Tag Archives: Switcher Studio

WWE adds iPads, iPhones to production workflow

By Nick Mattingly

Creating TV style productions is a big operation. Lots of equipment, lots of people and lots of time. World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is an entertainment company and the largest professional wrestling organization in the world. Since its inception, it has amassed a global audience of over 36 million.

Each year, WWE televises over 100 events via its SmackDown, WWE Raw and Pay-Per-View events. That doesn’t include the hundreds of arena shows that the organization books in venues around the world.

“Putting this show on in one day is no small feat. Our shows begins to load-in typically around 4:00am and everything must be up and ready for production by 2:00pm,” explained Nick Smith, WWE’s director of remote IT and broadcast engineering. “We travel everything from the lighting, PA, screens, backstage sets, television production facilities, generators and satellite transmission facilities, down to catering. Everyone [on our team] knows precisely what to do and how to get it done.”

Now the WWE is experimenting with a new format for the some 300 events it hosts that are currently not captured on video. The goal? To see if using Switcher Studio with a few iPhones and iPads can achieve TV-style results. A key part of testing has been defining workflow using mobile devices while meeting WWE’s high standard of quality. One of the first requirements was moving beyond the four-camera setup. As a result, the Switcher Studio team produced a special version of Switcher that allows unlimited sources. The only limitation is network bandwidth.

Adding more cameras was an untested challenge. To help prevent bottlenecks over the local network, we lowered the resolution and bitrate on preview video feeds. We also hardwired the primary iPad used for switching using Apple dongles. Using the “Director Mode” function in Switcher Studio. WWE then triggered a recording on all devices.

For the first test using Switcher Studio, the WWE had a director and operator at the main iPad. The video from the iPad was output to an external TV monitor using Apple’s AirPlay. This workflow allowed the director to see a live video feed from all sources. They were also able to talk with the camera crew and “direct” the operator when to cut to each camera.

The WWE crew had three camera operators from their TV productions to run iPhones in and around the ring. To ensure the devices had enough power to make it through the four-hour-long event, iPhones were attached to batteries. Meanwhile, two camera operators captured wide shots of the ring. Another camera operator captured performer entrances and crowd reaction shots.

WWE setup a local WiFi network for the event to wirelessly sync cameras. The operator made edits in realtime to generate a line cut. After the event the line cut and a ISO from each angle was sent to the WWE post team in the United Kingdom.

Moving forward, we plan to make further improvements to the post workflow. This will be especially helpful for editors, using tools like Adobe Premiere or Avid Media Composer.

If future tests prove successful, WWE could use this new mobile setup to provide more content to their fans–building new revenue streams along the way.

Nick Mattingly is the CEO/co-founder of Switcher Studio. He has over 10 years of experience in video streaming, online monetization and new technologies. 

Switcher Studio multicam iOS app updated to Version 3.0

Switcher Studio, which makes apps for professional multi-camera productions using iPhones and iPads, has come out with Switcher Studio 3.0.

The new version offers precision control of advanced camera settings with a new menu system featuring sliders for each option. Version 3.0 also includes the addition of “Grey Card” features for quickly matching color between multiple cameras. New slider controls provide users with simple access and control, including zoom accelerator; depth of field, exposure, white-balance, color balance, ISO and shutter speed.

Together, Switcher Studio 3.0 and Switcher Go make up the Switcher Platform for mobile video creators who are actively producing wireless multicam and single-cam live or recorded video productions.

Using Switcher Studio and Switcher Go together, events and pre-planned productions with a fixed Switcher Studio setup can tap into individual creators using Switcher Go to share video from their perspective. Switcher Go’s connection creates a roaming cameraman effect for mobile productions when using the two products together.

Switcher Studio 3.0 is available immediately on a monthly subscription model, and is priced at $25 per month, or for an annual rate of $299. There is also a seven-day free trial available at www.switcherstudio.com.

Switcher Studio intros Go app for mobile video creators

Switcher Studio’s flagship product allows users to create TV-style multi-camera productions using iPhones and iPads. Over the past year they have seen a trend developing — a new type of live video that started to gain adoption with the integration of live streaming on platforms like Twitter (via Periscope) and Facebook.

Many of these broadcasts tend to be more spontaneous and less pre-planned, so Switcher Studio set out to find a way to make these types of productions a better experience while enhancing the creation process for existing users.

The result is specifically designed for mobile video creators. Switcher Go includes advanced video features that let you go beyond “point-and-shoot” to create more engaging live and recorded video.

Switcher Go allows users to:
– Wirelessly connect to another iPhone or iPad to remotely control the camera from your pocket.
– Sync directly to Facebook Live or YouTube Now to quickly go live with one touch.
– Dial in advanced camera controls such as focus, exposure, white balance and more.
– Personalize video content by adding photos or video from your device’s camera roll while recording or streaming.
– Users will be able mark moments during broadcasts, then easily trim and share clips on social media. This ability is coming soon to the product.

In the next few months, Switcher Go users will have the option to upgrade their free account to add unlimited photos and videos from their camera roll and Switcher’s cloud services and desktop tools, currently only available in their pro Switcher Studio product.

Talking to Switcher Studio about multi-cam iOS production

This app targets those shooting with iOS devices, including the 4K-capable iPhone 6s 

By Randi Altman

Last year at NAB, postPerspective was shooting interviews with product makers and users on the exhibit floor. We called on iPad minis housed within the iOgrapher mobile media filmmaking case and Studio Switcher software for our multi-cam and graphics needs.

Switcher Studio is a video app that allows users to record and stream live video using iOS devices to create a multi-camera experience. Switcher Studio can also be used to insert images, graphics and manage multi-view picture-in-picture effects.

Nick Mattingly

The latest version of Switcher Studio features something called Director Mode , which allows users to capture 1080p HD video to upload to the web. Some users are taking advantage of this mode to record video using iOS, then airing the final product on television. One recent example is Kentucky’s Hardin County Educational and Community Television (HCEC-TV). They produce instructional, informational and governmental programming on local cable access channels and for the Hardin County Schools, while training students in television production.

With the iPhone 6s capable of shooting 4K video — and some already using it to make short films and for other productions — it seemed like a good time to reach out to these guys and find out more. Let’s see what CEO/co-founder Nick Mattingly has to say:

Can talk about Director Mode?
Using Director Mode, users can disable the built-in camera on the primary mixing device and connect up to four additional sources. When you start a session, each connected device then starts its own local recording. This allows users to edit on the fly using the main device and stream live video to the web at a lower resolution and bit-rate while retaining full quality video from every angle during production.

When the session ends, the main mixing device wirelessly copies over the files from all connected devices and builds a composition with every cut and transition that you made during your production. This results in a full-quality HD video that is ready to post to the web for on-demand playback.

What if you want to then air your video on TV or need to make additional edits?
You can assign a fixed frame rate for the final composition and push the file into Final Cut Pro X using our beta desktop app, Switcher Media Manager. Switcher Media Manager allows you to open your production in Final Cut with all angles already time synced and every switch between cameras already in your timeline, so you just have to tug at the cuts to tighten up your production before exporting.

Now that you have broadcast quality multi-cam, that opens up your user base a bit. Was this a request you were getting?
Many of our features and updates are a direct result of user feedback. When we first launched, Switcher Studio was primarily a live video streaming tool, but after numerous customer requests for HD recording capabilities — especially at NAB 2015 — we went back to the drawing board.

We didn’t want to just improve the recording capabilities of the app, we wanted to find a way to improve the workflow and experience of the entire production process. That’s where the new Director Mode capabilities come into play with fixed frames per second support and seamless FCP X integration. [Editor’s Note: support for other editing systems is on the horizon.]

Who do you expect to be using your app? Pros, prosumers, a bit of both?
In many cases we have customers using Switcher who are thinking about video for the first time. However, we also have customers who come from a production background and are used to running cables, big cameras and hardware-based video switchers with lots of buttons.

What is the learning curve for the app?
We have built the app with an intuitive layout that is easy to navigate and is visually driven and responsive so that it feels natural for someone that may not be familiar with video mixing. We also have a series of tutorials and quick-start videos available in the dashboard when you first create an account on our website that help walk users through connecting cameras and starting their first production.

Many users are up and running their first production on day one, but a few words of caution: if you are doing a live video stream you may want to give yourself a little more time. There are a lot of wild cards when it comes to live video production, especially when broadcasting from one location to the next. Even when broadcasting with apps like Meerkat and Periscope, bandwidth can be an issue. So we encourage users to do live video streams to scout out the location, test their data connection and do a run-through prior to their official broadcast so they can trouble shoot any problems and make adjustments as needed.

Can you walk us through how someone typically runs the app? From shoot to lower thirds?
1. Create an account on our website.
2. Download Switcher Studio Pro from the App Store on each of your iOS devices and connect to the same WiFi network.
3. Select one device as the primary video mixer, add any graphics and overlays from your camera-roll and sync your other iPhones and iPads.
4. When you are ready to start, tap “Rec + Broadcast.”

Lucid Potato shot the band Jukebox the Ghost.

Can you give examples of how people have used it?
We have had Switcher Studio users record and broadcast athletic events, local government meetings, concert productions, talk shows, parades and conferences.
Brian King, director at Lucid Potato in LA, used Switcher Studio on a production he did for a concert recently. He blogged about shooting and directing live music with iOs, Switcher Studio and the band Jukebox the Ghost.

What have you seen in terms of trends in video and production?
The way we create and consume video has drastically changed since YouTube first started. In 2005, consumer video cameras still recorded on linear tape while miniDV camcorders dominated the landscape. Today, everyone has a video camera on hand all the time via their cell phone. As a result it’s easier than ever to create video content. This has resulted in an exponential increase in the opportunities to create video and enabled the YouTube generation to produce video at a level of quality that was once only available to the pros.

This new tech wave is also driving creativity — people are becoming more innovative in their approach to attracting audiences in new ways. We have more access to video than ever before. In fact, by 2019 it’s projected that it will take two years to watch the amount of video that will be uploaded every second.