How To Record Video with Multiple Inputs

Someone recently asked me how to record video wth multiple camera inputs. Since we are trying to use all available free time to get KnowHowCafe.com launched (please join our email list in the sidebar!) I thought I would answer him here on the blog and share it with all of you too! The photo here is my friend Todd Cochrane who is a pro.

In true Bare Feet Studios form, my partner Shane Robinson has experimented with several of the options available and pushed each of them. Here is a quick rundown of what he has learned for you.

Requirements and Overview of Multiple Camera Video Shoots:

  • There are two requirements: Software to merge the multiple feeds; hardware to accept the multiple feeds.
  • In some cases, your computer can serve as the hardware; in other cases you will buy an external box. That option obviously is going to give you more power and functionality.
  • All are intended to allow you to film live and edit on the fly.
  • Prices range from Free to $10,000 and up.
  • There is a lot of variation in terms of what types of inputs (cameras and their connections) that can be accepted. Plan to spend further time researching based on your gear and your budget.

Free Option: CamTwist

This software is offered by Steve Green with no promises or warranties. It has been around already several years, and he has continued to update it. It is Mac-only and does run in Leopard, Mac OS 10.5. People seem to primarily use it for adding effects to their video chats however it will handle multiple inputs. There is secret though. You have to launch the Studio application to see how to do that. It is one of the menu options, tho does not automatically launch when you launch CamTwist. It also lets you add title effects, fades, and turns CamTwist into a miniature TV station deck. Overall very cool tool, especially given the price. Read more about CamTwist here.

Boinx TV: $199 – $499

BoinxTV is another option with an elegant feature set and is Mac-only. Here is their official description:

BoinxTV turns your Mac into a TV studio for creating Live to Disk, Live to Internet and Live to Stage video.
Record stunning studio shows, podcasts, sports events, concerts, interviews, sermons, seminars and more using your Mac and multiple cameras.

They offer a free 30-day trial. They have two pricing levels: retails for $499 though if you are willing to add a 5-second bumper on your videos you can buy it for $199. Read more about BoinxTV here.

Wirecast by Telestream: $449

They have a perfect description so here it is verbatim:

Wirecast lets you stream multiple live cameras while dynamically mixing in other media such as movies, images, sounds, etc. Features including Chroma Key (blue/green screen), transitions and built-in titles allow you to create beautiful, professional broadcast productions for live or on-demand distribution on the web.

Cali Lewis of GeekBrief.tv has used this program very well, and they have a new version (4.0) scheduled for release soon. It integrates nicely with uStream.tv as well and offers a free trial. Read more about Wirecast here.

Tricaster by Newtek: $4,995 and up

Tricaster is the top of the line, pro solution. It is highly portable (fits in a backpack) and you can imagine the quality since it used by “major players like Fox Sports, MTV, VH1, NBA D-League and the NHL” for live broadcasts. It can be run by one person (who knows what they are doing!) and my friend Todd Cochrane, of GeekNewsCentral uses his frequently and loves it. Tricaster is currently PC-only. (Ugh.) Read more about Tricaster here.

Now, please be sure to send me your links if you use any of these tools! I want to see your work.

Aloha,
roxanne-sig