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Roy McKenzie
wirecast alternatives
on Jun 30, 2014 at 8:46:54 pm

Does any one know of any good wirecast alternatives? I know about livestream and Boinx TV.

I need to take IP presenter sources (machine running PowerPoint slides), IP cameras are a plus, but most importantly I need to capture to multiple outputs (record h.264 and ProRez 422) simultaneously.

I like wirecast but the performance seems to be lacking. Even when I use it on a fast machine and the total CPU resource utilization is under 40% it drops frames in the record. There seems to be a bottle neck and it does not seem to be hard drive speed, computer speed, or 64-bit utilization issues.

Thank you

Roy


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Steve Brame
Re: wirecast alternatives
on Jun 30, 2014 at 9:39:32 pm

Have you looked at VidBlaster? I have their Home version, and it's really nice. I tend to use Wirecast more often because of it's audio integration. With VidBlaster, you have to have a separate audio workflow.

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Craig Seeman
Re: wirecast alternatives
on Jun 30, 2014 at 10:59:16 pm

You want low CPU utilization. That's the goal for an efficient encoder.
Wirecast is designed to vary the frame rate rather than drop frames so you should really ask for support.

You should be on Wirecast 5.0.3 and using the x264 encoder for best efficiency.

Never record to the system drive since it's running the OS and Programs.
Don't record using Quicktime because Quicktime on Windows has problems. That'll drop frames.

You mention BoinxTV. That would be Mac only. If you're on Mac you should be recording Apple ProRes with Wirecast. It's low CPU use and great for post work. I never drop frames and only have very slight frame rate variation.



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Roy McKenzie
Re: wirecast alternatives
on Jul 1, 2014 at 3:18:25 pm

Probably should have mentioned I am on mac, so I'm looking for mac solutions.

I didn't list my specs, but I am running it on a pretty beefy iMac 3.2Ghz iCore 7 16GB ram OSX 10.8.x VRAM @ 2048MB on a Radon 6970M gpu


Capturing HDMI from a blackmagic mini recorder connected via thunderbolt and an IP presenter running a PPT loop on a machine, wired with gig Ethernet(all wired gig Ethernet).

Capturing to a thunderbolt raid.

I would say I have exceeded the minimum requirements. What is interesting is the mention of the frame rate variation. That is exactly what I am seeing and it scares me. I want frame accurate pro rez movies and I know this capture device, computer and harddrive configuration can handle that requirement. Yet here I am, it starts out capturing 30FPS then varies.

I have tried just capturing one pro rez and I have tried capturing(recording) one h.264. I have tried capturing both at the same time, in every instance I can not get 30fps and video seems a little choppy(very little). It needs to work perfect.

Thank you

Roy


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Craig Seeman
Re: wirecast alternatives
on Jul 1, 2014 at 3:37:20 pm

[Roy McKenzie] "What is interesting is the mention of the frame rate variation. That is exactly what I am seeing and it scares me. I want frame accurate pro rez movies and I know this capture device, computer and harddrive configuration can handle that requirement. Yet here I am, it starts out capturing 30FPS then varies."

I target 29.97 when recording ProRes. I'll get something close when I look at the record such as 29.89. The average is never under 29. Depending on the computer/job I'm recording to USB3 or Thunderbolt drive at 7200rpm or internal drive on older MacPro, so this isn't even RAID. The frame rate will vary slightly to avoid dropped frames. Other encoders I've seen might result in a locked frame rate but they seem to be duplicating frames (which also creates a judder at those points).

When editing on FCPX (unlike other NLEs) I haven't had any issues with the slight variation in frame rate. Motion is smooth.



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Roy McKenzie
Re: wirecast alternatives
on Jul 1, 2014 at 3:44:06 pm

You would agree that I am running this on a fast enough configuration though correct?

I was set to 29.97 I can't get a constant of more then 26fps. I shut off the thumbnails to reduce over head. Are you capturing two movies file like I am?

Am I doing something wrong or have I missed a setting? I'm pretty well versed in the video/computer engineering universe, I just opened this app a week ago and started going to town, so I may have missed something.

thx

Thank you

Roy


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Craig Seeman
Re: wirecast alternatives
on Jul 1, 2014 at 4:14:32 pm

[Roy McKenzie] "I was set to 29.97 I can't get a constant of more then 26fps. I shut off the thumbnails to reduce over head. Are you capturing two movies file like I am?"

That's low. I'm streaming one or more and recording only one file though.
I've done this recently on 2011 15"MBP quad i7, 2008 Octo MacPro, 2013 15" MPBr Quad i7, 2013 6 core MP Tube. In no case do I get anything less than 29.x and often very close to 29.97.

I suspect the issue is that you're doing two recordings if that's the case. I've never had a reason to do it and haven't heard of others in my circle at least.

Generally it's record ProRes for post workflow and encode for VOD use.

I'm curious why you need to do two recordings at the same time?



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Roy McKenzie
Re: wirecast alternatives
on Jul 1, 2014 at 4:28:16 pm

This is going to be the new system for acquisition at our shows. Additionally we need real-time h.264 to upload to a online service with in 24hrs. In general it would be nice to have the two formats one hr (pro rez) to edit and one low rez (h264). Every client asks for the web movies and it is a pain to break them up and compress them every time. If we can have a tech hit the record button every time the keynote is on/of the stage it would save a huge amount of time and head ache.

I could get strictly a capture solution, but this software is nice cause it allows us to mix slides and create a program in real-time with out an expensive video switching setup.

I guess it might not be there yet, I did file a pre-slaes question with telestream.

You know it's funny I used to do this at Raytheon with windows Media Encoder, seven years ago, and media encoder could push two records and a stream, minus the switching of course.

Thank you

Roy


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Craig Seeman
Re: wirecast alternatives
on Jul 1, 2014 at 5:50:57 pm

Perhaps HDMI out to a Matrox MonarchHD would help.
http://www.matrox.com/video/en/products/monarch_hd/

You could use Wirecast External Display Output to send to it.
In other words you could hook up an external encoder recorder to Wirecast.
The MonarchHD has its own start/stop button so you wouldn't have to do that within Wirecast, which could continue to do the ProRes recording.



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Roy McKenzie
Re: wirecast alternatives
on Jul 2, 2014 at 1:00:04 am

Thanks ya I have seen them. This company is good too, they also have h.264 proxy recorders that auto increment for some cameras.

http://www.vitec.com/

The point is to have this be in one system and have the capability to create a program record like wirecast does and increment the records with that one record button. I might need to run it on a mac pro or it might not be there yet.

You know some older mac minis had h.264 hardware acceleration, there where a couple usb dongles on the market a one time that did it as well. I know that the h.264 is causing overhead problems in the program. If you look at the way it functions in the activity monitor there is significant overhead just to display the video in the record monitor, even before you ever pull the trigger on the record.

I think they should sell a hardware acceleration option that gives you some thunderbolt outputs and maybe some control interface like livestreams pro configurations. I would go in that direction, but I don't like PCs I only keep one around for emergencies.

Transcoding the h.264 causes more overhead then the pro rez. What is interesting is that the processor/system utilization is lower with the pro rez only capture, but it still seems to waffle off of 30fps. And it's not like it is just frame rates changing as it plays back, it shows a constant rate of less then 29fps in quicktime 7 info window.

I have tried it on a couple of different macs with good iCore 7 processors. Maybe they designed it for more acceleration in mavericks and I have to upgrade. I might try it on one of the iMacs we just bought with mavericks. All I know now is that the telestream techs have responded with hardrive speed questions after I told them my full configuration. Pretty sure I'm all set there.

Thank you

Roy


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Roy McKenzie
Re: wirecast alternatives
on Jul 2, 2014 at 3:15:58 am

Seems to be working well with a newer iMac. Perfect 30FPS and I even added a third output to a lower rez h.264 and no problem there. Seems like the solution is to have a newer/newest mac you can get.

Thank you

Roy


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