A Simple Guide to Multi-Cam Live Streaming with Live:Air Action

Thu, Aug 09, 2018

Live streaming doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, live streaming is being used more and more every year by individuals, businesses, organizations, and even governments for many purposes. Not only is it easier than ever before to go live (smartphones can do this with a click of a button), but there are a ton of tools out there to help you do it. All you need is content!

Teradek’s Live:Air Action is one of those tools. In contrast to traditional hardware switchers, Live:Air Action is a software switcher for iPads that allows you to do things like add custom graphics, transitions, scoreboards, roll pre-recorded video and much more. Most importantly, this can all be done while live streaming directly from the iPad! It gives your live video a professional touch, similar to traditional live TV programs (news, sports, etc.).

Multi-cam switching for the World Surf League.

But the biggest feature is Live:Air Action’s ability to pull multiple video sources together, allowing you to switch between them in your live stream. It’s much easier than it looks and adds tremendous production value to your broadcast!

So how does this work? Let’s break it down into 3 easy methods:

Use iOS/Android Devices as Cameras

Yes, you read that right! Any iOS/Android smartphone or tablet can be used as a camera source in Live:Air Action. This utilizes your smartphone/tablet’s built-in back camera, which sends a video to Live:Air Action’s main interface. You can then switch to that camera at any time for the live stream. Up to 5 devices can be used as cameras.

Any iOS/Android device can be used as a camera source.

How it works:

  1. The iOS/Android devices you want to use as cameras require the Live:Air Remote app (iOS / Android). This app allows them to serve as secondary sources in Live:Air Action.
  1. Once the devices have Live:Air Remote, they need to be connected to the same WiFi network as the iPad with Live:Air Action. With Live:Air Remote open, the feeds will be automatically sent through the network and populate in the Live:Air Action interface. Simply select the feed you want to use as the current video by pressing the window.

Use Professional Cameras with Teradek Encoders

Professional cameras with Teradek encoders can also be used as camera sources.

If you want to achieve a higher-quality video than just using smartphone back cameras, Live:Air Action also allows you to use any professional camera as video sources. To do this, you’ll need a Teradek encoder in your kit like the VidiU Pro. The encoder connects to your camera via HDMI output and sends the high-definition video to Live:Air Action.

How it works:

  1. The VidiU Pros (or any Teradek encoder) need to be connected to the same WiFi network as Live:Air Action.
  1. Once in the same network, set the streaming destination on each encoder to Live:Air Action. After, start the stream on the encoders. The videos from each camera will appear in the app’s interface.

Use a Combination of Both

Multi-iOS camera setup for a live stream production at Mojocon.

The beauty of Live:Air Action is that you can do any combination of iOS, Android or professional cameras as video sources. All you need to do is connect them to the same WiFi network and you’re good to go.

Check out how Live X, a live production company based in New York, implemented this successfully at Mojocon here.

General Tips

  • Mount iOS devices to tripods. You can use any smartphone/tablet tripod from Amazon, or this entry-level Manfrotto tripod.
  • Use tools like the Helium Core iPhone Rig to easily connect lenses, lights and microphones to your phone, or the Padcaster Kit for iPads.
  • We recommend creating your own WiFi network for your Live:Air Action ecosystem. This means using your own WiFi router wherever you’re streaming from.
    • Depending on public networks risks interference from other users who might also connect to the network and take away precious bandwidth.

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