Cooking with Dom
Production for Streaming
Prepared by Craig Van Horne
Welcome Dom and Company
The following are recommendations for setting up a high quality web studio, that would meet your needs today and grow with you as you refine and develop your content. All of the recommendations have been considered with cost and performance as the primary factors.
There are a few critical area's which should be addressed that result in a high quality online viewing experience for your audience.
& STREAM ENCODING
Building on the tools needed to create a high quality image, great sound, and quality encoding for streaming, there are other factors that should be taken into account in order to result in a workflow for you the creator having a positive experience you will enjoy and that allows you to focus on your content and not on the technical aspects of creation.
In my view the easiest setup to get going with a quality online show is a two camera setup with one camera being a locked off wide shot (Master) of your 'set' and the second camera being a handheld camera where the operator appears in the Master shot and is kind of a proxy for the viewer.
The second camera would interact with you and guests in the kitchen, you would speak directly to that camera and direct them to what you want the viewer to see.
There are a few key factors with this recommendation:
1. The sensor is a Micro 3/4 sensor or M4/3. This results in a smaller and lighter lens ecosystem which will make handheld use much easier.
2. The battery life on these camera's from Panasonic is exceptional especially when compared to offerings from Sony.
3. This camera has IBIS (In Body Image Stabilization) which when combined with the optical stabilization built into most lenses for the system you can achieve extremely nice handheld footage without having to add additional support tools into the mix.
This will allow you much more freedom of movement, and speed in your workflow.
4. These camera's are 4K but can also be configured for 1080p HD giving you flexibility in your work.
5. The colors captured are very nice.
Image Stabilization Example:
The closer you can get a microphone to the person speaking the better they will sound. While there are a huge number of options, there is one extremely good option available that would allow you to get going right out of the box, and has some advanced features that would let the package grow with you as you refine your production. All while not breaking the bank, and providing excellent ease of use.
RODE WIRELESS GO II
This package costs $399.00 Canadian and includes two wireless transmitters so two people on camera can be independently mic'd at the same time. With both being received by a single receiver which can be attached to a camera or directly to the recommended streaming/switcher appliance noted below.
A key factor in this recommendation is that the transmitters are small, they have a built in battery which should provide up to 7 hours of run time and are easy to use. They also have a built in microphone so you simply clip it to your shirt collar and your in business.
In the future you also have the ability to attach a wired Lavalier microphone to the same transmitter which would provide even better sound quality, you would then attach the transmitter to your belt the same way a traditional wireless lavalier microphone system would work.
SWITCHING - STREAMING
One of the most cost effective solutions on the market today, and arguably being used most widely by people streaming all kinds of content online is from Blackmagic Designs. Their ATEM Mini Pro is a feature packed appliance that does several key things, while also being capable enough to provide for a starting setup and enough room to grow before it no longer has enough capability to meet your need. All for under a thousand dollars.
1. It allows you to switch between up to 4 cameras
2. Audio can be run directly into the switcher rather than having to be run into a camera.
3. It has tactile buttons that are easy to understand for directing your show.
4. It does the stream encoding for you, and supports output to an ethernet connection for live streaming. As well as a USB C connection for connecting the switcher to a computer. The computer would see this device as a webcam.
5. It offer advanced features like being able to do a dissolve or wipe between camera feeds.
6. It allows you to overlay titles as well on the live video stream.
7. It will record your program directly to a USB thumbdrive or SSD drive as well for posting to other channels like YouTube or your website. (there is another version of this device that will allow you to not only record the program stream but also each individual camera separately for editing later, (called ISO's)