Wirecast 3

Wirecast at $449 isn’t exactly cheap, but it comes from a good stable over at Flip4Mac, including one of my favourite applications ScreenFlow.

Wirecast is the most advanced live webcasting product available for your Mac or PC. You can stream multiple live video cameras, while dynamically mixing in other media (movies, images etc). Features such as Chroma Key (blue/green screen) and built-in titles merge seamlessly with Wirecast’s layering system, allowing you to create beautiful, professional webcasts.

As with many great applications the real strength lies in the simplicity of the interface and use, and the immense strength under the hood. It is one of those applications that allows you to achieve genuinely professional results with the minimal of fuss. Of course you have to have a reason to stream professional quality video, or to save to disc for future distribution, because at $449 I hazard the guess that it isn’t something that you would want to buy ‘just to see’ what it was like.

I got it as I am developing a range of video ‘services’ for a number of clients for next year so I am on a pretty steep learning curve, and as I see it anything that can make my efforts look truly professional is a godsend!

Centered around the concept of ‘shots’, for packaging graphical overlays, movies and titles from your selected cameras, which you build a library of and then create and transition for broadcast.

While it is a OS X and Windows application in my view it is clearly designed with the Mac in mind with both the Keynote integration and use of QuickTime Streaming (1) architecture for broadcasting.

What I particularly liked was the ability to edit in live or preview mode, so if you were capturing video to present later you can edit in preview so that all the edits are implemented at your control, or in live mode you can provide a live commentary on the action, changes etc.

As a European it is always handy to have the PAL option as well as the NTSC option:

There are also enough encoding presets to keep everybody happy (I imagine):

Feature Highlights

  • Support for multiple cameras
  • Chroma Key (2)
  • Multiple Broadcast Support
  • Desktop Presenter
  • Core Image
  • H.264
  • 3D Graphics
  • Professional Titles
  • Simple User Interface
  • QuickTime Streaming Server Support
  • Keynote Integration
  • Multiple Layers

(1) This feature requires that you have access to a QuickTime Streaming Server (QTSS) or Darwin Streaming Server (DSS). Darwin Streaming Server is a free download from Apple and can be installed on several operating systems (not just Macintosh).

(2) Screen Shots of Chrome Key In Action

Flip4Mac offer a 60 day money back guarantee if you are not entirely satisfied, so you can try secure in that knowledge. It also runs in demo mode if you can put up with the annoying little voice and watermark that crops up all the time!

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