HDMBS – High Definition Mobile Broadcast Studio

Over the past 7 years I have pulled a pelican case full of gear that makes up my portable studio and it has traveled with me for well over 700,000 airline miles.. For the past few years my goal has been to have the shows I create on the road, be as high quality as the shows I record in the studio, the current rig was not allowing that.

After my trip to NAB last month I came home with a plan and a build list for a new HD Mobile Broadcast studio , I had some of the gear already had so I had a head start. What clinched this build was Black Magic Design fixing the H.264 capture capability of the ATEM Television Studio. I will only travel with 1-2 cameras, but I can dual purpose this rig for local gigs and support up to 4 cameras.

Here are a few pics of the HDMBS!
UPDATE: Listen to the first 30 minutes of this program to get the inside scoop on why I designed this the way I did.

This is an amazing build and here is the equipment that makes up the HDMBS.

1- SKB 6U Roller rack (Updated) Original Gator Rack Failed trip 2
2- BMD SmartView Duo Rackmountable Dual 8″ LCD Monitors
3- BMD ATEM Television Studio (H.264 Encoder Built in)
4- BMD Intensity Extreme with Thunderbolt
5- Behringer Ultracurve PRO DEQ2496 (Updated 6-30-2012)
6- MOTU 828mk3
7- Consumer Grade Cannon Cameras with HDMI Output
8- 17″ Macbook Pro (Video Capture and Stream if needed)
9- 17″ Dell XPS Laptop (Adobe Audition)
10- Cerevo Liveshell or Livestream Broadcaster Live Stream
11- Westcott X-Drop Kit (5 x 7′, Green Screen)
12- Standard Netgear Wireless Router
13- Extension Cord :)
14- Gefen Toolbox 1080p HD Scaler (Updated)
15- Apple TV (Used to Airplay Videos on Show) (Updated)

Total Weight 47.5 Pounds

Additional gear to shoot a full 4 camera gig when the cameras are spread out..

1. BMD Battery Converters
2. BMD Mini Converter Optical Fiber
3. Sony Wireless
4. Tripods
5. 100ft Fiber Runs

There are “three” different streaming broadcast configurations that I can deploy. The configuration in the pictures above is as follows.

  • Windows Laptop Running Adobe Audition connected via USB to the Motu 828mk3
  • Apple MacPro using Wirecast connected to BMD Intensity Extreme Via Thunderbolt & the ATEM Television Studio Software Switcher via usb and network.

I can use Wirecast, or the ATEM Television Studio for lower thirds and graphic overlays, as well as using either for the master media recording.  The Livestream Broadcaster and the Cerevo Liveshell can accept an HDMI input and push a live stream independently if needed or in combination. Whats cool is because the monitors and the intensity pro have HDMI outs I could theoretically push three separate streams with the gear I have listed.  Remove the audio capture with the PC, and I can deploy this 4 channel HD Mobile Broadcast Studio with a single laptop and the rolling case.

This system is already battle tested, I did my first remote location live stream paid gig today with this system, the ATEM Television Studio handled the 4 camera setup fine. I did have some additional gear with me outlined above, to handle additional audio channels feeding the Motu, and I used the fiber converters to extend the HDMI/SDI  signals off the cameras. The Mac Book Pro did not break a sweat because the camera switching is being managed by the ATEM Television Studio, the Mac had plenty of reserve horse power with only having to process a single camera feed via thunderbolt port and handle some lower thirds and graphics, push the live stream and record master files.

So what does this cost, minus the cameras, computers & Software the HDMBS – HD Mobile Broadcast System cost a little over $3000.00 as pictured. With 1 camera, 2 computers & software add an additional $3,700.00 to the total.

The current Cannon cameras I am using are the Vixia HFg10 $1290.00 and various pro HD cameras. I have one more piece of gear I want to add to this build out, and that would be an external video recording device like the Samurai Atomos but I am going to wait and see how well the on-board recording does for a while.

The true test of this rig will be how it handles being thrown into baggage compartments. I will have extra padding in the doors but only time will tell how it holds up.I hope you enjoyed this review. I will keep you updated on how it travels.

Update 6-10-12 : The original Gator case i picked did not do well on two flights. Front Panel popped off twice with minor damage to gear. I switched to a SKB 6U Roller rack ) pictured above and it is traveling fine. I also added a Gefen Toolbox 1080p Scaler this takes the HDMI output from my Laptop and allows me to have my screen patched in to show web pages etc. I also added a Apple TV this allows you to use you iPad, to send videos vis Airplay to the Apple TV this really gives you full diversity on video sources.

UPDATE: Listen to the first 30 minutes of this program to get the inside scoop on why I designed this the way I did.

Aloha Todd.

About Todd Cochrane

Todd Cochrane is the Founder of Geek News Central and host of the Geek News Central Podcast. He is a Podcast Hall of Fame Inductee and was one of the very first podcasters in 2004. He wrote the first book on podcasting, and did many of the early Podcast Advertising deals in the podcasting space. He does two other podcasts in addition to Geek News Central. The New Media Show and Podcast Legends.

8 thoughts on “HDMBS – High Definition Mobile Broadcast Studio

  1. What would you suggest as a secondary solution? I’m currently connecting the TV Studio to my mac using a USB 2.0 and Media Express recognizes it (with a 3 second video delay) but Wirecast won’t show the video. Although Wirecast will show that a USB 2.0 device is plugged in and call it by name “ATEM TV Studio”

  2. Its pretty simple update to the new mac. Thunderbolt has been out for quite a while. Or find a secondary solution getting video from the ATEM SDI out to your computer.

  3. And by everything I mean everything Mac related, I don’t have a second PC laptop. Sorry for the confusion

  4. Can you please help me? I have everything listed above EXCEPT my MacBookPro isn’t Thunderbolt compatible. It has the older port instead. Can someone please tell me what I’m supposed to do? I have an important gig I have to do in two weeks.

  5. Pingback: TMS-2012-05-05 – HD Mobile Broadcast Studio Review - Geek News Central

Comments are closed.