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Review: Logitech Broadcaster

You can use Logitech Broadcaster ($199) to record video on your iOS device or Mac, or to serve as a webcam for Skype, FaceTime, Livestream ProCaster, or Telestream Wirecast, or broadcast directly to Ustream. This review will focus primarily on using the unit to connect to Ustream.

Controlling the Broadcast from an iPad/iPhone

To control the Broadcaster from your iPad/iPhone, you download the Broadcaster app (Figure 5, below) from the App store and install it as normal. Once that's done, you configure and control your Ustream broadcast via an interface that operates identically to the Mac-based one, as you can see in the screenshot below. Just to be clear, you're not encoding on your iPad/iPhone or Mac; you're just using that device to control the Broadcaster. Again, you don't need to do this, you can start and stop recording via a button atop the unit, though most users will want the confirmation that these control applications provide.

Logitech Broadcaster

Figure 5. Logitech's iPad app allows you to control the Broadcaster.

Note that to drive the Broadcaster from your iPad/iPhone, you must disconnect your camera from previous connections (if any), which you must do on the connected device. If you plan to use the Broadcaster on the road, remember to disconnect from your office computer before leaving, or you may have major issues configuring the camera on the road. 


Now that we know how to set up and configure the unit, let's turn our attention to quality. To assess this, I created three test broadcasts to Ustream; one via the Broadcaster, one via my iPhone and a third via the webcam on my MacBook Pro, which is about 3 years old. I found significant differences in quality (Figure 6, below), synchronization, and usability.

Logitech Broadcaster

Figure 6. The Broadcaster produced the highest quality image.

Considering clarity and color accuracy, the Broadcaster clearly produced the best image of the three, as you can see in Figure 6, above. If you watch the videos on my Ustream channel, you'll also see that the audio synchronization was spot on. In contrast, with the iPhone, synchronization was way off, making the video unusable despite the relatively good quality of the video component. Note that the audio problems on the MacBook Pro video relate to problems with my Mac, not with Ustream. Though synchronization is fine, the video is clearly a step or two behind the quality produced by the Broadcaster.

What's the verdict? For truly mobile webcasting via Ustream without your computer or a separate camera, the Logitech Broadcaster is perhaps your only choice, and a worthy one at that. It's also worth considering if you're looking to boost the quality of your broadcasts over that produced by the webcam on your Mac, or to add a second camera to productions produced via Wirecast.

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