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  • Activation
  • Getting Started
    • I am new to live broadcasting and want the easiest way to get started - what do I do?

      Setup an account with a Content Delivery Network such as Ustream.tv,or any other CDN. There are a number of pre-configured destinations in Wirecast. In the destination drop down menu, select the CDN you have your account with and enter your account information.

    • What are the system requirements for Wirecast?

      Wirecast is both a video mixer and a live video & audio encoding application. As such, the system requirements are higher than "off-line" media tools such as video editing and traditional encoding applications.

      Wirecast will benefit from having as fast a CPU as possible, and automatically makes use of multiple processors or cores if available. You will require a graphics card with certain capabilities. On Mac OS X, if your system supports "Quartz Extreme", then Wirecast will be able to run on your machine. On the Windows side, if your graphics card was made in the last four years, you should have no problem running the application. If in doubt, simply download the application and it will notify you if your system meets the minimum specifications for a video card. We always recommend testing out the evaluation version of Wirecast in your environment.

      For more information, please see the Wirecast Tech Specs

    • What would a single camera setup versus a multiple camera setup with Wirecast typically look like?

      For a single camera scenario your computer will need an available Firewire or USB port. You will need a camera that is able to send video live via Firewire or USB. Like with most other video productions the quality of your broadcast will be dependent on the quality of the cameras you use as well as other things like lighting and sound.

      For a multi-camera scenario your computer will need the ability to connect multiple Firewire or USB cameras. If you have a desktop machine with available PCI slots, then you can have as many cameras as you have card slots free for. We recommend using a separate FireWire PCI card per camera for compatibility reasons. You may find that multiple cameras of newer model will work fine when connected to the same card (bus), but this is not a configuration we currently support.

      If you want to use multiple devices on a PC laptop, you can add an additional FireWire PC card (PCMCIA).

    • Can I use Wirecast on my laptop for my live field productions?

      Yes, remote live broadcasting from the field is an excellent example of what Wirecast can help you accomplish very easily, by just bringing a laptop and a camera.

      The system requirements for a laptop are very similar to those of a desktop, see our general system requirements for Wirecast. Additional parameters to consider when deciding what laptop to purchase are the following:

      CPU
      The CPU that is installed in most laptops have lowered wattage than their desktop counterparts. This helps the laptop use less power and be more mobile. In Wirecast this can potentially cause performance issues. If you for example plan to broadcast multiple streams or to simultaneously broadcast and record to disk a low wattage processor may not provide the needed power. If you are running a low wattage CPU you should download and test the Wirecast trial. Test the complete work flow that you intend to use to make sure the CPU provides sufficient power for your specific workflow.

      Video Card
      Many of the features and effects in Wirecast utilize the GPU of your video card. Many of the video cards that come installed on laptops are lacking the 3D features and power needed to run Wirecast. If you are uncertain about the ability of your video card it is recommended that you download the Wirecast trial to test. It is recommended that you test all of the features that you intend to use.

      Firewire Camera/Device connectivity
      You can connect up to two DV camcorders per Firewire bus. Most laptops even if they may have two or more Firewire ports they are likely sharing one single Firewire bus. (The bus is where the Firewire connectors attach to the motherboard). The same applies to if you connect a Firewire hub with more ports - they would all be sharing one single bus. If you plan to add a 3rd or 4th DV camera you need to plug in an Express Card that has DV input. To facilitate this your laptop must have an available card slot.

      Please keep these Firewire/DV bus considerations in mind if you are selecting an external hard drive. If you are planning to use Firewire/DV video devices it is recommended that you look for a USB2 or other external hard drive connection type.

      Hard Drive Speed
      If you plan to record to hard drive while you broadcast you will want to make sure that you have a hard drive that can keep up with the quality you are expecting. Most laptops come with a 5400rpm drive by default which should be sufficient for lower quality and lower performance requirements on your broadcast. For higher quality and performance a hard drive with 7200rpm is suggested.

    • What kind of graphics card do I need?

      For Mac OS X, we require a Quartz Extreme capable graphics card. If you are unsure if your graphics card is supported, please download our evaluation versions; the application itself will notify you if it can be run. You can expect most Mac hardware made in the last five years to fully support Quartz Extreme.

      For Windows, we need a video card with at least 16MB of video memory and certain Direct3D features supported. We recommend a PCI Express card, but Wirecast will run on some of the older PCI models. You can also download our evaluation version for information on whether the application will run on your hardware. Again, most PC hardware made in the last few years should be fully compatible.

    • Will using a SLI dual graphics card increase the performance of Wirecast?

      No, a dual graphics card setup is not recommended for Wirecast. Wirecast is not designed to work with dual graphics cards and you could see a decrease in the performance if you are using more than one.

      Note: Wirecast does support the use of some video “capture” cards with multiple cards in one machine.

    • In which languages is Wirecast available in?
      • English
      • Brazilian Portuguese
      • Czech
      • Dutch
      • French
      • German
      • Italian
      • Japanese
      • Spanish
    • Who needs the Firewire HDV Option?

      Anyone who is using an HDV video camera or video capture device with HDV mode enabled. The Firewire HDV Option allows Wirecast to receive the signal from your HDV device. You can get a better picture quality when using an HDV camera. However, the Firewire HDV Option does not unlock any HD broadcast settings. Wirecast is already capable of sending and recording HD broadcasts assuming that the computer can handle it.

  • Order Help
  • Broadcasting
    • Can I stream in HD?

      Yes you can stream HD with Wirecast; Wirecast does not put any limitations on your broadcast resolution. However, in most cases streaming in high definition is not advisable.

      In general, streaming HD video is very system intensive and may result in reduced quality and lower frame rate (especially for streams over 720p). Additionally, most users don't have the bandwidth to view high resolution streams – even streams at 720p can cause problems.

      So, although the upper recommended limit for web streaming is 720p, for optimal high quality streaming over the web we recommend streaming at 480p.

      More information about streaming can be found here on our blog in a post called "The Art Of Webcasting".

    • How much bandwidth do I need?

      Your upload speed must be faster than the data rate you choose to broadcast at. You can test at http://www.speedtest.net/index.php. Your server needs to sustain your projected number of simultaneous viewers at your streamed bandwidth (viewers x data rate = total bandwidth needed at a given moment in time). Your viewers need to have a connection speed and computer capable of receiving and decoding the stream in real time. Use the above link to test speed.

    • The viewer is seeing a blocky image, jerky playback or intermittent motion (dropped frames), what should I do?

      When broadcasting or recording to disk (or doing both), it is important to monitor your CPU Usage. The CPU usage is found in the Wirecast Output Statistics (along with Frames Per Second, Data Rate, Time of Broadcast, and Flash Queue).

      CPU usage displays how hard your computer is working. CPU usage should not exceed 80%. Lower values are best. If the CPU usage is over 80%, you can experience dropped frames, jerky motion, and frame freezing.

      If you see your CPU usage is exceeding 80%, here are some guidelines to help bring it down:

      • Reduce the resolution by lowering your encoder presets. If you are broadcasting using Flash 720p 16:9 (which is the default preset), try another preset such as 480p or 360p. This will reduce the size of the broadcast file, reducing strain on the system.
      • Broadcasting in HD is not always necessary. If your viewers are not watching in HD, you probably don't need to broadcast in HD.
      • We recommend running a few tests using different resolutions to discover how to maintain high quality while keeping the CPU usage as low as possible.
      • If you are also recording to disk, the above steps also apply.
      • You can also create custom encoder presets by selecting one of the default presets and clicking Edit. This will open the encoder preset allowing you to change the settings. When you are finished, select Save As and rename your preset.

      More information can be found here.

      If you have tried these steps, and are still unable to bring the CPU usage down below 80%, please check to make sure that your computer meets or exceeds the minimum specs for operating Wirecast. For a list of specs visit: http://www.telestream.net/wirecast/tech-specs.htm

    • How can I stop monitoring my own voice/microphone?

      Step 1: Turn on Master Audio from the layout menu

      Step 2: Click on the headphone button to disable the local monitor

    • What are the streaming options I have with Wirecast?

      There are a range of services depending on your needs:

      Wirecast's internal server
      Wirecast has a built in server. It's good for basic testing and reaching a handful of viewers. You can email a QuickTime pointer or embed a link on a web page that might serve a few people in an office or a few friends simultaneously viewing. The number depends on your data rate, upload speed, computer's capacity but it's generally a very small number.

    • Wirecast freezes or crashes when out of memory.

      With the release of version 5, Wirecast now uses x.264, users may notice an increase in memory usage that can result in the application freezing or crashing.

      Using x.264 encoding offers customers increased quality on their streams, so before changing encoders, we recommend following the instructions found here.

  • Hardware
    • What capture devices are integrated with Wirecast?

      For a current list of our supported capture devices, please click here.

    • My capture card isn't working, what should I do?

      There can be a variety of reasons a capture card is not functioning as expected, many of those reasons are unrelated to Wirecast. First, make sure your capture card works independently of Wirecast. Some capture cards will not work if there are other cards installed on the same system. If you have several cards installed on your system, try removing them one by one to isolate an incompatibility error.

      If your capture card works independently of Wirecast, but does not work with Wirecast, then contact support for further troubleshooting help.

    • Will Wirecast work with my HDV camera?

      HDV sources are supported in Wirecast 6 Pro*.

      To use HDV sources with Wirecast Studio 6, you'll need to buy the Firewire HDV Option.

      Note: You can evaluate HDV camera performance in Wirecast without purchasing the Firewire HDV Option, the output will be watermarked.

      HDV decoding and system resources
      HDV decoding requires significant system resources. As such we recommend that, on the Mac, you use at least a dual processor G5 system or dual core Intel CPU. On the Windows side, we recommend a modern graphics card and a dual processor (or core) system.

      If you find that HDV is consuming too many system resources, here are some ways to reduce the load:

      When working with HDV sources, you may find there is up to two seconds of delay from the video first being captured by the camera, to it showing up in Wirecast. This is a hardware limitation on some of the first generation HDV cameras and cannot be corrected by Wirecast. You can compensate for this by only trusting the video and audio you are seeing in Wirecast, and using the Wirecast Preview as the source for all your live cues.

      *Please note: JVC HDV is NOT supported in Wirecast.

    • What is the maximum number of Digital cameras I can have connected to my machine?

      If you have a desktop machine with available PCI slots, then you can have as many cameras as you have card slots free for. We recommend using a separate FireWire PCI card per camera for compatibility reasons. You may find that multiple cameras will work fine when connected to the same card (bus), but this is not a configuration we support. Generally speaking, it's older cameras that have problems working together on the same bus.

      If you want to use multiple devices on a laptop, you can add an additional FireWire PC card (PCMCIA). On Mac hardware, please be aware that the FireWire 800 and 400 buses are actually connected together and so can't offer the additional camera support that multiple buses afford.

    • What is the best way to bring an analog signal in?

      There is a large variety of hardware options to import an analogue signal into Wirecast. On the Windows side, if you wish to import a S-Video signal, you will be able to find a number of USB and PCI card solutions. If you are looking to go the USB route, we recommend choosing a USB-2 device (assuming your computer is also USB-2 capable) because of the improved bandwidth supported, yielding higher quality video. Analogue to DV FireWire converters are supported on both Mac OS X and Windows.

    • Are USB Webcams supported?

      Most USB webcams should work with Wirecast as long as they are supported by QuickTime or AVFoundation on MacOSX and DirectShow on Windows. See our list of typical USB/Webcams.

      If you run into problems, please check that you have the most recent versions of the drivers installed on your system. Your webcam maker's website should have details.

      You will need to check that there is a "DirectShow" driver when using the camera on Windows, and a "VDIG" driver when using on Mac OS X. Very few webcam makers actually create a Mac OS X driver, so please check carefully before purchasing.

    • Can Wirecast work with my Network or IP camera?

      Wirecast Pro is also compatible with web/IP/security cameras and network devices via the ONVIF (Open Network Video Interface Forum) protocol.

      The Webstream plugin allow access to network and IP cameras through the camera's URI. For more information, click here.

  • Input Sources
    • How do I mute the audio on a camera source?

      There are two ways to mute the audio from a camera source:

      • Edit the shot containing the camera and select the Playback attributes tab, uncheck the audio (playback icon) under the audio meter.
      • Open the Audio Inspector (Pro only) and select the shot with the camera, then click the Mute button under the audio meter.

      Note: Both of these options control the same thing and will reflect the changes to each other.

    • Can I capture my screen or Powerpoint presentation to include with my live stream?

      Yes, using the included Desktop Presenter Plug-in you can capture what is happening on the computer screen of any Windows or Mac computer on your network. Select specific screen regions, applications, or monitors to capture in real time and include as part of your live stream or recording.

      To launch Desktop Presenter, click the Desktop Presenter button in your Main Wirecast document (the third button from the left, just above the Shot Bin). Select "Launch Desktop Presenter on this computer", it should automatically be added to your document as a new shot. The button will change to give options for controlling your Desktop Presenter; you can also change it from the main Desktop Presenter window.

      You can also capture other computer screens on your local network by installing and launching Desktop Presenter on those machines.

    • How do I get the best Chroma Key possible?

      First you need a Green Screen. There are many variations of this to select from. Wirecast Chroma Key also supports Blue Screen. To get the optimal Chroma Key you want to have the best lighting setup. Here is one way to light a Chroma Key scene:

      • The main light (place just to the side of the camera - brightest light). This is what you generally think of as "lighting".
      • The fill light - so talent has no dark areas/shadows (place on other side of camera - dimmer). This is what keeps your talent from having drop-out areas on them.
      • The back light - to light the edges of the talent (place behind talent). This is what cleanly separates the talent from the background.
    • Can I create my own title templates?

      Currently Wirecast does not support the creation of custom title templates. We recommend using your preferred graphic creation tool for making your titles, and then simply importing them as regular image files. Wirecast will automatically recognize and use any alpha channel in the image.

    • How do I add scoreboards?
      • From the Sources drop-down menu, select "New Scoreboard...", this will open the Source Settings window
      • Configure your Scoreboard for your broadcast (you can also right-click on your scoreboard in the selection window to rename it)
      • In your main Wirecast document, click the Add Live Source button and select your scoreboard.
      • Once added to your document, the scoreboard will always show up under the Live Sources tab.
    • Which drivers should I use for the Matrox VS4?

      Users should not install or use the DirectShow drivers for the Matrox VS4 if they are planning on using the card with Wirecast. The VS4 driver installs its own plug-in for Wirecast.

  • Production
    • How does Wirecast use the H.264 Main Concept codec?

      Wirecast 4 changed its Flash H.264 encoding to use the Main Concept H.264 codec. This improves the quality, frame race consistency and data rate stability of Flash broadcasts. The H.264 Main Concept codec is currently not being used for QuickTime H.264 encoding.

      Wirecast 5 added the x264 encoder which gives better quality on the encode and is easier on the CPU. X264 is a software library that uses the H.264 MPEG-4 AVC Compression format. For more information, click here.

    • Can I script Wirecast to automate actions?

      Currently we support scripting on Mac OS X through AppleScript, and on Windows through the OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) layer. We include example scripts with Wirecast for Mac OS X, and an SDK for Windows containing examples written in Perl, Visual Basic and C#. We encourage you to experiment with our example code.

      For Windows Scripting Examples, please go to All Programs > Telestream > Wirecast > Scripting

      Click here for Apple Script examples

    • What PCIe slot should I install my capture card in?

      When using a capture card please make sure you are installing them in a PCIe slot with enough PCIe bandwidth. If you are using the Matrox VS4 card please make sure you install it in at least a PCIe x8 slot to ensure it will work properly.

    • I have an Nvidia graphics card and I have an issue with quality when using GPU/YUV Colorspace conversion. Why?

      NVIDIA cards may cause some visual distortion if YUV color space rendering is enabled in "Preferences." The problem is that there is a bug on Nvidia GPUs when enabling GPU YUV conversion. This bug only affects Windows. What this option does is offload YUV color space conversion onto the GPU. The bug causes some resizing artifacts in the output. Nvidia cards work fine otherwise.

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