Using two cameras for live streams can really improve the overall quality of the project. Admittedly though, knowing what you need for a multi-camera streaming setup can be confusing
There are many benefits to using a multi-camera set up when streaming or recording from your computer. It allows you to show varied angles, making the production much more interesting. You can choose to have cameras set up around your recording room or you can simply have cameras focused on wide shots and other cameras focused on close-ups. When it comes down to it, there are many different multi-camera setups you can use, and there are different ways you can choose to connect your camera to your computer. Here are a few things that you should have when hooking up multiple cameras.
Use a switcher
When you connect your cameras into your computer individually without a switcher, your computer will view the inputs of the camera as separate inputs. Switchers essentially merge the two camera inputs into one signal. Not only will this make it much easier to merge the videos together during live streaming and recording, but it’ll also be less taxing on your computer. Instead of having to focus on multiple inputs, your computer just has to handle one input.
Using a switcher gives you more creative options as well. Many switchers add the ability to add transitions, effects and graphics. However, some don’t, meaning you would need to use another program to add graphics and encode the webstream. There are switchers that can control the graphics, video playback, streaming, recording and switching all from one application.
Other switchers simply allow you to connect and switch between multiple inputs, sending the output signal to a computer or live stream encoder and, from there, the web.
Get a capture card
If you want to add inputs to your computer without an external switcher, you need to get a capture card. Essentially, capture cards act as a passthrough device between your camera and the PC. They come in internal and external varieties and they allow you to record and stream video from multiple sources. It is essential for any gaming streamer who wants to record their streams and upload the video later.
Once you have your inputs setup, you’ll also need a way to switch between the different sources as well as encode, stream, and add titles and graphics. There’s a lot of software out there that can help with this. The one you decide to use will really depend on what computer platform you have, your budget, and the specific features you need. A few software out there include OBS, XSplit, and Wirecast.
One of the major benefits of using OBS is it’s free and it works on Windows, Mac, and Linux. However, it might not be the best software to use if you’re just starting out. There’s a lot of customizability, which can be both a blessing and a curse. It can be difficult for beginners. It also doesn’t support multistreaming.
XSplit is easy to use and customizable, however, it only works with Windows. There are also watermarks on the free version for streams over 720p/30 fps
As for Wirecast, there’s a lot of advanced, professional functions you can use. It works with both Mac and Windows. However, it is more expensive than the other options. It’s $695 for the base and $995 for the Wirecast Pro.
These are just some of the basic things you need when hooking up two camera inputs into your computer for your streaming setup. There are a lot of different setups and configurations out there, so it’s important to know what your PC requires and to look for gear that is supported by your PC.