Sling Media introduced new software and hardware this week, focused on offering a multi-camera and live video production suite through the SlingStudio system. Starting at $999 the bundle isn’t exactly cheap, but SlingStudio has a ton to offer. The company calls the system the “industry’s first affordable, wireless, portable multi-camera production solution,” and it lets users of all skill levels record, monitor and edit four HD video inputs from up to 10 connected cameras and smartphones. SlingStudio can output live video to streaming services like Facebook Live and YouTube, and simultaneously record to a USB hard drive, USB SSD or SD card for post-production.
“Existing multi-camera video platforms run upwards of $5,000 at a market entry point. Where Facebook and YouTube have democratized live streaming, SlingStudio is democratizing the gear that directors need to make those streams great,” said Vivek Khemka, DISH chief technology officer. “With its accessible price and easy-to-use apps, SlingStudio changes how content creators can think about producing video.”
The SlingStudio system requires the SlingStudio hub and free Console app for iPad. Optional accessories include a Battery, USB-C Expander and CameraLink. The CameraLink wireless adapter plugs into any HDMI-enabled DSLR or video camera to wirelessly transmit 1080p60 video to SlingStudio.
“We consider SlingStudio a high-production, low-cost concept,” said Khemka. “It’s powerful and flexible enough to allow directors to knit together professional-quality video with the equipment they already have on hand – from high-end cameras to audio gear to smartphones.”
The setup include the ability to capture video from different angles by wirelessly connecting up to 10 video sources (DSLR cameras, video cameras, smartphones, personal computers, etc.) to a single SlingStudio using its private, video-grade Wi-Fi network. We should note that internet connectivity is not required at this stage. Cameras can be placed anywhere (within 300 feet of the SlingStudio hub) and easily moved at a moments notice.
HDMI-enabled DSLR and video cameras can connect via SlingStudio’s CameraLink wireless adapter (sold separately) or to SlingStudio’s HDMI input port. Smartphones using iOS and Android operating systems can directly connect to SlingStudio wirelessly using the Capture app available for free download in the Apple App Store and Google Play. Through this setup, no CameraLink is needed.
The iPad Console app (available for free download in the Apple App Store) is required to manage video production with SlingStudio. It allows directors to monitor and create live-to-tape video from up to four (out of a maximum of 10 connected) input sources simultaneously, and drag and drop video into a composition window.
With the app, directors can create dynamic video compositions like picture-in-picture, split and quad views; edit in popular transitions like cut, dissolve and wipe; add text overlays and lower thirds; and mix audio. All of this can be done in real time as live video is streamed to platforms like Facebook Live or YouTube, and simultaneously recorded to a USB hard drive, USB SSD or SD card for post-production. External audio sources, audio mixers and output monitors can also connect to SlingStudio for advanced production needs.
In post-production, recordings from each camera feed (plus the live-switched video and audio line-in_ are saved in a single storage location. With just a couple clicks of the mouse, the entire project file can then be easily imported into editing applications like Adobe Premiere Pro CC and others.
The SlingStudio integration for Adobe Premiere Pro further simplifies and speeds up post-production. Adobe Premiere Pro users who download the SlingStudio extension can import all recordings into a project timeline with all clips and editing decisions preserved and aligned. This includes the video from each source camera, as well as the live-switched program and quad-view feeds.
“Connected workflows allow editors and filmmakers to work more efficiently and focus on the creative,” said Sue Skidmore, head of partner relations for professional video at Adobe. “The SlingStudio integration with Adobe Premiere Pro offers an exciting new option for connecting production and post-production into one seamless experience.”
The CameraLink will cost $349 and plugs into the HDMI port available on most DSLR and video cameras to create a wireless connection up to 300 feet from the SlingStudio hub. Its internal battery provides up to two hours of power. An additional battery costs $149 and provides up to three hours of power for portability. You can also grab a USB-C Expander for $49.
SlingStudio starts at $999 and will be available in May at B&H Photo Video, or directly from Sling Media.