High Definition, Three Camera Inputs, One Laptop, $3,500.

Hi all.

I am the director of multimedia and production at Harvard University Athletics. Last year, I wrote a couple of posts on this blog regarding two types of video streams that we broadcast during my time at Northeastern University: A large $150K control room production and a medium $10K fly-pack production based on the Tricaster 40.

Large Setup at a Harvard Hockey Game

As I started my new position as Harvard, which features 42 division I varsity teams, it became clear to me that I needed to come up with a third type of production, one much smaller than I had used before. We still plan on putting together large and medium-size productions for football, hockey, soccer, lacrosse, basketball and softball games. However, with so many sports, and a wide range of facilities, a smaller production type was needed.

Medium Setup at a Harvard Soccer Game

I wanted to take this opportunity to share my plan with all of you, in case you were also looking for a way to produce games without a hardware switcher, and have tight limits on equipment cost and quantity.

This smaller production type is based around a Macbook Pro laptop, with Telestream’s Wirecast software, which luckily Stretch Internet provides to all its clients.

In general, Wirecast can support as many camera inputs as you can plug into your computer. However, up until now, Wirecast laptop users often used only one live camera, due to bandwidth limitations. Additionally, if a camera was plugged in directly to a laptop using a firewire cable, it was limited to a distance of no more than 15 ft. from point to point.

The only way to get uncompressed digital HD non-firewire video into Wirecast was by using a tower computer (such as a Mac Pro) with PCI inputs cards. That process is both expensive and cumbersome.

Luckily, Apple’s new Macbook Pro with Retina Display, with its fast processor, large memory, and advanced input ports, can support 3-4 independent HD camera sources. This new Macbook Pro has two new Thunderbolt ports and two USB 3.0 ports, both of which are fast enough to support live digital HD video input (as opposed to the older USB 2.0 ports).

The question then remains – how do you get three cameras into the Macbook Pro?

Some of you may be familiar with Blackmagic Design, a company known for its many converters and other video and audio gear. Earlier this year, Blackmagic came out with two new products:

1. The UltraStudio Mini Recorder – This device allows you to take a HD-SDI or HDMI source, and connect it to the Macbook Pro using the new Thunderbolt connector. When I saw the press release about this device a little while ago, I was blown away. Other HD-SDI converters can cost up to $10,000. I couldn’t imagine ever getting something like this for less than $150. I’m seriously considering getting another one of these recorders and just keeping it with me at all times. Who knows when I’ll need to import HD-SDI/HDMI footage…

Anyway, since the new Macbook Pro has two Thunderbolt ports, you can purchase two of these mini recorders, for two camera inputs. Both sources would be displayed in high definition, and would include embedded audio with them.

Blackmagic Design UltraStudio Mini Recorder


2. The Intensity Shuttle USB 3.0 – This device is similar to the Mini Recorder, but uses the computer’s USB 3.0 port instead of Thunderbolt. Additionally, this device can accept component video feeds, as well as HDMI (but not HD-SDI). Therefore, you can use this device for the third and fourth camera inputs into the Mac, for $200 each. Alternatively, if your cameras only support component output (and not HDMI or HD-SDI), you can get  four Intensity Shuttle devices (two for Thunderbolt and two for USB 3.0, as the device is offered with either connectivity). (Editor’s note: The Intensity Shuttle’s support on Mac OS is currently in beta phase, but all reports are that testing has gone very well. The beta version of Blackmagic’s Desktop Video is currently available to the general public here – http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/us/support/detail?sid=3947&pid=4042&os=mac.) 

Blackmagic Design Intensity Shuttle USB 3.0


To help explain this setup a bit, here is a photo of three cameras connected to the Macbook Pro using the equipment I described above:

Our three-camera Wirecast Setup (with no additional audio)


The total cost for all equipment in this photo (excluding cameras) is:

1. Macbook Pro 15″ with Retina Display – $2,800
2. Blackmagic Design UltraStudio Mini Recorder – $145 (x2)
3. Blackmagic Design Intensity Shuttle USB 3.0 – $200
4. Thunderbolt and HDMI cables – about $200
5. USB to Ethernet Adapter (since the Macbook Pro does not come with an Ethernet port) – $25

Total –  $3,515

Wirecast Sources Window

Therefore, with about $3,500, you can easily set up a three-camera production. Wirecast allows you to switch between the cameras, as well as add lower third graphics and a score bug. With Wirecast’s newest version, you even get a live preview of all your video sources in the bottom part of the window, which makes lives switching much easier.

You don’t need a switcher, preview monitors, program monitor, video router, or a large staff. All you need is someone to operate your Wirecast software, and as many camera operators as you’d like.

As for the graphics, you can either use Wirecast’s built-in graphics, or create your own custom ones (like we did at Harvard).

Wirecast Preview Window

I think this 2-3 camera setup is a great solution for a small school or organization looking to put together a multi-camera shoot, but at a limited cost and with limited equipment.

The last remaining point relates to cameras. The cameras that I showed in the photo above are made by JVC. For these smaller setups, we use one JVC GY-HM600 camera, one JVC GY-HM100 camera, and one JVC GY-HM150 camera. We like their flexibility and functionality. All together, these three cameras cost $8,500. However, you can easily use less expensive cameras for this setup.

I would recommend looking for cameras with HD-SDI outputs, as those allow you to carry a digital HD signal over the longest distance (without using fiber optic cables). However, if you decide to purchase cameras that do not have HD-SDI outputs, I would just recommend two things:

1. If the cable run from the Macbook Pro to your camera is relatively short (less than 50 ft.), I would use a HDMI output and cable, as it best maintains the digital video quality.

2. If the cable run from the Macbook Pro to your camera is longer (more than 50 ft.), I would use the component output and cable. It is an analog signal, so the quality is not as good, but it is HD, and does support almost 1000 ft. of cable length.

I hope this sample setup is helpful. There are many variations you could do, including using different cameras, a slightly different laptop or a different mix of converters. However, I think this setup provides the lowest cost for the best quality.

Please feel free to reach out with any follow-up questions.



About The Author


Imry Halevi is the Director of Multimedia and Production at Harvard University’s Department of Athletics, with responsibility over live event broadcasting and post-production. A native of Maccabim, Israel, Imry lives with his family in Nashua, NH.

Other posts by

Author his web site


07 2013

180 Comments Add Yours ↓

The upper is the most recent comment

  1. Rob Nachum #

    That’s a great article Imry, thanks.

    I am a user of the BMD products; originally the Intensity Pro PCIe to converters (HDMI to SDI), H264 recorders and the ATEM TVS.

    In regard to the latter, wouldn’t it make more sense to just use one TVS (< $1k) with multiple HDMI and SDI inputs taking one USB port instead of multiple Shuttles taking up all of your available ports? Plus the inbuilt mixing software provides a bunch more flexibility when working with something like Wirecast (from what my recent reading tells me).

    Less stuff to schlep around although having a spare shuttle or H264 gives you some good redundancy options.

    It's also great to see others using the JVC GY-HM series cameras. I love mine but my pro camera operators are less enthusiastic as they reckon there are max resolution issues out of the HDMI ports. I want to upgrade to SDI out cameras but it is big price jump for what appears to be luxury where the BMD HDMI to SDI converter works famously.

    We've been using Livestream Procaster but are now having a serious look at Wirecast as an alternative.


  2. Imry #

    Hi Rob.

    Thank you for the great comment.
    You bring up a lot of good points regarding the Blackmagic Design TV Studio, which does provide six inputs, and plenty of flexibility in terms of controls and content.

    However, I think you were correct in brining up the topic of “schlep”. In my Wirecast setup, you really don’t need any other equipment besides what appears in the photo. You can fit all the equipment (besides these specific cameras) in a back-up.

    If you were to utilize the BMD TV Studio, your equipment list would grow significantly. Besides the actual device, which is rack-mounted, you would need at least one external monitor for multi-view. In addition to those two things, you would still need the Wirecast laptop for character generation and streaming, as the TV Studio does not have streaming capabilities.

    So, this is a great idea for a versatile setup, but would just require more “schlepping”…

    Thanks again for the comment.


  3. 3

    Hi Imry – I stumbled upon your blog post after it was mentioned on LinkedIn… what a great setup! For years I oversaw production and sought out solutions for live webcasts of events at the University of Phoenix. If only this solution existed then. With that said, please check out the Paladin (www.YourPaladin.com) with iPad control of Wirecast. If you would like to learn more about it, please be in touch. Respectfully, Randy

  4. leor #

    hi there, great read about the setup. my question is, would it be possible to use a thunderbolt hub to add a 3rd and 4th BM mini recorder?

    also, are you strictly using the camera mic inputs for audio? have you used an audio mixer into the MBP and if so, any additional components, or do you just use the built-in audio input on the laptop?


  5. Imry #


    Thank you for your comment.
    To answer your questions:

    1. There is no such thing as a Thunderbolt Hub that adds additional Thunderbolt ports. It just doesn’t exist. There are some hard drives that allow you to daisy-chain Thunderbolt equipment, but since the Mini Recorder does not allow that, it wouldn’t really help you here. Since the Thunderbolt bandwidth should be able to support more than one camera, I would hope a hub would be invented/permitted at some point.

    2. I am using a mixer and commentator headphones for audio. I am using the camera’s shotgun microphone for ambient audio. Here is the complete list of what I’m using, with retail prices:

    1 x Apple – 15.4″ MacBook Pro Notebook Computer with Retina Display – $3,449/each
    1 x JVC – GY-HM600 ProHD Camera – $4,495/each
    2 x JVC – GY-HM150U Compact Handheld 3-CCD Camcorder – $1,949/each
    1 x JVC – Remote Lens Control for GY-HM600 & GY-HM650 Cameras – $279.95/each
    2 x JVC – HZ-HM150VZR Remote Lens Control For GY-HM150U Camcorder – $295/each
    3 x Manfrotto – MVH502A Fluid Head and MVT502AM Tripod System With Carrying Bag – $449.89/each
    1 x Eartec – COMSTAR XT-4 4-User Full Duplex Wireless Intercom System – $3,000/each
    1 x Behringer – XENYX 802 8-Channel Compact Audio Mixer – $64.99/each
    2 x Sennheiser – HMD 280-XQ Dual-Ear Headset with Supercardioid Boom Microphone – $249.95/each
    1 x Comprehensive – EXF Series Stereo 1/4″ Male to 3-Pin XLR Male Cable – 10′ – $12.79/each
    2 x Blackmagic Design – UltraStudio Mini Recorder Capture Device – $137.75/each
    1 x Blackmagic Design – Intensity Shuttle – $189.05/each
    1 x Trendnet – TU2-ET100 USB 2.0 to 10/100Mbps Fast Ethernet Adapter – $14.09/each
    1 x Hosa Technology – BNC to BNC 75-ohm Coax RG-6/U Cable 25 Ft – $26.51/each
    2 x Apple – Thunderbolt Cable (6.6′) – $36.99/each
    2 x Comprehensive – X3V Series HDMI to HDMI Cable – 25 ft – $44.98/each

    Total cost – $18.308.39

    Obviously, you can make many substitutions, additions and subtractions. But this is what we use.

    Let me know if you have any further questions.


  6. Leor #
  7. Imry #

    Unfortunately, this device only has two Thunderbolt ports. You have to use one of them to connect the entire dock to your Macbook Pro. The other Thunderbolt port is available for the Mini Recorder. So, you still remain with just one Thunderbolt port.

    This dock does add several USB 3.0 ports, but they share the same Thunderbolt bus on the computer, and therefore will be limited in their bandwidth capacity.

  8. leor #

    thanks for the clarification. i think i must have read the specs wrong the first time i looked at it! :/

  9. 9

    Hey Imry,

    Thanks so much for writing this….I’ve been doing 4-camera SD broadcasts for a couple of years now using a 17″ MBP and some DVcams I scraped together, getting firewire into 3 ports and an s-video/USB capture device in for the fourth. It’s a little cheesy but it’s all about budget…but would really love to go HD one of these days…so have been struggling with the most efficient way to make the move to HD for a while now.

    I really appreciate Wirecast because we need to be very portable, as we travel to do webcasts sometimes, and of course cost is a factor.

    You pointed out to Rob N that the BM ATEM TVS (or 1 M/E) would add a fair amount of gear to the schlepping, and that’s not to mention the workflow– I got excited about the ATEM 1 M/E for a while because of its 8 HDMI inputs, but after consideration I just couldn’t go that way, because if you put all of your camera inputs upstream of another switcher, you lose all of the elegant functionality of the Wirecast workflow….you would no longer be able to take advantage of the shot precomposition setup…no more PIP with cameras, no more pre-composed shots with camera/graphics/title, etc…you would have to change your mindset a lot when switching, and that’s too much demand on my human CPU when I’m already stretched to the limit with the demands of low-budget broadcasting.

    I have several questions…hope you don’t mind but what you’ve written here is really helpful and I’m relieved to find that somebody figured this out…

    1. About cameras– do you know of inexpensive HD cameras that have component HD outputs? Cable length is an issue…so I assume then that I would use the component input of a Shuttle, correct? I will need to have at least one good center/main camera for a head shot on a keynote speaker, and it must have manual iris and focus so that I can compensate for backlit situations.

    2. What do you do for intercom to camera operators?

    3. A big question: Any thoughts on how to get a fourth camera into an MBPr? I really like having the fourth camera….so much extra flexibility. What about a BM Quad in a Sonnet PCIe chassis? Think it would stress the CPU too much?

    4. What kind of CPU load are you seeing during your shoots using three HD cameras?

    5. Are you encoding directly out of Wirecast and also recording locally from Wirecast as well when doing your shoots? If so, how are you getting audio into the MBPr?

    6. Is your MBPr maxxed out with all available CPU and RAM?…or basic CPU and RAM?

    Thanks so much,

  10. Dan #

    Great post, thank you. It appears you use this setup for webcasting. Do you have any knowledge about recording WIrecast footage. I am looking to input HD-SDI and output to a Pix240. Wondering if I used a Blackmagic Design UltraStudio Express as one input/output in this Mac configuration … if that would work to record 720 out to the Pix240?

  11. Imry #

    Hi Scott.

    Thank you for your comment and feedback.

    To answer your questions:

    1. There are many cameras out there with HD component output. I really like the JVCs, due to their consistent color matrix look-and-feel, and high bit-rate onboard recording. They also have very versatile manual controls for everything, including Iris. I would recommend going with the JVC GY-HM600s. However, it you are looking for a cheaper version, and zoom factor is not an issue, the JVC-GYHM150s will also work quite well. If you are planning on going with component output due to long cable lengths, you will definitely need to use the BMD Intensity Shuttle devices USB 3.0/Thunderbolt.

    2. I really like Clear-Com as a communications provider. We use wired Clear-Com 4-channel analog Encore systems for all our major productions. However, we do have a Eartec COMSTAR package for when we need to go wireless, and running XLR cables is not an option. The Eartec can be cheaper than the Clear-Com system, but its quality is not nearly as good.

    3. You can input a fourth camera into your Macbook Pro as a second USB 3.0 source. I think the laptop could handle it, if you get the maximum possible CPU and memory package. However, if you wanted to use an external hard drive or USB-to-Ethernet adapter, you would also need to purchase a USB 3.0 hub.

    4. We saw about 80% CPU usage when streaming and recording on the local OS drive. Should be less CPU usage when recording to external HDD. Additionally, our Macbook Pro is 2.6 GHz. If you get the 2.8 GHz version, you should do better.

    5. We are streaming and recording all out of Wirecast. I have a Behringer mixer for external audio mixing. I take a main output out of the mixer, and plug it into one of the XLR audio inputs on the camera. That audio then comes into Wirecast with the HD-SDI feed in the UltraStudio Mini Recorder. For your setup, I would recommend getting an output from the mixer into the Intensity Shuttle, together with one of the camera inputs. That would be better than trying to get another feed into Wirecast just for audio.

    6. Our Macbook Pro is not completely maxed out, but close. As I mentioned above, I think a 2.8GHz processor would definitely help with the setup. However, it’s doable with 2.6 Ghz.

    Please let me know if you have any further questions.



  12. Imry #

    Hi Dan.

    I haven’t personally used the PIX240, but I think you should be able to use it for recording Wirecast footage.
    I think you have two options here:
    1. If your Macbook Pro/iMac has a HDMI output, you can just plug that straight into the PIX240.
    2. Or, you can use the BMD UltraStudio Mini Monitor, which is the opposite of the UltraStudio Mini Recorder. The Mini Monitor gets a GPU output from the computer, and converts it to HDMI or HD-SDI (which can be used on the PIX240). You can set the exact output on Wirecast.

    I hope this helps.


  13. leor #

    one more question. i thought i saw somewhere the detailed specs on your MBP, but can’t find it now. just curious what processor speed and how much RAM you opted for.

    thanks! todah :)

  14. Imry #

    Hi Leor.

    Our Macbook Pro has 2.6 Ghz Intel Core i7, 8 GB Memory, NVIDIA 1 GB graphics.


  15. Imry #

    The XENYZ 802 mixer has worked out well for us. It’s small and simple to use, and provides just the right number of inputs and outputs for our small productions. For our medium productions, we’ve used the XENYX X1204USB, and are planning to use the EURORACK PRO RX1602 next year. They’ve all been great so far.

    Just FYI – for our large productions, we plan on using PreSonus StudioLive 16.4.2.

  16. hal meeks #

    This posting has been super helpful. We were ready to buy a small switcher for our two camera shoots, and I ran across this posting. A question – how is your audio routed? Are you using the audio in on the laptop, routing audio through one of your cameras (audio embedded in hdmi) or using an external audio interface? Do you experience audio timing issues/latency with this approach when switching sources?

  17. Imry #

    We are routing all audio sources to a small mixer, and from there into one of our cameras (1/4″ TRS to XLR Male cable). The audio then gets into the laptop through the SDI (or HDMI) feed, as embedded channels 1+2. We have not experienced any noticeable latency issues.
    I don’t know if you’ve used Wirecast in the past, but there is an easy way to get the audio that comes in through one of the camera feeds, and use it for the entire production: We put the video feed with the audio in Master Layer 5, and then completely remove the video with 0% transparency. We use Master Layer 4 to cut the video sources. That means that audio is always coming in though layer 5, and you can just mute all the audio sources from layer 4.
    We have found the setup above prevents any audio issues while switching cameras, since the audio is always present through one of the inputs.
    I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any further questions.

  18. Paul M #

    Hi Imry

    I now have a similar setup to this, but with 2 Intensity Extremes in place of the mini recorders, using a Livestream Broadcaster as the encoder. Latest drivers are installed. After many tests I am almost resigned to the fact that the usb 3 shuttle just wont work. On start up I can see the Extremes and Shuttle fine in BM media express and in Wirecast. I set the stream running and all seems great but inevitably, the shuttle will crash. It could be 30 seconds or 30 mins, but it always stops working. The only way to get it to start again is to restart the MacBook Pro Retina which stops the broadcast. Are there any tips or suggestions you may have to help prevent this problem? I have tried all sorts of cables and camera combinations, but the result remains the same.

    Thanks, Paul

  19. Imry #

    Hi Paul.

    It sounds to me like your Shuttle is losing power ever now and then. Possibly because of inconsistent power distribution on the USB bus. Have you tried connecting it to a powered USB 3.0 hub, and then to the computer from there? Might help stabilize the power source.


  20. 20

    Hi Imry,

    about your experiences about wirecast workflow, what do you think if I want to broadcast streaming using wirecast with sequences such systems (just for audio):

    audio source -> BEHRINGER XENYX 502 -> (via RCA input) BEHRINGER UCA 202 (via USB) -> 15″ Macbook Rro Retina


    audio source -> (via RCA input) Decklink Intensity Shuttle (via Thunderbolt) -> 15″ Macbook Pro Retina

    do you think wirecast could get the audio properly?, which one the best?, whether stereo / mono affect wirecast?

    I really appreciate your answer,
    Thank You

  21. Imry #


    It seems that either of your solutions work work. I’ve never personally used the Behringer UCA 202 with Wirecast, but it seems like it should work fine. It’s definitely cheaper than the Decklink Intensity. So, if you don’t need video at all, you can try the Behringer solution first.

    Why do you have a mixer in one option, but no mixer in the other? Do you need an external mixer?

    Wirecast can handle both mono and stereo inputs. If you can do stereo, that’s always better.

    I hope this helps.


  22. 22

    Of course i need the video, since the classroom is pretty small, to take the lecturer’s video just fine enough with my logitech HD Pro c920 webcam connect to macbook pro USB, the video is very impressive for a webcam since it has 15MP & carl zeiss lenses but it has lacked quality of built in microphones, so i think how to get the lecturer sound from classroom microphone system or its audio mixer directly, the audio mixer just included package from Behringer Podcast Studio USB that my friend offer to me (the idea is capture audio and take it to USB), is Intensity Shuttle USB really works with Macbook Pro?, because from the specification that listed from Blackmagic website its only for Windows

  23. 23

    Imry, fantastic post! quick question are you using the $$ version of wirecast and if so do you see any time lag between the USB and TB ports? Do you have to delay your audio? I ask because I have the cheaper version of wirecast without the audio delay features and don’t want to upgrade if I don’t have to.

  24. Imry #

    Hi Tyler.

    I am using “Wirecast Pro”, and do not delay my audio at all.
    I haven’t noticed any time lag at all between the video sources.
    As for audio, I run all my audio through one of the video sources, and keep it active throughout (not dependent on which video source is live at any given moment). I have not seen any video/audio latency issues.

    I hope this helps.


  25. Paul M #

    Hi Imry
    Your solution of the USB3 hub worked like a dream :-) I used it on Saturday and broadcast for over 8 hrs straight without a hitch. Thank you, I was beginning to lose the will to live!

  26. Imry #

    Glad it worked out.
    Thanks for sending an update.

  27. Chase N #

    Is there any device from blackmagic that will go HD-SDI cable into my Mac using USB 3.0? I have a BMG mini recorder like above, but my 13 Macbook (brand new, non retina) only has 1 thunderbolt slot, so I can’t add a second Ultrastudio Mini Recorder…

  28. Imry #

    Yes. The Blackmagic Design UltraStudio SDI can take any HD-SDI or SD-SDI feed into a USB 3.0 port:

  29. Chase N #

    Awesome! And will Wirecast recognize two of these products in side-by-side USB 3.0 ports in the Macbook Pro… so I can have two separate video cameras (feeds) into Wirecast..

    Trying to get 3 cameras with SDI cables being used into a Macbook Pro that has 1 thunderbolt, 1 firewire and 2 USB 3.0 ports. I may need to use one of those USB’s for my audio mixer… so any idea what i should do by maybe using the Firewire port as my 3rd camera option?


  30. Imry #

    I have not tired two USB 3.0 cameras working on the same bus. It should work, as the bandwidth is sufficient, but I’m not 100% sure. To add a USB mixer, you can always use a USB 3.0 hub, which will give you additional USB ports. Again, you will run into bandwidth issues. The only way to really be sure is to try it. Unfortunately, there are no Thunderbolt hubs on the market, so your Thunderbolt port can only support one camera.

  31. Chase N #

    Right. What about the firewire port? Can I go from SDI out of camera to the UltraStudio Mini Recorder to a thunderbolt-to-firewire adapter cable into the Firewire port?? so in the end–

    1. 1 camera into Thunderbolt (using UltraStudio Mini Recorder and a thunderbolt cable)
    2. 1 camera into Firewire (using UltraStudio Mini Recorder, then a Thunderbolt to Firewire cable)
    3. 1 camera into USB 3.0 (usb 3.0-sdi hub)
    4. USB 3.0 for my audio mixer


  32. Chase N #

    wait does this usb3.0 to sdi only work on a PC, not a mac?? I have a macbook pro


  33. Imry #

    To answer your questions:

    1. The UltraStudio SDI was originally only supported on PCs, but is now also supported on Macs. You just need to download the newest Blackmagic Design software version: Desktop Video for Macintosh 9.7.9 Beta.
    2. The Thunderbolt-Firewire converter is actually the opposite of what you think it is. It allows Firewire equipment to plug into Thunderbolt ports. There are no converters/adapters that allow you to plug in Thunderbolt equipment into Firewire ports. The bandwidth just doesn’t match up.

    I hope this helps.

  34. 34

    Oh God, Should i contact the reseller for The Intensity Shuttle USB 3.0 that i buy last week?
    My Macbook Pro (late 2012 model, 15″ with Retina Display, OSX 10.8.5) wasn’t able to detect Shuttle using all Desktop Video Version (9.7.9 beta – 9.5.1)

  35. Chase N #

    Hmmm…That is helpful.

    So any idea on how to get my 3rd camera in?

    using either firewire or USB 3.0 (if using 3.0 then I will have to find a new way to get my audio mixer in) I was using that usb line to bring in the mixer for my headsets/mics… I can’t use the mic/headphone 1/8 port on the Macbook beacause the newest models of Macs don’t allow it to be a “line in” in now :((

  36. Imry #

    I encourage you to avoid Firewire whenever possible. With such limited bandwidth, your video signal will have to get compressed and degraded so much that it would look significantly different than the clean Thunderbolt sources.

    I recommend you try a USB 3.0 hub, and see how much it can handle.

    As for your mixer, you can either plug it into the hub, or just feed the audio into one of the cameras. That way, the audio signal will come in to Wirecast embedded through either the USB 3.0 video signal or the Thunderbolt signal.

  37. Shannon #

    Thank you Imry! About to purchase Wirecast and build a system to handle it. Was looking at a MacBookPro Notebook similar to what you mention, but one that fits our budget better for now. It has 2.3 ghz. We are looking to feed in 2 cameras at 1920×1080, mix and record to hard drive. No streaming etc. Do you think it will handle that without issue?

  38. Lucas #

    We are trying to take an HD component output (Y, PB/CB, PR/CR along with audio) and make it work into the UltraStudio Mini Recorder. Any thoughts on how to make that fit into the HD-SDI input on the Mini Recorder?

  39. Imry #

    Lucas – it seems to me that the Blackmagic Design Intensity Shuttle would be a better choice for you. Those have built-in component and audio inputs, and come in two models – USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt. If you have your heart set on the Mini Recorder, you would need to get a Blackmagic Design Analog to SDI Mini Comverter to convert the component and audio signals to SDI.

  40. Imry #

    Shannon – it’s very difficult to predict the compatibility of specific notebook configurations with different production setups, as there are many variables to consider. Based on my personal experience, I think your setup could work with the 2.3Ghz MacBook Pro. I would just recommend you avoid complex graphics layouts. Using large multi-layer graphics really uses up your CPU in Wirecast. Other than that, you should be fine.

  41. Shannon #

    Thank you! We have decide to up it to a 2.6ghz, 16gbRAM….to be safe :)

    I Appreciate the help with this important decision!

  42. Lucas #

    Imry… Have you had any problems with reliability of this setup? I have purchased all of the pieces and the USB 3.0 shuttle seems to be giving me the biggest problem. I got it up and running a couple times but the shuttle input keeps freezing up and then is no longer recognizable by the Mac. Have you had any issues like this?

  43. Imry #

    Hi Lucas.

    Yes. I have had a similar issue, and I know that other people are experiencing these difficulties as well. It appears that the power supply from the Macbook to the USB bus is not consistent. That makes the signal drop out every now and then. Could be after 30 seconds, or after 30 minutes. There’s really no way to know in advance. When the signal drops, Wirecast cannot recognize it again without restarting.

    There’s actually an easy solution to this, which has worked great for me.
    I’ve connected the Shuttle to a USB 3.0 powered hub. Then, I connect the hub to the Mac. This provides consistent power to the Shuttle, without the need to count on the Mac power.
    I am using the Transcend 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/908703-REG/transcend_ts_hub3k_usb_3_0_4_port.html), which has worked well, but I know there are many other options out there. This seems to have solved my problem.

    I hope this helps.
    Let me know how it goes.


  44. Lucas #

    Thanks. I never would have figured that out. I went and purchased a power hub and it seems to have fixed the problem. I appreciate the help and thanks for sharing all the information on this topic!

  45. 45

    Hi Imry,

    I’m Rudy from Belgium and I’m going to start with multicam livestreaming. After too many hours on the internet I was thinking going for a BMD switcher in combination with wirecast + external mixer + microphones. Reason? Portability and expandability. After reading this post (which is the best I’ve seen so far) I’m seriously thinking of going this way. The BMD mini recorders & shuttle are not that expensive. If need arises I still can buy a BMD switcher. Thanks very much for this magnificent explanation and follow up!

    Knnd regards,

  46. Lucas #


    Any thoughts on the new MacBook’s that were just released and whether a cheaper laptop might accomplish the same task of live streaming?


  47. Imry #

    Hi Lucas.

    I think the new MacBooks are impressive. However, I would be very careful in streaming HD from any machine that has only a dual core processor (Intel Core i5). Last weekend, I tried using the setup described in this blog, but with just one HD camera and a Macbook Pro with Retina Display 13″ Intel Core i5 2.5 Ghz. The laptop couldn’t handle it. Not even one camera. If I tried to both stream and record at the same time, the CPU usage would immediately go to 100%, and frame rate dropped to 22 fps.
    Therefore, I think you could use the new MacBooks, but make sure you get a quad-core setup (Intel Core i7), and as much processing speed as you can afford.


  48. Lucas #

    Irmy.. Thanks for the response. Have you had any issues with the MacBook freezing up during a broadcast? Also, do you sometimes have issues with Wirecast not recognizing the USB input? Lucas

  49. Imry #

    Hi Lucas.
    I have not experienced either of the issues you mentioned.
    Can you please provide a bit more information or exactly what the problems are, and when they happen?



  50. Lucas #


    Randomly during the middle of a broadcast yesterday, the MacBook froze and had to be restarted. Not a huge problem because MacBooks tend to reboot quick, but annoying. I was not even using the computer when it happened.

    Sometimes when I book the MacBook, even with the USB power supplied hub, the Shuttle device does not show up. Usually if I reboot again, it will appear. It also does not appear if I close Wirecast and open it again.

    We bought the MacBook you recommended here in the blog last week, but we can still return it. I am considering returning it and getting the new MacBook that just came out. Do you think the specs meet what is needed?

    15-inch: 2.3GHz
    with Retina display

    2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
    Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz
    16GB 1600MHz memory
    512GB PCIe-based flash storage 1
    Intel Iris Pro Graphics
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
    with 2GB GDDR5 memory
    Built-in battery (8 hours)2



  51. Xavier #

    Thank you for your post. I’m going to buy a new Macbook Pro Retina 15″ 2.6 and I’ll try your setup, but I wonder if there is an alternative for the Intensity Shuttle USB3, as it doesn’t seem reliable. Are there any other USB3 video capture devices for Mac, with component video inputs?

  52. Xavier #

    By the way, this is my planned setup. Do you think it will work?

    Canon XHA1 -> Firewire 800 cable -> Firewire to Thunderbolt adaptor -> Macbook Thunderbolt 2 port
    Panasonic camera (like yours) -> HDMI -> Blackmagic Mini Recorder -> Macbook Thunderbolt 2 port
    Computer or iPad/iPhone (for screen capture) -> DVi or HDMI out -> Intensity Shuttle -> Macbook USB3 port

    ….and a USB3 disk recording the Wirecast final stream, all this while streaming live to the internet, of course.

  53. Xavier #

    Oh and -excuse me- as the new Macbook has two Thunderbolt 2 ports, do you think they could carry 3 HD sources (f.e 1 firewire + 2 mini recorders), using a Thunderbolt hub? That would leave the USB3 port free for hard disk recording.

  54. Xavier #

    Answering some of my own questions:

    – It seems there are not reasonabily priced thunderbolt hubs out there (not at least like the typical USB hub), so only 2 cameras via thunderbolt ports.
    – I’ll try the USB3 powered hub solution for the Shuttle (excuse me I have just read that), although it’s uncomfortable to add a powered plug to the scheme. But hey, we are talking about a $3000 multicam HD setup.

    Also, I would use a Gigabit to USB3 adaptor for Desktop Presenter, daisy chained to the external USB3 hard disk, adding a 4th video source for desktop presentations.

  55. Imry #

    Hi Lucas.

    The specs that you mentioned above for a new Macbook Pro look good to me.

    Regardless, your current MacBook should not be freezing up. There’s really nothing that should be causing that.
    What is your Wirecast CPU usage when you stream?
    Have you updated all the current OS-X and firmware updates?



  56. Imry #

    Hi Xavier.

    – There are no thunderbolt hubs at all on the market. Perhaps the connection protocol just doesn’t permit it for now. Hopefully that will change in the future.
    – Your setup seems fine. The Canon XHA1 Firewire connection will look different than your HDMI connections, as Firewire is compressed using DV codec. It’s fine, but noticeable.

    Let me know if you have further questions.


  57. Xavier #

    Thank you. In what sense will it look “different”? As an alternative, I could send the XHA1 video over a component cable to a Intensity Shuttle.

  58. Lucas #

    Hi Irmy. How would I check the CPU usage when streaming? We are streaming now. Haven’t had any problems the last two days but it did freeze up two days in a row.

    Everything should be updated on this MacBook with the exception of updating the operation software to Mavericks. I didn’t want to risk upgrading and not knowing how it would affect things.


  59. 59

    Really glad I came across your article as we’re looking at live streaming a number of seminars and were looking for a low cost setup allowing us to experiment.

  60. Lucas #

    Irmy.. I was able to figure out what our CPU usage is when using Wirecast. It is generally around 80 percent. We are only using two cameras, though, a Thunderbolt and a USB.

  61. Lucas #

    I figured out the problem. I maxed out the CPU. When you have preview mode up, it increases the usage by another 10 percent or so. Add that to other processes running in the background and I think I reached critical mass with the CPU. Just have to be more cautious.

  62. Xavier #

    Lucas, are you running Wirecast under Mavericks? It’s not supported yet. Maybe that’s the problem behind your freezes and CPU usage.

  63. Lucas #

    I am NOT using Mavericks.

  64. Imry #

    In general, compressed video can look softer (less in focus) and more pixelated than uncompressed video. It depends a lot on the camera and compression type.

  65. Imry #

    Hi Lucas. Yes. Maxing out the CPU will definitely cause a lot of issues.
    Does your Wirecast have to do any scaling as part of your setup (change a video shot from SD to HD or HD to SD) or resize any graphics? That also drains the CPU quite a bit.

  66. Lucas #

    Turning off the thumbnail previews really helped. We do a lot of double boxes with multiple inputs on the screen, so I think that was eating up a lot of CPU. So far, everything is working great. Thanks for all the help!

  67. Lucas #

    Irmy… Just wanted to let you know that this setup has been a huge success for us! Thank you!! Wondering if it’s possible to somehow work in a fourth camera? Can the USB 3.0 handle two SD video inputs using a powered 3.0 hub?

  68. MovieBuff #

    Would you consider using a new MAC PRO? It has 6 thunderbolt ports that you could use with Blackmagic Design UltraStudio Mini Recorders.

  69. Imry #

    Absolutely. I think it would be interesting to see how Wirecast and the CPU handled so many camera inputs. Should work well, though would definitely reduce the mobility of the setup.

  70. 70

    I feel like the next time I am in Boston, I need to buy you a beer. I have been searching, reading posts, reviewing websites (Telestream, Blackmagic, Teradek, Ustream) all trying to just figure out what a simple 2 or 3 multi cam setup would look like; What MacBook Pro specs I would need, what capture hardware, what software… and how it would all go together. And boom…! There it was in your post – with a PICTURE OF YOUR SET UP, no less! So thanks for sharing all this great information.

    If I could ask you about exactly how you get your feed to your streaming platform. I have tested Telestream with the free version (waiting to install the one I just purchased onto my Mac Book Pro)
    I see that it feeds Ustream very nicely – no problems there.

    A month or so ago, when I was just dipping my toe into the whole streaming thing, I bought a Teradek Vidiu. Super easy – works really well. Put in on a camera, feed it HDMI, and right to Ustream. Terrific!

    My question is would it be redundant to feed the MacBook Pro into the Vidiu? I guess if I have a dedicated port, then I would go right from the computer to the internet as you show in your picture. But if I have no direct ethernet port, and have to deliver the feed via WiFi, (or through a cellular hotspot??) could I not take a feed out of the computer, and into the Vidiu — and then stream to my streaming platform from there? Sorry, still a little unclear of how that all comes together.

    Also, assuming I take delivery on my new MBP, it will obviously be running Mavericks. Did I read in previous posts that Wirecast does not run on Mavericks? That would be a problem.
    Thanks again for the very helpful post.

  71. Imry #

    Hi Dale.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    To answer your questions:

    1. The software I use, Telestream Wirecast, is capable of encoding and streaming to any content platform. Ustream is one example, but the software can really stream anywhere. Ideally, you would use Wirecast to switch between all your camera inputs, add any graphics, and then stream and record your broadcast.
    2. If you have a Ethernet port and connection available, I would recommend streaming straight from the computer. However, you can also take an output from Wirecast, and stream from a Teradek Vidiu unit. That shouldn’t be a problem. You can do that in two different ways. First, if your Macbook Pro has a HDMI output port, you can use Wirecast’s “Output” settings to send your production to that port. Then, you’ll just need to use an HDMI cable to connect your MacBook Pro to the Vidiu unit. No problem. A second option, if your laptop doesn’t have HDMI output, is to get a Blackmagic Design Mini Monitor. This unit is the opposite of the Mini Recorder I describe above. You would connect the Mini Monitor to the computer using a Thunderbolt cable, and then get a SDI or HDMI output from that Mini Monitor to the Vidiu.
    3. These are all options for streaming. You would just need to figure out what ports you have available on your computer, and if your CPU usage is a consideration (streaming and recording use significant CPU power on a computer, as does sending a video output via HDMI). You want to make sure that your CPU usage, as indicated inside Wirecast, does not go over 80%.
    4. If you were to purchase Telestream Wirecast now, you would get version 5.0.1. That version, which is newer than the one I used when I wrote the post above, is fully compatibly with Mavericks. I actually use that version with Mavericks now, and it works great.

    I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

  72. 72

    Hi again, Imry.
    Say, one more question if you don’t mind. And forgive it is it buried up there in one of your other posts —
    Could you tell me again the specs of your Macbook Pro?
    It is the 15″ Quad core i7? Or the dual core?
    I can’t decide whether to try to upgrade a 13″ to the 2.8 Dual Core i7, or move to the 15″ Quad Core. It probably shouldn’t even be a discussion, but I actually like the idea of a slightly smaller computer on locations, and certainly could use the money somewhere else. But if you think that I should absolutely go for the quad core processing, then I will certainly take the advice. Wirecast simply says “i7” as the minimum specs. They don’t specify which processor. It was probably written some time ago.
    Thanks again, Imry.
    (todah, Indeed!!)

  73. Imry #

    Hi Dale.

    The laptop we use is 2.6 Ghz Intel Core i7 quad core, 8 GB Memory, NVIDIA 1 GB graphics.
    My recommendation would be to stay away from dual core processors. I’ve tried streaming with two cameras from a 13″ dual core macbook pro, and it didn’t go very well. The processor was just overwhelmed.
    I think a 13″ computer is fine, but only if you can get it with i7 quad core.

    I hope this helps.


  74. 74

    I’m so glad I stumbled upon this site. I have questions too:

    1. What are your thoughts about using the Mac Mini with i7, 16GB of ram? It has 1 TB port and 4 USB3 ports. Which means I have to use 3 BMD Intensity Shuttle USB3 and 1 BMD Mini Recorder for Video inputs and the last USB3 for my audio mixer.

    2. Is it correct to assume that I can use any HD camera, regardless of brand or model as long as it has HDMI output?

    Salamat! (Thank you)

  75. Imry #


    Thank you for your feedback.

    To answer your questions:

    1. I think that if the Mac Mini has a quad core processor, you should be fine in terms on processing power. However, please note that Blackmagic Design’s Intensity Shuttle USB 3.0 driver is still only in beta, and might not work with multiple shuttles connected. I’m not sure. Additionally, I know that their beta driver DOES NOT work well with Mac OS-X Mavericks. So this would just take some testing. I would also recommend that you connect all the USB 3.0 equipment to a powered USB 3.0 hub, and only then to the Mac. That would eliminate any potential power drop issues that some users have seen.

    2. You can use any HD camera with a SDI or HDMI output. However, please note that cameras work in different resolutions. Some are 1080i. Some are 720p. (and some are 1080p). If you combine different cameras with different resolutions, Wirecast will deal with it, but will take more processing power to scale down or scale up everything to the same resolution as your stream.

    I hope this helps.
    Please let me know if you have any further questions.

  76. 76

    Thanks so much for the insight into all this Imry – its been HUGELY helpful

    I’m currently debating either your proposed 2 thunderbolt 2 usb3 port setup, or the BMTV. I thought I read that the program mxlight would allow streaming using the BMTV usb3 output directly from your macbook http://mxlight.co.uk/

    Any chance you could clarify whether this is the case?

    Many thanks!

  77. Imry #

    Hi Ryan.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    To answer your question – yes. MXLIGHT does allow you to record and stream any output from a Blackmagic Design TV Studio using VLC player. I have found MXLIGHT to be a little bit cumbersome to set up and get fully working, but it does get the job done.
    I think you have to first ask yourself exactly what production you’re trying to do. If you need many camera inputs, and not much graphics, overlays or other content, than the BMD switcher is probably the solution for you.
    However, if you only need a few camera sources, but need a lot of flexibility with graphics, DVEs, overlays and pre-recorded content, Wirecast would be a much better product for you to use.

    I hope this helps.

  78. Lucas #

    Hey Imry… do you know if it would be possible to get two camera inputs into one Thunderbolt port? I am setup almost identically to you but I’m trying to find a way to get a fourth camera input.

  79. Imry #

    Hi Lucas.

    Unfortunately, there’s no way to get two video signals into one Thunderbolt port using the Blackmagic Design Mini Recorders. You can do it with something like the Sonnet PCI Expansion Chassis (http://www.sonnettech.com/product/echoexpress3d.html) and a Blackmagic Design DeckLink Duo Card (http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/decklink/models). That would allow you to connect standard PCI cards to your Macbook Pro through Thunderbolt. Blackmagic offers cards that can capture 1, 2 or even 4 SDI feeds at once. And since Thunderbolt can support that bandwidth, it shouldn’t be a problem. The only thing you’d have to watch out for is CPU usage with so many camera inputs…

    Alternatively, you can use two Mini Recorders and two Intensity Shuttle USB 3.0 units to capture four cameras. If you use a powered USB 3.0 hub, that should work without any issues (assuming you’re not using OS-X Mavericks).

    I hope this helps.
    Let me know if you have any follow-up questions.

  80. MovieBuff #

    “You can do it with something like the Sonnet PCI Expansion Chassis.” What would you recommend? What would the total cost be?

    Do you think the Blackmagic “DeckLink Quad” or a “DeckLink 4K Extreme” in a Sonnest chassis would work with one thundebolt port?

  81. MovieBuff #

    Typo thunderbolt*

    Have you seen the Magewell HDMI and HD-SDI USB 3.0 capture dongles?

  82. Imry #

    The Sonnet PCI Chassis costs about $1,000. The Blackmagic DeckLink Duo costs about $500. So you’re looking at about $1,500 to get 2 cameras into one Thunderbolt port. Though, you will have the option to expand that to additional cameras at a limited cost. I haven’t used this solution personally, so I cannot really recommend it. I just know that it works. If you’re really looking to add more cameras and more functionality, you might want to consider looking at a Newtek Tricaster.

    As for the new Magewell dongles – I’ve heard of them, but haven’t had a chance to try them yet. Definetly looks promising, especially since you could potentially use multiple inputs with a simple USB 3.0 powered hub.

  83. Dave #

    Thank you for sharing your setup. I’ve purchased the same and have two cameras going through the MiniRecorders working fine. But I cannot get the Intensity Shuttle for USB 3.0 shot to show up. I am using a late 2013 Macbook Pro. In the “About this Mac” the USB information says, “Unknown (Device has not been configured)”. Any ideas? I have BlackMagic Desktop Video Installer 9.9.3 installed, but is there another driver for the Intensity Shuttle? I’ve searched Black Magic’s website and it lists an older version of the Video Installer (9.7.8) in the downloads page, and no other software to download. Any help would be great. Thanks again for taking the time to share your setup with everyone.

  84. Imry #

    Hi Dave.
    To answer your question – USB 3.0 support is still in beta at Blackmagic Design. They’ve only released one Desktop Video software/driver package that has that support – version 9.7.9 (beta), which is available at http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/support/detail?sid=3947&pid=4042&leg=false&os=mac. Since they released this beta, they have released many newer versions of Desktop Video, but have not extended USB 3.0 support to any of those. I would have to assume that’s because they are still working on the USB 3.0 driver.
    Therefore, I recommend you uninstall any Video Desktop drivers you may have on your computer, and do a clean install of 9.7.9 (beta). Please note that if you have OS-X Mavericks, the older version of Desktop Video might not work well for you.
    I hope this help.
    Please let me know if you have any other questions.

  85. Dave #

    Thanks, Imry. I did that and it is working now. One question, does the Intensity Shuttle degrade the quality of the video signal? I haven’t done in-depth testing yet, but just eyeballing that camera, it appears the quality is lower than the two cameras coming in via the Thunderbolt connections. Thanks again for all your help!

  86. Imry #

    Hi Dave.

    What cameras are you using for your production? Are all the cameras identical?
    What feed are you sending into the Shuttle? HDMI, component or composite?

    HDMI should look the same as your feeds from the Mini Recorders.
    However, component and composite are analog signals (while SDI and HDMI are digital). So you will be able to see some difference in the quality. Note that composite is Standard Definition ONLY. So, if possible, I would recommend you use HD Component into the Shuttle. It would look a bit different than HDMI/SDI, but not nearly as different as composite.

    I hope this helps.
    Let me know how it goes.



  87. Dave #

    All HDMI feeds. I’m using a Canon XF100 via HDMI and two Vixia HV40s via HDMI. One of the Vixia’s is going through the Shuttle. It could be something as simple as focus being off a bit. I’ll keep testing.

  88. 88

    Hey again, Imry.

    Here’s an update: I went ahead and got a maxed out 15 “Mac Book Pro – quad core, 16GB ram, and I just received my Blackmagic Ultrastudio Mini Recorder… My problem is that I can get Wirecast to recognize the capture device (as I see it under “Source Settings”, but there is no image. The camera doesn’t seem to be showing up.
    I use a Sony HXR-NX5U – coming out of the SDI port. I “think” I have everything set correctly, but only a black box in Wirecast. No image.

    After installing the Blackmagic software on the MBP, it seems that there really aren’t too many options in the system preferences. In SETTINGS, everything is greyed out except for the input setting (SDI or HDMI).
    In PROCESSING, the option that I am focusing on is “Select input processing” – figuring that is sort of important….
    but the only options seem to take my signal from HD to SD, or leave it OFF entirely.

    Lots of variables here. Could you share with me what your settings are? I obviously have something that is not matching up? Thanks again.


  89. Imry #

    Hi Dale.

    Assuming that your camera’s SDI output is turned on (some cameras have those outputs turned off by default), you’ll need to adjust the Wirecast source settings. When you go to Sources -> Source Settings in Wirecast, and click on the Mini Recorder input on the left, you’ll see a drop-down box appear on the right side of the screen. You need to select the exact type of signal that your camera is sending (1080i30, 720p30, etc.). You might have to go through the entire list, and see if any of them work. Please note that something, what the camera calls 720p30 or 720p60 actually works in Wirecast as 720p29.97 or 720p59.94. So it’s just some trial and error.
    If you try all the settings and can get any of them to work, you should close Wirecast, and launch Blackmagic’s Media Express (which should have been installed with the drivers). There, change the mode to “Capture” on the bottom, and then go into Preferences and try to set the correct frame rate and resolution for your camera. If any image comes up, you’ll know that it’s not a camera/BMD issue, but just a Wirecast settings issue.
    Let me know how it goes.


  90. 90

    Wow, Imry. If only you could solve all the OTHER problems in my life that simply. Amazing.

    I did go to Media Express first to confirm hat the camera was delivering a signal properly – it was.
    I captured a quick clip from Media Express, brought it into Final Cut to get all the specs on the clip. Once I knew for sure that it was 1080i 29.97, I went back to Wirecast and chose that exact setting — and bingo. Picture.

    You probably only saved me about 3 days trying to figure this out. Thank you again.

  91. 91

    useful information shared… i am very happy to read this article.. thanks for giving us nice info. fantastic walk-through. i appreciate this post

  92. MovieBuff #

    Imry, do you have any video footage of your production using the MB Pro and the 3 camcorders?

    I am having the hardest time debating on whether or not to buy a BlackMagic ATEM TVS or wait for the 2014 NAB.

  93. Imry #

    What are you expecting to see at NAB?

    As for the ATEM vs. Wirecast question – I think it depends on the content of your production. If all you need to do is switch between many different live camera sources, and then record/stream the output, then one of the ATEM switchers would be a great choice for you (with Wirecast on the side for stream/record). However, if you are looking to add a lot of graphics, overlays and play around with multiple channels of DVE, then you’d really want to have an operator with Wirecast.

    We recently got six ATEM 1M/E 4K switchers for our tennis streaming setup (six simultaneous courts). These switchers are great, cheap and provide a lot of inputs. But once you get into overlays or DVE flexibility, they are rather limited.

    I hope this helps.


  94. 94

    Great article and I love reading all of the chatter about it.

    I just bought an i7 macbook pro the other day. I have two hdmi cameras and blackmagic recorders. When I plug them into the macbook pro one at a time, they work and I can use them in both Wirecast and in Blackmagic capture.

    However, when I put them both into the two thunderbolt ports at the same time, I am only getting the visual out of one of the cameras.

    Following your post here, I wash hoping that this new super MBP can handle 2 HDMI cameras. I noticed you had the same type of setup here with the 2 BM recorders. What is the secret here? Thanks


  95. Imry #

    Hi Jeff.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    To answer your question – this shouldn’t be a power issue. We use two mini recorders all the time.
    When you check the Blackmagic settings in “System Settings” – do both mini records come up?

    Can you toggle between them?
    Are they both set to HDMI?
    Can you see both images in Blackmagic’s Media Express software?

    Just trying to figure out if this is a Wirecast settings issue or a BMD settings issue.



  96. 96

    Yes, in settings, they both come up. I have them both set to HDMI and in Wirecast, I see them both as Recorder 1 and 2.

    This is the odd thing of why I am not sure why it’s not working. Thanks for the help. If possible, would love to setup a friendly phone call.

  97. Imry #

    Hi Jeff.

    Sure thing. I’d be happy to help.
    I’ll send you a direct email to coordinate a call.


  98. Leroy #

    Hi Imry.
    I just got the BM Ultra Studio Mini Recorder. I connected to our Apple iMac through the thunderbolt port. We are using wirecast and the camera we are trying to connect is the Canon Vixia HF G20 via HDMI. Wirecast recognizes the MiniRecorder, but the screen is black. I launched the Media Express and but it gives an error message. I can’t remember off the top of my head what the message said. Could it be that I have some settings that are off?

  99. Imry #

    Hi Leroy.

    Thanks for the note.
    There are many things that could be causing the black screen. The two most common issues are:
    1. Have you changed the Mini Recorder settings in “System Settings” -> “Blackmagic Design” from SDI to HDMI?
    2. Have you adjusted your Wirecast Source Settings to fit the resolution and frame rate of the camera output?
    If you’ve done both of those, and still get a black screen, please let me know what the Media Express error message says, and I’ll try to diagnose.



  100. Genesis #

    hello there imry, can i just ask if the bmd shuttle 3.0 will work with other i7 laptops with 16 gig memory and 4 gig video card? using windows 7 ultimate and using canon 60d dslr. i read all the comments here and it seems they all are using macbook pro. thank you so much for this really helpful topic you have shared.

  101. Imry #


    I have not personally tried the Intensity Shuttle on a PC laptop, but it should work. I would recommend you connect it first to a USB 3.0 hub, to make sure it gets consistent power. But other than that, I think it should work with a PC just fine.

    I hope this helps.

  102. Genesis #

    thank you so much for your reply, this forum did help me a lot just by reading about them and also the forums on bmd, i did somehow managed to make it work in 5 hours reading and experimenting with a lenovo i5 laptop and 4 gig ram and nvidia videocard with usb 3.0 by forcing the windows seven drivers into it. and also without using any usb powered hub just by simply changing my power options. i just hope i will be able to use it with my surplus pioneer svm1000 mixer which is about to arrive tommorow. anyway i will just be using a single usb intensity shuttle because the mixer will do the mixing of the other camera inputs.thank you so much guys for all the sharing.. signing out from catanduanes philippines.

  103. MovieBuff #

    Can you include the specs of the Mac Book Pro? The hyperlink above no longer works. Please take a look at TitleMaker, they created a cool scoreboard and replay system: http://forum.ibroadcastnetwork.org/showthread.php/1602-TitleMaker-demonstration?highlight=scoreboard

  104. Imry #

    Our Macbook Pro has 2.6 Ghz Intel Core i7, 8 GB Memory, NVIDIA 1 GB graphics.
    As for the TitleMaker software – I’ve seen it demoed in several different online forums. Do you know where it’s actually available for purchase/download? I can’t seem to find that.

  105. MovieBuff #

    I do not think it is publicly available. You can contact him here: http://forum.telestream.net/forum/messageview.aspx?catid=45&threadid=14501&highlight_key=y&keyword1=TitleMaker He posted it in the Wirecast forums. If you message him, please show him your setup (It’s impressive).

    I was tempted to purchase a MacBook Pro or a Mac Pro(6 cams, 6 thunderbolt), but decided to hold that thought. I wonder if your 3 camera setup would work on the 13″ MacBook Pro
    2.8GHz Dual-core Intel Core i7, 16GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM, 512GB PCIe-based Flash Storage, Intel Iris Graphics, 2 Thunderbolt ports and 2 USB3.0 ports. Thoughts?

  106. Imry #

    Thanks for the TItleMaker information!

    Regarding the 13″ Macbook Pro specs – my only concern would be the Intel Iris Graphics. I have tried using a 13″ Macbook Pro with Intel HD Graphics 4000 was the setup described in this blog, and was not able to get 3 cameras in there. Anything more than one uncompressed HD-SDI signal made the computer barely useable. I haven’t tried the new Iris Graphics system, so I’m not sure how much of an improvement it is over the HD Graphics 4000.

  107. MovieBuff #

    If you know anyone with a 13″ MBP with the i7 specs, it would be a great test. I’m actually trying to find a PC based laptop with 3 independent buses. I would try 3 Magewell HMDI/SDI USB3.0 adapters. Everyone is raving about Magewell, minus the price.

  108. Genesis #

    the i5 laptop can not record hd only ntsc and therefor i changed to mbp i7 2.7 16ram 1gignvidia 650dram5 and is about to test it. i really hope this will work with the three hd cameras i have. will post update later.

  109. MovieBuff #

    Please do! I was even considering doing 4 cameras on the i7 15″ MBP because the WiFi on campus works so well.

  110. NIKAM #

    Hi: I like you set-up

    I am trying to live stream to YouTube. I can do that with Google hangout.

    I have Wirecast FREE version on, for now.
    Even when I use studio trial version, I cant see the image. from the Sony Handycam HDR c160.

    Mac Book pro, i5, 4GB mem.

    I have sony Handycam HDR c160.
    I have Black magic Ultra Studio Mini Recorder (USMR).
    HDMI from camera to HDMi into USMR
    Thudnerboldt from USMR to Mac Book Pro.


    I don’t see the image in the Wirecast window. I can see the webcam image OK. But can’t see image in the USMR video output.

    Wirecast recognizes the USMR in the video options.

    I have tried all video setting options like 1080P, 1080i, 720p, etc.

    Also, I want to turn off the audio from HMDI source. How do I do that?

    Another problem:

    When I use my Focusrite sound box in Wirecast it recognizes it as mono and the sound quality is bad. When I use google hang out, it recognizes the Fosurite as stereo channel and has solid sound. Any suggestion to improve sound quality in Wirecast set-up.

    Can I use mini HDMI to Mac Book pro thunderbolt to transfer video from the Sony camera to Mac book pro? Do we need some thing like USMR or BM extreme etc?

    I have looked at all the option , but I don’t know what step is wrong.

    I am running BM 10.0+ software for the USMR recorder.

    Please help

    You can call me at 281-265-7567 or email me with suggestions to drniknikam@gmail.com



  111. Imry #

    Hi Nik.

    Regarding your first issue – I would recommend you carefully check the output settings from your camera. Once you confirm what format its outputting, you can use Blackmagic Design’s Media Express software to make sure that the signal is coming into the computer properly. This sounds like just a settings issue.

    Regarding your second issue – you can turn down the HDMI volume in Wirecast, by double-clicking the Mini Recorder shot, navigating your way to the audio tab on the right, and then turning down the volume.

    Regarding your audio issue – I have never used “Focusrite” equipment, so I cannot really help you there.

    Good luck!


  112. NIK #

    Hi Irmy:

    Finally, I got the Wirecast to recognize the HDMI camera by setting the frame rate to 1080i. However, the Black Magic Express has no option for 1080i. It just lists 1080p. Anyway, it works.

    Thanks for the tip on HDMI audio volume.

    I have a new problem with Desktop Presenter. It show multiple mirror images of the screen in Wirecast. I would like to know how to get only one image not multiple mirror images, one with in another.

    About Wirecast: The studio version is $199 on YouTube site. However, at Telestream site, it’s listed for $499. Does that mean the YouTube version of Wirecast won’t work under other situations or while streaming to other sources? Also, I’m wondering if the YouTube version is very limited in options, compared to the full version.

  113. Imry #

    Hi Nik.

    I recommend you contact Telestream support, and ask them for assistance with your specific issues.



  114. Genesis Camacho #

    hey guys I’m sorry haven’t had posted since. i tried with my MacBook Pro i7 using windows seven 64bit and it works perfectly for the usb 3.0 but since i have three bmd intensity shuttle usb 3.0 i needed another usb 3.0 port unfortunately i only have two ports on my macbook and i accidentally plugged my camera on the out of the shuttle instead of the in and the usb port does not work now. for that i decided to buy the belkin thunderbolt port which has usb ports hoping to use the usb ports there for my intensity, also it has its own power so i thought it would be great. but another mishap happened; already i had the belkin up and running but when i plugged my shuttle it says that the port has somewhat override, something like that and i learned form reading forums that the belkin when used with windows the usb ports only supports 2.5Gb of data so its no use again for my three camera setup. now i’m back with maverick and reading again this forum. thanks to Imry this has been the most helpful forum i have come across. but now i have a problem, i have a belkin and i want to use the three usb shuttle i have but it seems that vmd does not officially supports shuttle usb 3.0 on mac, i installed the version 10 of the video desktop for mac and plugged in my usb shuttle and it does nothing, seems like it can not detect anything was plugged. anyway i am new to mac, and i don’t have any idea with mac, hope you guys can help and point me to the right direction. would anybody want to trade their thunderbolt shuttle for my usb shuttle? thanks.

  115. Walter #

    Hi Imry,

    I have seeing the post and it’s of great help and is very close to what we need but I need to ask you for a bit more info if you don’t mind. We have an acting studio for many years but is all analog. We use two mini Dv cameras right now which we use as a viewfinders but we recorder on the fly onto a DVD -hdd player recorder and we have an edirol video switcher and small sound mixer. All analog.

    The only good thing is that it let us playback for the class right of way and later round make a DVD with their scenes. However the quality is analog so it doesn’t look great on the screen on playback and it takes long to convert the files when the students ask to have it on a USB or upload the takes for them.

    So, we are doing the switch to hd so that it looks better on the screen on play back and want to use a computer (Mac), we were thinking on getting the Blackmagic tv studio but after reading your post, I decided not to. What would be the best set up for us and the most cost efficient?

    What we need is to be able to switch from both angles, look at playback right away and when class is done deliver as QuickTime or any standard format on USB.

    We have the one hd camera that we bought, a canon xa10, a MacBook Pro, and the microphone that is attached to the celling.

    Thank you in advance and I hope you can help me, most of the stores I visited here in toronto are useless when it comes to advice.


  116. Imry #

    It’s true that BMD still does not have a fully supported USB 3.0 driver for their Intensity product line. Hopefully that will come out soon. On Windows, you can try to use a powered USB 3.0 hub. That would allow you to connect multiple Intensity Shuttle devices without the 2.5GB limit (the actual number would depend on the type of signal you’re sending).
    Good luck.

  117. Imry #

    Hi Walter.

    Thank you for the information about your setup.
    It seems like Wirecast would be a perfect fit for you, with a Macbook Pro with Retina Display and i7 quad core processor.
    You can connect your two cameras to the laptop easily. If they both have SDI or HDMI output, you can use two Blackmagic Design Mini Recorders. If they don’t have SDI/HDMI output on the cameras, you’d need to get the Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle Thunderbolt to support Component/Composite input. You can then connect your audio to the laptop either through one of the cameras, or directly to the laptop with a USB mixer or a XLR to USB adapter/cable.
    Once you have all the inputs in place, Wirecast will easily allow you to record your entire production in QuickTime H.264 format. You can then take that file and copy it to any standard USB drive. Anyone with QuickTime player installed should be able to play your recorded files. The size of the files will depend on your session duration, and the quality of your recording. We record 720p at 5Mbps, and get files that are 5-7Gb for 2-3 hour broadcasts.
    Finally, you can convert the H.264 files to MPEG 2 and burn them on DVDs. All you’ll need is a DVD authoring software, and a computer with a DVD burner. Just note that the DVD playback will look significantly worse than the H.264 files, as they’ll be SD and analog.
    I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

  118. Walter #

    Thank you Imry, one quick question: can I use a retina 2.5 Gz Intel i5 processor or a Mac book pro 2012 instead of the one you mentioned? Also, I read some nightmare postings today from a year ago at the BM forum regarding Blackmagic Design Mini Recorders not working with most OS on macs. Is this still the case today? Thanks again you are a life saver! Walter

  119. Imry #

    Hi Walter.
    You can use whatever Macbook Pro you want. It’s just that i5 processor have a hard time getting in two camera sources, and also allowing Wirecast to record in high quality.
    Also, make sure that your laptop has two Thunderbolt inputs. Non-retina devices only have one…

    Finally, you should have no problem using the Mini Recorders. Many people use them without any issues.


  120. Walter #

    Thank you Imry, would this one do also https://www.apple.com/imac/? (21.5inc) Otherwise I will get the retina and follow your advice. Thanks again!

  121. Imry #

    Hi Walter.
    I haven’t tried this setup with an iMac, since it’s less portable than a Macbook Pro.
    However, it should work. I would just recommend you get a unit with NVIDIA GeForce GT graphics, not just the Intel built-in option.

  122. 122


    Reading all this makes me jealous. I am not a mac guy. So I bought a MSIGT70 and a couple of USB 3.0 shuttles, hoping to input twoo sources to Wirecast. I’ve had nothing but problems, freezes, drops etc. My first mistake was that the MSI has the Intel USB 3.0 chipset, and BMD only certifies the Renesas one. But supposedly it should work, however I’ve pushed and pulled every which way with drivers to make it work robustly, with no joy. Seriously thinking about coming over to the dark side :)

  123. Walter #

    Hi Imry, I’m almost there to buy it all this weekend, but I have a question, is this card better for what you suggested: Intel Iris Pro Graphics or should I go with NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
    with 2GB GDDR5 memory? On another note: someone suggested h264 pro recorder To capture?

    Thanks in advance, walter

  124. Imry #

    Hi Walter.

    The NVIDIA card is better. You can probably get away with using the Intel Iris graphics, but the NVIDIA card would take on more of the processing power off the CPU, and would allow you to use more camera inputs and more graphics without issues.

    As for capturing – Wirecast is capable of capturing everything on its own. If you want to use an external capture device that’s fine, but you’d need to get a SDI or HDMI output from your machine into the capture device.


  125. Walter #

    Thanks Imry, will keep you post!

  126. Walter #

    Hi Imry, I just bought the Mac online! Now is this the one you told me for mini recorders?

    Blackmagic UltraStudio Mini Recorder – $169 – in stock
    NOTE: Does not come with Thunderbolt cable – that is extra.

    The Blackmagic Design UltraStudio Mini Recorder is an extremely affordable solution with high quality SD and HD video, all powered from the Thunderbolt connection so you just plug in and go. When you need tiny sized portable video capture and playback for your Thunderbolt laptop or desktop computer, then UltraStudio Mini is the perfect solution. The mini recorder that fits in your pocket, UltraStudio Mini Recorder is super tiny and includes just SDI and HDMI connections, plus Thunderbolt. Simply plug in and record from any SDI and HDMI device for the most incredible portable solution.

  127. Imry #

    Yes. That is the correct device to get a SDI or HDMI signal into your Macbook.

  128. Walter #

    Hi Imry, so the computer is in, what cables do I need to buy now to hook up the above configuration you suggested? Thanks again, Walter

  129. Walter #

    Hi Imry, I meant which cables from the cameras, they have mini hdmi out, also to keep using the analog soundboard all I need is an xlr to USB? And here is the other thing, I need to hook up an external hard drive to USB or thunder plus I need to see live what we shoot on the tv?

  130. Imry #

    Hi Walter.

    You listed a lot of cable needs there.
    Here is what you definitely need:

    1. A mini-HDMI to HDMI cable. One for each camera/mini-recorder pair.
    2. A thunderbolt cable. One of each camera/mini-recorder pair.
    3. A standard HDMI cable. To get output from the Retina MBP into an external TV.
    4. There are many ways to get audio into Wirecast. You can use a XLR to USB cable. You can also use a standard audio cable to get the output from your mixer into one of the cameras, and then get that audio feed from the thunderbolt connection into the computer.
    5. Your external hard drive should come with a USB-B to USB-A cable. If it doesn’t, you’d need that cable as well (Make sure you know if it’s USB 3.0 or USB 2.0. Those are different cables).
    6. I would also recommend a USB 3.0 hub, to make sure that your USB devices get consistent power (if it doesn’t have a external AC/DC power).

    That’s all for now.
    Makes sense?


  131. Walter #

    Great info Imry, what’s USB-B to USB-A cable?

  132. Walter #

    Hi Imry, I’m wracking my brain how I would do the sound, I’m still not clear and I’m going tomorrow to buy the rest of the items.
    Right now this is what we use for the sound, the two microphones are hooked up to a sound mixer Xenix 802 behringer amd there are two cables of RCA hooked up to the part that says tape on this mixer and it syncs with the video on the DVD recorder. You mentioned the xlr to USB cable to keep using my mixer, but How would that work now? I’m sorry once again, I’m totally confused and I feel like I’m so close…

  133. Imry #

    Hi Walter.

    A USB-A to USB-B cable is this: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1042567-REG/kramer_c_usb_ab_10_usb_2_0_type_a_male.html.
    It’s used to connect peripherals to a USB port.


  134. Imry #

    Hi Walter.

    Now that I know what kind of mixer you are using, I would recommend a 1/4″ to USB cable: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/676979-REG/DJ_Tech_JACK_2_USB_Jack_2_USB_1_4_to.html (or something similar).
    You’ll just plug the 1/4″ TRS connector to one of the main output from your mixer. Then, connect the USB cable to the Macbook Pro (or to the USB hub). Wirecast should recognize this as a new audio input, and allow you to just bring it in as an audio shot in any layer.

    Does that make sense?


  135. Walter #

    I will try. Thank you again!

  136. Walter #

    Imry, I have a problem I think. I heard that wire cast doesn’t do playback and I’m supposed but the rest of the gear tomorrow and make the changes tomorrow since the studio is closed this weekend. What we do in class: When we shoot in class, the scenes last top 3 to 4 minutes only, then we have to review in class each scene that we like. So playback, play and pause is a must all times. Can the program do this? I’m sorry for all the questions but I’m getting nervous. Lol

  137. Imry #

    Hi Walter.
    I’m not sure I understand what you’re talking about.
    You can set Wirecast to record in a standard QuickTime format.
    Then, just use QuickTime player to playback and pause anything you need.
    Does that make sense?


  138. Walter #

    Hi Imry, I got everything going after 7 hours!!! except the external sound. How do I bring separate sound with wirecast? I have a mike and a sound mixer now with speakers also. But I don’t know how to record to QuickTime with an external mike. Thanks for all your help. Also, at point I quit wirecast and lost all the setiings, I hope when I turn it on tomorrow all the settings are there. Walter

  139. Imry #

    Hi Warren.
    You can either get an audio capture device that will let you get an audio out from the mixer into the computer, or you can just route the output from your mixer into the camera. Then, the SDI feed from the camera will carry both video and your mixer audio.
    Does that make sense?

  140. Walter #

    Hi Imry, the mixer I have has USB. I just don’t know how to set it up on wirecast app itself? I keep getting sound from the hdmi or computer, wirecast confuses me.

  141. Imry #

    Does the USB mixer appear as a possible “source” in your “source settings” window? If so, you can add it to a layer.
    You should also make sure that you mute all audio from all other sources (by right-clicking on their thumbnails, going to the audio tab, and brining the volume selector all the way down).

    Good luck!


  142. Walter #

    Hi Imri, I give up with wirecast. I can’t make work for what I need…should I just go with the set up I bought that you suggested and add BM to it?

  143. Imry #

    What problems are you hoping that the BMD switcher will solve? Just audio input?

  144. Walter #

    Bacause I’m not in need of streaming, I understand that the bm tv one cuptures and playback on the fly very easly. What do you think?

  145. Imry #

    The Blackmagic Design ATEM TV Studio does have have any internal recording and playback capabilities. You’ll need a computer next to it to with a video capture device to record everything.

  146. Walter #

    Yes I know I still have all the things I bought. But do you think bmt would be good for my work?

  147. Imry #

    Hi Walter.
    I don’t really remember your work flow. Can you lay out exactly what outputs and inputs you’d need?

  148. 148

    Hi Imry,

    Awesome article! Thanks for the tips. However, I have a question: How do you create your own graphics instead of use the Wirecast’s ones?



  149. Imry #

    Hi Georges.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    To answer your question –
    1. Instructions on how to add custom titles can be found in the Wirecast User Guide (http://www.telestream.net/pdfs/user-guides/Wirecast-5-User-Guide-Mac.pdf) on page 64.
    2. Instructions on how to add custom scoreboards can be found here: http://forum.telestream.net/forum/messageview.aspx?catid=45&threadid=13820&highlight_key=y&keyword1=scoreboards

    I hope this helps.


  150. Larry #

    I been reading all this good info. I want to live stream sporting events also. I have everything except my hookup for my second camcorder. I have Wirecast 5 pro. a laptop i7,12gig of ram. 3 gig video card. Windows 8. Thunderbolt port with 4 3.0 ports. I got the mini recorder for my thunderbolt port. I was told black magic shuttle. People had problems with. I have 2 Sony hdmi camcorders. Need advice on what to use for bringing in the other camcorder

  151. 151

    Hi Imry,

    I really appreciate your reply. We have a news section in our web TV, reason why we’re planning to use TriCaster 40 in conjunction with Wirecast Pro, the 2 systems being connected together (TriCaster for transitions, graphics and backgrounds only and Wirecast for live streaming to the world only, as we’ve been doing so far). Here is my question if you don’t mind: Is that technically feasible? I yes, how?

  152. Imry #

    Hi Georges.

    Yes. What you’re suggesting is possible, and is a common setup for Tricaster.
    Besides the full Tricaster 40 setup, and the computer on which you’ll run Wirecast, you’re going to need something to get the feed out of Tricaster and into Wirecast.
    Assuming you are using a new Mac for Wirecast, I suggest you get the Blackmagic Design Ultra Studio Mini Recorder. It will allow you to convert the HDMI output from the Tricaster into a Thunderbolt input for the Mac.
    Does that make sense?


  153. Imry #

    Hi Larry.

    I think that the Blackmagic Design Intensity Shuttle USB 3.0 is the best solution for you.
    I know that there have been issues with using that device on a Mac. However, I have never tried using it on a PC/Windows machine. I recommend you try it.

    If you would rather use something else, you can try the Magewell HDMi to USB 3.0 converter (http://www.magewell.com/hardware/dongles/xi100dusb-hdmi/xi100dusb-hdmi_features.html?lang=en). I’ve never used it, but I’ve heard that it’s simple and easy to use.


  154. Genesis Camacho #

    thanks to this forum and to Imry # of course. finally after so many trials, i made it work. 3 usb 3.0 intensity shuttle, belkin thunderbolt dock, mavericks os, 15 inch mid 2012 macbook pro wid retina display 16gig ram, 1 gig 650 nvidia video card. wirecast 5.0.3, and blackmagic video desktop 9.7.9 for the driver of the intensity shuttle. the only thing i noticed is that when using hdmi on both 3 of the shuttle makes my macbook use upto 93 percent of cpu and can only record it to ntsc format using wirecast, higher resolutions makes my recording choppy.

  155. 155

    Hi Imry,

    Thanks for the feedback! It seems like TriCaster 40 doest not have an HDMI port. No quite sure though.

  156. Larry #

    Thanks Imry. I’m gonna try it. All this is new to Windows except Wirecast. I know everybody uses macs. I have Wirecast 5 pro on my desktop at home running OK. Nothing but Webcams hooked up to it. Ready to go mobile with streaming sports.

  157. Imry #

    Hi Georges.

    The Tricaster 40 does have an HDMI port in the back. It can be used for a second interface/multiview monitor, or for a PGM output. Either way.


  158. 158

    Hi Imry,

    I tried to set up Wirecast Pro with 2 UltraStudio Mini Recorders with all the cables you specified. The Wirecast camera shots are black, even after setting it to HD. I wonder if I’m doing something wrong. I will appreciate your help. By the way I’m using 2 cameras of this Sony brand: http://pro.sony.com/bbsccms/ext/hdv/hvrhd1000u/HVR-HD1000U/

    Thank You.


  159. 159

    Hi Imry,

    Is there a link where you can download the Blackmagic’s Media Express? Thanks!

  160. Imry #

    Hi Georges.

    Blackmagic’s Media Express is installed as part of the “Desktop Video” driver package.
    You should make sure that you have the latest version of Desktop Video from the Blackmagic Design website, and that the firmware on your Mini Recorders is updated.
    Then, you’ll need to go to the Blackmagic settings in “System Preferences” and make sure you change the input to HDMI from SDI.
    Finally, using Media Express, you’ll need to figure out what resolution and framerate your video is coming in. Once you have that, you can enter that same information in the Wirecast source settings window.

    Good luck!


  161. 161

    Hi Imry,

    It worked!!!!! Thanks VERY MUCH!!!!!

  162. ren #

    Imry you are a lifesaver,
    after much scouring it seems the internet only has this one page here for discussing the ACTUAL setup, use, and technical requirements for a good multi-cam stream in a portable fashion. (despite loads of marketing from every device and service that swears you’re only a couple bucks and clicks away from an easy setup. not the case)

    if you’re still there any help is appreciated a billion times. So I’ve streamed a handful of very long events with a single older cam. the last few I’ve done using an older HDMI consumer cam > BM Intensity Extreme > macbook pro 2.7ghz i7, 16gb ram. It works great but I’ve learned to live with the lower quality, sometimes getting HD for a bit but not usually. I had always assumed it was about bandwidth but, duh! it’s the processor. streaming this way always has it bobbing between like 70-99% CPU usage (with livestream and Ustream both). when i can get HD it’s amazing but the CPU tops out pretty fast so I never stick with it.

    Would a new fast retina macbook pro really make enough of a difference to support multicam HD streaming and switching all on a laptop? I have a client that wants me to shoot some Cricket games (yes in the US, don’t ask).

    I’m not sure what to do; like others here I thought I’d need to get SDI cameras, (or the SDI extender/converters for HDMI cams), run those into a BM ATEM switcher run on one laptop/monitor for that, and then into another laptop running the livestream stuff. Now I’m not sure. Either way cabling distance is an issue for me, at least one cam will be over 100ft away so I can’t do HDMI for that regardless.

    What I see you saying here is: get a handful of the BM converters to get into a macbook pro (retina quad i7), through firewire, and use wirecast to livestream where-ever since it is a switcher itself, that way it can truly be run from a single laptop.
    I can’t seem to confirm things like
    a) is a new retina laptop (2.7 quad, 16gb) that much faster that it can smoothly run 2/3 cams, swiched and streamed all at once without dropping signal?
    b) is there any inherent disadvantage to using one of those stand alone streaming devices like livestream procaster? I’m starting to think I could use one of those for single cam streams and maybe actually get HD versus my laptop that struggles to hold an HD stream.
    c) also if I did any of this now and got a new laptop for it would Wirecast, or BM anything be ready for the weird new OS 10.8 that just came out? I’m assuming a new retina machine would have it pre-installed so could be trouble.
    d) does wirecast purchased come with multiple machine installs?
    e) do you recommend a particular good/robust HDMI>HD/SDI adapter and would they give me the distance overall of SDI once converted? what about a wireless HDMI signal transmitter? would that just be stupid to mess with?

    thanks for this anyway, it’s already more good info than I’ve seen ANYwhere about this stuff.

  163. Imry #

    Hi Ren.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    To answer your questions:

    a & b) Yes. New retina 15″/17″ laptops with proper CPU, memory and graphics supports are able to handle 3-camera shoots. Even though some of the Livestream switchers are built to better handle all these tasks, I tend to favor Wirecast software on Macbook Pros since it gives you a lot of freedom. You can have other windows open while streaming, you can reference websites, you can have counter clocks or other graphics source and bring it into your production internally. These are all things that are not always possible with closed-off switcher systems.

    c) I don’t know how Wirecast will work with the new OS-X (Yosemite). I know that it works very well with OS-X 10.9.4, which is what we’re using here.

    d) Officially, I think you can only use Wirecast on one computer at a time. Unofficially, I think it can work on two at once.

    e) I wouldn’t recommend going wireless. Those systems sound good in theory, but are usually prone to mid-broadcast issues (unless you spend more than $10,000 on a pro system). Ideally, you should get SDI cameras. If you cannot get those, I would recommend you use a Blackmagic HDMI to SDI Mini Converter to get your signal to travel more than 30 ft.

    I hope this helps.


  164. hsilver #

    I am doing my first live-stream to YouTube with Wirecast for YouTube using 2 SDI HD cameras (Sony EX1), a BMD UltraStudio Express and a BMD UltraStudio Mini Recorder. I got a Behringer USB Media Digitizer but I’m wondering if bringing in audio from the audio board via the UltraStudio Express makes better sense. I read somewhere about creating a master layer with audio only from the UltraStudio Express. I’d appreciate your opinion.


  165. Imry #

    I think that brining in the audio through one of the existing video sources would be best. It would minimize the number of different inputs that Wirecast has to process.
    You can either bring in the audio through the UltraStudio Express, or plug it into your cameras, and bring it in via the HDMI/SDI connection on the Mini Recorder.
    Then, you can just add that source to a master layer, and change the video opacity to 0%. That would be your audio layer.
    That’s how we usually do it.

  166. Dfont #

    Hi, based on this article and others I recently purchased a setup similar to yours. The biggest difference is with audio. I’m bring in audio from a mixer through the analog line input on the mac. No problem so far, audio sounds great. The one question I have, is about the announcers receiving the wirecast output audio in their headsets. We currently use a headset amp and it works great for announcers hearing each other, but when we want to add audio or video files into wirecast, the announcers can’t hear that. Plugging into the Mac for output audio has a delay. How would you tackle this issue. Is there a way to get wirecast audio output into the announcers headset in real time, without a delay. Thanks for your help.

  167. Imry #


    I think there’s always going to be a delay when getting audio out of Wirecast. There’s just too much processing going on to have it real time.
    I would suggest you feed the Wirecast audio out back into your mixer. Make sure it’s only routed into the commentator headsets, not the main mix that goes back into Wirecast.
    Then, you can mute that feed when it’s just the commentators talking (they’ll get their returns from the mixer anyway), and un-mute the feed when you’re playing back audio and video files from Wirecast.
    It’s not the prettiest solution, but it’s easy to implement, and wouldn’t require you to get any additional hardware or people.

    Would that work?


  168. Mike #


    Thank you for this resource. As others have mentioned this has been the most beneficial regarding setting up a live multi-cam production utilizing a single computer. Here is my situation. I am a teacher at a high school and we are currently recording the announcements after school to be played the next morning. We have a studio set up with 3 cameras and a green screen. The announcements are recorded and then edited in Premiere Pro where all the camera cuts, keying, etc are put together and exported as a stand alone movie. There is no live switching. The next day they are played through our closed circuit TV system via a computer hooked up to one of the channels. After reading this thread, it appears that we may be able to go live and still be able to key out, utilize lower thirds, and add graphics with Wirecast. My concern is that the computer may not be able to handle 3 cameras, run Wirecast, and Key 3 different camera shots. According to what I read, the new MacBook can handle 3 cameras but I see nothing here about keying three cameras live.

    Here is my thought on the set-up.
    – New MacBook Pro with the proper set up as explained in this thread
    – Camera 1 hooked directly to the HDMI port
    – Camera 2 hooked to one USB port with the BM Intensity Shuttle
    – Camera 3 hooked up to TB port with BM Mini Recorder
    *Note: all cameras are identical (Panasonic ag-hmc70p)
    The other thunderbolt port will be used as the secondary monitor which will hook to our closed circuit TV system and provide our live feed via a VGA adapter. (this is how we currently play the pre-recorded announcements)
    – An external HD hooked up to the other usb port for recording.

    Before purchasing all the missing parts (MacBook, BM Shuttle, BM Mini Recorder, and Wirecast) I want to make sure it is going to work. Your thoughts and comments will be greatly appreciated.


  169. Imry #

    Hi Mike.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Here are my comments to your setup:

    1. A brand new Macbook Pro with Retina Display, lots of memory, fast CPU and a GPU should easily be able to handle three camera inputs and green screen keying. That shouldn’t be an issue.
    2. The HDMI port on Macbook Pros is an output, not an input. Therefore, you will need to connect two cameras using BMD Mini Recorders to the two Thunderbolt ports, and one camera using an Intensity Shuttle USB 3.0.
    3. You’ll be able to use the Macbook Pro’s HDMI output to send the feed out to your CCTV system.
    4. I don’t have experience with the Panasonic ag-hmc70p cameras. I know that some older cameras don’t provide a clean live feed out of their HDMI port, just a dirty feed with all the on-screen display information. That’s something that you’ll need to look up.
    5. You’ll need to give some thought to audio as well, since Macbook Pros don’t come with audio inputs anymore. How are you planning to get your audio into Wirecast?

    I hope this helps.


  170. Mike #


    Thanks for getting back so quick. For the audio, we have a separate mixer that I was planning on feeding into the shuttle.


  171. Walter #

    Hi again Imry, what is the best Mac mini configuration to run the blackmagic tv studio? I bought the mac book pro retina but I want to use a Mac mini instead. Thanks again Walter

  172. Imry #

    Hi Walter.

    I’m not sure I understand your question. Are you just looking for the Mac Mini to run the ATEM Control Software? If so, any configuration would do. It’s not a resource-intesive program.
    If you’re looking to connect video sources to it, then you’d need to upgrade any base model to a i7 core, with 16GB of memory.


  173. Walter #

    Yes that was my question. ill be running two cameras with it, I bought the MacBook pro with retina but I’m afraid my team won’t look after it, so I decided to keep it for something else and use a Mac mini instead. I just wanted to make sure it worked with the atem. Thank you again. I hope life is treating you well Walter

  174. Pedro #

    Hi Imry,

    How do you guys do replays? And also, how do you do an animated (alpha channel) wipe to the replay?

    Thank you,


  175. Imry #

    Hi Pedro.

    For our small Wirecast-based productions, we don’t do replays or replay wipes.
    For our larger productions, we use Newtek Tricaster for the wipes, and Newtek 3Play for the replays.

    Telestream’s newest version of Wirecast (6.0) does have support for some rudimentary replays. I’ve played around with it a bit, and it definitely has potential. However, it is very limited compared to larger dedicated replay solutions.


  176. Steve #

    Great post! What do you do about live game clock or shot clock? I have wirecast 6.0 and a MacBook pro retina.

  177. Imry #

    Hi Steve.

    Thanks for the feedback.
    There are three ways we use to get a clock into Wirecast:
    1. Clock cam – The easiest solution is pointing a POV/PTZ camera at the game clock/shot clock, and bringing that shot into Wirecast. Then, you can crop the shot and make it fit into your score bug.
    2. For any sport that doesn’t have frequent clock stoppages, we often use a website called Timeme.com. It provides a countdown clock that you can design and control on the site. We open the page in Firefox, and change the default screen color to green. Then, we use Wirecast’s Local Desktop Presenter to bring the webpage into the software, key out the green background, and crop the rest of the page. It looks pretty good, though it does require manual operation of the clock.
    3. We also you a Daktronics All-Sport CG. (For our large Tricaster productions, we use the All-Sport CG to bring live scoreboard data into LiveText. That’s not relevant for Wirecast). You can take the composite output from the All-Sport CG, and bring it into Wirecast as a video feed. Then, you just crop and scale and shot to fit your own score bug.

    Each of these is useful in different situations, and for different sports. We use a combination of these for all our Wirecast productions.
    I hope these help. Please let me know if you have further questions.


  178. Ross Kallen #

    Hi Imry,

    I am running Wirecast 6 for a local Sports team with 3 Cameras and have noticed a power drain on our Macbook Pro while plugged in. Have you experienced this issue?

    Our Configuration:
    3 EX3 Cams
    2 Thunderbolt Inputs (Ultra Studio Mini Recorder, Ultra Studio express)
    1 SDI – USB adapter (Magewell)
    1 Ethernet to USB adapter

    We also tested using Wirecast 5 with same issue.

    Thanks for the insight.


  179. Imry #

    Hi Ross.

    Since the Mini Recorders, Ultra Studio and Magewell adapters all have significant power consumption, it’s not surprising that the Macbook Pro is struggling. It’s normal for the computer to drain down to 93-95%, and then charge up again (while plugged in). If you’re noticing more drain than that, I would recommend you reset the System Management Controller (http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201295) and PRAM (http://support.apple.com/kb/PH14222?viewlocale=en_US). That may help re-calibrate the battery charge process.

    If those don’t help, I recommend you use a powered USB 3.0 hub to connect the Magewell and Ethernet adapters to your computer. That would remove any power drain they are responsible for, and power them straight from the hub.

    Good luck!


  180. 180

    A big thank you to Imry for being such an informative guest blogger and patiently answering all of these questions! We will be turning comments off for now, but we are more than happy to answer any of your equipment related inquiries. Feel free to contact us at our support email address (support at stretch internet dot com) with any questions… thanks again, Imry!


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