Multicamera setup streaming setup

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

Blackmagic Design ATEM Television Studio HD
Blackmagic Design ATEM Television Studio HD

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

EZCAP USB3.0 4K HDMI game video capture card
EZCAP USB3.0 4K HDMI game video 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.

Livestreaming software

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.

Many solutions

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.

4 COMMENTS

  1. there’s another cheaper way to do multi cam if you own an ipad and iphones, you can use Live:Air Action from Teradek (FREE) on the ipad and on iphones or android using the Live:Air Remote (FREE) and you can broadcast to youtube or facebook (all conntected via wifi) at 1080 streaming and looks good still. I did several of these type of broadcasting as well as did a demonstration how tos. Youtube under MDIFILM

  2. Yes, just as Johnny says, you have several software options for doing this more affordably and easily.

    Cinamaker has a FREE version for a 2 camera switcher and includes a powerful media engine, recording capabilities and a live editor. No time limits or watermarks. Of course, you can upgrade and get more features.

  3. The main reason for the two camera inputs is that it allows you to stream stereoscopic 3-D. A single-camera normally allows only 2-D images that are squashed flat, an extreme distortion. 3-D images, however, are realistic, like normal vision. All images that are streamed should either be in stereoscopic 3-D or autostereoscopic 3-D.

  4. Hi folks any advice or help here. I record soccer from an elevated 5m mast and have 2 Sony HDRPJ10 camcorders, 1 wide, the other a tight focus on the ball. I want to merge the feeds to one capture, ideally to view both feeds split screen side by side. Any suggestions on either a switcher or software?

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