Tips & Tools For Easy Web Streaming With Any Camera - Become Your Own Broadcaster With Ease

May 07, 2017

Okay, welcome to Michael’s Camera.

I’m John Warkentin, and today’s topic is “Become your own broadcaster with ease!” and “ease” is a bit of a relative term; but I’m going to assure you that if I can do it, I think anybody can do it.

It’s a little bit tricky, but we’re going to start off with some very easy systems.

So if we can just cut to the slides; we will get started.


So basically, we’ve got our tips and tools for easy web streaming with any camera; and when I say any camera, it is important because we’re using a couple of conventional, still-photography cameras right now for this stream, and we are broadcasting live on Facebook.

So hopefully, we’ve got an online audience, maybe even a little bit larger than what we’ve got in the room; but we’ve got a good turnout today; so, that’s all good.


In the back, we’ve got Harry on a Canon 5D Mark IV; and that is connected with a long HDMI cable over to the desk here, where David is running the switcher; and behind David, so that we can see and maybe you can just switch over to that camera, we’ve got a Panasonic Lumix G7; so you can sort of see how David is running the knobs.

And you can see that there’s a monitor in front of David, which has got a multi-cam view - that’s just a conventional computer monitor, not expensive at all, and so he can see the live previews from our 4 virtual feeds that we’re running, two live cameras, and two devices that are basically running in HDMI; and he’s able to switch between all those as we’re going live.

So, that is the easy part; once it’s all up and running, it is easy; but there are other ways to do it and we’re going to sort of walk through with the basics.


So, first, basic question is: Why would we want a broadcast?

Well, there’s the old adage; well everybody else is doing it so why not us? It was always the realm of the huge corporations, the television networks; well, the Internet has now democratised this: anyone can be a broadcaster.


Live broadcasting over the Internet has existed for a while, but it was a little bit tricky.

And I know that what we’ve got on the table here looks like it’s very, very, tricky, but that’s for multi-camera stuff.

But just to do a single camera broadcast over the Internet, just a few years ago, involved some expensive software; special streaming encoders; and of course, a place to host it; and then, how did you find your audience?

So again, it was really only the realm of big businesses and conferences.

Everything’s kind of changed now because of this: the smartphone. [Holds up a smartphone]

We’ve got the ability to use a camera; connect to the internet, and get the message out all from our desktop.


So, what is streaming? Streaming is basically the process of taking a rich signal - be that video with audio or audio only in the early days before we had enough bandwidth to send video - to get that to the Internet.

The Internet is not real-time; we like to think that you know, you click and everything just happens in real time, but the Internet has packets flying all around and they get all restructured, or reordered, and sometimes they get lost.

So streaming uses some special protocols and all sorts of fancy technology that’s behind the scenes, to make sure that when I send it out here, someone else can watch it over there; and over there could be the other side of the world; and we might very well have someone watching right now from the other side of the world!

As a matter of fact, if anybody comments on our live stream right now, David will see those comments in real-time, and we can interact with those.

There’s probably a delay of between 15 and 30 seconds between what I’m saying right now in front of you, and the international audience at the other end of the ether, or the Internet.

The reason there’s a bit of a delay is the stream is repackaged into many, many, different formats by the provider; and in this case, we’re using Facebook; so that mobile phones can see it, desktops can see it, older devices, and newer devices.

So there’s an awful lot of stuff going on behind the scenes.

Luckily, we don’t really have to worry about that because we’re just broadcasting directly on Facebook.

As a matter of fact, we’ve just, we’re just using desktop Facebook!

That’s what we’re using!

So, without all this modern compression and all this high-tech stuff in the background, this would be impossible; but the providers have got all the tools in place for us to just do this.

So again, that’s all part of the ease - it is now quite easy.


So, as I alluded to earlier, the smartphone has changed everything. This device has democratised broadcasting in no other, like no other device in the history of mankind.

We have the basics of a television studio in our hand.

Now, is it the world’s best television studio? Of course not; but it’s got all the pieces of the puzzle; it records audio; it records video; it has a pervasive connection to our audience; the Internet; these mobile networks.

They’re so good that in many cases - mine is a perfect example, I’m on a Telstra mobile plan - my internet connection on my phone is better than at my house, through the hardwire ADSL package I’ve got!

So these devices are capable of broadcasting!

And lastly, applications; and this was the pure genius when the smartphones came out - they built an application development environment; a way for people to make money creating apps; and of course, so you can write an application that talks to all of the hardware on this phone; and that’s where broadcasting has come up.


So, there were a few different programs that started out: periscope was kind of a big thing, and then Twitter bought periscope, but the real gorilla in the room is Facebook; and they turned their switch on for broadcasting just a little over a year ago; and they are aggressive! They want people to use it!


So let’s cut to the chase!

Let’s talk a little bit about Facebook versus everyone else.

There are lots of platforms; there are paid platforms; there are platforms for streaming, gaming; this one owned by Amazon called twitch; you can broadcast on Instagram, but that’s owned by Facebook.

Of course, there’s YouTube! You know, everybody wonders you know, where’s YouTube in this whole game?

Well, YouTube’s had broadcasting for years, but it wasn’t simple.

It needed again, some special hardware; some special applications to talk to Facebook to do all this; and of course, you had to have you know, some credibility in the Facebook ecosystem to be a broadcaster; it wasn’t trivial.

So you know, conventional broadcasting companies had the right to do this and put special events, but the average individual, it was just too hard; or not even available; as a very good example about Facebook, or sorry YouTube’s, you know, rules regulations and the unavailability.

YouTube is one of the most popular apps on mobile phones.

If you watch videos and somebody sends you link, you’re probably are watching YouTube all the time.

The YouTube app can broadcast, but only if you have 10,000 subscribers; and I don’t think anybody in this room, including myself, I don’t have 10,000 subscribers; so YouTube’s playing it very conservatively.

Facebook, on the other hand, has opened the pipe to everyone; and of course, with the good comes the bad.

And I said this in the little blurb that we put on our site for today’s seminar; not a day goes by where there isn’t some case of breaking news happens on Facebook live.

As a matter of fact, there have been a couple of cases recently with some terrible crimes, where it wasn’t even Facebook live, it was a pre-recorded video published to Facebook, in near-real-time - but it was not live - and the journalists just said it was live; because live is so pervasive, and every time this happens, more people are drawn to Facebook live, and more people are using it.

So my assessment of Facebook is; as far as they’re concerned, all news is good news for them; and they are promoting Facebook live broadcasts, so if you want to just put a video up on Facebook; which you can do, you can edit a video any way you want to create a video put it on Facebook; but if you do a live video, you’ll have greater reach because Facebook wants it live.

Facebook really believes in “in the moment.”

That is their methodology. They believe what you said yesterday is not important; it’s what you’re saying right now.

That’s why Facebook doesn’t really have a very good search engine; they don’t really care what happened yesterday.

Everything is in the moment; and for the Facebook Empire, live broadcasting is where they’re putting a huge amount of energy.

So, as a good example of what’s been happening in the live sphere - let me just flip on over here quickly to the news.

Facebook announced, today, they’re adding 3000 employees to screen for violence, for their nearly two billion users.

So just imagine; what’s the cost of hiring 3000 people for Facebook? You know, think of their overhead, it’s got to be 50,000 US a head, times 3000 people - that’s 150 million a year; just for the labour costs!

And of course, as the network grows with more and more people broadcasting, they’ll have to hire more of these people to watch the feeds.

And of course, the second part of this headline - two billion users!

There are only 7.5 billion people on the planet, and there’s a good solid half on the planet, probably doesn’t even have a mobile phone!

This is incredible, how big this gorilla is! The biggest gorilla we’ve ever seen!

You know, so, if you want a broadcast; well, Facebook is your weapon, and we’ve been using it here at Michael’s!


So, let’s just cut back to our slides here.

Let’s do it! Let me show you: how do you broadcast on Facebook?

Well, we’re doing it right now, so I can’t really do a double broadcast, but let me just bring up my phone here, and I’m going to connect my phone to the screen, and to the broadcast.

[Screen shows iPhone screen]

So, there we go - there’s my telephone! You get to see all my apps that I use and Facebook’s there front and centre.

So, let’s go run Facebook; and (make sure I hit it here) we’ll see what happens!

Let’s go and, I’m not actually going to do a broadcast, I’ll go as close as I can but not all the way.

So, as you can see, it says at the top here; what’s on my mind, and there’s a little camera icon right over here; which says live.

It’s like, other than writing some words, the live button is the most important button right here.

It’s… they want me to use it!

And of course, you’ve seen it on the news every day!

There’s always breaking news stories; where Facebook live was the channel.

So, let’s just hit the live button - then a dialogue is going to come up; it’s going to turn on my camera system in a second; let’s just wait for this thing to wake up - come on, wake up camera! Here we go here. It’s making me into a liar. I have a sneaking suspicion because I’m connected to the other thing, it does not like it.

But anyway, let’s not worry too much about it.


All we’ve got to do; is we type in a description for our video - if we weren’t connected to the feed here, we’d show it, but - you just say you know, I’m going to say “this is a test” Okay, here’s my camera. Oh, you know what it is? It’s because the Internet’s a bit slow here because we’re live broadcasting! That’s why I’m having a bit of a problem!

It’s just trying to wake up the camera.

So you see I’ve got the spinning wheel here.

Yeah, “please check your internet connection and try again.” Okay, I apologise for that!

We’re saturating our upload connection because we’re actually live broadcasting.

But anyway, what would happen is, the screen would be available and then you just press it! It’s just a couple of buttons away, and everybody who you are connected with on Facebook has a chance to interact with your video.

And if they’ve watched one of your live videos, and hit the follow button, or made a comment on it, Facebook will try to then send them a notification for the next time.

So as you broadcast your reach gets greater, and greater, and greater, and depending on your privacy status; you can be to just your friends, or friends of friends, or the wider public; or you can just do a test to make sure that it all works, and it only broadcasts to you - so no one sees it.

But that’s as simple as it is!

So, if you’ve got a smartphone and you’ve got Facebook, you can go live!

And you see this happening all the time!

Once people start to use this, instead of recording videos for their breaking news - tornado ripping through the trailer park, or you know crime in progress - they’re going to their live button, and these things are getting millions of views.

And then the major news outlets are picking up on it; and every time this happens, the word Facebook is said, and Facebook benefits from this.

YouTube’s like an also-ran - they have a platform, but they’re kind of in the back of this; they, I honestly think YouTube’s missing the boat; and of course, Google used to be the gorilla in the room, but now it’s Facebook.


So, that’s basically how we do it from a phone.

So, let’s go and talk about, well I just said it’s just a few simple swipes of your phone to bring it up.

Unfortunately, like I said, we didn’t have enough bandwidth to get it through here!

I could have gone to the mobile network and done it; but if I went to the mobile network, I wouldn’t have been able to send my phone’s signal over to the screen.

So definitely after you leave here, do try it!

Maybe you for your first video on Facebook you don’t want to go fully public - just do a bit of a test!

But it’s readily available.


So, what are the main issues about using the phone? Obviously, you know, we’re a camera store; we sell all sorts of great technology; we do not sell mobile phones, but we sell an awful lot of things to help you use your mobile phone a little bit better.

The classic problems of using the phone for a broadcast: you’ll see probably nine times out of ten, the people hold the phone vertically; we call it vertical video syndrome.

Of course, the phone can go horizontal and shoot a proper 16:9 aspect ratio video; but so many people make a mistake and hold it vertically, and then, that video has a hard time being repurposed for when they cover the amazing news story of the century; and the television news networks then run their vertical video, and it just doesn’t look so good.

So, that’s the first order of business - turning your phone with horizontal!

The next thing is; maybe you want to come up with a way to mount your phone a little bit better because cell phone video is a little bit shaky! And of course, we sell all sorts of great little things: the Gorillapod line by Joby, make some great cell phone stabilizers - little things; you can clamp it to a table or a fence; or mount it to a conventional tripod, because of course phones don’t have tripod sockets; and nothing worse than shaky video.

I’ve shot enough of it in my life, and I know how bad it is.

The most important thing on improving the quality of your phone’s broadcast is the audio.

And of course, that’s what we’re doing right here - I’ve got a Rode Filmmaker Kit wireless mic; it’s a great product; we’ve got that sending right into a mixer, into our live stream, but of course, that will integrate directly with your phone as well.

Now one thing you have to remember about cell phones - they have a bit of a non-standard mic input jack; it’s shared with the headphone jack, so you can’t just go plug in any microphone in here; just like you can’t plug any old headphones in sometimes.

It’s a 4-conductor jack, so Rode makes some nice little adapters and devices designed to work with these modern phones, and the Android and the Apple phones use the same 4-conductor connector.

Rode’s got a beautiful little, they called it The Lab Mic Plus; and it’s only $60, and it gives you a hardwired connection to your phone; so at least you can get better audio.

They’ve also got some mics so that you can have a handheld mic; so if you’re interviewing people, you can work with that; but I really like the wireless one, and we use this all the time for our broadcasts at Michael’s.

And of course, we do lots of it with the phone; the phone is just so convenient.

So as long as we get a half decent video signal out of the phone, which we can, and good audio; we’ve had great success doing live broadcasts here.

Then we use them for promotion. We did a live broadcast last Thursday, at the bar next door to Michael’s called Whitehart; we took the whole kit and caboodle over to the bar; and we did a head-to-head camera comparison, with the Fuji GFX 50S, medium-format versus the Hasselblad X1D 50C; and we did cocktail photography!

And David was there, running the switcher; Harry was my cameraman; Paul Daniels and I were using the Fuji and a Hasselblad. We did an hour-long broadcast to show how do these cameras handle in the field, like a working pro, doing a product photography shoot; and it was a really interesting experience, and we had a lot of fun doing it, and it was a perfect, you know, venue to use, to take the broadcasting gear on the road; and to do a live shoot and broadcast!

I mean, it’s just amazing, the educational ramifications are immense!

If you’ve got knowledge to share, you can share it with the world in real-time, and interact with those people in real-time.

Television has been a one-way medium; sometimes maybe there was a guy on a switchboard you could phone and complain, but you couldn’t interact with the news anchor! No, he was untouchable!

You are the news anchor of your own television station, and you can interact with your audience; and after you’ve finished your broadcast, your broadcast can live on.

So, it’s just amazing!


So, we’ve covered the phone: What if we wanted to do something else a little bit more advanced?

Well, conveniently, the drone company DJI - who is the gorilla in the drone space - they use smartphones as the user interface for their drones.

So, I’ve got my drone over here; and let’s just power it up.

I’ve taken the propellers off so we’re not going to fly into anybody.

Let’s just get her powered up here. [Presses a button on a white Phantom drone]

There we go.

The remote is here, and as you can see, the remote has got a little cradle here for a cell phone; I’m just going to mount my cell phone in there; keep in mind I’m Canadian, so I sometimes use odd terms for things - I call it a cell phone when everybody in Australia calls it a mobile phone.

Let’s plug in here, and I will power up the remote; and I’ll turn on the cell phone [Laughs] the mobile phone; and let’s get into the DJI apps; which are over here in drone.

So if you flip on over to the cell phone signal there, David.

Oh, sorry, I’ve got to get it into airplay here. Let me do that.

AirPlay Mirroring. [Working apps on the main screen, using his phone]

There we go. Don’t mind the default screen from the Apple TV there.


Let’s get this thing happy here.

Okay! So now, there you have it! I better adjust my exposure a little bit. Oh, it’s complaining about the aircraft.

Let’s just give us a little bit more brightness here on our image - there we go.

So, if I was flying this drone - this is the user interface of the drone.

So that camera, from the drone, is live. [Screen shows drone camera view of audience]

There I am, I’m tilting the camera.

So this is exactly how you fly a drone; but DJI got really smart - over here in the settings panel; they have for my camera - let’s just get into, sorry, here [makes noises] find the area, turn these warnings off here – Let’s make sure I find the right spot here: Select live broadcast platform!

So, I have the options here to broadcast to Facebook! So, right from my drone, I can send a signal to the Facebook app on my phone!

This is beautiful application interfacing; these guys make these drones - they’re smart, and that’s why they control the market - so I can broadcast from the air, live on Facebook; and they also have it set up so you can do it on YouTube!

So even though you can’t broadcast on YouTube directly from your phone - unless you’ve got 10,000 subscribers - you can do it from your drone.

The DJI makes more than just drones; they also make a handheld stabilised camera!

So, it’s like the little gimbal on the bottom here, without the drone! It’s called the Osmo.

Well, it talks to a mobile phone as well; so it can broadcast!

So it’s a very good platform to shoot beautiful stabilised video, and stream directly to Facebook!


So, we’re going to see more and more cameras coming out with this kind of integration.

So, I’m only one button press away from broadcasting from this drone!

Back in November, we did a live promo for one of the photo shows here at Michael’s; from a drone!

It worked brilliantly!


So now, not only does your TV station operate out of your home on a shoestring budget; you can interact with your audience; here’s your helicopter for the news stories!

All the pieces of the puzzle are here, and they’re all very, very, affordable!

It’s really, really, exciting times.


So, that’s how DJI has done it!

So like I said, I expect a lot more companies to be showing up with cameras that are just connected to your phone, or maybe the cameras themselves will have a mobile connectivity; and will be able to just broadcast live from one box.

I think we’re going to see this.

And it’ll probably be coming right out of left field; it might not be one of the big camera brands; it might be an upstart that decides that that is the way to go.


So, I’ll just power the drone off now, here.

We’re not going to fly that; but suffice it to say, we have all the tools here to be able to do that.

Now, that’s it turned off.


So, let’s get over to our next thing here: Stepping it up a notch, is what I call this.

The average person, who is broadcasting right now on these platforms, is using a mobile phone; but there are issues: it is a phone; we often use their phone for other things; you know, what happens if you get a phone call while you’re live, you know; [Laughs] there are all sorts of tricky things.

The company Livestream has created this camera called the Mevo, and we saw this here at Michael’s, and it’s sort of, I’ve got it sort of a two-part thing here in my hand; it’s a small little webcam that has a battery in it, and it will talk to my iPad, or my iPhone - right now it only works with iOS devices - and this is a charging base.

So with this plugged into here; this little streaming camera can run for about 10 hours while it’s streaming.

The camera itself has got a Sony sensor in there, and sort of a fisheye lens; a bit like a GoPro; but it’s a 4k camera!

So let’s connect it up. I’m going to turn it on here, and I’m going to get over to my iPad’s Mevo application here.

So let’s get the iPad up on the screen.

[Screen shows image of the Mevo camera]

So, it says, switch on my Mevo; it’s doing a little bit of thinking here, and it should be switched on - let’s make sure we’re switched on here. Must admit, it’s got a lot of funny lights on it.

“Couldn’t find your Mevo – Make sure it’s powered on.”

Okay. There we go! Configure the iPad.

So basically, it’s going to make a Wi-Fi hotspot; so we’re just getting over here to the Wi-Fi settings on the iPad, and we’re looking for the Mevo camera, and should show up here: There it is, Mevo 56100.

There, it’s connected.

Now I’m just going to clip on back over to the Mevo app, and it says “connect”; and there we go!

Now the Mevo is live.

[Screen shows view of the audience from the Mevo camera]

So, there we go; move the camera around here.

So the Mevo is designed to talk to, yet again, Facebook!

So Facebook live, but it will also talk to Periscope, which is Twitter’s system; it will talk to Livestream, which is the manufacturer of the Mevo; and it will just record as well.

So the way the Mevo works; and I don’t want to dive into too much, but it’s kind of a good little interface; because it’s a 4k camera and streaming is predominantly 720p - so an awful lot smaller - what the Mevo lets me do is dynamically zoom and pan around, into the frame.

[Screen shows the view of the audience from the Mevo camera – with a boxed area moving around]

So, if I go back to the Mevo here; I’ve got - the little icon in the upper right is what my signal is - and I can move the camera around here, and look at different spots; I can set up prearranged little virtual cameras; I can zoom in a bit more, because I only need 720p; and that can send it out; plus it can support an external microphone, and the microphones built into the Mevo.

So for conference room type stuff, this is perfect.

If you need to broadcast out a little business meeting on Facebook and you need something that’s a little bit better than just the webcam on your phone; or using you know, the webcam built into your laptop; the Mevo is perfect.

And like I say, it runs on battery power; it will run for 10 hours; its built-in stereo mics aren’t bad; you can run an external microphone into the iOS device, and you could mix the two together, and you can virtually pan around in the scene.

So, we’ve used it here to record a few different events, and it works very effectively.

So, that’s kind of like one little step up from the game; but let’s get to where we really want to talk; which is all the Blackmagic Design products.


So let me just kick out of here, and let’s get back to Keynote.


So, I call this “let’s start our own TV station.”

I’m just going to turn the Mevo off here.

And I’ve been alluding to this earlier because that’s what these tools are: We have the ability to have our own TV station.

And as you can see in our broadcast; you know David’s been flipping back and forth between multiple cameras; different products here; we can run eight feeds simultaneously into our little Blackmagic box.

I haven’t really said, talked about Blackmagic, but Blackmagic Design; they’re a Melbourne success story; they were started in Port Melbourne in 1984; in the last five years they have come out with a raft of exciting new products; they’re building cameras; they’re building television processing products; they’ve got software.

If you want to edit video today, you don’t even need to buy any software: Blackmagic Design has an app called “DaVinci Resolve” and it’s free, and it’s world-class!

They’re just breaking boundaries like you wouldn’t believe! They make some amazing cinema cameras; they make some amazing micro 4/3 portable cameras; they make cameras designed for broadcasting; they make some professional newsgathering style cameras that compete with all the big names, like Sony and Red; and every time Blackmagic comes up with a new product, they always have the price - it’s just incredibly attractive price-point.


So it’s something to be proud of, that we live in Melbourne here and we’ve got this successful company that is, you know, tackling the world in this space with great products.

Some of their products are 10 to 50 times cheaper than what it used to cost to do the same thing; and in the realm of making your own TV station, which is all the products we’ve got sitting over here, it’s just got an amazing range.

So we’re really excited to be selling the Blackmagic products and all the tools are in place so you can make your own TV station; which is exactly what we’re doing in the course we’re broadcasting right now live.


So, let’s talk about what we’re using to do the live broadcast right now.

So the Blackmagic Web Presenter Let’s flip over to the slides here, David.

So that is the crucial item to get real cameras streamed to the Internet.

So let me just quickly show you what the Blackmagic Web Presenter looks like: and this is it!

[Screen shows an image of the Blackmagic Web Presenter box]

It’s a little wee box, just about yay big, and you can come over after we’re done you can see it - it’s just sitting to the right of David there - and it has a little screen on it, so you can see what you’re sending out; and it has two inputs and a couple of outputs; and one of the inputs is standard HDMI, and that’s what your TV set uses; that’s what your you know, Blu-ray player has; and almost every camera that we sell in this store has an HDMI output; so you can use any camera you have, and we’re using, as I just said earlier, conventional stills cameras for video.

These cameras are not even recording they’re just in standby mode, feeding a signal to the Blackmagic devices being streamed out over the Internet.

So the 5D Mark IV - beautiful low-light camera, full-frame sensor - works like a charm with this; the Lumix G7  - very affordable camera, probably 1/5 the price of the Canon - it’s also working fine.

So you can pretty well use anything you’ve got.

The only thing that you want to look for in your settings on these cameras: does it have a clean HDMI output, and then you’re ready to go!

So it’s back to my slide here.

So, what really makes the, you know, the Web Presenter perfect, is that you can use existing cameras with HDMI outputs.

Depending on the gear, I talked about this clean HDMI; sometimes for training purposes you want to show the user interface of a camera; just like I had when I had to drone live a minute ago, I was showing the complete user interface of the drone; so if I want to teach people how to use drones, I can broadcast the experience of running the drone versus just the video out of the drone - we’ve got the choice!

Because of course, we can stream from the drone, or we can stream the drone’s user interface over to these devices and stream that out.

So from a training point of view, it’s brilliant that the Blackmagic devices have standard HDMI inputs!

If you really want just straight video, then you need a product that has designed to have a clean output; and of course, the G7 and the 5D Mark IV that we are using today, they have clean HDMI output, and they’re working perfectly for us today.


The other format that these devices use is called SDI - Serial Digital Interface – and this is a broadcast standard, and that uses coaxial cable; and you can run very long runs without any signal degradation; very affordable cables; and they have BNC style connectors on them; which are all those little silver things on the back over here; but I can show you one later.

So they’re tough connectors, with built-in strain relief; and that’s the realm of broadcast.

So, you have the choice of using either HDMI or SDI, with these Blackmagic tools; so you’ve got a path to professional format but you can use what you’ve got right now.


Let’s just kick on over here.

The really amazing thing about the Blackmagic Web Presenter, is that you can get a camera into it, and then any software that you have on your computer that supports USB standard web cameras - which is a standard that has existed for well over ten years; you go to the store and buy a cheap Logitech webcam, it plugs into USB port - the Blackmagic Web Presenter takes any professional video signal, and your computer thinks it’s just a webcam.

So anything on your computer that can use a webcam; like Facebook; like YouTube; like Skype; anything can use a professional video signal now with the Blackmagic Web Presenter.

So this is just remarkable!

I got to hand it to them, I didn’t think of this idea! They came up with it, and it’s a real game-changer.

So you don’t need special software because your computer already supports a webcam!

That’s all we’re doing! At the end of the chain, we just have a simple USB connection over to my laptop here; and Facebook just sees it as a camera; yet lo and behold, we’ve got all this switching and all these devices running in the background; so it’s pure genius!

[Screen shows Harry with the Blackmagic Web Presenter and multiple camera views]


The other thing which is amazing about the Web Presenter is; even if that’s all you purchase, it can handle two cameras; it can be a simple two camera switcher; it’s got one SDI input and an HDMI input; if both of your cameras are HDMI, like the ones we’re using; Blackmagic sells little inline converters that will transform HDMI to SDI; or SDI to HDMI, and they just run off USB power!

So they’ve got all the little pieces of the puzzle together.

SDI is the way to go if you want to run longer cables and you want to run affordable wiring. For example, if you just look over to Harry here, there’s a huge thick HDMI cable running to that camera, and it looks like a snake: HDMI cables are not good for long runs, and if you’ve got to make them long, they end up being very heavy-duty; but we’re just using standard HDMI cameras here, and so that’s what we wanted to show you - how we could do it!

Just happens to be that cables a bit thick.

You also have to be very careful with a lot of these cameras with strain relief with these HDMI cables, because the connectors on the cameras aren’t designed to be you know, you don’t want to force them, or whatever; so I put a little bit of gaffer tape on that to make sure the wire didn’t put on untold strain on the connector.


We see a lot of cameras come in broken because people have mangled their HDMI connectors; because a lot of people are you know, connecting external recorders to these cameras.

They shoot such good video; even though they’re still cameras!

So they are the sort of cameras you might want to use; they’re just perfect for the job.

So, the next in our little collection of Blackmagic tools: the Blackmagic ATEM television studio.

So, that is our eight-input switcher we’re using; does the same thing with a little bit of special extra features that the Web Presenter does; gives us more inputs; gives us the ability to add some special effects.

For example, I’ll just get David to throw the watermark online here.

[Screen shows “watermark” image of Michael’s Camera]

So, just on the on the Web Presenter, if you just press that downstream key; oh, there we go!

Okay, well, we’ve actually got our two different logos here; but so we’ve got a graphic stored in the television studio so that we can put a watermark on.

If you just put the bottom watermark on - just press the downstream key button – oh, there we go, he’s got it.


So yeah, you want to brand your broadcast in real time; you can even have animated graphics with this!

This is everything that a television studio had that was really, really, expensive; and really hard to use: David - I just show David the stuff and he figures it out.

This stuff is very simple - an hour or two playing with it and you’re ready to broadcast.

It really is a game changer.

Oh, let me just show you what that product looks like on the web page here, just so you can see, and I know you’ve only got the back of the device; so that is the actual box we’re running.

[Screen shows the advert for the Blackmagic ATEM Television Studio on the Michael’s website]

Again, it’s got a little monitor on here so you get a live feed; it’s got all these switches on the front so that you can choose your preview, choose your live; you can you load it up a special effects from your computer control; but you can do almost everything you need to do for a live broadcast, without anything other than the front panel of this device, and this is how we used it when we’re at the bar, doing the cocktail photography shootout broadcast.

We just ran it completely from the front panel.

If you want to also remotely control it from the laptop, which we’re doing today, a few extra features; so you can be producing graphics in Photoshop; and live, putting them into a television feed, including animations.

So yeah, there’s the background camera, just showing David shoulder; so he’s just working the buttons here; you can see his multi-camera feed over on the monitor there; and again, that’s an off-the-shelf monitor!

Back in the old days, you needed to have a television monitor for every one of your previews, and then one for each camera, and one for your live; so you might have had to have 10 monitors on your table, you know, times a couple thousand dollars each!

We’re just using the $200 Viewsonic monitor here.

This is, this is open to everyone now, and it’s so affordable.


I hope you’re excited about it because it just tickles me; it’s just, it’s amazing what we can now do on a shoestring budget!

So with the television studio, we have the ability to run eight simultaneous feeds and mix and match between them; it’s just incredible, and it doesn’t take two… we’re using four things right now - four of them are HDMI, but all eight are available to be SDI.

So, as we start to put all this gear together into a little mobile production studio that we’re building; we’re going to move over to SDI systems; but right now, and out of the box, you’re ready to roll with four HDMI inputs on this!


So in our current system - let’s get right back to my slides here – so, that’s the Television Studio ATEM apparently is not an acronym - I researched this, this morning - it’s the name of some Greek god, or sorry, a transmogrification of some Greek god’s name or something; but anyway, so trust me, ATEM does not stand for anything, it’s just a name they used in their line of television switchers; and that’s what, they’re called they’re not mixers, they’re referred to as “switchers”, and switching video was not easy in the old days!

Ah, this little device; which is about $1500; competes with products that are $50,000!

It is truly a game changer!

So again, multiple cameras live switched on your desk.


The last piece of the puzzle that we’re using today; and I haven’t even talked about this yet; is the Blackmagic HyperDeck Mini Studio.

This tool lets us record what we’re broadcasting.

Facebook is kind of a walled garden; once it goes into the Facebook never-never-land, it’s never to come out; because they don’t want competition - and I can’t blame them, that’s their business model - so once you stream it to Facebook, the stream is available to be watched again if you choose, but I can’t pull it out and go put it on YouTube; but I might want to, because YouTube still has a place in this game.

YouTube might have lost; they might be trying to fight back a bit more on the live war, but as far as the pre-recorded video repository: YouTube wins every time.

So what we have built here is a system where we are using multiple channels into the ATEM switcher; then we’re recording it on the HyperDeck in full HD, but we’re streaming a 720p version out to Facebook.

So as soon as we’re done, we’ve got on - a pair of SD cards - an uncompressed, high-definition signal of the complete broadcast, exactly what David has produced right now; exactly what’s streamed; but it’s in hi-def; and all we’ve got to do is cut the head off it; cut the tail off it; recompress it a little wee bit; and shove it up on YouTube, and now we can get more results; we can present our story in an offline fashion to the YouTube world, while we continue to have the Facebook world; and of course once we’ve got it up on YouTube, we can just relink the high-def one in.

Because the live stream is usually you know, it’s crippled a little bit due to bandwidth issues so it’s at a maximum of 720p; so after you finish your broadcast, you can edit things up however you choose - all I do is just cut the dead space at the beginning and the end of these things, and I put them up on YouTube - and I cross link it back to the original Facebook post.

So, what we’ve built here, and what anyone can do, is a set of tools that are very affordable, that enable you to tell your story live; and then still have a pre-recorded version of that to go out on YouTube.


So live is where it’s at! That’s our opinion; it’s my opinion, and I think that’s the opinion of so many people who are doing this.

This is, it’s in the news all the time!

It is an exciting time to tell your story, and to interact with your audience!

It’s just, it’s just an amazing time to be creating content, and keep in mind I’m a stills photographer by profession, but video is where it’s at; things are happening.

So I’m learning these new tools, and it’s just an exciting time to be a creative person!

And at Michael’s, we’re going to put this all together in a mobile unit, so that we can broadcast with the flip of a switch.

Somebody comes into the store; has got information to share, we want to interview them – we’ll wheel out the case and I’ll do an interview, and we’ll broadcast it live!

And then shortly thereafter, we’ll have the pre-recorded version up on YouTube.


So, that’s what our plan is, and we’re here to teach you guys how to do it; and that’s why I wanted to do this live broadcast today.

I wanted to send the information out to our Channel - I know it’s lunchtime, and I’m not too sure how many people are watching Facebook live at lunch - we’ve certainly found on our broadcast that we do in the late afternoon; we get good user engagement.

And I want to just relate a little story to you: We have been doing promo videos on Facebook live, just using the mobile phone with the wireless mic, which is a simple system to get you going - you produce engaging content and it’s available with a couple of swipes of your finger - so during our last photo show, which was in November - what date was it, Peter, was it November the 8th? - Yeah, we ran a film photography scavenger hunt. It was a real fun event; we had 14 people partake; we gave them a little film camera if they needed one, or they use their own; a roll of film; they went out; shot 6 on film; many people hadn’t shot film ever before; they came back; they had a tour of our laboratory; they got to see their film being processed; they were given two sets of prints and a set of scans of their film, and then they, on our magnetic gallery wall - just outside of here - they took their best work in the six topics and put them on the wall; and we had a competition and (Carly) Michael judged the competition; and we picked six winners; and they were going to win a $50 Imaging Department voucher, so they could buy some more film, or get some prints, or do whatever they wanted.

So we announced the winners live on Facebook, and David was my cameraman; Carly and I did the broadcast; and we basically just you know, showed pictures of the work on the gallery wall, and we talked about what made a winning entry a winning entry a winning entry, and one of the women who won was live, watching the broadcast, and interacted with us.

And that was the tipping point for me; we have achieved our goal: We are interacting with our customers with information that is valuable to them; relevant to them; on topic; and we’re doing it with these tools.

And anyone can do it!


So, I welcome you to ask me any questions and you can hang around a little bit afterwards, we’ll turn the lights on.

And we can show you how this gear all works!


Hope you have found it enlightening!

Thank you very much!


So, any questions?


I guess it was very clear!

Thank you so much for attending, and find us on Facebook, and keep an eye out for our live videos.

Once we get this stuff all packaged up and mobile; I’m hoping to be able to do several hours of live broadcasting a week.

As Peter, my boss, tells me, I’m never short of a word.




[Audience member asks about a YouTube channel]

I’m sorry, yes we have a YouTube channel; but we are putting our efforts in the live side onto Facebook because we’re seeing the best results there.

But we also put the recorded version, and this recorded, this seminar, this will be on YouTube as well.

YouTube is kind of like the slow burn that keeps on giving; whereas Facebook is in the moment.

And I should have said this in the lecture earlier: the way Facebook handles user interaction in a live broadcast is pure brilliance.

As a person comments in the feed; it’s time-stamped to that portion of the broadcast; when someone re-watches the broadcast, the comments come back online at the appropriate time; and YouTube hasn’t done that.

The other thing is, people have a hard time finding YouTube live broadcasts.

You have to make a landing page on your website to really leverage a live broadcast with YouTube. Facebook, that’s what everybody’s on.

During a television commercial, while people are at home, they’re on Facebook; they’re just on it all the time; it is the gorilla in the room, and it’s important to learn how to use it; if you’ve got a message you want to get out.

I just think it’s a brilliant platform for it.


Any other questions?

[Audience member asks a question – can’t hear it though]

Um, the Blackmagic kit that we’ve got here - I’ve got all the prices in front of me – so, the Web Presenter, which is your basic product to get up and running with one or two cameras, and it does give you some rudimentary switching; is $795, oh sorry, sorry, $729; and it has a smart panel which is an option, which you really should have, which is an $135. So, we’re looking at $800 and… about $850 for the Web Presenter.

The recorder that we’re using, which is the HyperDeck Mini Studio, is $1085, and it records to SD cards - fast SD cards - and it will record for an unlimited length of time.

Because you just, it’s got two slots; it just fills up one, it goes over the next one, and then you can replace it.

The ATEM Television Studio is $1419.

So basically, put all that together with a few other devices; you’re looking at $3000 to $4000; and, which is less than a digital SLR - a good one - you’ve got everything you need to get up and running; and then you just use the cameras you’ve already got.

You can start real simple; you just start with the Web Presenter.

This is just amazingly affordable, considering the power that this equipment has.


I’m so looking forward to putting on some hands-on seminars, where we produce some broadcasts in a, you know, more of a teaching environment with this.

We’re really, really, excited about it.


Well, we’re about at 2 p.m. now; so why don’t we call it a day!

Thank you so much for attending!


We look forward to having you; we look forward to having you next Thursday.

And what’s next Thursday’s topic?

You’ll have to look at the website!

Anyway, there’s always a lunchtime seminar on at this time slot 1:10 p.m., on Thursdays, at Michael’s Camera.


And we’ll keep you posted on our future developments with live broadcasting, but follow us on Facebook, and you can be sure that we’ll have some more interesting things to talk about.

We want to do camera shootouts; we want to do interviews; we want to do training; we’ve got lofty ambitions for all this live broadcasting because basically, we want to be our own TV station!


So, thank you so much, we’ll see you next time!

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