Blackmagic Cinema Camera Live Streaming – Overview
Typical broadcast cameras have SDI ports which are more secure than HDMI and can use longer cables.
In addition, SDI cable connections also carry other info such as commands to change camera settings and tally light, used to show whether the camera is live or on standby.
BMD pocket cinema cameras such as the 6K and 4K don’t have SDI ports; instead, they have HDMI, which is an interface that only carries audio and visual signals.
However, Blackmagic has figured out a way to convey additional info on HDMI cable connections.
They have updated the firmware on the Pocket Cinema 6K and Pocket Cinema 4K, thereby transforming them to broadcast cameras.
However, you need to connect either camera to a broadcast switcher such as the ATEM Mini or ATEM Mini Pro.
You need the broadcast switchers because you can’t connect Pocket Cinema 6K and Pocket Cinema 4K directly to your PC and begin live streaming. After all, they don’t have inbuilt IP encoders.
The switcher is there to help with decoding the signal. So let’s look at how to live stream using either Pocket Cinema 6K or Pocket Cinema 4K.
Using Broadcast Switchers to Live Stream On Cinema Camera 6K and 4K
The Pocket Cinema 6K and 4K are very capable cameras; both have impressive 13 stops of dynamic range, meaning they preserve more detail in the brightest and darkest areas of a video than your typical camcorders.
This allows you to set the exposure to an indoor scene and still retain the details of outdoor light. This makes both these cameras ideal for live streaming.
Apart from the ATEM Mini and ATEM Mini Pro, Blackmagic design has other broadcast switchers such as the Web Presenter and Ultra Studio 4K Mini that you can connect to the Pocket Cinema 6K or Pocket Cinema 4K and start to live stream.
The Setup Process
As expected, the process of connecting the Pocket Cinema 6K or Pocket Cinema 4K to a broadcast switcher like the ATEM Mini Pro is relatively easy.
Start by connecting the HDMI cable to your Pocket Cinema camera on one end, and on the other, connect the HDMI cable to the ATEM Mini Pro.
The ATEM Mini Pro has four HDMI ports, so you can connect up to four Pocket Cinema Cameras and live stream with them. You’ll be able to switch amongst all your cameras using the numerous buttons on the ATEM Mini Pro
Using Live Streaming Software
For live streaming, there are a couple of things you need to adjust. First, you’ll need to download a streaming application.
One of the best streaming applications out there is OBS; it’s a free application, and not only does it work well, but it’s also fairly simple to use.
- Start by downloading the OBS software from the OBS website and installing it
- Next, turn on your Pocket Cinema Camera and launch the OBS application
- At first, you won’t see any image but no need to panic; you just have to add the source. To do this, click on the plus (+) sign in the sources tab and choose ‘video capture device.’
- OBS won’t detect the exact camera linked to the ATEM Mini Pro, only the ATEM MINI itself. However, once you add the source, you can rename it to BMPCC 4K or 6K.
- You might encounter an issue; both the preview display and source display show the camera’s user interface. It’s crucial to remember that you’re not recording videos, just running information from the monitor on the camera to the computer.
- Even if you hide the UI (user interface) by swiping up on the screen of your Pocket Cinema 6K or Pocket Cinema 4K, you will still get the info you want to be conveyed. As a result, head to the Menu on your Pocket Cinema camera, click on HDMI and turn on the ‘Clean Feed’ feature.
- From this moment, the footage appearing on OBS should be clean.
- Now you’ve finished configuring the settings, and you can decide which streaming platform you’d like to use for live streaming. The options are vast, including Facebook Live, Twitch, YouTube Live, among others. As soon as you’ve signed in, you can click on ‘Start Streaming.’
To sum it all up, thanks to firmware updates by Blackmagic Design, it’s now possible to use the Pocket Cinema 6K and Pocket Cinema 4K as live streaming cameras via a broadcast switcher.
This is a very beneficial addition because not only can you live stream on one camera, you can connect up to four of them and live stream with no glitches whatsoever.