype(sides are cut off) --> picture below is streamed at 720p image

    Google+ simply doesn't crash... but it has less image quality... Picture below is streamed at 1080p image

    When it comes to streaming 1080p with 3 HD camera's via 3 ultrastudio mini recorders using thunderbolt and a new mac pro. The pro handles it very easily. CPU load is about 30%. I had photoshop open as well. RAM was no issue at all. image

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