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Learn About The Blackmagic Web Presenter and the Terenex Mini Smart Panel

August 28, 2017

 

(John Warkentin)
John Warkentin here from Michael’s Camera.


Today we’ve got the Blackmagic web presenter and the Teranex Mini Smart panel.
Now, unfortunately, we’ve already opened these boxes, but I’m going to simulate a
box opening.

There’s not a heck of a lot in the boxes here, but let’s cut to the chase and show
you what’s in them and what makes them so special.

So, the first order of business; you get your appropriate country’s power cable;
when you buy these, the power cable is not in the box, but that’s a standard IEC
three conductor grounded power input cable.

So let’s just put that aside; we’ll put our Teranex Mini Smart panel aside, and let’s
open up the Web Presenter box.
[The BM WP box is glossy black with an image of the item on the cover]

Now the Web Presenter is a unique little product because it enables you to connect
industry standard HDMI or SDI cameras; or one of each; and feed that video signal
into a standard computer’s USB 2 port, through a USB-B printer style cable; and
the Web Presenter then presents itself as a webcam - so everything just works with
all software; any computer; any software that can talk to a webcam will work with
the Web Presenter; and you get to use high-end quality cameras.

So, inside the box, we’ve got our little plastic tray here, and inside that is our
Welcome paperwork, I guess, which is a little welcome message and the Web
Presenter software - or it’s certainly not software; a user manual - is on a little SD
card in here.

So that gives you what you need. If you need to do any firmware updates you just
go over to the Blackmagic website and it’s very easy, and I’ll show you where you
plug in to do a firmware update.

So let’s just pop the Web Presenter out of the package here.
[Web Presenter box is small and black]

So it’s a small 1-U rack style height box and it’s 1/3 rd U wide; so three of these
together would be a 19-inch rack.

The Web Presenter on its own, without the Teranex Mini Smart panel, is just a
very basic front panel and there’s a little rubber port here which enables you to get
at the USB port, to do firmware updates.
[Back of box shows many connection points]

Now on the back of the Web Presenter, we’ve got our power input here: a three
conductor which is where our cable plugs in obviously, and then we’ve got our
various inputs.

Now I’ll just hold it over here so the overhead camera can see.

So, we have our USB-B format - it’s like a printer cable - so that plugs in; so that’s
how the Web Presenter is seen by the computer; then we have on the far right-hand
side here, we’ve got a mic input which is a standard XLR professional mic
connector; then we’ve got consumer inputs here left and right RCA for stereo; then
we’ve got our HDMI. So at the bottom we have the HDMI-in - so any standard
HDMI camera; any resolution, right on up to 4k, this thing can handle - and then
it’ll down res that into a standard streaming format, variable frame rate, based on
the bandwidth that’s available - that’s rather interesting how this works - for 720p.
720p is basically the resolution you want to stream at because that uses your
bandwidth most effectively; more users can see it; it’s the limit of Facebook;
YouTube can stream @ 1080p, but the web presenter is designed for 720, and I
think that really is the best standard.

So HDMI-in and just above that is an HDMI-out loop port; so whenever you feed
to the HDMI-in, it comes right back out - so if you want to have multiple Web
Presenters you could daisy chain multiple units; one could be streaming to
YouTube; one can be streaming to Facebook; another one can be streaming to
Periscope, Twitch, whatever.

So that’s on our HDMI side.

Then to the left of that we have - the far left - we’ve got the SDI input; so that’s a
BNC style connector, and that’s what most professional video cameras are running
these days; so we have their input and then again we have a loop output; so
whatever goes on the in, comes right back on the out; then above that we have the
program output.

Now the program output is a little bit different than the loop because that program
can be the switched version between the two separate inputs, and that’s where the
Teranex Mini Smart panel comes in, because it gives you the ability to switch with
this device between two cameras; with the condition being: one is using HDMI and
the other is using SDI.

Then lastly, of course, that USB output, which is the same program and that’s what
it feeds to the computer.

So if you wanted to record your switched output, you could then hook up a
HyperDeck recorder, another Blackmagic device, to the SDI program output, and
then your two-camera project could then be recorded.
So that’s basically what the Web Presenter does.
Lastly, there’s a little Ziploc bag here with some rubber feet; so if you’re not going
to rack mount it, you want to put it on your desk, you can just put the rubber feet
on the bottom.

So let’s get into the Teranex Mini Smart panel.
[Teranex Mini Smart panel is a rectangular box, also glossy black]
So that’s where we get our advanced functions; so on the Smart panel, it gives us
the buttons so that we can switch between the two inputs; as well as monitor them
with the little video screen that it’s got.
[Teranex device is in an anti-static bag and it is long and slim]

So now it’s an anti-static bag because it’s an electronic device, and there we have it
– I’ll hold it right side up –

So, we’ve got our little control knob here for selecting things from the menus; and we have an LCD screen; we have our input 1 and input 2; and the audio switching
system, because of course, we’ve got multiple audio inputs; how we can mix and
set levels and everything; and of course, a set button.

Again, there’s a little door here to enable us to get through to the USB port on the
front panel of the Web Presenter.

So, how do we attach this to that?

Well, luckily, there are some instructions here on the little box: Step 1 - remove the
2 screws on each side. Step 2 - plug in the Teranex Mini Smart panel; and then put
the screws back in - very simple.
Let’s do it!

[John brings a screwdriver into the frame and proceeds to undo the little screws
and attach the Teranex to the Web Presenter]

One screwdriver; not even a fancy one, just a universal screwdriver; and we’ll just
undo the screws; put them aside; all four screws are the same, so you don’t need to
worry about getting them mixed up.
Just a standard Phillips head on them.
So luckily, this does not require any technical expertise.

I guess the question you might want to ask is, why would you want the Web
Presenter without the Smart panel?

Well, you can save a few dollars and if all you’re going to do is be taking in one
input and streaming to one output and you don’t need any advanced controls; you
can save the purchase price of the Smart panel.

So in Australian dollars, the Web Presenter is $729, and the Smart panel is $135;
so you save yourself $135.

So behind the little plastic faceplate, as you can see here, there’s a dip switch here
for various setups - we’re not going to mess with that - you can see the USB mini
port here, which is where you do your firmware updates; and then there’s a little,
printed circuit board here with some contacts on it on both sides and that’s how it’s
going to communicate with the Smart panel.

So as you can see here, this connector is going to line up with that; so we just
basically placed this in here; line it up; firmly press down; just press that in, and
put four screws back in.

You know one thing worth noting: The Web Presenter does not have an on/off
power switch; so you’re going to want to power it up at the line, so you might want
to use a switched power bar, or if you’ve got it in a rack, you might want to have
all your power in your rack, you know, switchable with another, you know, off the
line in another area, or switched – yeah, however you want to do it; just to keep
these things cost-effective Blackmagic has decided to not put power switches on
them.

So there we go!
[Finished device is all one smooth connected box with the Web Presenter and the
Teranex Smart panel connected seamlessly]

So when you’re actually using this, and you’ve got it all set up; you basically can
just press for channel one, and you’ll be running that feed through; and you’ll see
your feed on the LCD display here; and then when you want to switch over to
channel two, you just press two and it’ll do a nice smooth video transition over to
the second camera.


So that’s a pretty amazing feature in an affordable box; that this is a two-channel
video switcher; and the streamer all-in- one; very well made; tough little box; and
very affordable.

We use it at Michael’s Camera when we’re doing our live streams; we’ve also got
it in our system in conjunction with an 8-input switcher; called the Blackmagic
Television Studio, and we also use one of their recorders which is the HyperDeck,
I believe it’s the Mini - it records to SD cards; it’s the exact same form factor as
this; and that enables us to record our programs simultaneously while we’re
streaming them; so that if we want to then put them up on YouTube afterwards.
We normally stream to Facebook; we feel that’s pretty well the best platform for
live streaming right now.

So hopefully you enjoyed our very simple little introduction to the Blackmagic
Web Presenter, and I guess the other reason I should just explain here at the end
here; The reason why I wanted to open the box is; we’re putting this device into
the Hire Department!

So if you’ve got some streaming needs and you maybe only need to do it once or
twice and you don’t feel like it’s time to purchase, you can just hire it from us and
we’ll get you set up with some cameras - like our Panasonic PV 100s that we’re
currently using; very affordable and easy to use camera; it mates perfectly with the
Web Presenter, and you’re away to the races!

Now one other thing we need to bring up here, just before we end our discussion;
because the Web Presenter uses SDI inputs for one of the camera and HDMI for
the other; if both of your cameras are say HDMI output - like our PV 100
Panasonic’s here - you’re going to need to take the HDMI output of one of your
cameras and convert it to SDI and Blackmagic has got you covered with a very
affordable little product - it’s $135 and it’s called the Blackmagic Micro
Converter; and they come in two flavors: You can either convert HDMI to SDI, or
you can go the other way around.

So, if you need to take two SDI cameras and use it with the Web Presenter one of
them you’re going to convert from SDI to HDMI to go to the second input, or if
you want to use two HDMI cameras you convert one of the HTMIs to SDI and
they’re a very small little grey box - I wish I could show you one in my hand but I
can point to one above my head over here on my boom overhead camera - so we’re
currently taking the HDMI output from that camera; converting it to SDI; feeding
it over to the other side of the room where we’re running the Blackmagic ATEM
Television Studio 8-input switcher.

But basically, the Web Presenter is the baby brother - so if you only need two
cameras, then this is the one to go for; it’s very, very simple; it’s very affordable,
and it is a perfect tool for web streaming in a simple two-camera production.
So hopefully, that gave you a good introduction and you’re as excited about all the
Blackmagic stuff as we are!

We love using it here; it’s been a very, very good set of tools for our television
broadcast here at Michael’s Camera.

And if you need to hire the Web Presenter; come and see us at the Hire
Department.

I’ll put the link to the product in the description of the video.

Take care! We’ll see you next time!