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geniusweb  
#1 Posted : Monday, September 21, 2015 12:41:34 PM(UTC)
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Hello Everybody,

I spent so much time by finding the best solution for using Laptop with vMix installed to stream 3-4 cameras live stream.

I found out, there is only one option if you really want to use Laptop and vMix (windows based software) with 3-4 cameras - paradoxically you have to buy Macbook Pro and run Bootcamp.

I didn't find another computer which have 2 thunderbolt ports and 2 USB 3.0 ports with so much power (i7 + geforce).

2 Thunderbolts will be probably needed - to use 2x BlackMagic Mini Recorder (to plug in two HDMI or HD-SDI cameras) and one Intensity Shuttle for USB 3.0 (to plug in third HDMI camera).

4th optional camera will be pluged in to Macbook via Wifi (camera with Teradek Cube streaming to macbook).

Then I would like to output my final live stream via Macbook's HDMI out to Teradek Bond II (this is needed because I need to stream from location where is cellular broadband internet available only).

I am right if I think that Macbook Pro 15 Retina Mid 2014 is good enough for this job? It is 2.5Ghz quad core i7 + Geforce GT 750 2GB.

Few days ago I thought Asus ROG G751JY will be better solution because of its graphic card (GTX 980 4GB) but it contains only one thunderbolt so I think I will be able to connect there just 1x camera via USB3.0 and one via thunderbolt (and one optional camera via WIFI) as the limitations of USB3.0 controllers.

I believe there is someboby who uses this setup already, please let me know, will be this macbook suitable for that? Can I use 3x HD inputs (or 4) and one HD output?

Thank you very very much in advance.
IceStream  
#2 Posted : Monday, September 21, 2015 1:41:22 PM(UTC)
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@ geniusweb

I think it depends on whether you want to limit yourself to your existing capture hardware, or possibly acquire other capture hardware options and/or expansion boxes.

vMix Thunder uses the AJA 4K Thunderbolt I/O for "3-4 cameras live stream":

http://www.vmix.com/products/vmix-thunder.aspx
http://www.bhphotovideo...._4k_uhd_sd_i_o_tb_2.html

There are also options to use an expansion box with PCIe capture cards:

http://www.sonnettech.co...t/thunderbolt/index.html
http://magma.com/products/thunderbolt-expansion/
http://www.bhphotovideo....is/ci/13355/N/3835434464

So it is not absolutely necessary to have 2 Thunderbolt ports which are seemingly only found on Apple products, you have other (and perhaps more practical) options in the grand scheme o things.


Ice
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geniusweb on 9/24/2015(UTC)
geniusweb  
#3 Posted : Monday, September 21, 2015 1:55:19 PM(UTC)
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Yes IceStream, you're absolutelly right. I considered and consider only with laptop option without using any additional hardware which may bring another possibilities to the game.

Do you know, or anybody else if setup which I described is okay? Will be the macbook able to handle it?
h2video.nl  
#4 Posted : Monday, September 21, 2015 2:22:30 PM(UTC)
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yuan now offers a 4 capture input usb3 device tested and approved by vmix. so you can use any laptop with an usb3 input. that provides in much more options and lower cost.

havent been in a position to test it yet, saw it last week at IBC but have a look at the website ( see links page on vmix.com)

stefan
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geniusweb on 9/24/2015(UTC)
richardgatarski  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, September 22, 2015 4:14:11 AM(UTC)
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See this topic regarding the Yuan US3 box. As you can see in post #9 we have tested it, although not an a Macbook.
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geniusweb on 9/24/2015(UTC)
geniusweb  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, September 22, 2015 4:44:41 AM(UTC)
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Thank you for the links.

It looks amazing - for that price 4x HD SDI inputs in one USB 3.0. Can't believe.
However it is not suitable for Laptops as it needs so much CPU power as I read.

Me I personally think it will work with Macbook Bootcamp (windows) as well, as it is standart Windows...

I can't see it on shop.jmc.se webpage - I mean portable USB 3.0 version.

geniusweb  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, September 22, 2015 2:46:52 PM(UTC)
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It's hard to decide.
Asus have definitelly better hardware, cpu, gpu, but contains only one thunderbolt. Yes I can use Yuan, but I dont wanna rely on that, because it's only solution. If they will stop to sell it, or if there will be any issues with it, there is no another solution in that price range.

So for me, winner is macbook but I afraid it is not powerful enough.

Guys please help me, is macbook a good choice?
hellokitty  
#8 Posted : Tuesday, September 22, 2015 9:23:40 PM(UTC)
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MSI has a laptop with thunderbolt 3 coming soon, if you can wait. i saw a video on youtube.
Speegs  
#9 Posted : Wednesday, September 23, 2015 9:02:47 AM(UTC)
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geniusweb wrote:
It's hard to decide.
Asus have definitelly better hardware, cpu, gpu, but contains only one thunderbolt. Yes I can use Yuan, but I dont wanna rely on that, because it's only solution. If they will stop to sell it, or if there will be any issues with it, there is no another solution in that price range.

So for me, winner is macbook but I afraid it is not powerful enough.

Guys please help me, is macbook a good choice?


MacBookPros do indeed work very well (get the fastest one they sell). As someone who has two and uses them all the time for my away productions (Vmix, Internet + Everything in Carry on luggage).

I'm often tempted by PCs not having to run bootcamp of course.

Basically I couldn't find any affordable and reliable laptops that were not gamer clunkers at the time I got into Vmix. Also at the time I had bad experiences with Black Magic Intensity Shuttle and USB 3. It was a lucky day if it worked. Finally at the time I got into VMix I was also evaluating Wirecast (it lost out, no offense seemed sturdy but old fashioned to me) and it ran best on Mac at that time.

Then went to Thunderbolt and that was more reliable, but still very sesative when running two @ once and driver changes and strangely the order you plugged them in.

Then went to Magewell USB 3 capture devices and they just work. No hassles.

So what I like about the Macbook Pro. It's nice laptop. Pretty reasonably price. Has two thunderbolt 2 ports, but then to take advantage I had to spend more on a nice thunderbolt dock. (Which adds 3 x usb 3, sound, extra hdmi out, lan from one thunderbolt 2 port). Yes.. so now I essentially have a laptop with 2+3 really full speed usb3 ports. Yes they all seem to work @ once reliably.

I really don't use the thunderbolt for much else, but extra usb 3 ports.

So in hindsight my ideal laptop has.

The screen of a Macbook Pro 15" (it's just awesome).
Takes an 2.5" SSD that's "normal" and easy to replace/upgrade
5 x USB 3 ports not restricted by some bus sharing stuff. So 5 x 5GBPS ports please.
I love a light up keyboard like the MBP
A good weight.. some of these gamer HD laptops are fast laptops that might as well be 1RU Servers with a screen awkwardly attached
Reliable, no skimping there .. a good build quality
Good Wifi/Lan Adapters (MBP is really quick in that department)
NVidia Graphics preferred

I've see a few PCs that come close to being MBP Killers, but most laptops that are killers are actually more expensive .. that I don't quite understand.

This caught my imagination for a little while ago: http://www.redsharknews....d-s-most-powerful-laptop

I would look for a PC that has MBP type qualities about it, but extra ports. 2 x USB 3 ports is a crime. Windows Laptop Makers could learn much from Apple and Apple could learn to add a few more ports, less is not more on ports :) They never seem to get things quite right.
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geniusweb on 9/24/2015(UTC)
geniusweb  
#10 Posted : Wednesday, September 23, 2015 4:34:43 PM(UTC)
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Hello Speegs,

Thank you for your input. Could you please let me know what do you think about asus g751jy? Its quad core i7 with geforce gtx 980 4 gb. For sure its more powerful machine than MBP, but only one thunderboll connector. But since you can attach multiple Magewell XI100DSUB devices into one pc, it doesnt matter how kany thunderbolts do you really have.

Asus is bigger, heavier short battery life but more powerful.
MBP has better screen, its lighter, smallet, thinner, has 2 thunderbolts but you said BM mini recorder is not very reliable when you using more of them.

geniusweb  
#11 Posted : Wednesday, September 23, 2015 4:47:40 PM(UTC)
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Btw I dont have budget for the best macbook, I have to take 2.5Ghz
hellokitty  
#12 Posted : Thursday, September 24, 2015 12:47:05 AM(UTC)
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get a sonnet echo express III-D http://www.sonnettech.co...oduct/echoexpress3d.html i got one used off of ebay, works great!
geniusweb  
#13 Posted : Thursday, September 24, 2015 7:52:28 AM(UTC)
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Speegs, I've heart that Magewell doesn't consume so much CPU because it scaling the video directly in its own hardware. BM Mini recorder don't do this in hardware but software installed on Macbook. So does this mean that BM mini recorder takes more CPU than Magewell?

If yes, there have to be a really big difference in using 2x Magewell XU100DUSB or 2x Mini recorders.

Is this really true. Today I have to finally pay for Macbook Pro 2.5 GHz, but still not sure if it is better than Asus ROG 751JY. But there are people like you Speegs, who already tried macbook pro, but no one tried Asus 751 and I don't really want to be a first one :)

Btw, are you able to run your macbook with 3x Magewells also on battery?

Thanks.

Speegs  
#14 Posted : Thursday, September 24, 2015 10:30:21 AM(UTC)
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geniusweb wrote:
Speegs, I've heart that Magewell doesn't consume so much CPU because it scaling the video directly in its own hardware. BM Mini recorder don't do this in hardware but software installed on Macbook. So does this mean that BM mini recorder takes more CPU than Magewell?


Because I didn't do any scaling with the BM mini recorder I couldn't say the CPU was lower. Basically I could only get a BM Mini recorder working @ 1080 50i and it was very fussy about the signals from GoPros for instances gave me hell, along with capturing computer screens. Magewell just worked with every camera or computer, because of the scaling of course. That scaling seems to come at no additional CPU cost. Whereas I found I couldn't get signal from the BM Device if it didn't like the Camera.

So CPU usage was the same for both. One just worked with more sources and no drivers.

geniusweb wrote:

If yes, there have to be a really big difference in using 2x Magewell XU100DUSB or 2x Mini recorders.


On that I say no difference on the CPU/GPU.

geniusweb wrote:

Is this really true. Today I have to finally pay for Macbook Pro 2.5 GHz, but still not sure if it is better than Asus ROG 751JY. But there are people like you Speegs, who already tried macbook pro, but no one tried Asus 751 and I don't really want to be a first one :)


If I read the specs on that asus laptop correctly, it has:

Ports: 4 x USB 3.0, HDMI, audio, DisplayPort, VGA, Ethernet

Therefore it has many of the ports I get via an extra dock to carry for the MBP. However when I don't need all the ports on a smaller job. I can just not bring the dock. The dock adds to the price as well of a MBP. So I'm kind of saying that Asus kind of is approximately in the same territory as a MBP with a thunderbolt 2 docking station from Belkin.

I use my MBP for more than just VMix, so I truly appreciate using it as "just a nice laptop" via Mac OSX mostly, but it runs Windows too when I need it. I use it as a ordinary laptop 60% of the time. 40% of the time to run Vmix.

At home base, I have a Mini Tower Computer running VMix with 4 hdmi inputs and 4 sdi inputs available. So kind of only use the MBP as a backup for that when at home base and to do other general IT work. It has more grunt than a MBP, but if I'm willing to drop from 8 cameras down to about 4. The MBP will do the job (without much excess anything left). FFMPEG has eased the CPU on the MBP since it seems better than FMLE on the CPU.

geniusweb wrote:

Btw, are you able to run your macbook with 3x Magewells also on battery?


Yes, but NO. I can run the laptop off battery and yes run 3 x Magewells with the aid of a powered thunderbolt dock with a laptop sized power brick (see here http://www.gizmodo.com.a...ock-australian-review/).

I can run 2 x Magewell and 1 x BM Mini Recorder via Battery. Never done it for very long only due to a power failure really. Don't really care which laptop I use, for VMix I would plug the power in :) Having a laptop is just like having a built in UPS :)

See the problem is without expansion a MBP only has 2 USB 3 ports. Two very fast ones.

I can't tell you what to buy, you have two very capable items on your shopping list there. It really depends on how you intend to use them. If it was VMix only, I would go towards the ASUS. If you are wanting to do double duty like me, the MBP would be cool as well.

Just remember although the MBP via Bootcamp works. I would say some people may quite frankly say if you have a problem you are on your own it's an unsupported platform. I use plenty of ASUS laptops around our office not for VMix. The are ASUS are mostly good laptops in my opinion, but some have given me quite frustrating faults. The ones I'm comparing are Zenbooks and things like that. Not really in the same class as the MBP which I think to be superior to most ASUS Zenbooks, but a MBP costs more. It's not as portable as a Zenbook.

I'd say if the ASUS ROG G751JY and an ASUS Zenbook were to produce a child it would be 15" MBP with in my experience a slightly lower failure rate than a Asus product. So I would dare say Apple produce slightly more resilient hardware over ASUS in my experiences. Mostly due to the effort Apple do put into design.

The ASUS will NOT run OSX, not sure if that is a factor. For me, I find it handy as I need to test websites, wifi, printers and things on Mac from time to time. Plus become somewhat useful at using a Mac to complete my IT knowledge :)
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geniusweb on 9/24/2015(UTC)
geniusweb  
#15 Posted : Thursday, September 24, 2015 10:47:53 AM(UTC)
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Thank you for your time once again. Yes only thing for what I need the laptop (MBP) is vMix. For sure I will use it from time to time for web browsing, but it's not a priority. vMix is priority number one. So from this point of view, Asus would be better as it is more powerful for the same (even lower -300 EUR) price. Hub will be not needed for Asus - I can plug one mini recorder to thunderbolt and 2 Magewell's to USB 3.0.

But, as you said already, I trust to Apple bit more than Asus. And horse power of Asus is in cost of lower battery life, higher weight and larger dimensions - which is not very good for super portable solution which I plan to build.

I take MBP and will see, good thing is, that there is no problem to sell MBP anytime for a good price.
geniusweb  
#16 Posted : Thursday, September 24, 2015 10:49:59 AM(UTC)
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btw regarding thunderbolt dock - this can't be used with some kind of external battery? I mean without using wallet outlet.
geniusweb  
#17 Posted : Friday, September 25, 2015 4:43:45 AM(UTC)
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Guys, I would like to share with you my experiences:

Ok, so I went to shop yesterday and according to our local laws, I can return product in 14 days (I ordered it online and picked-up personally). However, our biggest apple reseller in country said that if I returned it back in 14 days, they would charge me 30%. It was like a bad joke. I don't need macbook's OS, so the only pros on the macbook was its lighweight and small dimension factor and good battery life (which is questionable on Bootcamp). So I finally rejected my order and ordered ASUS G751JL - this one is also only 2GB of GPU (Geforce GTX 965M which seems to be better than 750M) and processor is little bit faster 2.6Ghz in compare with macbook's 2.5GHz which I planned to buy. One Thunderbolt is good enough for me since Magewell can offer their XI100DUSB for USB 3.0. So I will use 1x mini recorder via thunderbolt and 2x Magewell XI100DUSB.

I will be using vMix with Windows 10. I think this should be powerful enough for 4x HD streams with some overlays and HDMI outputing. According to vMix web page, it could be powerful enough.

The best thing is that I paid extra 70 EUR and I can give this notebook back to seller in next 2 months - enough time for testing. I will let you know how it works on this Asus laptop, hope it will be fine :)

Price of the notebook was 1500 EUR. Macbook PRO Mid 2014 - 2200 EUR. A huge difference.
Speegs  
#18 Posted : Friday, September 25, 2015 7:23:12 AM(UTC)
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geniusweb wrote:
btw regarding thunderbolt dock - this can't be used with some kind of external battery? I mean without using wallet outlet.


I guess it could be used with a battery, but it would have to be a big battery the thunderbolt 2 dock has 12volt 6 AMP power supply.

I'm not sure why it needs that much power. You can pretty much run a whole laptop off that power pack (it is the size of a typical large laptop power pack). Seems common for thunderbolt docks to have big power supplies. Maybe people run many HDDs off them at once via the USB ports and the thunderbolt through port.

Anyway it has no trouble powering the capture devices I use or any device I've plugged into it so far.
Speegs  
#19 Posted : Friday, September 25, 2015 8:04:17 AM(UTC)
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geniusweb wrote:
Guys, I would like to share with you my experiences:

Ok, so I went to shop yesterday and according to our local laws, I can return product in 14 days (I ordered it online and picked-up personally). However, our biggest apple reseller in country said that if I returned it back in 14 days, they would charge me 30%. It was like a bad joke. I don't need macbook's OS, so the only pros on the macbook was its lighweight and small dimension factor and good battery life (which is questionable on Bootcamp). So I finally rejected my order and ordered ASUS G751JL - this one is also only 2GB of GPU (Geforce GTX 965M which seems to be better than 750M) and processor is little bit faster 2.6Ghz in compare with macbook's 2.5GHz which I planned to buy. One Thunderbolt is good enough for me since Magewell can offer their XI100DUSB for USB 3.0. So I will use 1x mini recorder via thunderbolt and 2x Magewell XI100DUSB.


It's ok on paper :) Let us know how it goes after a few events are done with it.

You will require your savings on the Laptop for Cameras, accessories and other things that sneak up on you and cost heaps :)

On Bootcamp/Windows I find the max battery life to be about 4 hours (not using Vmix). I'd say more like < 2 hours running Vmix. If the fan is running on the MBP it's working. I don't really have good stats on that as I always connect the power when using Vmix. Power saving modes and Vmix = problems. I have used Vmix + usually a single Magewell as a field monitor testing/aligning cameras on battery :)

I don't have a field monitor, just ordered one a few days ago. Some of the atomos HD products are now within my budget reach since they launched their 4K range which I can't afford.

The MBP + Vmix + Magewell in one hand is no longer going to be a trick I will attempt anymore. Dropping it would most likely make me cry.
geniusweb  
#20 Posted : Friday, September 25, 2015 8:11:27 AM(UTC)
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Yes, as you said, on paper it looks fine, who knows what will be the reality - but because of that, I am really glad that I can test it for 2 months. In fact, I will test it just for 1 month, because tomorrow I will do a big order from bhphotovideo - Magewell, Bond II, Cube, batteries and so on... And as is written on bhphoto video, they will ship it in 2-4 weeks because Bond II is not in stock right now :/

Then I will perform some testing with 2 wired cameras and one wireless camera (cube) and streaming via Bond II.
I will keep you updated.

Thanks.
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