As promised, later than I suggested after a delay that was unavoidable – sorry folks – I finally put all the bits of the ATEN CAMLIVE PRO together to create a live stream. (NOT to be confused with the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro – two different products from very different manufacturers).
For those stepping into this sort of project, may I recommend that you make sure you have all the necessaries in place before plugging / installing / streaming as it will make life so much easier in the longer run.
To create a successful and seamless operation, for the best results you’ll need the following at a minimum (from my experience):
The actual ATEN CAMLIVE PRO unit (of course). Plus…
- .At least one HDMI out capable camera with allows a “clean feed” ie no overlays such as image or shooting specs, on-screen guidelines etc. I used my Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K, but equally as good would be say a GoPro 9 or 10 using the Media Mod.
- A good XLR based mic. In my case, I plugged in my trusty Sennheiser MKE600
- A smartphone for the ATEN App (Android or iOS).
- A way of sending the video signal created via the ATEN CAMLIVE PRO smarts to the streaming host. I am going to use Facebook Live, so plugged in a USB Type B to USB Type A cable into a USB powered hub connected to my desktop. Equally you could use a laptop or even via a USB C to USB Type B, your smartphone.
- An HDMI capable monitor. I used my OSEE LCM215-E unit, but I could equally have used the OSEE G7 7” field unit I also possess. Or of course, any decent TV or computer monitor with an HDMI input.
- At least 3 HDMI cables (you can get more than adequate 1 metre $5 ones from Jaycar that will do the job, but if you are capturing 4K, you might want to opt for Concord 4K cables that you can get with full size, mini or micro HDM plugs on if your HDMI source (camera) uses these.
OK. Now you have it all cabled up and have the app running on your smartphone, you’ll be prompted make sure Bluetooth is running and to connect to the ATEN CAMLIVE PRO. This will then open the interface letting you control the stream.
(Note there is a handy little pull out tray on the front of the ATEN CAMLIVE PRO to rest your smartphone in) I also put a little USB light above it so if I need to see the actual real controls, I could, especially if you do your streaming from a darkened room.
Streaming From Windows
Of course, you can stream equally from a Mac or Windows based system, but in my case, I am Windows based. So here are the steps I next went through to set up the streaming from the ATEN CAMLIVE PRO.
The first thing you need to do is go into the Windows Control Panel and find the Device Manager. (A faster way is to simply type Device Manager in the search box next to the Start button).
Under Cameras, you should see an entry for USB Video device and under Sound Video and Game Controllers, an entry for USB Audio Device. This lets you know the system has found the ATEN CAMLIVE PRO.
Next, you need to connect to Facebook Live.
- In Facebook, Navigate to the Page, group, profile or event where you want to publish your live stream
- Click on the Live button
- In the Camera Controls panel, select the camera you wish to use (in this case USB Device (0557_2030)
- Choose the microphone (Microphone USB Audio)
And you should be up and running. Here you can see a screen shot via the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Pro 6K or an electronics project I am working on.
It is now a matter of learning the various controls in the smartphone app to get the best from the ATEN CAMLIVE PRO (and there are plenty of tutorials on -line for that, but in truth, the interface is excellent making the learning curve very shallow letting you create picture-in-picture for multiple cameras, chromakeying (make your office into Hawaii and Photoshop #ScottyfromMarketing in if you like) and perform transitions between cameras for example.
You can even overlay music with the RCA ports on the ATEN CAMLIVE PRO connected to a music source (but of course, be aware of copyright rules).
One tip. If in the Device Manager next to the camera and sound entries for the USB device you get a little yellow triangle with an exclamation mark, and therefore no live image showing, check the USB port. In my case, I had to switch from the hub, even though it was powered, to a port directly on the motherboard, ie in the computer itself. You may also need to do a reboot of the computer.
As long as you take your time on the initial setup, make sure everything is connected properly and working and that the devices are seen by Windows correctly and free of any errors, creating a streaming system on the ATEN CAMLIVE PRO is a relatively pain free operation.
How does it compare to the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro for the same task?
I admit, I do prefer the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro as it has the flexibility I need with up to four HDMI input devices and the graphics storage area. Being an ex-hardware live controller person, it also suits my workflow better as I am used to pressing buttons.
Another major benefit is I can directly control Blackmagic Design cameras from the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro software.
Having said that, the ATEN CAMLIVE PRO is excellent and does exactly what it says on the tin, and if you need a quick and easy, but effective, live streaming system that is relatively portable, only needing 12v power for the actual unit (which an inexpensive inverter will give you), it is a great solution and highly recommended.
See https://www.aten.com/au/en/products/usb-&-thunderbolt/content-creation/uc3022/ for more details.
The price of the ATEN CAMLIVE PRO is around AUD$649