Streaming Media

Streaming Media on Facebook Streaming Media on Twitter Streaming Media on LinkedIn

Main Stage Films Helps Fans Around the World Enjoy Live Music from SXSW

How Main Stage used a compact portable production kit built around the Blackmagic ATEM Production Studio 4K Live Switcher to stream 7 straight hours of live music from the Austin-based festival

Good Things Come in Small Packages

Always eager to provide the best services possible for my clients, ahead of the event, I sought to upgrade and streamline my live production workflow, which included investing in a new switcher as well as moving from a tower to a laptop computer.  

Over the years, I've invested in many different types of capture cards and converters from Blackmagic Design, so it made sense for me to check out its switchers when the time came for a new one. Like any good technologist or technology hobbyist, I've tried nearly every piece of hardware out there, and Blackmagic Design is always top of my list. Not only do the products have professional features and the latest technology at affordable prices, but more importantly, they are reliable, flexible, and compact.

For SXSW 2014, I had five camera feeds running into a Blackmagic Design ATEM Production Studio 4K live production switcher, along with an audio mixer. A laptop fed graphics and files into the ATEM, while I used a 24" touchscreen monitor connected to another laptop to run the ATEM control software, which was the master control for the entire operation. A Blackmagic Design Intensity Extreme was used to capture the final output for live streaming.

And it was all done in a space the size of a card table.

Blackmagic Design products are compact, and you can grow them to what you need, which is great. So many of my jobs are backstage in really cramped spaces. Previously, I would have to bring a lot of equipment because I never knew what kind of video inputs I would encounter during gigs. But the ATEM Production Studio 4K pretty much has everything I need in one compact box. It lets me mix audio and SD, HD and Ultra HD video, plus has multiview, chroma key, transitions, effects and all the inputs and outputs I need.

The icing on the cake is the ATEM Software Control. I can use my touchscreen monitor connected to a laptop running the software, so I don't have to take up space or spend extra money on a dedicated hardware control panel.

The ATEM’s flexibility allows me to tackle virtually any workflow, while ensuring I am ready for future workflows as well. Being able to switch 4K video is important to me because I will certainly need it in the future, and I don't want to be locked into something that I will have to replace. So many switchers can only do 1080i 60, but the ATEM can do 1080p 60 and more, which already puts me a step ahead. Throw 4K on top and nothing else comes close for the price point.

Making a Connection

In this business it’s about networking and making connections, so if you do a good job for one person, they will remember and recommend you. Obviously we always want to put our best foot forward. 

SXSW is not only a great opportunity for us, but also for the performers. While the festival does bring in really big names and famous artists, it’s also a chance for up and coming bands to share their music and establish new fans. And it’s exciting to know that the live stream we produce is helping them connect with fans around the world.