May 22, 2017 Last Updated 10:20 am

Wireless, portable multi-camera video production system, SlingStudio, launched nationwide

Sling’s video solution allows for video to be shot using up to ten cameras (smartphones or video cameras) feeding into the SlingStudio hub, with live editing using an iPad

In the early days of TNM, before Apple launched the original iPad (April 2010) and Apple then opened the App Store to third party apps (fall of 2010), there was a lot more technology news here (and a lot less readers, I might add). Of particular interest was live video streaming, which would prove very important as the Arab Spring was about to bloom.

In December of 2009, technically a month before TNM officially launched, I wrote about the new solution from Ustream which allowed you to stream live video from your iPhone. It is hard to remember, but that would have been only the third generation iPhone, and data speeds were pretty slow compared to today, but the idea that everyone would be live streaming video seemed to be an accepting idea (and this was well before the launch of Periscope).

Just to demonstrate how rudimentary it all was, and how bad my own tech was back in late 2009, here is the original video that was posted to YouTube and TNM, back when TNM was a Blogspot website:
 

 
Believe me, I have upgraded by tech since then, adding a damn good mic (a Yeti) and have small, portable iPhone tripods that would prevent me from having to handhold my iPhone to do a video. Oh, and I also make sure videos are in HD now.

But TNM doesn’t do any many videos as it used to, mainly because most videos were of digital edition apps in order to demonstrate the digital edition’s navigation. But video is big with publishers, and getting bigger, right? In fact, since 2009, Apple has launched an Apple TV app store, Roku has third party apps, and publishers such as Time Inc. are moving into video and programming as a way of mitigating the declines in print ad pages.

The problem for most small publishers is how to get started. Some newspapers and magazines have, for the past few years, encouraged their reporters to shoot video with the phones, both as a way to get content, and, sadly, to compensate for layoffs of the photo staff.

But what if you want to shoot live video and have some sort of production values — that is, multiple cameras, different angles, and the like. That is where I found this press release (reposted below) interesting.

Sling’s SlingStudio, which was demoed this year at CES, and launched last month, but today the company is announcing that it will be available nationwide. The cost is $999, which is more than a casual investment for an individual, but for a small to medium (or even large) publisher serious about video, it is an incredibly modest investment.

The system is simple enough to understand: one controls the video production on an iPad, allowing up to 10 cameras or smartphones to be part of the production. One needs, in addition to the main component, the iPhone app and/or the SlingStudio hub in order to allow the video from the iPhones or professional cameras to be part of system. There is a free SlingStudio Console app (available in the Apple App Store) which works on your iPad for the director/producer, and a free SlingStudio Capture app for smartphones (available in the Apple App Store and Google Play).

With emphasis is live streaming through Facebook and YouTube, the system works for just as well if you want to do editing after the shoot. There is no need to collect SD cards or import the video from the cameras, the video is stored as MP4 files and can be edited later using dobe Premiere Pro CC and Apple Final Cut Pro X via a plug-in for the software.

Back in the good old days of desktop publishing, when publishers were still upgrading editor’s Macs every three years (I know, that was a long time ago), it would have been nothing to get your boss to agree to add $1000 or so to your capital budget to acquire this system. It might be hard now, but if you are experimenting with video content, looking to capture live events, and thinking about live streaming, then SlingStudio should be definitely something that should be checked out.

Below, find the announcement sent out today, plus the video that explains a lot.

FOSTER CITY, Calif. — May 22, 2017 — Sling Media today announced the availability of its SlingStudio multi-camera production and live video broadcasting system in-store and online at B&H Photo Video, as well as MySlingStudio.com. Sling Media L.L.C. is a subsidiary of DISH Network Corp.

Starting at $999, SlingStudio is the industry’s first affordable, wireless, portable multi-camera production solution that lets users of all skill levels record, monitor and edit four HD video inputs from up to 10 connected cameras and smartphones. SlingStudio can output live video to streaming services like Facebook Live and YouTube, and simultaneously record to a USB hard drive, USB SSD or SD card for post-production.

“SlingStudio makes professional-quality multi-camera production and livestreaming a reality for anyone – it’s easier to use and costs thousands of dollars less than existing solutions,” said Vivek Khemka, DISH chief technology officer.

SlingStudio Accessories

The SlingStudio system requires the $999 SlingStudio hub and free Console app for iPad. Optional accessories are listed below.

CameraLink for $349: CameraLink wireless adapter plugs into the HDMI port available on most DSLR and video cameras. It wirelessly transmits up to 1080p60 video to the SlingStudio hub from up to 300 feet away. Its internal battery provides up to two hours of power.

Battery for $149: The SlingStudio Battery provides up to three hours of power for portability.

USB-C Expander for $49: The USB-C Expander supports wired Gigabit Ethernet connectivity for live broadcasting, and connects to USB 3.0 hard drives or SSDs for recording content. Seagate is SlingStudio’s preferred storage supplier.

How SlingStudio Works

From setup to the shoot to post-production, SlingStudio simplifies all aspects of multi-camera video. Learn more about how SlingStudio works:

Setup: Capture video from different angles by wirelessly connecting up to 10 video sources (DSLR cameras, video cameras, smartphones, personal computers, etc.) to a single SlingStudio using its private, video-grade Wi-Fi network; Internet connectivity is not required. Elimination of cables dramatically reduces setup time, and allows for cameras to be placed anywhere (within 300 feet of the SlingStudio hub) and easily moved.

HDMI-enabled DSLR and video cameras connect via SlingStudio’s CameraLink wireless adapter (sold separately) or to SlingStudio’s HDMI input port. Smartphones using iOS and Android operating systems directly connect to SlingStudio wirelessly using the Capture app available for free download in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store; no CameraLink needed.

Production: The iPad Console app (available for free download in the Apple App Store) is required to manage video production with SlingStudio. It allows directors to monitor and create live-to-tape video from up to four (out of a maximum of 10 connected) input sources simultaneously, and drag and drop video into a composition window. Here directors can create dynamic video compositions like picture-in-picture, split and quad views; edit in popular transitions like cut, dissolve and wipe; add text overlays and lower thirds; and mix audio. All of this can be done in real time as live video is streamed to platforms like Facebook Live or YouTube, and simultaneously recorded to a USB hard drive, USB SSD or SD card for post-production. External audio sources, audio mixers and output monitors can also connect to SlingStudio for advanced production needs.

Post-production: Individual recordings from each camera feed, plus the live-switched video and audio line-in, are saved in a single storage location, eliminating the need to wrangle and import multiple storage drives from each camera. With just a couple clicks of the mouse, the entire project file can then be easily imported into editing applications like Adobe® Premiere® Pro CC and Apple Final Cut Pro X.

The SlingStudio integration for Adobe Premiere Pro further simplifies and speeds up post-production. Adobe Premiere Pro users who download the SlingStudio extension can import all recordings into a project timeline with all clips and editing decisions preserved and aligned. This includes the video and audio from each source camera, as well as the live-switched program and quad-view feeds.

Tech Specs

  • Portable and compact: 1.43 lbs, (H) 7.87” x (W) 5.59” x (D) 3.54”, tripod mountable.
  • Wireless: 5 Ghz 802.11ac, 4×4 MIMO, specially tuned video-grade Hotspot to connect to different video sources; dual-band 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz 802.11ac client mode to connect to Internet for live streaming.
  • 1080p HD multi-camera recorder: Up to seven simultaneous recordings. Includes four video inputs, live-switched program and quad-view of input, plus a separate audio line-in input recording.
  • Multi-camera live monitor and switcher: Monitor up to four video sources and switch between 10 different video sources using the Console app for iPad.
  • Professional grade video: High-definition resolutions up to 1080p60 at 30Mbps (using H.264 encoding) with the ability to effortlessly synchronize audio and video.
  • Live broadcasting: Simultaneous recording and live broadcasting of program output. Max bit rate for live streaming is 8 Mbps (input source bit rates up to 30 Mbps). Supported platforms currently include Facebook Live and YouTube. Support for other content-sharing websites is coming soon.
  • Ports: USB-C, HDMI video input, HDMI video output, audio line-in.
  • Storage: Storage via SD or USB-C drives. Optional USB-C Expander available to connect USB 3.0 drives.
  • Device compatibility: SlingStudio hub compatible with iOS and Android smartphones via the Capture app, and HDMI-enabled DSLR and video cameras connected to a CameraLink or via the direct HDMI input. An Apple iPad is required to operate the Console app. For a complete list of compatible devices, visit www.MySlingStudio.com/compatibility.

For more information, or to sign up for news alerts, visit www.MySlingStudio.com. For multimedia assets, visit www.MySlingStudio.com/press.

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