Streaming Media

Streaming Media on Facebook Streaming Media on Twitter Streaming Media on LinkedIn
 
Upcoming Industry Conferences
Content Delivery Summit [1 June 2020]
Streaming Media East Connect [2-3 June 2020]
Streaming Media West [6-7 October 2020]
Past Conferences
Streaming Media West [19-20 Nov 2019]
Esport & Sports Streaming Summit [19-20 Nov 2019]
OTT Leadership Summit [19-20 Nov 2019]
Video Engineering Summit [19-20 Nov 2019]
Live Streaming Summit [19 Nov 2019]

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.

Audio

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.

Related Articles
If you're looking for an iDevice-based video mixing solution, Switcher Studio should be on at the top of your short list.
The Teradek Live:Air accepts multiple streams from different sources, and enables you mix an event, then send it to Livestream, Ustream, or any RTMP-compatible server, using only your iPad.
At the 2017 NAB show in Las Vegas, DISH Network-owned Sling Media introduced the SlingStudio, a professional multi-camera streaming/switching appliance. At $999, it competes with a number of existing pro-grade products from the likes of Teradek, LiveU, and Matrox.
Looking to be able to do professional-level work for my clients on location without having to disassemble my TriCaster studio (or purchasing a second TriCaster to take on the road), I found apps for iPad and iPhones that let me connect everything together wirelessly and stream it to the web via my cell phone's LTE connection.
Teradek's Link Pro Backpack offers enhanced MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) cellular connectivity, plus the reliability of bonded cellular, connected to Teradek's powerful Link WiFi Access Point, and all rolled together in a backpack powered by your choice of V-Lock or 3-stud battery.
Cloud-enabled capabilities will play an increasingly important role in the future of the Switcher platform, and building in the cloud requires more resources to support, deliver, and maintain
With the addition of Cinamaker to the field of contestants I discussed in my July 2018 iOS Head to Head article-Switcher Studio and Teradek Live:Air Action—I set out to determine which app would deliver the best video quality for live streaming and live recording.
Cinamaker 2.0 is really coming together into a solid iOS-based production solution. Standout features include loading and saving projects, the built-in editor, and dedicated chroma key on each channel.
LiveCTRL makes the most of the broadcast-level video the Panasonic PTZ cameras deliver, in a simple, clean, and very easy-to-carry iPad interface.
As mobile devices have become more powerful and deliver higher-quality stills and video, it was inevitable that companies would emerge that leveraged these new technologies to produce multicam live-switched media production. So let's establish some ground rules for mobile multicam media production success.