Episode 4 – What do you need to record a video podcast?

By on September 13, 2013

Welcome to this three part series to teach people the basics of video podcasting.

This part focuses on recording your program and the hardware & software needed.

Play

To record a show you will need:

A camera

  • Webcam recommended, but you can use such things as Digital cameras and cam-corders if you have the know how
  • Recommended C920 from Logitech

A microphone

  • You can use your web cam’s microphone but I recommend a blue yeti or similar USB microphone.
  • You could also use a professional mic and mixing board system if you feel inclined.

A computer

  • Mac or PC (pc needs to be minimum of Windows Vista)

The Software

I will be talking about 4 solutions today.

Each of these will allow you to use multiple cameras, overlays and screen captures and will record the final to a MP4 file.

Open Broadcaster Software

OBS Project is the only free software we will be talking about today. It is an opensource project meaning anyone can take the software and make their own tweaks and modifications directly to the code.

One benefit of this open source development is the software is remarkably solid when recording. I haven’t had a crash using OBS since one of the early versions.

This is a great piece of software for the hobby vidcaster.

Pro’s

  • Open Source (it’s free!)
  • Solid scene switching
  • Global Sources

Con’s

  • More complex to build scenes
  • Lower quality encoding

XSplit Broadcaster

XSplit Broadcaster from Split Media Labs is perhaps the most popular video broadcaster out there.

For only $99 per year you get access to the full “professional” edition which allows you to use your recordings for commercial purposes.

Also featuring a multitude of plugins and features, XSplit is extremely flexiable for almost any type of show.

XSplit is also the only software on the list that supports native Skype interaction.

Pro’s

  • Easy To Use
  • Solid platform
  • Lots of plugins and advanced features
  • Skype Interaction

Con’s

  • Yearly registration fee
  • Updates can be slow

Vidblaster

I only recently discovered our next two pieces of software. The first being Vidblaster from CombiTech.

To compare Vidblaster to XSplit or OBS is like comparing a high end cell phone camera with a prosumer DSLR. It is extremely flexible and is geared to those running “bigger” shows with multiple camera’s, guests via video conferencing and screen captures.

While the feature list in Vidblaster is impressive, I found a major glitch (besides the price point). My 6 core AMD processor was running at 85% usage across all six cores while only having 2 camera windows and an output to mp4.

Pro’s

  • Solid interface
  • Professional output

Con’s

  • Cost ($199 for the Home version is really limited)
  • High CPU usuage compared to other offerings

Wirecast

My second recent discovery is Wirecast. And just let me say WOW, I would purchase this software in a heart beat… if it wasn’t for the cost.

Starting at $495 for the basic version which will work for most hobby & small single person productions, it is still a bit pricey.

If you want to bring an HDV source (CamCorder, TV input, etc) you need to shell out an extra $99. Finally if you want features like 3d virtual sets, IP Camera’s and advanced audio controls you will need to slap down $995 for the Pro version.

If you are a Mac user Wirecast is the only entry that works on OsX

Wirecast does stand out for those that want a “professional” setting. I’m seriously considering making the switch here at Smoking Man Studios due to the professional video encoding, seemless transitions and other features in Wirecast.

Pro’s

  • Best file output in the group
  • Seemless transitions
  • Professional features
  • Mac & PC editions available

Con’s

  • Cost

Wrap up

OBS is great for those that just want to dip their toes in the waters of creating Video Podcasts/Internet TV shows.

XSplit is perfect for those that want to record shows from their home office using Web cams and Skype. It is also an excellent choice for those that want stream games.

Vidblaster is a cheaper alternative for those that are expanding into more complex setups with multiple guests, overlays and other advanced features.

Wirecast really is the best of the bunch. I love the encoding quality, the features and the interface. I just wish it was cheaper.

Closing

That’s it for this week. If you have a question, please leave a comment by coming to our website at webtalkrevolution.com/ep4.

Next week I’m going to be talking about alternatives to Skype video for guests.

Don’t forget to also check out my home studio walkthru by going to webtalkrevolution.com/studio

And while your there, sign up for my mailing list and get more updates from Web Talk Revolution.

I’ll see ya next week.

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Hardware:

PC Configuration 

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About Rob Davenport

Rob Davenport is an expert in media design and web functionality. By day he works at Smoking Man Studios which specializes in digital media production for content creators. Rob's course "Beginners Guide to Video Podcasting" is available on Udemy now! .

4 Comments

  1. Pingback: RoundUp: Adobe Flash Live Encoder vs. XSplit Broadcaster vs. Open Broadcaster | Web Talk Revolution

  2. bill calhoun

    December 13, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Hi Rob,

    I’m loving this.

    I’ve gotten taken around the block with TheDesignGuys. They
    took 6-months to do this: winbillcalhoun.com and its still not done.

    I’m moving on.

    I need to find a house for my podcast/video show site. I plan to interview.

    I’m stationed over here in Singapore and the expertise I’m familiar with
    in California is lacking.

    So, my questions:

    1. Where is the best place to find a freelancer to set up my podcast/video
    site without breaking the bank, reliable and trustworthy?

    2. How much can I expect to pay for the set up.

    Here’s what i put up to try and find someone.

    Here’s what TheDesignGuys did for me after 6-months:
    winbillcalhoun.com

    and this after 3-months:

    fastoxformula.com

    There were endless excuses and people
    (designers) leaving and…whatever.

    Suffice to say, I don’t want to wait anymore.

    No more being too nice–that’s what my girlfriend
    says I am…”Too nice”. Oh well.

    Anyway, on to you and your services.

    All I want is a killer template and appearance
    that will house my podcast stuff: Bills Show.

    I want to have LeadPages integrated so I can
    drive folks there when I sell my books. The
    books will be a total experience. The buyer
    will grab it from Amazon–already have a trusted
    freelancer who ROCKS with loading them on Amazon,
    Kindle and designing the layouts:

    http://www.amazon.com/Cant-Can-Bill-Calhoun-ebook/dp/B00GJ8HXYS/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386849261&sr=1-2&keywords=bill+calhoun

    http://www.amazon.com/Shut-Up-Talk-Bill-Calhoun-ebook/dp/B00GIMVJLI/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386849261&sr=1-1&keywords=bill+calhoun

    http://www.amazon.com/No-More-Alps-Bill-Calhoun-ebook/dp/B00GIOA9NA/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386849261&sr=1-7&keywords=bill+calhoun

    And:

    http://www.amazon.com/Safe-Effective-Weight-Loss-Techniques-ebook/dp/B00GBPXAO6/ref=sr_1_12?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386849261&sr=1-12&keywords=bill+calhoun

    Now, eventually I’d like to have each book have its own template–backed by the list building
    might of LeadPages–with podcasts/videos on those short, sweet and simple sites (Resource, About Bill, Shows, Contact are the only tabs I need) that only go a couple layers and are not messy nor filled with useless/endless content.

    I want to engage the viewer from the get-go. Contrary to most–whereby they tout to be careful of a beautiful design that is not practical–I WANT a killer looking site. The books, interviews and books will do the talking. Make sense?

    So, how do we proceed from here?

    Is WIN (above) salvageable or should we just leave it as it may be easier just to go with another new template.

    Let’s do this.

    Let me know the gigs it’ll take and if you have samples you can point me to?
    Bill
    http://www.billcalhoun.com
    http://www.bill-calhoun.com/site/

  3. Rob Davenport

    December 13, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Hey Bill,

    Thanks for the awesome comment!

    I feel your pain, it is a really hard job to find a descent studio to contract to. I get contacted about once a week with another horror story.

    I’m writing a full article on how to find a good designer, but I’ll give you the quick run down here.

    1. Where is the best place to find a freelancer to set up my podcast/video
    site without breaking the bank, reliable and trustworthy?

    I personally am a big believer in word of mouth. 90% of the firms I hired came via a recommendation by other small business owners.

    If you don’t have anyone to give you suggestions, I’d find a website I really like or that I wanted to emulate, and then contact them and ask for a referral to their designer.

    2. How much can I expect to pay for the set up.

    Anywhere from $500 – $2000 is an acceptable range depending on what you want. I had a look at WIN and for that design would normally cost around $1500 from my studio (though we would actually get it finished in a respectable amount of time!).

    If you would like to email me, I’d be happy to recommend some descent studios to help out with your design.

    Just use the contact form above (under “About” in the main menu).

    -Rob

  4. Pingback: Podcast Plan | Kevin Porter Design

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