Broadcaster Wi-Fi Webcam: a first look
Logitech offers its first HD video camera marketed for video professionals.
By Allan Tépper | November 28, 2012
Logitech has just announced its Broadcaster Wi-Fi Webcam, the first Logitech product marketed specifically for video professionals. Although not specifically marketed towards professional producers, for quite some time the Logitech C910 with 720p HD has been used as a recommended remote host/guest camera for Mac-based remote hosts/guests (C920 for Windows-based ones), and each of those sold for under US$100 and connected via USB. Now the under US$200 Broadcaster Wi-Fi Webcam is cordless, features an external microphone input + built-in pan/tilt, internal mono mic, illumination lamp, and H.264 encoder. More details ahead in this article.
Exclusively for Mac and iOS devices
At least for now, Broadcaster Wi-Fi Webcam works exclusively for Mac (10.7 Lion or later) and iOS (iPad/iPhone) devices using iOS version 5 or later. Although not specifically indicated by Logitech, it will likely work with the latest generation iPod Touches too. iPhone 3Gs or earlier are not supported.
Digital zoom, pan, and tilt
Broadcaster Wi-Fi Webcam has a 3x digital zoom and digital pan and tilt. I hope to evaluate the quality of these in an upcoming review.
Local recordings compatible with Final Cut Pro X and iMovie
Logitech has stated that recordings will be editable with Final Cut Pro X or iMovie. Although Logitech has not published the exact file format, we do know that the Broadcaster Wi-Fi Webcam has an inboard H.264 encoder, so it will likely be either a .mov or .mp4 file. Given the WiFi requirements (see ahead), the bit rate is likely to be around 2 megabits per second for a 720p file. Although not stated by Logitech, this file will likely be editable directly with Premiere Pro CS6 and with Avid, in addition to Final Cut Pro X and iMovie.
Logitech has specified that Broadcaster Wi-Fi Webcam is compatible with 802.11 g and n. So far, Logitech has not specified whether it is dual band (2.4/5 gHz) but I really hope it is. When I get an answer, I’ll update this or include the info in an upcoming article or review. Logitech specifies a range of up to 50 feet (15.24 meters) from the wireless router. For 720p webcasting, Logitech specifies a minimum of 2 megabits per second upload.
Battery powered for 100% cordless use
You charge the Broadcaster Wi-Fi Webcam via an included USB charger. Logitech estimates a 2-hour run time. However, this can vary depending upon how much you use the internal lamp.
CDNs on Mac
Apparently Logitech has a loose partnership with Ustream, since it emphasized that service. However, Logitech also states that using their required but free Broadcaster App (http://www.logitech.com/broadcasterapp) as a front end, it will appear as a camera source with most Mac applications, and they specify Facetime, iChat, and Skype as being compatible. So presumably you could use any CDN from a Mac.
CDNs on iOS
At least for now, Ustream seems to be the exclusive CDN from iOS. Blink your eyes and that could change.
Local switching among two cameras
Using the Broadcaster App, you can switch either among two Broadcaster WiFi Webcams or between one Broadcaster Wi-Fi Webcam and the Mac’s internal webcam. It is not clear yet whether this allows for switching between one Broadcaster Wi-Fi Webcam and one C910. I hope to verify this and cover it in an upcoming review. I expect the usual suspects of computer-based video mixers -Boinx’s BoinxTV, NewTek’s TriCaster, StreamStar’s Webcast Case, and Telestream’s Wirecast Pro- to add direct support for the Broadcaster WiFi Webcam soon, as long as they don’t mind de-compressing the incoming H.264 signal.
- Broadcaster Wi-Fi Webcam
- USB charging cable
- AC power adapter
- Camera case/stand (tripod ready)
- User documentation.
Since the Broadcaster Wi-Fi Webcam pre-encodes the audio/video to H.264, I suspect that the Broadcaster App will not be able to select independent audio. This is something I plan to test and (if necessary) document an audio workaround for multiple sources. I also plan to evaluate the quality of the Broadcaster Wi-Fi Webcam’s mic preamp.
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My latest ebook
I have just published an ebook in two languages.
The format is Kindle, but even if you don’t have a Kindle device, you can read Kindle books on many other devices using a free Kindle app. That includes iPad, iPhone, Android phones, Android tablets, Mac computers, Windows computers, some Blackberry phones and Windows 7 phones.
In English, it is currently available in the following Amazon stores, depending upon your region:
- At Amazon.com (for all of the Americas and the Republic of India)
- Amazon.co.jp (Japan)
- Amazon.co.uk (United Kingdom)
- Amazon.de (Germany)
- Amazon.es (Spain, pero a lo mejor lo prefieres en castellano, a continuaciÃ³n)
- Amazon.fr (France)
- Amazon.it (Italy)
If you’re going to buy a Kindle book as a gift, you must do so via the Pan-American Amazon store (the first one listed above), regardless of where you live or where the recipient lives.
En castellano, estÃ¡ disponible actualmente en las siguientes tiendas Amazon, segÃºn tu regiÃ³n:
- Amazon.com (todas las Am©ricas y la RepÃºblica de la India)
- Amazon.co.jp (JapÃ³n)
- Amazon.co.uk (Reino Unido)
- Amazon.de (Alemania)
- Amazon.es (EspaÃ±a)
- Amazon.fr (Francia)
- Amazon.it (Italia)
Si vas a comprar un libro Kindle como regalo, debes hacerlo vÃa la tienda panamericana de Amazon (la primera de la lista) sin importar donde vivas tÃº o donde viva la persona que recibirÃ¡ el regalo.
Allan T©pper's books, consulting, articles, seminars & audio programs
Contact Allan T©pper for consulting, or find a full listing of his books, articles and upcoming seminars and webinars at AllanTepper.com. Listen to his TecnoTur program, which is now available both in Castilian (aka "Spanish") and in English, free of charge. Search for TecnoTur in iTunes or visit TecnoTur.us for more information.
Disclosure, to comply with the FTC's rules
No manufacturer is specifically paying Allan T©pper or TecnoTur LLC to write this article or the mentioned books. Some of the other manufacturers listed above have contracted T©pper and/or TecnoTur LLC to carry out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations. Many of the manufacturers listed above have sent Allan T©pper review units. So far, none of the manufacturers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur programs, although they are welcome to do so, and some are, may be (or may have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition magazine. Some links to third parties listed in this article and/or on this web page may indirectly benefit TecnoTur LLC via affiliate programs.
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