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Poorman's Video switching and streaming


Darren Swartzendruber:
Currently I am streaming our weekly services using UStream.TV. I have a Windows XP Pro laptop with a Windows Lifecam xv-3000 connected via USB and a Sony miniDV cam connected via Firewire. Sound comes directly from the soundboard. I log into UStream.TV and use their Flash-based console to change video inputs. During worship and announcements, I just point the Sony miniDV cam at the screen.

It is very basic and arcane - but it works and members of our congregation are delighted with it! Ultimately, I would like to install ceiling mounted PTZ cameras, use a video mixer and pull in DVD and computer video (Media Shout) via a switcher/scalar.

But until then, what I would like to do is pull in the computer output as another Firewire input to the laptop so that I do not have to point the camera at the screen. As far as I know, Firewire devices can be daisy chained or I can use a Firewire hub. What I have not been able to find is a way to take the VGA output being sent to the projector and convert it into a Firewire video input.

Any ideas/thoughts? Thanks.

Mac Kerr:
dswartze wrote on Mon, 02 November 2009 17:20

Any ideas/thoughts? Thanks.

My first thought would be that following the posting rules clearly displayed at the top of every page would be a good idea.

After you enter your real full name in the "alias" field you will need to enter your password and hit "Update".


John Fiorello:
Do you have a second firewire input on your computer?  Or are you gonna have to buy another piece of hardware anyway?

Ideally, if you're gonna start adding inputs, you should look at moving towards an outboard video mixer now.  If you're gonna expand over time anyway, it's better to start moving that way now then to keep on investing in "basic and arcane" fixes and then replace everything.

Small 4 channel video mixers aren't that expensive, and you can put the money you were gonna spend on the svga-firewire converter towards one.

IMO, it's better to get the video mixer and wait on the new cameras than it is to wait on everything and try and find some more adapters.


Darren Swartzendruber:
Agreed. If I am going to spend any amounts of money, I want to spend it on a true solution. So what do I need?

I know I need some sort of video switcher to take inputs from cameras, DVD players and computers. And probably need some sort of converter/scalar to get everything to the same resolution.

But without buying a Tricaster, what do I need to purchase to take a VGA signal and encode it to stream on U-Stream?

John Fiorello:
The basic system would include:

whatever source you have (cameras, computer, dvd player, etc)

and all those sources get sent to a video mixer.  If your video mixer doesn't up/down convert (to whatever output you're trying to scale to), you'll need to do that first.

For example, if I only had svga inputs into my video mixer, I would have to upconvert my dvd player before I sent it to my video mixer.

If I was sending s-video or coaxial from my video mixer, I would have to downconvert & scale my computer's output before it got to the video mixer.

Once you have your mixer, you can use whatever video capture card you want to as long as it has the correct inputs.  Then you can continue to use U-stream to upload.

As far as video mixer's go, do a quick google search and you'll find several in several different price ranges that will do what you're looking for without having to get a tricaster.

That's about the easiest way to do it without spending more money.  And remember, it's WHAT you're streaming that matters most...poor editing/production won't be solved by better equipment alone



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