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By Joel Lombardo
In a time where software encoders are helping more people to live stream video and create immersive online viewing experiences the flexibility of ProPresenter has changed the game for content creators. From streaming with your built-in FaceTime camera to pro-level multi-camera setups, you can reach your audience with the hardware you already have.
This guide is meant to walk you through the basics of getting started and even showcase some advanced uses. We’ve even included some gear recommendations for those of you that might find yourselves needing to fill out your workflow to get the best possible results.
Yep, you gotta start with the basics! Cameras come in a variety of resolutions, form-factors, and frame rates so it’s important to think through what you want your end-product to look like. If you’re hoping to create a more emotive tone then maybe opt for a camera that can shoot 24fps with swappable lenses to get that perfect look. If clarity of message and ultra-smooth motion is of paramount importance, then you’re looking for a camera that does 1080p60fps without breaking a sweat. There really is no “right answer” here, just personal preference and what your budget can handle, because ProPresenter can handle it all. Here are a few options based on cost:
Your Mac’s built-in FaceTime camera works just fine in a pinch, and won’t cost you a dime. For most FaceTime cameras, the max resolution is 720p30, so keep that in mind from a quality standpoint.
Plot twist! This tiny device will let you connect almost any HDMI or SDI camera into your Thunderbolt 3 computer. No, it’s not a camera, but if you already have a camera, buy this and thank us later.
Production budgets love this offering from Canon. Touting an 8-blade circular aperture, 20x optical zoom at 4K, and five-axis advanced image stabilization to reduce shake and jitter, especially at longer focal lengths you’ll feel great about adding this to your streaming toolkit. It does opt for a mini-HDMI connector though.
Armed with a full-size HDMI output, ZEISS glass, and 12x optical zoom the HXR-MC88 is stream ready for all sorts of production applications. Not to mention the included XLR handle that connects to the MI shoe and provides two 3-pin XLR audio inputs with 48V phantom power.
For those of you short on camera ops this PTZ powerhouse uses the VISCA control standard. Plus, it switch-hits with simultaneous SDI and NDI support all while running up to 1080p60.
Capable of 1080p60 with built-in 3G-SDI, this camera enters into the prosumer category with ease. It’s also great for sending localized audio with its dual XLR inputs.
It’s not cheap, but boy is it pretty. Affectionately viewed as “The King Of All Cameras” this beast offers a full-size HDMI output, freaky fast autofocus, and a great selection of lenses that increase its versatility.
ProPresenter’s ability to create video inputs from almost anything is borderline dark-magic. You can source NDI signals, a webcam, or even that RED KOMODO you saw your buddy shooting with on Instagram. It’s also worth noting that not all USB based video input adapters are created equal. ProPresenter officially supports USB video device class (UVC) compliant devices, so dig around in the specs for a clear indicator that you’re getting the right piece of gear.
The process of adding inputs is incredibly simple and starts with you deciding on how many cameras/video sources you need for your production and making sure your computer can handle that number of direct inputs. As a general rule, if you’re using more than one camera, you may want to consider purchasing a DeckLink PCIe card. Here’s a breakdown of some of the available technologies:
No, you didn’t read that wrong! $20 bucks gets you a UVC and UAV compatible (it tricks your computer into thinking it’s a webcam) capture card with great versatility for single-camera setups. It maxes out at 1080p30, though, so be sure to check what your camera is sending.
It’s back! Like we mentioned above, the magic little box creates a world of possibilities for you to input all sorts of devices into ProPresenter.
Easily connect your DSLR, camcorder, or GoPro to your PC or Mac with ultra-low-latency technology and surprising quality with resolution and frame rate support up to 1080p60.
Connect up to 8 SDI cameras using the Blackmagic Design DeckLink Quad2 PCIe card or 4 SDI cameras using the Blackmagic Design DeckLink Duo2 PCIe card (there are also HDMI cards available if needed).
For those of you with iMacs there are some great PCIe expansion products out there; like the Sonnet Echo Express SEL Thunderbolt 3-to-PCIe Expansion Chassis. Adding these powerful extras to your workflow can significantly improve your stream.
Regardless of how you connect your cameras or other sources, each one will show up as a “Device” that you can name and customize inside ProPresenter.
Video inputs are ready, but what about audio? Audio Engineers can rejoice because ProPresenter has everything you need to connect a full mixing console or even just a set of AirPods. You can add as many Audio Inputs as you’d like and select their individual sources. From there you have the option to manually control each input or utilize the Auto Off/Auto On tools to attach different audio devices to an assigned Video Input and auto-take while switching. Further adjustments can be found inside the Audio tab in the Preferences window to tweak channel count, routing, and delays.
If you’re not an audio engineer and are still wondering how to ACTUALLY get the sound into the computer we’re compiled a shortlist of possibilities:
No, you This quote from Audinate’s website says it all; “Dante is the de facto standard for modern AV connectivity.” The infinitely expandable Dante Network is magical, and these great little adapters are a great way to dip your toes into the platform and future proof your audio setup. P.S. You should be comfortable with a little networking lingo should you choose this route.
You can’t really go wrong with Apple’s super popular wireless earbuds. These will help eliminate that “roomy” sound and look more professional than having white wires dangling off your ears.
Perfect for utilizing the audio capabilities of ProPresenter while taking it easy on your production budget. Featuring 24-bit/192kHz resolution and the skills to handle up to 4 line inputs.
Connect up to 8 SDI cameras using thNeed more bells and whistles? Rode has you covered with this 6 channel swiss army knife of a mixer. With support for up to 4 presenters and offers easy connection to phone, USB, and Bluetooth sources. And for instant playback of sound effects and jingles, it features eight programmable pads. Your live stream may have never sounded so fun!
Just because ProPresenter has 16 audio output channels doesn’t mean your console options are limited. This beefy piece of gear by Behringer loads you up with 40 inputs and 16 mix buses for ultimate control of live music productions. Plus you can spring for the optional Behringer X-DANTE 32-channel Dante Expansion Card ($598) and get your network audio fix as well.
ProPresenter is extremely flexible, so the combinations of settings right for your production is bound to take a little time to hone. That’s ok though, because the next part of our guide can act as sort of a cheat-sheet to get you streaming in a pinch.
ProPresenter gives you the ability to manage your in-the-room screens separately from your stream output. This happens by configuring your “Screens” inside ProPresenter to include a “Stream” screen using a Placeholder source. This way you can build specific Themes and Looks to create a custom viewing experience for those watching online.
If you’re streaming and running an in-the-room screen, like an LED wall, you’ll want to edit your “Looks” and enable/disable what layers you want to send to each screen. Here’s where you can choose a custom theme for your “Stream” screen that will adjust your slide content to a keyed lower third format (more on themes in the next step).
Themes are pre-built layouts for slides. For example, song lyrics displayed over live video would be a separate theme with a simple text box with a transparent background. Save your new theme and select it in your “Looks” setup as the default for your “Stream” screen.
Now you’re ready to reach your audience using ProPresenter! Click the “Live” icon in the top right corner of the screen to open the “Capture Settings” and change the “Source” and “Destination” dropdown menu and choose RTMP if you will be using an RTMP destination, or choose Resi if you want want the reliability that only our Resilient Streaming Protocol (RSP) can provide.
Resi ProPresenter Stream is built-in and configurable from the “Preferences” window. It can guarantee delivery of your video perfectly without buffering or glitches, even if the Internet drops.
It really comes down to that feeling you have when you press the Start Streaming button. We’ve heard countless stories of tech directors, broadcasting engineers, and production professionals uttering some version of; “Well, let’s hope it works this time.” just before their event goes live using their previous RTMP provider. Resi’s technology enables more reliable streaming, which leads to less buffering wheels, which leads to more engagement and an exponentially larger audience over time.
Resi is the only streaming provider that is able to guarantee 100% content integrity in the cloud (even through internet disruptions) by checking and re-sending data from the encoder through the Resilient Streaming Protocol (RSP).
With advanced analytics, proactive support, hardware and end-to-end hardware solutions for single and multisite venues, we’re more than just an icon inside ProPresenter; we’re the most resilient streaming provider and we can’t wait to help you reach your audience with confidence.
Joel is an Online Pastor, Web Developer, and Digital Marketer. Joel has been helping churches and organizations live stream important moments for almost 10 years.
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