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Review: Telestream Wirecast Gear

Successfully using all of the desktop mixing features in Telestream Wirecast features requires a powerful, finely tuned computer. Telestream recently released its own series of bundled systems, Wirecast Gear. In this review, we put a test system through its paces.

Telestream Wirecast is a highly featured and well respected desktop video mixer with one traditional Achilles Heel: CPU utilization is generally higher than competitive products on similarly configured computers. Though Telestream has narrowed the gap in recent Wirecast releases, successfully using all Wirecast features requires a powerful, finely tuned computer. To help Wirecast users acquire such a system, Telestream recently released its own bundled systems under the brand name Wirecast Gear (Figure 1, below). In this review, we put a test system through its paces.

Figure 1. Wirecast Gear CPU, keyboard, and mouse (monitors not included). Click the image to see it at full size.

Gearing Up

By way of background, there are three Gear versions: 110 ($4,995), 210 ($5,995), and 220 ($7,995), which vary by capture card and software offering. I tested the 210 version, which included a 4-port Magewell HD-SDI ProCapture board, 250GB system drive, a 500 GB SSD drive, and the software listed in Figure 2 (below).

Figure 2. Wirecast Gear versions. Click the image to see it at full size.

All three come in a 1.3 RU chassis which can fit into a 19" rackmount or sit atop a desk or table on rubber pads. My test system came with an Intel i7-6700 CPU running at 3.4 GHz, with 16GB of RAM running Windows 10. The motherboard was a Gigabyte GA-Z17ON-WIFI running an Intel Z170 Express Chipset with integrated HD graphics, with a DVI-D graphics port with a maximum resolution of 1920x1200, and two version 1.4 HDMI ports capable of 4K output at 24 fps.

To save you some time, I priced the CPU (~$300), motherboard (~$140), RAM (~$120), case, power supply and CPU fan (~$250), Magewell Pro Capture Quad SDI (~$900), and system (~$100) and storage (~$150) SSD drives for a hardware cost of about ~$1,960. To this, you have to add Wirecast Pro ($995) and the upgrade to NewBlue Titler Live Advance ($499) for a total system cost of about $3,454, which could be off by $100-$200 in either direction. Compared to the retail of $5,995, this means a premium of around $2,500.

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