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Review: Wirecast Gear 420

In 4 days of testing with multiple severalhour productions, the Wirecast Gear 420 proved stable and responsive even when pushed to the edge.

The Kitchen Sink Project

The final project (Figure 7, below) included video camera output routed through an Osprey SDARD-4 Distribution Amplifier to create four HD-SDI outputs, each with its own text title. These are the four videos on the left and right you can see in both the YouTube Live and Facebook Live video windows.

Figure 7. Here’s the kitchen sink production. Click the image to see it at full size.

In the upper middle is the PowerPoint video coming in from the Mac, while the bottom middle is a VOD file that I green screened into the production using Wirecast’s compositing feature. All told, this project had 17 layers, some of which you can see in the Shot Layers window on the upper left.

I broadcast this production to both Facebook and YouTube and saved all four cameras as ISO streams and the live output to a 10Mbps archive file. This pushed CPU utilization to a peak of around 80% and caused 10 dropped frames, all at the start of the broadcast and storage process. This is a bit higher than I’d like to go, though the average of 60%–65% should be fine.

In 4 days of testing with multiple severalhour productions, Gear proved stable and responsive even when pushed to the edge. If I were producing mission-critical live events with Wirecast, I would strongly consider the Gear system that matched my inputs and production requirements.