Over the past 3 days I have been using the Cerevo LiveShell in real world scenarios testing reliability and how the unit performs in bandwidth challenged connections. For the purpose of the review I utilized at Cannon Vixia HF G10 camera, and a Lower end Sony Camera all using HDMI as the video source. I used a Verizon Mifi in both LTE/3G modes, wired ethernet and cable based Wifi in the tests. In all use cases I streamed in the highest resolution the device was capable of 724×528.
When I had sufficient bandwidth the Cerevo LiveShell performed well, the highest stream rate that I observed was just north of 800kbps and 30 frames per second. In the video below the unit was streaming at 650kbps between 24 and 29 frames per second. I opted to use the mic on the camera which in a professional situation will not work. I will be using this device in a situations which will require the audio input wired to a high quality master audio source that I can monitor and have volume control over.
Controlling the device/stream via their mobile phone interface was easy and intuitive, their software was smart enough to know when I was controlling with my phone or using the website interface. In this trial I was using a standard ustream account, luckily the software allows for configuration to your own Flash Media Server but it is not as interactive. The integration with ustream.tv is pretty compelling as you can adjust the stream as needed based on your bandwidth availability. The team at Cerevo have worked hard to make sure you can manipulate stream settings and a variety of other settings.
One very cool feature is how they help you enter wifi data I was able to update the devices ssid using my cell phone . You enter the ssid and password on their website, and then you hook a provided audio cable between your cell phone or computer and the mic-in port on the LiveShell and then literally sync the new wireless connection data to the device they send audio tones to program the LiveShell.
Anytime you are bandwidth challenged streaming is going to be an issue and you have two choices lower the resolution and lower the frame rate. The same is the case with this device. If a crew where going to rely on this unit to stream a major event where they did not have a ethernet connection, they would need to spend some time testing to determine what is the best configuration.
For those that have a dedicated connection connecting the unit to the wired ethernet is the best solution. As to battery life for the LiveShell in my test I used three energizer AA batteries and got 1.5 hours of live streaming out of them. The manufacture makes some battery recommendations, my plan is to get some 5vdc battery packs to get extended stream time. They claim using the recommended rechargeable batteries that they can get three hours of live streaming out of 3 AA batteries.
I see a number of usage cases primarily streaming remote events, or using it part as a mobile studio where you want to reduce your pack-out and not carry an extra streaming computer. The use cases are unlimited and for the purchase price of $300.00 I will get my moneys worth.
The only thing I worry about, is if the Cerevo website/service gets discontinued you will have to manually configure this device by hand and that could end up being more trouble than it’s worth. Check out a stream done from my backyard using only a Mifi, LiveShell and my Cannon Camera. Apologize for audio quality we where using the camera mic and its pretty noisy.