HD live encoding with FMLE ? perhaps with a bit of Black Magic…
Performing a live streaming in HD is not a simple task. It is required a lot of processing power to encode in realtime a 720p video in H.264 or Vp6. It is also necessary to have an high upload bandwidth in the encoder site. Not less than 1.5-2Mbit/s which is difficult to have especially in “mobility”.
But there is a one more difficulty: find a way to acquire realtime an HD stream from an HD cam or apparatus.
Infact, if you are using Flash Media Live Encoder you can’t simply use an HDV or AVCHD connection to the firewire port of your encoding box. This is because FMLE want an uncompressed video input while HDV uses a compressed stream (in MPEG2 or H.264. To be exact, also the standard DV is encoded, but this kind of encoding is very simple and well accepted by FMLE).
So, How can we grab an HD stream with a simple, reliable and affordable solution ? The answer may requires a little bit of Black Magic.
Black Magic Design is company that produce affordable digital acquiring card. With a few 100s of dollars it is possible to buy cards capable to acquire the HDMI output of a FullHD camera, or the more professional HD-SDI signal (a serial uncompressed digital stream standard used in broadcasting). For example, Intensity Pro, for a mere 199$ acquires uncompressed HDMI.
I don’t know if these cards are “certified” for FMLE (they were in the iter for certification some months ago), but I have received positive feeds from users who are happily grabbing HD HDMI output and encoding it with FMLE.
Concluding this is one of the few solutions around for streaming HD and the cheaper for sure. If someone has had a good or bad experience with these card, please let me know because this is becoming an hot topic as everyone is asking for every day higher quality video.