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NAB 2023: Datavideo Talks iCast 10 All-in-One Streaming Switcher

Datavideo's John Devries and Streaming Media's Shawn Lam discuss the iCAST 10 NDI, an NDI-based switcher in this interview from the Datavideo booth at NAB 2023.

Datavideo's iCAST 10 NDI is a $2,649 "Hybrid Events Switcher" that incorporates a switcher, a camera controller, and a streaming encoder in a single box. Datavideo showcased the iCAST 10 NDI in their booth at NAB 2023, and Streaming Media Contributing Editor Shawn Lam of SLV Live was on hand with Datavideo National Sales Manager John Devries to get the details on the iCAST 10 NDI, its key features, its positioning, and how streaming producers are using it.

"This is an NDI-based video switcher that also has traditional inputs and outputs." Lam says. "So walk us through this neat little package design."

"The iCAST NDI is based on a five-channel presentation switcher format that allows you to switch up to three NDI cameras going through a network switch. And then of course as well, I can have a combination of NDI, HDMI, and SDI. On the back of the switcher we have four HDMI inputs, an SDI input, and we also have a USB input. So if I wanted to take a smartboard input or a a webcam input, I could do that as well. And then all that is set up so that I can control and switch inputs very simply.

Streaming and Recording

The iCAST 10 is also capable of streaming and recording video up to 1080P 60. It comes with an SSD pre-installed, and it can handle an internal drive of up to 2TB. The device can ISO record up to 5 discrete channels to MP4 as well as the Program feed.

"I can also encode to stream five independent channels plus Program, which is really cool," says Devries. "If I wanted to use a tablet-style control platform, we have the TPC-700 [touchscreen controller] hooked up through the switch, which is talking to the iCAST 10. NDI allows me to switch components very simply by touchpanel. So I can go through my cameras, or maybe I've got a computer coming in on HDMI for my PowerPoint. Maybe I've got a document camera if it's an educator who has a document camera. And then at the same time, I can also go in and change my look on Program. So if I go with my display situation here, I can change it so that I can have a side-by-side image, or a different PiP. At the same time, we have built-in full camera control. So if I have three NDI cameras on here, I've got full camera control [via NDI or IP] and I can set up different presets as well."

Online Presentation Kit

Turning his attention to the online presentation kit being demo'd in conjunction with the iCAST 10 NDI, Lam says, "It looks like [this kit is] $5,995. That includes what, exactly? We're looking at a lot of devices."

"So the package, as a presentation kit, includes the TLM102 [dual 10-inch monitor] screen, but this is also a production monitor as well," Devries says. "So for people who are familiar with that, I'm going to have full vectorscope audio display waveform display in both sides as well. This rack, which houses the iCAST NDI and this switch, is actually powering this unit and the display, but it's also powering the ICAST unit. And of course, this control system here, the TPC700, is also using PoE as well from the Netgear switch. So this whole package is basically including the switch, the rack--which is using the power--the iCAST and power and display, and of course the TLM102 display, and the TPC700 control unit as well. "

"And this packs down fairly compact," Lam replies.

"Correct. If you were to take some of the cables off the back, you, this comes down flat and we actually have a rolling case for this system as well," Devries explains. "I've traveled with this myself many times across the country already."

"In terms of the picture-in-picture formats, you've got the presets. Are there additional customizations you can do on here? Or are we limited to these presets?" Lam asks.

"In the next software revision, we will be able to adjust the picture-in-picture size for those camera shots. "

Streaming Outputs and Encoding Options

"For the streaming outputs, is it standard RTMP or are there presets for things like YouTube?" Lam asks.

"In the iCAST 10 NDI, we have a full web GUI. The web GUI allows me to go in and pick SRT, RTMP, RTSP, all those formats as well for encoding.," Devries says. "And then from there, it's just a matter of putting in the credentials for YouTube, Facebook, and et cetera."

"And is the iCAST 10 NDI available only as a package or can you get that separately?"

"You can buy the the iCAST 10 by itself, and you could actually connect it to the web GUI and be able to control all the other functionalities. This comes in in at about $2699 MSRP. The control tablet TPC700 comes in at $899 MSRP. So yes, they can be bought individually for sure."

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