Video Encoding for Sporting Events

Hello - We are trying to come up with an affordable package for clients that will act as a plug-and-play solution for encoding their video content (sports events) and sending them to our servers for public streaming. Trouble we're having is finding something in the $300 to $400 range that will give us enough to provide an adequate feed for streaming.

Can anyone recommend a PC / Mac with around 4GB of RAM and a FireWire port for connecting the cameras? Maybe someone has a creative way to do this that we haven't thought of.

Currently we're using a MacMini connected to an EasyCap DC60. The video quality is rough and the frame rate is pretty bad.

Any input is very much appreciated.

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  1. Your camera determines the format, resolution and bitrate--->software on your rig must support real-time capture of it ---> the capture then 'saved' over your network to the servers for streaming.

    This should not really be an issue of hardware - the maximum AVCHD bitrate is 24 Mbit/s (?). I suspect the stream bitrate from your camera is 1/3 of that, if not less. Not sure what you do with it from there. The box you want should not encode a single frame - it is simply a big capture device and pass-through for the native export format of your camera(s).

    I'm not aware of Apple even playing in this sandbox without conversion, anyway, as QT does not support typical HD transport streams. Final Cut (I think) has a plug-in to read MTS but I'm not sure what it can do with it, and I think it borks the audio (at least, 5.1 streams).

    If you're not AVCHD MTS/M2TS then you've kinda lost the battle from the beginning. The key is to purchase and build devices and software that supports itself natively and not buy, and try to force your setup to do something it is not really designed to do.

    So. We start with the resolution, bitrate and output format of your camera(s) . . . and what software do you want to use ??
  2. Thank you for the response WC. We typically use the Adobe Flash Media Encoder. We usually try to stay within a 400-500 kbps bitrate and, with live action, we usually hover around 30fps, but lately we've only been getting between 15 and 20fps.

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