How do we do it?
After receiving multiple requests for “how do you do it?”, we are assembling this page as our lessons learned and howto site for webcasting a curling event.
Are you starting webcasting a your club? Our crew is happy to help. Use the Contact Us page to send our webcasting team a message.
The Operator’s Manual
To help our operators, we have a reference manual Webcasting Walkthrough w-out encoder (PDF – April 4, 2013) describing how to run the system, from the first power switch to the last shutdown.
One of the most important things in webcasting is a reliable upstream connection. At PCC, we have a 35.60 mbps down / 8.26 mbps up Business class internet connection. Livestream recommends a minimum of 2mbps upload for SD content, and 5-10mbps upstream for HD content.
So what powers all of this? Don’t fret if you are just starting out, you can start with 1 camera, 1 microphone, and a fairly cheap computer. Over the years we here at Potomac have slowly invested in our system to provide our curling fans with a premium experience.
- 4x Foscam FI9820W IP cameras
4x Foscam FI8919W IP cameras(no longer in use)
- 8x CCTV SD Cameras with wide angle lenses
- These are mounted directly over the houses and each signal is split, 1 going to the 10×1 switcher, and 1 going to a TV in the warm room.
- 1 – 10×1 RCA Switcher
- All 8 house cameras are fed into this house camera switcher. The output goes to the RCA input of the mixing computer.
- 1 – Elgato Video Capture (RCA -> USB)
- The RCA is connected to the 10×1 hour camera switcher. The USB is connected to the mixing computer.
- 1 – Logitech C920 Webcam
- Connected to the mixing computer, this provides a camera on the commentators.
Audio is an extremely important part of any broadcast. We started out with only commentator microphones, but if at all possible broadcasters should get some ambient sound from the ice shed. Good audio takes an ordinary webcast and makes it feel like a professional production.
- 2x Audio-Technica PRO-44 microphones
- Provide ambient sounds and limited vocals.
- These are mounted above the ice just past the hog line pointing back towards the house, 1 on each end.
- 2x ART Tube MP Studio Mic Preamp
- Sitting between the PRO-44 microphones and the ProFX 12 mixer, these provide phantom power and split the signal for use by both the webcasting system and our house-cams in the warm room.
- 3x Audio-Technica BPHS1 Broadcast Stereo Headset
- Used by commentators in the warm room
- Helps to provide consistent levels for the microphones and allows the commentators to hear what is happening on the ice.
- 1x Shure PG48 microphone
- A backup microphone that can also be used for guests or interviews.
- 1x ART HeadAMP 4
- Splits the headphone output of the ProFX 12 mixer for the commentator headsets.
- 2x Shure SLX 14/93 Wireless Lavaliere Microphones
- Wireless mics are offered to skips for each game to help the audience hear the strategy discussions.
- 1x Mackie ProFX 12 Mixer
- Enough inputs for all of our microphones and a USB connection to the mixing computer.
- Mid-2011 Mac Mini (Intel 2.5Ghz Core-i5, 16GB ram, & AMD 6630M graphics)
- Our primary mixing computer. During small events, this computer also runs the encoding software.
- Dedicated Encoder PC (Intel 2.8Ghz i7-930, 16GB ram, BlackMagic Intensity Pro HDMI input)
- For large events, we borrow this computer to act as a dedicated encoder.
- The HDMI output from the mixing computer is connected to the HDMI input.
- Livestream for Producers (Win/Mac, Free)
- Provided by Livestream, this encodes the video/audio stream and uploads it to the internet. To make our videos viewable without visitors having to register, and to preserve the archive, we pay $45 a month for a Basic account.
- Soundflower (Mac, Free)
- Soundflower is a virtual audio device for Mac, which lets you grab audio and route it around the computer.
- SoundflowerBed (Mac, Free)
- A quick little plugin that lets to output from soundflower to any audio device.
- AudioHiJack Pro (Mac, $32)
- Captures the USB input from the ProFX 12 mixer and sends it to soundflower.
- Because of the delay of our webcams, we have AudioHiJack Pro set to add a 1 second audio delay as well.
- CamTwist Studio 2.4 (Mac, Free)
- The Big One
- CamTwist is where we combine all of the video elements and provide a finished product.
- There are separate buttons for each IP camera, and one for each of the layers (Commentator camera, Scoreboard, House Camera, PCC Logo)
- We add to this a VLC bundle that allows us to bring in the RTSP stream from the IP cameras
- CTVLC.bundle.CT2-4 (zip) (Requires VLC to be installed on your computer already).
- Camera URL for FI9820W – rtsp://ip.add.re.ss:554/11
- Scoreboard Overlay Layer (Mac)
- A Potomac Original
- Part 1 – A new layer for CamTwist Studio, this puts the scores, rock tracker, and player names on the screen.
- Part 2 – A OSC powered interface that controls the scoreboard layer in CamTwist Studio.
- Want to try it out? Curling Overlay 3-3 (zip) (you can modify this layer by downloading Quartz Composer from Apple’s website)