WIRECAST 10 Beta Initial Thoughts

I'm only getting round to playing with Wirecast 10 Beta now. I really want to be involved in sorting out any bugs and helping to shape the future of Wirecast. The live streaming tool market is becoming very competitive at the moment, and there are some other tools out there that are significantly cheaper than Wirecast that offer more stability, ease of use and more powerful features. But I love Wirecast and believe in it. But it does need a radical overhaul.

My initial thoughts are that Wirecast 10 is far from a radical overhaul, but perhaps that is a conversation we can have at a later time.

So here are some initial points.

- In the Add layers dialogue box, I find it a little confusing. I think the add media option should also be in overlays. It's the obvious place to put it. Just have the option to add media (image/audio/video) there. I can't tell you how many times I've missed the "add media" button, even though it's staring at me in the face.

- Again, in the add layers dialogue box, the rendezvous layers are not in an obvious area. It makes sense to have them under "network" for developers. But not for the end user. They need to be under "video capture" or a new section called "guests".

- When selecting a layer such as an image, video or background color, it would be great to resize it using the zoom gesture on my mouse/trackpad. It's such a simple and easy thing to do, and something you can do easily in Ecamm Live. It is a lot more fiddly to resize by dragging the corners.

- I'm still very disappointed by Rendezvous. The web interface is clunky and not helpful for guests. If you compare it to the ease of use of BeLive, vMix or Ecamm, it really needs to improve. As a guest, the webcam preview on the top right is still tiny. When we join as a guest it needs to be a really large preview in the middle of the screen so they can adjust their position and make sure the quality is ok. The text and name box are difficult to read. If the input box could be made larger with a more obvious border that would be good. Also the wording "You are about to join a Wirecast Rendezvous session" isn't overly helpful. Most guests won't have a clue about Wirecast or Rendezvous. This needs to be made more helpful and say "you're about to join a live video session using Wirecast Rendezvous....

- Once they have entered their name it says "Waiting to join the conversation..." but it should also say something like "The host knows you are waiting and will bring you in shortly.

- From the host's point of view, they can see a tiny red dot to show that a guest is trying to join. It's too subtle. We need to have a dialogue box or notification that shows that a guest is trying to join. It needs to display their name and a preview of their webcam. 

- There needs to be a "green room" that allows the guest to see the show and for the host to see and speak to the guest before they are actually brought in.

- It's great to see that the guest can now see the live output of the show. Finally! :-) I think this should be the default. It's just one more thing to remember to do.

- When the guest has been brought in, they should be able to see a bigger image of themselves on the top right. Also, the quality of the output that the guest sees was very poor. That probably needs to be tested more.

- The tooltips that you see when you hover over the camera, microphone and cog icons are too small and take ages to load. I think they use just basic alt or title tags in the HTML. They need to be bigger tooltips that make it easier to see. I think Rendezvous needs a lot more front-end design and development work to make it easier to use, and even a joy to use!

- Following on from that, there are two "mute video" buttons - and it's not obvious which video it is referring to. At the top right it should say something like "my output" and on the top left it should say something like "what I see".

- When adding Rendezvous guests, you can't construct the show until you have actually brought the guests on. If you were bringing in 4 guests, it will take time to then manually add them to all the shots in Wirecast, crop them and potentially put them under layers etc. We need the ability to add rendezvous layers before we add them in. It would be simple enough to add "guest 1", "guest 2" etc before the show starts, and then allocate each guest to the specific number. This is really important. We should also still have the ability to bring in extra guests later.

- I haven't been able to test this, but I'd like to see Wirecast remember devices better. Sometimes I have had to unplug and plug back in a webcam. It then sees this as a separate device, so I have to remove the layer with the red question mark and then re-add it in.

- This is more of a feature request, but really Wirecast needs to have the ability to bring in comments from Facebook and other platforms built in. It's great to have the ability to integrate with Titler, but that means managing two applications and it's much more complicated especially with teams of 1 or 2.

 

I'll do some more testing. Hopefully Wirecast 10 will be less buggy and won't crash as much. I think it is great that development is moving faster, but I am still feeling a big rewrite would be much more preferrable.

 

Ian

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  • Playing with Telestream Cloud Settings...

     

    In the sign up form, "United Kingdom" is listed under it's full title "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" which is a little unecessary I think. I struggled to find it at first, and then found it was listed after Gabon. I assume it's listed alphabetically with "Great Britain" being the first bit. Also, because you put United States at the top, I can't just type U and scroll down to the U part of the list and then scroll down to the United Kingdom. Either put United States in the usual order, or move the United Kingdom towards the top directly under neath the United States.

    Secondly, I don't see why I need to enter my phone number. That's unnecessary. Why not just my email to activate my account? When I chose to omit my phone number it gave me an error message and the form was completely blank again, meaning I had to enter all my details again. Including trying to find my country.

    It would be useful for the country field for the phone number to change when I select the country too. You've just kept the US field for the phone number. Thankfully you have got the United Kingdom listed there at the top directly below the US.

    On the Wirecast Live Captions it says we have 5000 minutes trial (which is great) but I can't see how much it will cost after that. Are you working on that?

    I only have two options for the Wirecast Restream encoding - one using x264 and the other Apple H.264 - both at 720p. Why can't I stream in full HD? Will you ever support HD and higher?

    I had assumed this would be included with Wirecast, but it looks like you are charging for this after the trial. Clicking "get more" doesn't tell me how much this will cost.

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  • 100% agree on rendezvous topics. Wirecast also needs to get Voice-minus fully available for rendezvous, else its not useable us.

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  • , Have you put Rendezvous in a real-time setting with guess yet? Would love to see some results, a lot of you point are valid , but I’ve brought in over 16 guest into Rendezvous with no major issues beyond asking the guest to use Chrome. I haven’t used vMix, but download a demo just to compare. Thomas Kofler Mix/Minus is built in WebRTC, vMix and Wirecast takes care of this. I think the greater challenge here Ian getting outback guest some of outback guest up to speed on proper audio/video equipment for steaming and when coming on a a show. I have 3 fly packs wish includes a MixPre 3, sennheiser hmd 26 (talk and listen) plus a Logitech Brio. 

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  • George E. Kennedy, Jr - Rendezvous is certainly a lot better than earlier versions. However, "in the real world" there are problems. Let me talk about a couple of topics:

    Bandwidth

    When it comes to internet, Australia is a third world country. The fastest service I can get in my area is only 5 meg up... 100 meg down. There are some simple tweaks to rendezvous that would make this work much better. Each guest sees a video image for every guest that is participating. Why? In the most recent version of Wirecast, you can send a program out feed from Wirecast. What would be amazing is to send this one feed out from Wirecast to the telestream servers, and have them relay this feed to your guests. If this was possible, you could have an unlimited number of guests join without bandwidth issues - since you are only sending one outbound stream. 

    Monitor Audio

    This is just broken. There is on way to configure/change monitor audio from the rendezvous dashboard after starting Wirecast. If you make a mistake before starting a stream, you're stuffed. You cannot fix it without restarting wirecast.

    Waiting room

    There should be a way to interact with Rendezvous participants before starting video with them - For example, text chat. This would allow a producer to decide which guests to include in what order... and allow them to prepare lower thirds.

    Shot Editing

    Once you've got a guest ready to go into a shot, you need to update your source. Easy right? Not really. What if you have a large number of shots to update? There needs to be a mechanism to replace multiple instances of a placeholder with a rendezvous guest in one action. One example might be if you are using virtual sets with multiple virtual camera angles... there could be a large number of shots to update. 

    Placeholder dimensions

    Speaking of virtual sets, the placeholder dimensions before adding a rendezvous guest never seem to match. Lots of manual work when adding a guest.

    Program Audio for Guests

    The fact that Guests cannot hear any playout is a major oversight in terms of rendezvous capabilities. Some options including the use of Dante Via or alternatives can help - but I have found even this is unreliable.

    Conclusion

    Rendezvous is promising in terms of future vision and a lot more stable than earlier versions in the current Beta version of wirecast. However, it is still woefully immature in my opinion. Having said that, I will be doing a live stream tomorrow - inviting others to participate in the stream via rendezvous. I intend to use a wirecast document that I use for a regular weekly live stream... and I intend to try to "break" wirecast in ways that usually impact and affect my weekly shows so that these things can all be documented. And if the gods align, I want to get wirecast to crash during the stream. I'd love to have you participate if you're available :)

    GK

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  • Thanks,  George E. Kennedy, Jr - I haven't tried Rendezvous with multiple guests for a while, but I've been testing with myself on multiple computers. That's allowed me to have the experience of it. I think it has improved a little bit, but it really has a long way to go before I can recommend it to people. To be honest, I still advocate bringing people in using Zoom or Skype. It's more complicated to set up, but it's more reliable and easier for the guest. And it allows me to set up the show beforehand.

    Greg Kuhnert thanks so much for your detailed response. You've really listed the points very clearly. In the UK we're very blessed with internet speeds, but I have many friends in Australia and I understand the issues. It would be good if tweaks could help the bandwidth impaired!

    I've not had the chance to play with monitor audio recently, but it was always buggy and I got frustrated with it. I am surprised it hasn't been fixed.

    And, yes, we need waiting rooms and shot editing! And everything else you say!

    I hope some people from Wirecast are reading all of this?  CraigS  ?

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  • Ian Anderson Gray I certainly am. 

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