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Suggestions on how to connect up to six cameras to my laptop which runs Wirecast

I have used Wirecast for many many years, starting from when the YouTube producer was actually Telestream's Wirecast. Really great software!!!!

My workflow has always involved using some kind of ATEM switcher which all my cameras connect to and then taking the single output video from the Atem into my computer/wirecast via a suitable capture card.

I have always used a laptop since it is more convenient for mobility and therefore using a desktop is not a consideration for me. 

I would like to be able to remove the Atem switcher from my workflow and find some way to be able to connect multiple (6) camera feeds directly to my laptop (similar to how multiple cameras can be connect to a desktop using a Decklink Duo 2 card). Then I would do my switching directly in Wirecast as I move between shots.

I have searched but have not been able to find any suggested ways to capture multiple  cameras to a laptop. Can anyone point me in the right direction? I'd like any kind of suggestion or recommendation on how this is being done by others.

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    • CraigSModerator
    • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
    • CraigS
    • 6 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Of course that number depends on the laptop's resources. Generally, you want to buy the best laptop possible. That would be 12th generation i9 and 14 cores but 8 might be OK. Thunderbolt 4 port with PCIe to Thunderbolt chassis that can support the input cards and the bandwidth. There are 4 input cards and you may find a combination that supports multiple cards and has the bandwidth. You'd have to check with card and chassis maker for card/chassis bandwidth support. The best NVIDIA GPU you can afford as you may want to do NVENC encoding to take some load off the CPU.

    Something like this maybe but we have not tested.
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1687765-REG/msi_raider_ge76_12uhs_252_raider_ge76_laptop_uhd.html

    These are powerful.
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/products/gaming-laptops/ci/24610?filters=fct_graphic-card_3052%3Anvidia-geforce-rtx-3080-ti%2Cfct_processor_7612%3Aintel-core-i9-16-core-12th-gen

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  • For many months, I have been using a 14" MBP 10C CPU, 16C GPU, 16GB, 1TB SSD along with (2) OWC Thunderbolt Hubs with Cling-Ons and (6) Blackmagic Ultrastudio 3G Recorders and Wirecast Pro and haven't had any issues whatsoever since the Blackmagic Desktop Video April 24, 2022 firmware update which resolved the lingering "intermittent black flash frame" issue on this hardware configuration. Furthermore, I am using the Apple ProRes 422 ISO recorder on each 1080p59.94 input and this, too, is effortless and works without any issues at all, to the internal MacBook SSD.

    Fully recommended.

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      • CraigSModerator
      • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
      • CraigS
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Brian Wells Thanks for that. Very much appreciated. I'm using an OWC Thunderbolt dock and my BMD Ultrastudio 3G has become completely reliable. Seems BMD firmware update fixed such issues. The OWC Thunderbolt docks and hubs also seem to be the best.

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    • CraigS Though I do not use their software, Boinx deserves all the credit for actually getting Blackmagic to resolve the Ultrastudio 3G issue.. took 6 months, though.

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      • CraigSModerator
      • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
      • CraigS
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Brian Wells Interesting on how it takes developers to light the fire on some of these issues. 

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    • Jens Jarke
    • Jens_Jarke
    • 6 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Have you had a look into NDI. Once the NDI is available in the network the limit is bandwidth a computer resources. I just did a live open air festival with 7 NDI cams with no issue.

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