Is YouTube Live Streaming Coming?

by Zach Scott on June 4, 2010

The guys over at TechCrunch noticed that on a screenshot in a help article for the new YouTube moderator feature, that there is a button for Live Stream to edit setting for a YouTube channel.

YouTube has been experimenting with Live Streaming events like a U2 concert, and various other events, mostly politcal in nature, but this could be hinting at a not so distant future rollout of Live Streaming services to the whole YouTube community.

Live Streaming is exploding in popularity as Ustream.tv recently received 75 Million dollars to help expand their services worldwide. If YouTube really does turn on Live Streaming to all users, it could be really interesting to see where producers alliances will lye as each of the services will no doubt fight for exclusive deals with content producers.

(TechCrunch.com)

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Ustream.tv Announces Global Production Services

by Zach Scott on June 4, 2010

Last week Ustream.tv announced that they are adding Global Production Services (GPS for short) to their growing list of offering. This is another tool in Ustream’s arsenal that is make Ustream the live stream provider the choice of more and more producers. They are offering three different packages to meet the different needs of many of the Ustream producers. The packages list base prices that don’t include travel or other costs that are based on the location.

The Ustream backpack has gained a lot of attention while Leo Laporte was using it to live stream his coverage from this year’s SXSW. They are offering two different options with the mobile LiveU rig. There is the $3,000 a day rate that includes camera and technical staff and there is a month to month or yearly rental option to just rent the backpack equipment and includes 40 hours of streaming a month. Twit.tv and Pixel Corps have rented the Ustream Mobile Livepack and swear by it’s quality.

Conference streaming has blow up in the past year or so, and it used to be really expensive and you had to deal with some hairy technical goo with distributing the video. That has changed with the growth of services like Ustream and Justin.tv that make the distribution easy. The conference level package includes 2 cameras, Tricaster Studio and all the staff you need to make sure the video go off without a hitch. With the conference and concert packages you have to provide a beefy enough Internet connection to stream the video to Ustream.

The concert package is pretty close to the conference package, but adds a third camera and operator and a director to help give the production a coherent overall look. To note with both the conference and concert packages you’ll still need audio people and they will have to provide a audio feed to the Ustream production staff, which shouldn’t be any problem if you have competent audio people you’re working with.

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YouTube adds Unlisted Video Option

by Zach Scott on May 12, 2010

Today YouTube rolled out a new feature that only lets people watch videos you upload to YouTube if they have the link to the direct video. It keeps it from being able to be searched in YouTube, but lets more than 25 people view your videos like what happens if you make a video private.

From the YouTube blog:

With this feature, you can mark your videos as “unlisted.” This means only people who have the link to the video will be able to watch it. It won’t appear in any of YouTube’s public pages, in search results, on your personal channel or on the browse page. It’s a private video, except you don’t need a YouTube account to watch it and there is no limit to the number of people who can view it. You’ll get a link when you upload the video and then it’s up to you to decide who to share it with. Unlisted is the perfect option for that class project, video from last summer’s family reunion or your secret Broadway audition tape.

Nice feature if you want to share a video with people that follow you on Twitter, but not the whole world. What would you use this for?

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The Classic Interview Mic

by Zach Scott on May 3, 2010

The Electro-Voice 635 has been the go to microphone for generations of news reporters. It was designed to survive and thrive in the various conditions that news reporters find themselves in. It has a 4 stage pop filter that helps block out wind and the long handeled body is a perfect size to fit a mic flag on and still have enought handle to hold.

More and more I see reporters and producers moving to the 635’s younger cousin, the RE50. The RE50 adds some upgrades to the 635 and is the next evoultion in the product line. Both mics are in a similar price range from about 100 dollars to around 150 dollars.

If you’re looking for a good mic to do interviews and what someting with the professional touch then either of these mics are great choices.

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Vimeo Covers NAB 2010

by Zach Scott on April 26, 2010

Some of the guys at Vimeo headed out to Las Vegas to cover the new toys at NAB 2010. I really liked the videos did at CES this year and this one about NAB is great too. Love seeing some of the new things people are thinking up. Really want to get my hands on the 3D GoPro Hero rig they showed in the video. Check it out for yourself.

Vimeo at NAB 2010 from Stephen Niebauer on Vimeo.

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Cheap LED Camera Lights

by Zach Scott on April 26, 2010

Good lighting is key in helping improve the production value of your videos, but getting pro level equipment is very pricey. Litepanels are the drool worthy LED lights that caught the eyes of ENG photographers and new media focused content producers like TWIT and Mahalo that turned to litepanels for low power consumption and low heat producing lighting.

Litepanels LP Micro Pro

Litepanels are the original and the the lights that the pros use, but they come at a price.

Sima SL-20LX Ultra Bright Video Light

These Sima lights are one of the most affordable options and what I personally recomend. I’ve seen several people use them and for under 30 bucks it worth a shot.

Switronix TL-50 30w Dimmerable DC Powered LED Light Fixture 5600k

The Switronix is a competetor to the Litepanels and is priced and aimed to pros. It’s a little pricey like the Litepanels, but has really good battery life and puts out a lot of light.

Flashpoint Shoe Mountable LED 70 Video Light with 4 Leaf Barndoor.

This is a larger LED light with adjustable barn doors for focusing the beam of light. Seems like a good bargin at 70 bucks, but I haven’t heard much from people that have used the light.

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Open Letter to Cisco about Flip Video

by Zach Scott on April 22, 2010

Dear Cisco,

When you purchased Pure Digital, the company that makes the line of Flip Video cameras, I like many people, scratched my head, wondering why Cisco would buy them and what they were going to do. I feel the new sliding Flip Camera is a dud; it’s not a revolutionary product like the original Flips were it’s an also rand. We already have a touchscreen video camera and its called the iPhone 3GS and costs about the same as the new almost 300 dollar camera. I had so many high hopes, we heard rumors of a camera with integrated Wi-Fi for features that you would get from something like a Eye-Fi card where video can be instantly uploaded without hooking up to a computer. Allow me to help with a list of things that I would like to see in future devices.

  • External Audio Input: Please, Please, Please add an audio input jack, the Kodak Zi8 has it and I think that fact that its really hard to find one in stock shows that consumers and creatives want that feature. Please also add a menu feature to turn off auto gain control too.
  • 1080P: It’s the next evolution of the product line, just be sure that you maintain good performance in low light.
  • 720P 60fps: Not high on my list, but would like to have it as an option when I need it.
  • Live Video Output: Would be nice to be able to hook up the flip to a larger monitor by the HDMI and component connections to help with framing shots.

Thanks,

Zach Scott

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Podcast Spotlight: Put This On

by Zach Scott on April 22, 2010

The second episode of the excellent video podcast “Put This On” came out this week. This episode the focus is on shoes, be sure to go back and watch the first episode on jeans too. I wanted to highlight Put This On because of the level of quality and caring that the creators Jesse Thorn and Adam Lisagor put into the show. The production value in the show is well above what most people expect from content that is made for the web. For me it stands as a bar for myself to reach for in my own productions, yet I find myself thinking that bar is out of reach.

(Putthison.com)

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NAB 2010: NewTek Unveils New Tricaster TCXD850

by Zach Scott on April 12, 2010

Photo: Collen Kelly (TWiT’s Vice President of Engineering)
Last night at their dealer meeting and officially today, NewTek unveiled their newest addition to the Tricaster line, the TCXD850. The TCXD850 addresses some of the main complaints of users when they debuted the TCXD300 back in December. The TCXD850 sports 8 HD-SDI inputs where the TCXD300 only 3. Eight HD camera inputs should be more than enough inputs for most producers, especially anybody who is considering the Tricaster.

Photo: Collen Kelly (TWiT’s Vice President of Engineering)

The new Tricaster also adds more pro level features like redundant power supplies that make the Tricaster more attractive to broadcast engineers that have to keep their equipment up and running. I have never heard of power supply failures being a problem with Tricasters, but since there is a windows PC at the heart of the Tricaster, it’s one of the more likely parts to fail, and I’ve had more than my fair share of power supplies die. The new Tricaster also adds a boat load of more audio inputs over the two balanced inputs the TCXD300 has.

The TCXD850 will be available on July 15th and will sell in a NTSC only version for $24,995 and an international version for $27,995.

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Leak: New Sliding Flip Cam with 16GB of Storage

by Zach Scott on April 7, 2010

Some photos of suspected new Flip cam have leaked and showed up on Engadget last night.The photos came from someone at Best Buy.

I can’t completely read the sticker on the box, but I’m guessing it says something like it goes on sale on the 14th or on sale in 14 days.

Photos: via Engadget.com

This new picture shows some of the specs of the new camera. Looks like it will have 16Gb of storage, giving is up to 4 hours of record time, double what the latest Flip Mino HD have, and it still is recording at 720p. The photo doesn’t give any idea as to what type of connections the camera will have, I’m guessing it will have at least mini HDMI out. I like many people are hoping that they will be adding external audio input, and maybe this will be the Flip that does it. There also have been some rumors that they are going to have a camera with built in Wi-fi for automatic uploading, but there is now way to tell from the pictures here. So far, if all this new camera does is have a sliding screen, then it will be a pass for me.

Cisco really needs to make some leaps with the Flip product line to a cert it’s dominance in the small HD camera market against makers like Kodak that are biting at their heels.

(Engadget.com)

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