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Livestream Doubles Down on Hardware with Studio HD500
The Studio HD500 is an $8,500 hardware switcher with broadcast-level bells and whistles, and it can stream to other services besides Livestream.
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Yesterday Livestream announced the $8,500 Studio HD500, a luggable portable computer with five HD/SD SDI inputs and five video outputs with software providing real-time preview for all inputs, transitions, DDR playback, graphics overlay and a full audio mixer. You can read all about the new unit here. Our reading of the specs and press materials left us with several questions that company co-founder and CEO Max Haot was kind enough to answer via email. Without further ado, here they are.

Streaming Media: Can you share who your hardware (computer/capture card) and software partners were with this product?

Haot: The software is 100% Livestream-made. The computer is a standard Intel Windows 7 box from an experienced OEM hardware manufacturer based in New York state. It's all made in the USA. In the technical specification and press release we give credit for the input/output video cards, which are from Blackmagic Design (Quad and Studio cards)

Is the goal hardware revenue or expanding the platform?

The goal is to make it more affordable to produce HD multicamera shows and event coverage—to give broadcast-grade multicamera production to more people. We are only getting started with this first product, and we will drive the price down to free for the software-only version. We are totally OK with customers using this product as a standalone switcher via the SDI/HDMI/Analog video out and never to stream to Livestream.

Do you fear that releasing your own hardware and software products will erode your support from companies releasing those solutions?

We hope it won't, but it's possible this would happen.

This is a pretty high-end unit. Will the software-only solution with a traditional notebook be the low-end solution?

It will be low price but not low end. The same exact software with broadcast frame accuracy, full field rate multiview, broadcast quality recording, full DDR with frame accuracy and scrubbing etc... will be provided. Just add a Blackmagic Thunderbolt device or PCI card in an existing desktop and laptop meeting the minimum spec and you are ready to go.

As I read your specs, it looks like the encoder will be Livestream-specific—the only option for other services is out one of the outputs into a third-party encoder. Is this correct?

The built in encoder is Livestream only. For other platforms, an external encoder is required.

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