How To Make Online TV and Broadcast Video with an iPad and Switcher Software

Posted on January 15, 2016

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There is a lot of talk about video opportunities for mobile and websites, particularly when it comes to product demonstrations or ‘how to’ videos. Surprisingly, one of the best ways to achieve great results is to use an iPad and a broadcast app.

Anyone can teach themselves how to create stunning product videos or ‘how to’ marketing videos these days. In the search for sticky or viral content, these are the sort of videos that hugely influence buying decisions and provide off-the-scale customer satisfaction. There is an incredibly easy way to do it too. Apps like Switcher Studio and RecoLive Multicam for the iPad and iPhone allow you to create professional branded livestream broadcasts for the web, with minimal investment in equipment.

At last year’s MoJoCon event for journalists, the company behind Switcher Studio gave a demo of its software to a room packed with TV broadcasters eager to find out more about its capabilities. Essentially you use an iPad as a central camera and switch to external cameras – iPhones and video cameras – via 4G or a WiFi network to create a multi-cam broadcast.

Switcher studio at MoJoCon

Studio Specials
My first thought was how awesome it would be to do exciting events videos, but it would also suit any type of video content filmed in a studio context. Two journalists attending that session were Javier Cabrera and Oscar Oncina from Spanish company Eltaller Audiovisual. They were so impressed that they set up a whole arm of their business to using its capabilities.

Based in Alicante, Spain they provide mobile journalism (MoJo) courses and production facilities for businesses. In a guest post for MoJo expert Glen Mulcahy’s wordpress blog, the two detail how to put together a multi-camera production using Switcher Studio, or its related product RecoLive, with iPads, iPhones and other video sources. The only difference between Switcher and RecoLive being that Switcher allows you to stream live video while recording and view it using HDMI out or Apple’s Airplay.

Plug and Play
The best way to set up Switcher or RecoLive is to use the iPad as a camera and live video mixer for the other cameras. Any session can be branded with the company’s own logo and product pictures, or presentation graphics, along with live titles. The whole thing can be blended using creative video transitions and great little touches like picture in picture or split screen.

Using these apps requires no steep learning curve, they are pretty much plug and play. The obvious thing to do would be to create a running order for your session and then do a rehearsal. Record it to see how things look on screen and then reshoot as many times as you want. If you don’t want to jump straight into live broadcasting, and there may be no need, then there is ample option to take the videos and edit them together afterwards using iMovie or something more powerful like Final Cut or Premiere.

Cocinando cooking channel on Youtube

Cocinando cooking channel on Youtube

Working Magic
Javier and Oscar see it as the perfect way to record cultural or sports events, interviews, round tables, or even video courses. The pair also work their magic filming for the Cocinando cooking channel on Youtube (41,000 subscribers, 8m+ views).

Switcher and RecoLive allow you to connect three iPhones (4/4s or better) to the iPad, but Javier and Oscar have also worked out a method to attach non-iOS devices. Details of exactly how it works are available at Glen Mulcahy’s TVVJ blog. It requires some extra investment in a Blackmagic Ultrastudio Express video capture card and software called Pixel Conduit, attached to a Mac desktop or laptop.

The video below (in Spanish, so change the subtitles in Youtube’s settings to translate to English) shows the results of their initial testing using two iPhones and a Canon HDV AX-H1 camcorder. You’ll agree that it’s pretty impressive.

For anyone looking to find a way to record or stream video, to create a product or tutorial channel, this is a great way to use existing resources (iPad/iPhone) to make engaging customer videos or online TV. Thanks to Javier and Oscar for publishing their methods and Glen Mulcahy for his excellent blog.

Original Post: Guest post: Oscar and Javier of Eltalleraudiovisual.com explore Switcher Studio for iPad with external cameras

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