Studio in a backpack: on SlingStudio

Special Arrangement

Special Arrangement   | Photo Credit: tech


SlingStudio is a portable full-fledged wireless video production unit that simplifies recording and live streaming of events

Video recording of an event, a wedding for example, is quite a task: while one man carries the camera on his shoulder, another holds metres-long electrical wires. Shooting the event from multiple angles means more crew. And to get this streamed live is not easy.

All this could change with SlingStudio, a new compact wireless solution that allows users to record, monitor, edit high-definition video and live-stream it from multiple connected cameras and smartphones. The best part: one, no wires; two, the whole set — comprising SlingStudio Hub, Camera Link, Console app, and Battery — is an entire video production unit that fits into a backpack.

This innovation is from Sling Media, which has previously come up with industry-disrupting solutions likes Slingbox and Sling TV. The company was founded in 2004 and is headquartered in Foster City, California, with a research and development facility in Bengaluru. It operates as a subsidiary of DISH Network.

How the technology works

Multiple cameras, used for shooting an event, are wirelessly linked to the SlingStudio Hub. If you are using a Wi-Fi-enabled smartphone camera, there is a Capture app that connects these cameras to the Studio Hub. But, if you are using a camera, which does not have a Wi-Fi option, a companion product called Camera Link connects it to the Studio Hub.

Special Arrangement

Special Arrangement   | Photo Credit: tech


Up to 10 professional cameras, smartphones, camcorders and drones can be used. The visuals, which are either streamed live or recorded, can be monitored using an app for iPad, that also has options for editing, selecting which feed should go live, and how the images should be composed. The system has an inbuilt technology that alerts the user if the Wi-Fi strength is poor. There is a battery that lasts close to three hours.

The SlingStudio measures 200 mm x 142 mm x 90 mm, and weighs 653 gm; while the Camera Link measures 35 mm x 115.8 mm x 72.8 mm, and weighs 270 gm. “SlingStudio is a game changer, and it opens up many opportunities,” says Vineet Govil, Head, Sling Media India.

“It can be used for weddings, concerts, sports events, streaming religious discourses, etc. It costs less than an equivalent setup, and we believe we are the only ones who are providing the entire ecosystem.”

The videos are in HD resolutions up to 1080p60fps at 30 Mbps with H.264 encoding, and can be live-streamed on YouTube, Facebook, Periscope, or any other website. The platform is compatible with DJI drone systems, says Govil. “This enables many other use cases, and opportunities where people can film from multiple drones, or drones in combination with ground cameras, in a more simplified way, which otherwise was a cumbersome process.”

Studio in a backpack: on SlingStudio

Launched in April, the product is currently available only in the US.

“We are looking at other markets. At an appropriate time, we will consider bringing it to India,” Govil says.

Rise in video content consumption

This innovation comes at a time when more and more people are uploading and watching videos online or on apps. According to Fidji Simo, Vice President, Product, Facebook, one in every five Facebook videos is a live broadcast, “Over the past year, daily watch time for Facebook Live broadcasts has grown by more than 4x,” she said in a post in April.A report by Akamai Technologies released this month says in India, viewers watch 12.3 hours of online content a week, and that there is increased demand for services like Hotstar.According to the Ericsson Mobility report of June 2017, one in two smartphone users in India watches social videos, including live streams, on apps, at least weekly; and one in three smartphone users records and shares videos over apps such as Instagram and Twitter.

The TechCrunch online journal, which reviewed the product, says Sling has created something that lowers the barrier to entry for full live-switched productions. “Just being able to fit the whole thing in a backpack; set it up and switch a shoot quickly and edit it, is a game-changer. If you’re running a small production company, it’s gonna save you time and money on post-production,” it says.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 1:38:44 PM |

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