[00:00:00.03] Hey, everybody! I’m PhotoJoseph. In today's video, I want to talk about how to live stream using the Blackmagic ATEM Mini. Now, the ATEM Mini as you probably already know is not a complete live-streaming solution. It handles all the camera switching but it does not then get that signal up to the internet.
[00:00:15.05] For that you need software like OBS on a computer or hardware like this Epiphan Webcaster X2. What this will do is take any HDMI signal and send it up to Twitch, to Facebook, to YouTube, whatever you like.
[00:00:26.00] So, in today's video, we are going to talk about how to configure this, look at what you can and can't do with this hardware, and talk about some of its quirks and anomalies.
[00:00:46.27] Before we get into this, I want to point out that I do have time stamps down below. So, if there's any particular part of the video you need to watch again or you want to skip forward to, those time stamps are down there so you can check that out.
[00:00:57.06] Now, let's start by talking about the ATEM Mini itself. I've done a bunch of videos about this already. In fact, if you haven't seen those, you probably should watch those first. So, I'll link to them up here. That's actually a playlist. If you go to that playlist you will be able to see not only the videos I've already done but any I might be doing after this video as well including this one.
[00:01:13.21] So, let's talk about what the ATEM Mini is. At its core, it is a hardware switcher. It allows you to take up to four HDMI sources in and switch between them for the purposes of live streaming or any kind of show where you want to switch between your camera angles.
[00:01:27.12] You've got your four HDMI in, you have dedicated audio in, and a bunch of really, really great features that again we've talked about in previous videos. Things like picture-in-picture (PIP), green screens and so on.
[00:01:36.22] The video comes out of the ATEM Mini over both HDMI and USB-C. In the previous video, we talked about things you can do with HDMI; namely, program or preview, while the USB-C port only can carry the program.
[00:01:48.12] So, if you are going to use your computer, you are going to be using it over USB-C and that means you are going to be live streaming using software like OBS or perhaps just connecting it to Skype or even FaceTime or GoToWebinar or zoom.us.
[00:02:01.02] Any of these solutions will see this device as a basic webcam which makes it incredibly flexible and powerful. Or you can opt for a hardware solutions like that webcaster from Epiphan or something like this Teradek VidiU Pro.
[00:02:12.27] Now, this device cost about four times as much as the X2 which is why we are focusing on the X2 today. It is probably the most affordable hardware streaming solution on the market today.
[00:02:21.27] Now, there are advantages and disadvantages to both software and hardware. Let's just briefly talk about software real quick. Software like OBS is free, so there is that. You don't have to pay anything to get the software to go live. But don't forget you do actually need to have a computer to do this. So you do have to include that cost.
[00:02:38.20] Now, to be fair, you probably already have a computer, so maybe that's not really an extra cost to consider. You can do things in software like add lower thirds and titles and do other switching in software that you can't do in hardware which can be pretty cool. It can be a really nice solution.
[00:02:52.14] But one of the big disadvantages of software is reliability. Software in my experience, and I've been doing this for a while… software tends to suck. Software at some point will break on you. There is basically two kinds of software streamers out there; those who have had major disastrous situations happen just before they are about to stream and those who haven't yet. It really is that bad. And I don't mean to throw OBS or anybody else under the bus. There are some great solutions out there but invariably at some point you are going to have a problem.
[00:03:20.29] So, if you want something that's a bit more reliable, then you probably should be looking at hardware. The other advantage is quality. When you are live streaming using a dedicated hardware box, you are going to get a better quality signal. That is just all there is to it.
[00:03:32.18] So, that is one of the major advantages of it. Plus, it frees up your computer. If you want to use your computer in the show, maybe you are doing a software demo or doing a slide presentation from your Mac or your PC, you can do that, integrate it into the show and stream through the X2 without having to have another computer involved.
[00:03:50.04] Of course, there are disadvantages to hardware as well. Mainly, you've got an extra piece of gear to carry because let's face it, you are probably not ever going to really leave the computer behind. So, you are going to have your computer anyway, plus the Epiphan, plus a monitor and a keyboard to configure it. So, you are dealing with a bit more pieces. But at the end of the day, it just depends on what you are doing. And again, for quality, I think that the hardware is going to win here.
[00:04:11.01] Okay, let's talk a bit about this little box here and what it can do. As I mentioned earlier, this will take any HDMI signal and stream it to the Internet. Effectively, that's what it does. It takes an HDMI signal in and streams it.
[00:04:22.19] Now, you can feed in just a single camera. That's perfectly fine. You don't need the switcher. Plug your camera over HDMI into this and away you go. This actually also has USB inputs on it which means that you can plug in a camera like a webcam. Just something simple like this. And you could have your computer, let's say, on the HDMI port and then your little webcam on the USB.
[00:04:42.01] And that will give you the ability to do something like a simple slide presentation without having to go through all the expensive and expansive camera switching. So just plug in a USB camera and away you go. The hardware will even do things like Picture-in-Picture for you which is pretty cool.
[00:04:54.22] The cost is another big part of this. At only $250, this is an absolute bargain as a dedicated hardware streaming device. And this one can connect to the internet over Wi-Fi or over a direct Ethernet connection. In fact, if you have something like a USB modem, you can actually run it off of that as well.
[00:05:10.12] Now, it doesn't actually pull the internet from the modem, but there are spare USB ports on here so you can plug the modem in to power it and then connect to the modem over the Wi-Fi. And that works great as well.
[00:05:19.26] Now, let's talk about how to connect the X2 to your ATEM Mini. I mentioned already that the ATEM Mini has both HDMI and USB-C out. And I just told you that the X2 has HDMI and USB in. So, you might be thinking, “Well, hold on, I could use either one.” You can't. You can only use HDMI and here's why; the USB-C out from the ATEM Mini is of course USB 3, the X2's USB input is only USB 2, and the X2 simply can't handle the data coming off the ATEM Mini, so that's out.
[00:05:49.11] And by the way, I did actually try converting it from USB-C to HDMI; that doesn't work either. So, you do have to go HDMI out of the Mini into the X2. What this means is that you can't use the Preview Mode of the ATEM mini.
[00:06:03.13] Now, I really don't think that this is a problem because, let's face it, for most people who are going to be using a solution like this; people like me who are self-streaming, it's just you and the cameras and off you go to the show, we don't have a program director, we don't have someone else who's watching and doing the switching for us. And that's really what the preview is. It’s for somebody else to watch, monitor, and make sure that the shot is ready and then send it to air.
[00:06:24.06] In the case of someone who's just doing a simple show, all you are doing is popping between the different buttons on here to switch between cameras and you don't need to have that dedicated preview monitor. But again, I really don't think this is a problem and you can even do something like a three-person interview quite easily.
[00:06:38.06] You could have one camera on each person plus a wide shot. There's your four inputs. And you sit back and do all the switching through here. And even if you don't have a preview of each screen, you know which camera is on which person. And if you really wanted to, you could set up a monitor between the camera and the switcher so you can see what each camera sees. But let's face it, at that point you are probably talking about spending so much money on extra monitors that you probably should just be looking at a bigger hardware switcher anyway.
[00:07:03.15] Now, what about recording the show? If you want to record your show locally so that you have a copy here and not just the one that was streamed online, then you are going to need to insert a recorder into the mix. And once again, this is where something like OBS comes in handy because OBS will actually record as well as stream. But anyway, today we are talking about the X2.
[00:07:21.02] So, if you want to record, you have to have a hardware recorder. Now, you are going to want to insert that between the Mini and the X2, not after the X2. And the reason for that will become a little bit more clear later. But essentially, if you are streaming after the X2, then you are getting all of the interface of the X2 along with the chat comments that are showing up on there in your recordings. So you are going to want to insert it between the two.
[00:07:42.19] I am using an Atomos Ninja Recorder but let's take a look at the entire setup here on my desk so I can explain everything that's going on here. This is the ATEM Mini, that's my hardware switcher. Over here is the X2; its handling the streaming. However, between these two, I have the Atomos Ninja.
[00:07:57.03] Now, you could actually insert pretty much any HDMI recorder in between these two. I have seen some reports of some of the cheaper ones not working and having some weird things happening with switching. So, wherever you decide to buy a recorder from, keep the receipt or buy from Amazon where you can return it.
[00:08:12.08] I'll put a link down below to a search for the basic search term that you want to search for when you are looking for a recorder on Amazon. Go through that. Look for some of those. Again, I haven't bought any to test myself, I am using a higher-end Atomos here. And this of course, works perfectly fine.
[00:08:26.13] So again we are going from the Mini to the Atomos which is then passing through to the X2. After the X2, you need to connect a monitor. And that monitor is for a couple things; it's for configuring the X2 and it's for looking at your comments.
[00:08:38.11] Now, you actually could just watch the comments on a computer or an iPad and watch the comments of the live stream going that way. But the X2, as you'll see in a little bit here, does have its own interface for showing you the comments of a live stream which is pretty cool. So you could hook up any monitor to this. That could be a television, could be a computer monitor, it could be even something really small like this little Desview five-inch monitor.
[00:08:59.02] This thing is actually really cool. It's only about 130 bucks. It's a tiny little monitor and it works great for a solution like this. Granted you got to get kind of close to read the comments, but at least for configuration, it's pretty great.
[00:09:09.10] You also going to need a keyboard for that. Now, I have this itty-bitty little keyboard here that is so cool. It makes for a really nice package. The X2 plus these two little guys here is pretty great. Alright, the rest of the stuff on the desk… I’ve got a couple of cameras here. There is camera one going into the switching system. There is camera 2 going into the switching system. Camera 3 is actually just another set in my studio… So, Hi! I just wanted to set up the another one for you guys to see.
[00:09:34.00] And then on camera 4, I have this cool little HD media player which is kind of a neat little toy. I can go in here and read the contents of a SD card that's connected to it. And then from there I can go in and just click on a video to play it through. It's kind of a neat easy way to get some video interstitials, ads, B-roll, background music, whatever you want playing through. I kind of dig it.
[00:09:53.18] By the way, this Taj Mahal thing, I am going to India again later this year in November, 2020. If you want to come to India with me, mention it in the comments below. I'll send you a link to the info. I should also mention that, in my particular setup here for this show, I am actually recording the output of the X2 into another Atomos Recorder.
[00:10:13.20] You certainly don't normally need to do that and actually you shouldn't do that because the audio coming out of there is not going to be clean coming off of the Mini. This is one of those anomalies that I referenced earlier.
[00:10:25.29] The audio coming out of the ATEM Mini is 48 kHz. For whatever reason, the X2's HDMI throughput requires 44.1 kHz. So what you end up with is a recording of audio that sounds completely distorted and weird like this. And so, that's clearly not something you want recorded.
[00:10:42.18] Now, it normally doesn't matter because you are not typically going to be listening to your show on the monitor that's coming out of the X2, you are going to be recording the show, but again, you are doing that between the X2 and the ATEM Mini not after the X2.
[00:10:57.09] So, while it is a weird thing that you get this weird audio coming out of it, it really doesn't actually matter for anything. Then I have got the computer connected. This is to run the ATEM software which you absolutely do not need. The ATEM Mini hardware runs perfectly fine on its own. But if you do have the software setup, then you can access some additional features.
[00:11:15.23] And then of course audio. I am actually running a pair of Sennheiser AVX mics. And the reason there's a pair is because I've got one synced into that camera there and I've got another one over here for the live show. They are synced differently because of the HDMI switcher. We talked about sync delay with HDMI in the original show. So, if you don't know why that's happening, you can watch that one to learn that. But that's why I've got two mics hooked up here.
[00:11:38.21] Okay. So, that's the hardware on the table. Let's talk about configuring the ATEM Mini for a live show which again if it's fresh out of the box you won't have to do. But let's just go through what you want to make sure it's set to anyway.
[00:11:49.15] We'll start with the ATEM setup software. Again, if you've never gone into here, then you don't need worry about this. But if you've been playing with these settings, then we need to make sure that they are set up correctly for the X2.
[00:12:00.00] First of all, you want to make sure that your Switching Mode is set to “Cut Bus”. If before you had set it to “Program Preview” then you need to set it back in to “Cut Bus”. And what Cut Bus is is it basically means that when you push on a button, it will automatically switch to that angle. It switches to that input. There is no preview process, it's just an immediate switch. So that's the first thing you need to have setup.
[00:12:18.20] Then launch the ATEM software control and make sure that your output, that's the HDMI output, is set to “Program”. If it's not set to Program, then you are going to be getting something else out of the HDMI output and of course we want that to be sending the program out.
[00:12:32.07] Okay, that's it. Now, let's configure the X2. As I mentioned earlier, you are going to need a keyboard and this little guy right here is perfect for this. This thing, and I'll link to it down below, it's only 25 bucks. It is this tiny, little, pocketable, rechargeable, Bluetooth keyboard that has not only the keypad, but also a trackpad on it.
[00:12:50.23] It has a little USB receiver that you plug into the X2 and that's all you need. Now, it's a tiny keyboard I wouldn't want to type a dissertation on here but it works for the minimal configuration you are going to have to do on here.
[00:13:01.10] The X2 is a computer. It's an Android device running an Android operating system and so, you configure it just like any other device. Let's jump into it.
[00:13:09.11] First of all, I am already configured for YouTube. So I am going to switch it over to the choosing page; this is the “Choose platform” page. And from here, you can choose whatever platform you want. Of course, YouTube is what we want here, so I'll click on that to go back to it. And I am already configured for YouTube but if you weren't, the first time you go into it, it's going to pop up a code and a URL. You go to that URL. I think it's google.com/device, type in that code and like magic they just start talking to each other. It's actually really, really cool.
[00:13:35.00] Once you are connected, you just hit the start button to start streaming. But before we do that, let's take a look at some of the settings in here. You can unpair if you want to disconnect from your YouTube channel. And then you have Preferences and Settings.
[00:13:45.05] Settings, by the way, is where you would connect your Wi-Fi, if you've never gone into the device before. Go in here, click on the Wi-Fi button and enter your password and so on. Or if you are connecting over Ethernet, you just plug it in and it will configure itself.
[00:13:56.16] Now, incidentally, to get out of any one of these dialogues, you right click if you are using a regular mouse or on this little guy here, you just hit the right-hand button here and that is the right click and that exits you out of there.
[00:14:06.11] Okay, let's go into the Preferences because this is where we have some settings we need to change. Now, in this window by the way, I find that using the trackpad is a little bit tedious. This thing does have these little up and down arrow buttons that'll allow you to navigate the UI as well. I find that to be a little bit easier. So just a little tip there.
[00:14:22.15] We'll start off with a “Publish destination”. Where are we streaming to? Are we going to stream to “Stream Now” which is your stream anytime, anywhere feature? Or are you going to go to a show that you've already set up? And I built one called “A show within a show”, so that's what we're going to stream to in just a moment.
[00:14:35.21] If you are using Stream Now, you can configure the video title but we are not. You can choose to show the comments which will allow you to see your YouTube comments on the monitor here which is where it can be handy to have a bigger monitor but we are going to be fine with this small one.
[00:14:48.00] You can also use YouTube to preview before going live. Now this is really, really handy. Normally, if you just go live, as soon as you start streaming from here, you are live. But what you can also do is stream to an event and have it streaming to YouTube but not actually streaming to the public. Which means you can then go to your computer or another device, verify that your stream is looking good and then hit live from there. Nice feature to have.
[00:15:10.17] Pair automatically after reboot; this means that whenever you plug in your X2, it's going to automatically connect to the networks that you've configured it to. The next option though is very dangerous. Watch out for this one.
[00:15:21.03] This one says, “Start stream automatically after pairing”. What that means is as soon as this connects to the Internet, it will start streaming. Doesn't sound like a very good idea. Now, there actually is a pretty cool use case for this because if you've configured everything, you've got it set up to go to your show, you just turn on that “stream automatically as soon as it connects”, then you don't actually have to have a monitor connected to this. You can literally just plug this into a camera and as soon as it hits the Internet, it'll be on the air. Convenient; but dangerous. So, you know, use… with caution.
[00:15:53.00] Underneath that you get your stream details. What encoding resolution you want to stream to. I am going to YouTube, so I want to do 1920x1080 but of course you can change that if you need to in there. Video bitrate is going to depend on the service you are streaming to as well. And I will link below to the web pages on all the common websites where you'll find the streaming requirements for YouTube, for Facebook and so on. So, you basically just want to look at that webpage, see what they require and punch those numbers into here.
[00:16:17.23] I am going to choose 4Mbit for YouTube. The last thing I want to show you here is this which is incredibly handy, this “Open captive page”. A captive page is what you find in most hotels. Where you don't have a password to connect to the Wi-Fi but that doesn't actually get you to the internet. So you have this in-between page called a captive page where you have to type in maybe your last name and your room number before you get to the internet.
[00:16:37.11] A lot of devices, even something like this Teradek here, don't allow you to use the internet, to use any system that has a captive page because there's no way to get past that. This will open up a captive page so you can type in those hotel requirements and stream from a hotel room. That's pretty awesome and it's the only hardware that I've ever seen this in before.
[00:16:57.03] The rest of the settings in here we don't really need, so I am just going to exit out of here and go back to the main page. All right, at this point we're ready to go. So, what say we take this show live, shall we?
[00:17:09.04] Now that I've hit the “Go live” button, we see a comment window come up so as people start to comment, we're going to see those show up in here. Hey, hey, there we go. We got a couple of people coming in live. All right, Bart… Look at that. I've got one of my usual’s coming in. Bart, it's good to see you out here again buddy.
[00:17:23.17] This is a very, very short show. All I am doing right now is actually recording a show for the Webcaster and the ATEM Mini and I am going live in the middle of this recording so I can include this in the show. Does that make sense?
[00:17:35.23] Anyway, as you can see here, we've got the comments showing up on the monitor here. So we see a comment from Bart, we see one from Milot, see one from Room 9 Podcast. Room 9 Podcast, you're saying, you're finally around to catch one of these. I am sorry to say this is not going to be a terribly exciting one because it's only going to be a few minutes long.
[00:17:50.15] What I do want to show in here is that just like when we weren't live, I can still switch to the different camera angle. So there's another camera there. There's this camera here. And then I've also got a third camera that I set up just for giggles where the sound will actually not be in sync because this is over a wireless HDMI but there you go.
[00:18:08.10] And that's really all I want to do. Look at all these people coming in here. Excellent! If you want to stop the live show just click the “Stop” button right there and just like that, you are off the air. Now that we are off the air, let's go over to the computer and I want to talk a little bit about OBS, just to show you some of the things that you can do in here and how to configure it. So let's just take a quick look at that.
[00:18:27.11] I've already got the ATEM Mini plugged in, so let's just take a look at the settings first and make sure that our canvas is set to the right size. If you go to the video tab, you see Base Canvas. You can choose the resolution. And I think by default, it's actually 1280x720, so we want to set it to 1920x1080 to make sure that we do a full HD show and then, make sure that your output scaled resolution is that as well. Obviously this is going to depend on what you are actually doing but in my case that's what I want in here.
[00:18:52.08] Next, we need to add the camera. You do that under the sources. And this is definitely not a terribly obvious thing. When you click on the “+” button here, you'll see your Blackmagic Device listed there as “Blackmagic Device”. So, you think, “that's the one I want!”. So you select that, you hit “OK”, and you get all these red things showing up and when you click on them there's nothing to select. So that's definitely not going to work.
[00:19:11.28] So what you actually have to do, and first you can go ahead and delete this one if you've accidentally made one like I just did, is click on “+” and choose “Video Capture Device”. From there, you can name it whatever you like. I'll call it “ATEM Mini” because that seems to make sense. And then you choose your properties.
[00:19:27.17] First you choose the device. And here you can choose that same Blackmagic Design device. And there we go. And we can see that we now have the picture on there. But we are not done yet… There's a checkbox that says “Use Preset”. If you click on the Presets, the highest resolution preset is 1280x720 which is kind of weird. I want full 1920x1080. So if you disable that and then go to resolution, now you can choose the native 1920x1080. And then you also have to choose your frame rate. Click here and choose the default 29.97 and that's it.
[00:19:55.22] Now, at this point, you do have to scale this window up. And I got to be honest, I am not an OBS user, so I might be doing something wrong in here, but that's what I figured out and this does actually work.
[00:20:06.05] So at this point now you can take your ATEM Mini on to the air. As I switch between sources on here, we are of course switching on the hardware as well. Now, there's one other thing I want to show you in OBS, and that is audio. At the moment, I've got my audio routing through a camera so it is going to be in sync so this is perfectly fine. However, if you choose to route your audio through the audio input on the ATEM Mini, your audio is going to be out of sync with the cameras.
[00:20:31.20] We talked about this in the original show, watch that to understand why if you haven't seen that already. OBS is kicking up a storm and my fans are going crazy on here. See, that's one of the reasons that I prefer not to use software. This software is making my Mac go nuts.
[00:20:47.04] Anyway, if your audio is coming in out of sync, one of the advantages of software like OBS is you can actually shift the sync between your audio and your video. This is not something you can do in the X2.
[00:20:58.27] So in the X2, you really don't have a good option for bringing your audio in through the audio input, short of some type of an external hardware delay device. And there's one called the Shark that's actually pretty inexpensive. I think about $130 from Behringer. I'll link to that below so if you have to bring your audio in through the audio input for whatever reason and you need to adjust the delay, the Shark will do that for you.
[00:21:20.14] But I am going to show you how to do this in software. The way you configure it is right here… under the audio settings, you click on the gear menu, go to the Advanced Audio Properties and in here you can type in the Sync Offset.
[00:21:31.10] So now you are thinking “well, how in the heck am I supposed to know what the 'Sync Offset' is?” This is actually pretty cool. There is a YouTube video that I will link to down below that simply plays a clock with a chirp on it. And what you need to do is point your camera at that, record some video and then measure the offset. Neat, right? Let me show you. I've done this.
[00:21:49.24] We've got two video clips in here. The first one is called 0 ms. That's the default, I just recorded without making any changes. And then the second one is my test. So we'll start with the 0. So first again, you just configure OBS as we just looked at, you hit the record button that's in there and record a few seconds of video with your camera pointed at this YouTube video playing on an iPad or another computer or whatever you like. And then you bring it into here.
[00:22:12.16] And you can see in here, if I just hit play… actually kind of seems fine, right? But we need to take a close look at this. Let's zoom into the waveform and put the playhead right at the beginning of that click. And as we can see up here, we are at -125. Audio is early by 125 milliseconds. That says milliseconds right there.
[00:22:33.09] It's not exactly on it, but if we go back one frame, then it's 166. If we go forward one frame it's 83. So, I think that the happy medium in between of 125 is going to work out great. And of course it did. I punched in the 125 as I showed you in the settings. Recorded another test. And now here, if we look at this test, there we are, there is the playhead at the beginning of the peak and there we are at 0 ms offset.
[00:22:59.17] And that's all there is to it. Now you know what you need to know to get your ATEM Mini on-air, online, with the X2. And again, I think the X2 is a really great solution for this. It's super affordable, it frees up your computer for other things and it is definitely the way that I would recommend you go live with the ATEM Mini.
[00:23:16.18] So that's it folks. I hope you learned something today. I hope you enjoyed the show. If you did, you know what to do. Hit that “Like” button, do the Subscribe thing, hit the little bell and all that. And if you want to learn a bunch more about this, I've got two playlists for you. This one right here, somewhere around here, is the playlist of all the other ATEM Mini videos, the ones that I've done and the ones that I will do in the future. And I am going to do some more of these.
[00:23:34.27] And then over here, I've got a bunch of other videos that are related to topics we've talked about on the show in here today. So, if you want to know more about a lot of the things that we talked about, just click on that playlist and check it out and see what's there. I'll see you next time, guys. Bye bye.