Advices on my dream setup?

Hi,

After reading the entire forum, I’d like to hear some feedbacks from you all out there before I run to the stores buying my dream setup. It will be used mainly for live coverages and webinars. Needless to say I’m looking for a professional, rock-solid setup with almost no lag.

I’ll be using an 8 Core Mac Pro with the specs suggested (Two 2,4GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon “Westmere”, 8GB DDR3 ECC SDRAM, Mac Pro RAID Card with 3 x 1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive, ATI Radeon HD 5870 1GB).

I’ll then install 3 additional Firewire buses through PCI Express cards to be use as camera inputs, which should be three Canon VIXIA HV40 HD Camcorders (one cam per card). I’ll be using Firewire repeaters too if needed.

I will probably use a M-audio ProFire 610 as a sound input on the computer native FW port.

I’ll be running BoinxTV Studio (of course) with 3 cameras inputs, recording on computer and streaming my final output through a streaming service (Livestream, Ustream, ect) with the appropriate softwares.

I’ll have Final Cut Pro installed on this machine too, so I should have a plethora of codecs to play with if needed.

So basically, my questions are:

-Will this system be fast enough to do the job? (Running 3 FW cameras on SD mode, FW sound input, recording and streaming). I just assume 3 live HD mode cams would be a little too much to ask for. Am I wrong?

-Would getting an additional computer dedicaced only for the recording / streaming job would make my system far better and faster? Should I need an additional Mac Pro to do this job? Would that be an unneccesary overkill? Any ideas about dedicaced recording / compressing / streaming powerhouse hardware? That’s the part I don’t know yet.

Thanks in advance for your inputs / advices / experiences.

Gate

That machine sounds great for what you want to do. With the HV40 and their HD25 Mode, you can even run 3 of those cams in HDV mode and BoinxTV in a 720p document, as long as you don’t have to do any chroma keying. If you do that. I’d do the streaming part outside the machine. The best solution for that is definitely the teradek cube (http://boinx.com/chronicles/2011/9/30/streaming-from-boinxtv-with-the-teradek-cube/)

We use that setup for some intenal productions and it has proved to be solid. If SD is enough you’ll have a lot of extra headroom for further “fun”.

Thanks for the fast reply.

It showed me that I had overlooked the teradek Cube in my research. It seem just like the device I need.

As for the chroma keying part, you’re saying HDV mode 720p would be too demanding: are you talking about the numbers of cameras, the resolution of the document or both? I plan on doing chroma keying, so I’d like to know beforehand the limitations of my setup.

Chroma keying one or maximum 2 720p sources can be done on a top notch machine. 3 Cameras will simply kill the machine. (maybe if you disable recording in the BoinxTV settings and just to playout to the Teradek). I’ll give that a try with our machine and let you know.

I would get away from using firewire cameras if at all possible. very dated tech in those cams & too much latency imo… I would start investing towards capture cards & HDMI based cameras, if at all possible.

Kind of a late reply, but I’m still in.

What kind of lag / latency should I expect? In terms of frames, or in terms of seconds? Can you tell me more on this?

I chose the FW setup because it’s the one suggested, and I chose the Canon VIXIA HV40 HD as camera because it have both FW and HDMI output, so I’ll be able to ugrade to HDMI input cards when needed. From the infos on the forum, it seems that no system can handle three HDMI inputs yet. Any suggestions?

@Gate: Latency: Its depending on resolution too. high resolutions usually has more latency because of buffer sizes etc. Once we measured it with FW and SD resolution the latency was about 4 to 6 frames (about 1/4 sec max).

HDMI: The problem is the big about of data that has to be pushed through the bus and CPU of the machine. Those video streams also need a lot of memory and because BoinxTV currently (1.8.4) can only be 32 bit, the limit of 4GB RAM exceeds quickly and the app crashes. This certainly will change when we are able to build it for 64 bit.