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Equipment and hosting recommendations for amateur web tv show

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Laughlin ElkindEquipment and hosting recommendations for amateur web tv show
by on Jan 26, 2012 at 3:05:30 am


I'm working on a concept for a streamed tv show, broadcast live from my apartment. The content will be some panel discussion type segments of folks seated on a couch, and some music segments of live performances done in another room.

I'm trying to spec out what my equipment requirements are, but I'm having a very difficult time making sense of the info about cameras, capture hardware, and the various accessories needed. I'm hoping to get some advice, taking into account my requirements (two stationary cameras and one hand-held, each set up as individual 'scenes' in Wirecast or a similar app, broadcasting in a final resolution of 720p at a decent framerate...~1800kbps total stream bandwidth).

Here are my specific questions:
1. What camera hardware should I be looking at? Multiple logitech HD webcams?
I'm currently playing around with one of the logitech cams, but I'm having issues with the webcam causing slowdown in my PC's audio system.
For the handheld camera, I'm guessing either a DSLR with video pass-through (already owned by a friend), or an inexpensive camcorder.

2. If I go for non USB camera/webcameras for shooting, I'm assuming I'll be working with HDMI or SDI. In that case, what is the cheapest approach to dealing with 3 cameras with HDMI or SDI output? Multiple blackmagic intensity pro cards? Although the blackmagic cards are relatively inexpensive, I've also heard that they've got issues with sound synch after dropped frames.

3. For my streaming host, I was originally playing with using an Amazon Web Services Cloudformation FMS stack. This worked reasonably well provided I was using Flash Media Live Encoder, but I was unable to get a stream functioning using Wirecast. DaCast seems like a decent alternative, although I haven't actually tried it out yet. I'm interested to hear any recommendations for streaming hosts that are inexpensive for my particular use case (a high bandwidth stream that will only be active ~1 hour per week, with only about 50 viewers expected).

4. Any other tips that can be offered to help me with my crazy plan. My inspiration here is the Seinfeld episode where Kramer finds the set for the Merv Griffin show in the trash, and reconstructs it in his apartment. This isn't a commercial venture, purely a stupid and fun thing to do!

Thanks for any and all advice!

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