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Head-to-Head: Switcher Studio vs. Teradek Live:Air Action

Two leading multicam webcasting iOS apps compared

Streaming and Recording

Streaming and recording are the functions both of these apps were built to do. Live:Air Action uses an a la carte pricing system to let you purchase those features you need. If you only need one external camera, then buy that feature once and you own it.

If you need four external cameras, you buy support for four. Need greenscreen? Buy it. If you don't, don't buy it. In the base version, you can stream or record.

If you want to do both, you buy that extra recording functionality. Buying the Live:Air Action Bundle unlocks all the in-app purchases for a single $149 price.

Switcher Studio is a subscription service. You pay $29/month or $299/year ($25/mo). With your subscription you get everything Switcher Studio offers—support for up to 9 cameras, seemingly unlimited video clips, titles, stills, and other materials in your bin. You can record and stream. You also get various picture-in-picture (PiP) effects (Figure 6, below) with polished DVE in and out, animated titles, and more.

Figure 6. PiP on Switcher Studio

Live:Air Action can stream up to 1080p, and each camera can also record internally, but you have to hit the record button on each camera. Then you can bring all these camera recordings into an edit system and use the audio to sync them up. On the camera, you can also adjust zoom, ISO, focus, and white balance. You can switch between front and back cameras, turn the light on, turn the mic on or off, and even turn the camera on or off, which allows you to use the phone to send audio from a remote location.

Switcher Studio streams at 720p only, but it has the ability to tell each remote iOS camera to record internally, and these recordings can be 1080p, or even 4K you’re shooting with 4K-capable devices. Then Switcher Studio can collect each of these external isolated (ISO) recordings and hand them off to an editing app, along with instructions in an Edit Decision List (EDL) of what you did during the live show, and you can apply all this to the HD or 4K material and have a very high-quality master of your show.

Switcher Studio allows similar camera control of features and functions, both locally and remotely, which is very handy if something changes during the show and you need to adjust exposure on the cameras, you can do it all from the mixer. Another handy little feature is the ability to use the phone LED as a tally light so your talent knows which camera is on. But if you add lenses onto the front of the phone, the lenses block the tally.


Both apps feature a main stereo audio meter so you know what your levels are going out and being recorded.

Switcher Studio only accepts audio into the device you are using to mix the show. It could be a single external lav mic, or a big audio mixer with a lot of sources. (I covered audio accessories in my iOS Broadcaster article.) There is a Mute button to turn this audio in or off, but there's no in-app adjustment for audio levels. Audio of internal clips played back cannot be adjusted in Switcher Studio.

Conversely, Live:Air Action gives you a very nice little audio mixer in the app (Figure 7, below); every remote camera source also delivers audio. Levels can be set for each, and they can be set to auto fade in and out when live, a very cool feature for "on the field" interviews. Playback clips also get audio level adjustment which can be essential to a polished show if a clip has very low, or very loud audio compared to the rest of your program. Because you can't mix the audio of those internal clips externally.

Figure 7. The Live:Air Action in-app audio mixer

The only thing it can't do is pan a channel to center, so if you have a source feeding an iPhone and it only comes in the left, then it stays on the left, all the way through the app. Of course, it's the same situation in Switcher Studio where there's no in-app mixer at all.

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