Streamstar announces Webcast Case and Webcast System

Streamstar’s touch screen interface to a video mixer will please iPad and other tablet lovers, since they will press actual images instead of buttons.

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Straight from Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia in Europe, Streamstar has announced two new products for live web streaming that I find quite intriguing, and I am sure that many ProVideo Coalition readers will too. Webcast Case is a portable device to switch/mix, record, and stream live from multiple local cameras with a touch screen user interface rather than a traditional button-based panel, so the Webcast Case is it: no external panel or video monitor is required! On the other hand, Webcast System is a DIY components + software kit for you to integrate into your own computer case. Both versions include instant replays with inboard slow/fast motion playback which will be very attractive for live sports production. This article will cover the specs and features of each, and make system suggestions.


Streamstar’s Webcast Case

Streamstar describes the Webcast Case as a portable, full featured, live HD/SD webcast production tool.

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Streamstar integrates its Webcast Case using a custom O.E.M. version of Next Computing’s Radius portable workstation.

Webcast Case weighs 8 kilograms (about 17 pounds). Rather than using a traditional button based-panel, Streamstar has chosen to go with the new trend -set by tablets like Apple’s iPad- and use an inboard touch screen interface for the director to switch among cameras and inboard pre-recorded sources, and to set up transitions and keys (superimpositions).

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So for portable use, it is welcome not to have to carry separate video monitors and panels, although you’ll want to use headphones or powered speakers.

Webcast Case’s specs and connections:

I was very glad to see that (unlike some other manufacturers which tend to segregate their products into regional versions), Webcast Case always ships as multistandard (NTSC, PAL, and their respective derived HD formats). I was also glad to see that Webcast Case accepts pure progressive over HD-SDI as well as PsF (in addition to interlaced formats, in case you have cameras that have no progressive modes). If your cameras offer any progressive mode(s), always favor one of them, especially for web and mobile delivery. And if your cameras only offer HDMI output (no HD-SDI output), use a Connect H2S converter from Átomos with each HDMI camera, since the H2S both converts to HD-SDI and eliminates the pulldown (2:2 or 2:3) that most 1080p HDMI cameras currently introduce on their HDMI output. I covered that issue in detail in this recent article.

Via its installed quad port HD-SDI card, Webcast Case accepts the following HD signals:

  • 720p50
  • 720p59.94
  • 720p60
  • 1080PsF23.976
  • 1080p23.976
  • 1080PsF24.000
  • 1080p24.000
  • 1080PsF25
  • 1080p25
  • 1080PsF29.97
  • 1080p29.97
  • 1080PsF30
  • 1080p30
  • 1080i50
  • 1080i59.94
  • 1080i60

I recommend the use of the last three (interlaced) formats shown above only if your camera has no progressive modes, in order to avoid an unnecessary de-interlace from a camera that does. Always use a progressive mode if available in your camera, either native progressive or PsF if it doesn’t offer native.

Via the same installed quad port SDI card, Webcast Case can accept the following SD (standard definition) signals:

  • 720×576/25p/50i PAL-derived
  • 720×486/29.97p/59.94i NTSC-derived
  • 720×486/23.976p (sometimes rounded as 23.98) NTSC-derived

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There is also a DVI capture card to receive graphics from another computer, including keying of that signal.

As expected, you must set your session for a specific framerate, and the camera sources must match that same framerate. Inboard and live web streaming can be either at SD or HD currently up to 720p. Inboard recording is MPEG2 at the following bit rates: HD 720p @ 18Mb/s (i.e. HDV 720p quality) or SD @ 8Mbps (i.e. DVD quality).

For live streaming in SD or HD, the built-in encoder currently has presets for up to HD 720p, and multiple CDNs are supported.

Inboard media sources include :

  • 4 simultaneous digital media sources for video & graphics playback
  • unlimited video clip library with instant switching access (limited only by hard drive space)

The supported formats for media playback currently include .avi, .flv, m4v, mp4, .mpeg, .mpg, .ts, and .wmv

You can use this capability in Webcast Case to play pre-recorded intros, bumpers, commercials, and outros you may want to have during your live broadcast. Without this, you’d need a separate media player (i.e. HD tape deck or file player) and it would take a physical input. Having it available as an internal source alleviates both issues and reduces cost, space, and complexity.

Webcast Case’s live video output is a single DVI/HDMI output, which underlines the fact that Webcast Case’s primary mission is to webcast live (via Ethernet to your CDN via the Internet) and record internal files (onto an internal drive or an external drive or RAID). The DVI/HDMI output can show either program out or the Quadrator/Grid, so you can optionally connect an HDMI monitor with a built in waveform monitor like the V-LCD70MD from Marshall Electronics or the DT-R24L41D from JVC and match cameras’ white and black levels with more precision than you’d be able to do so by eye. However, if you want to stretch Webcast Case’s intention for live use in conventional over-the-air or cable TV station, you could certainly use an HDMI distribution amplifier and then one of its outputs to a converter to SDI/HD-SDI.

On Webcast Case’s inboard touch screen you can see:

  • All live camera inputs
  • Program output
  • Inboard media sources
  • Playlists
  • Replays
  • Overlays
  • PIP (picture-in-picture)/Split Screen

Features of the Webcast Case video mixer/switcher section include :

  • Switching (cutting)/mixing between video sources
  • Crossfade/dissolve (adjustable duration in ms)
  • Transitions/wipes (selection of 9 popular transitions with adjustable duration)
  • Instant automated switching upon source selection
  • Instant replays
  • One touch/click capture of replays
  • Instant playback after capture
  • 3 variable replay length presets
  • Replay range 3-20 seconds
  • Adjustable default speed of replay playback
  • Adjustable replay playback speed ranging from 20 to 100% of original speed

Insert Graphics
Webcast Case’s graphic overlays system includes two banks of five slots for images or animations for instant switching. It also includes:

  • Logo insert
  • External desktop via DVI input
  • In/out animations for replays
  • Background image (to avoid black screen in case of a camera signal loss)
  • Transparency capabilities

For titling/lower thirds, you can either use the included templates (which include adjustments for position/font/size/color) or create them separately with a separate app (i.e Photoshop) with alpha channel.

Audio inputs and internal mixing
With Webcast Case, you can use embedded audio (4 channel) or connect external audio sources.

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There is a built-in software based audio mixer for all audio sources. It includes:

  • 4x SDI embedded audio
  • 1x AUX send
  • 1x Media playback
  • 1x Headphones monitoring
  • 1x Line Out
  • 1x Master Out – L/R faders for individual levels setting
  • Optional audio crossfade function when switching video source

Full featured WEBCAST production software preinstalled
Cut/Crossfade/Transitions switching modes
Instant replays with Slow/Fast motion playback
Replays In/Out animations
Graphic overlays and Inserts
PIP and Split Screen layouts
Video clips and complex playlists playback
External signal capture over DVI with keying

Even though Webcast Case is a turnkey, luggable, self-contained device with a built-in touch screen display, it offers full access to all internal components for easy service and upgrades. Now learn about the DIY version ahead, before my conclusions and suggestions.

On page 2 of this article

On page 2 you’ll find:

Click here to read page 2 of this article…


STREAMSTAR’s Webcast System

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Example of a custom Webcast System used for coverage of a KHL hockey game in Slovakia

For those who already own a workstation, wish to assemble a system on their own, or want to add live webcast production capability to an existing production facility, Streamstar offers the Webcast System. The specs of the Webcast System are very similar to those of the Webcast Case. It includes:

  1. The Webcast Live Production Software
  2. One quad input HD/SD video capture card
  3. One DVI capture card

All of the operating specs of the Webcast System are the same as those of the Webcast Case, except that it uses your own workstation.

System requirements for the DIY Webcast system

For HD:
Windows 7 – 64 bit
Minimum 6 GB RAM – 3 channel
High performance RAM / 1866 MHz
Intel i7 Six-core processor (Intel i7 3930K or higher recommended)
10 GB free hard disk space for installation (high speed drive recommended)
Dedicated recording hard drive, internal or external
PCI-Express graphics card with min. 1 GB video RAM, Nvidia GTX 560Ti or higher
2 free PCIE-Express x4 slots:
1 for Quad Port HD-SDI capture card
1 for DVI desktop capture card
16:9 Monitor with 1920×1080 resolution touch screen for touch operation

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For SD:
Windows 7 – 64 bit
Minimum 6 GB RAM – 3 channel
High performance RAM / 1600 MHz
Intel i7 Quad-core processor (Intel i7 960 or higher recommended)
10 GB free hard disk space for installation (high speed drive recommended)
Dedicated recording hard drive, internal or external
PCI-Express graphics card with min. 756 MB video RAM, Nvidia GTX 460 or higher
2 free PCIE-Express x4 slots:
1 for Quad Port HD-SDI capture card
1 for DVI desktop capture card
16:9 Monitor with 1920×1080 touch screen for touch operation

Both Webcast Case and Webcast System will soon be multilingual!

I am glad to tell you that both Webcast Case and Webcast System will soon be multilingual. I know because Streamstar’s parent company has contacted me to translate/localize the user interface for Castilian (aka “Spanish”). I don’t yet know what other languages may be coming out. In the case of Webcast Case, it ships with a multilingual version of Windows 7.

Conclusions and recommendations

If you are planning to acquire a portable audio/video web streaming device, you’d like to to be streamlined, and you like the touch screen interface you have seen in tablets like the Apple iPad (or Android tablets) as an alternative to the traditional button panel, you owe it to yourself to look into the Webcast Case or Webcast System from Streamstar, which you can see on their website at StreamStar.com. If you already own cameras, then follow the advice I gave earlier in this article. If you don’t already own cameras, be sure to purchase ones that offer true progressive modes or at least PsF. This advice is not exclusive to the systems from Streamstar. It applies to any multicamera webstream system. If you purchase HDMI cameras without HD-SDI output, then purchase an H2S converter as indicated earlier in this article, since it will both convert to HD-SDI and remove the pulldown.

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My latest ebook

I have just published an ebook in two languages.
The format is Kindle, but even if you don’t have a Kindle device, you can read Kindle books on many other devices using a free Kindle app. That includes iPad, iPhone, Android phones, Android tablets, Mac computers, Windows computers, some Blackberry phones and Windows 7 phones.

In English:
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In English, it is currently available in the following Amazon stores, depending upon your region:

If you’re going to buy a Kindle book as a gift, you must do so via the Pan-American Amazon store (the first one listed above), regardless of where you live or where the recipient lives.

En castellano:
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En castellano, está disponible actualmente en las siguientes tiendas Amazon, según tu región:

Si vas a comprar un libro Kindle como regalo, debes hacerlo vía la tienda panamericana de Amazon (la primera de la lista) sin importar donde vivas tú o donde viva la persona que recibirá el regalo.

Allan T©pper’s books, consulting, articles, seminars & audio programs


Contact Allan T©pper for consulting, or find a full listing of his books, articles and upcoming seminars and webinars at AllanTepper.com. Listen to his TecnoTur program, which is now available both in Castilian (aka “Spanish”) and in English, free of charge. Search for TecnoTur in iTunes or visit TecnoTur.us for more information.

Disclosure, to comply with the FTC’s rules

Streamstar’s parent company has hired Allan T©pper/TecnoTur LLC for consulting, technical writing and translation/localization services. However, the thoughts, concepts, and conclusions presented in his article are Allan T©pper’s own. Some of the other manufacturers listed above have contracted T©pper and/or TecnoTur LLC to carry out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations. Many of the manufacturers listed above have sent Allan T©pper review units. So far, none of the manufacturers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur programs, although they are welcome to do so, and some are, may be (or may have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition magazine. Some links to third parties listed in this article and/or on this web page may indirectly benefit TecnoTur LLC via affiliate programs.

Copyright and use of this article

The articles contained in the TecnoTur channel in ProVideo Coalition magazine are copyright Allan T©pper/TecnoTur LLC, except where otherwise attributed. Unauthorized use is prohibited without prior approval, except for short quotes which link back to this page, which are encouraged!


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Allan Tépper

Allan Tépper

Born in Connecticut, United States, Allan Tépper is a bilingual consultant, multi-title author, tech journalist, translator, and language activist who has been working with professional video since the eighties. Since 1994, Tépper has been consulting both end-users and manufacturers through his Florida company. Via TecnoTur, Tépper has been giving video tech seminars in several South Florida’s universities and training centers, and in a half dozen Latin American countries, in their native language. Tépper has been a frequent radio/TV guest on several South Florida, Guatemalan, and Venezuelan radio and TV stations. As a certified ATA (American Translators Association) translator, Tépper has translated and localized dozens of advertisements, catalogs, software, and technical manuals for the Spanish and Latin American markets. He has also written many contracted white papers for tech manufacturers. Over the past 18 years, Tépper’s articles have been published or quoted in more than a dozen magazines, newspapers, and electronic media in Latin America. Since 2008, Allan Tépper’s articles have been published frequently –in English– in ProVideo Coalition magazine, and since 2014, he is is the director of CapicúaFM.com. His website is AllanTépper.com.