When it’s time to level up your live stream from one camera to more than one camera, your production setup adds an additional piece of equipment: a video switcher. A video switcher allows you to bring in multiple feeds (camera, audio, graphics etc) and choose which feed to send live at any given moment.

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The biggest differentiator between different types of video switchers is whether they are hardware or software. Hardware switchers are physical boxes on them that take in video feeds via direct HDMI or SDI inputs and offer a control panel with buttons to switch between feeds and add production elements. Software switchers, on the other hand, take video camera feeds into a computer using a video capture card and allow you to switch and add production elements on a computer. Both hardware and software switchers can be great options depending on your workflow and needs. However, we often tend to recommend hardware switchers more often, because a production setup that does not require a computer is one that is less likely to fall prey to complication and mishaps. That’s just our opinion though.

Best Hardware Switchers

Option 1 : Oton Geek S06-B – 6 Channel HDMI Live Stream Switcher
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With 4 independent HDMI inputs, you can connect up to 4 high quality video cameras or computers to the switcher. It also allows you to connect 2 IP cameras or decoding video streams via the Ethernet port. You can even connect a USB drive via the USB 3.0 port to load the stills or video in the media pool. All input resolution are auto detected and will be scaled to 1080i/1080p automatically for program. The switcher features with exciting picture in picture and picture outside of picture effects, perfect for commentary! There are loads of video effects too! The built-in encoding engine lets you directly stream your video to 4 service platforms simultaneously like Facebook and Youtube. The USB3.0 port also allows the switcher to work as a webcam for stream software like OBS or vMix. You can even record your video to USB disk while streaming. The HDMI Switcher makes it easy to create professional multi camera productions for live streaming to YouTube and innovative business presentations using Skype or Zoom!

Option 2 : Oton Geek S06M – 6 Channel HDMI Live Stream Switcher with Built-in Multiview
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With 4 independent HDMI inputs, you can connect up to 4 high quality video cameras or computers to the switcher. It also allows you to connect 2 IP cameras or decoding video streams via the Ethernet port. You can even connect a USB drive via the USB 3.0 port to load the stills or video in the media pool. All input resolution are auto detected and will be scaled to 1080i/1080p automatically for program. The switcher features with exciting picture in picture and picture outside of picture effects, perfect for commentary! There are loads of video effects too! The built-in encoding engine lets you directly stream your video to 4 service platforms simultaneously like Facebook and Youtube. The USB3.0 port also allows the switcher to work as a webcam for stream software like OBS or vMix. You can even record your video to USB disk while streaming. The HDMI Switcher makes it easy to create professional multi camera productions for live streaming to YouTube and innovative business presentations using Skype or Zoom!

Option 3 : Oton Geek S08 – 8 Channel SDI/HDMI Live Stream Switcher
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Oton Geek S08 can switch up to 8 different video inputs (4xSDI+2xHDMI+2xIP Stream. The input format will be auto-detected by the switcher, and the output format is selectable by the user. The multiview layout allows you to show preview, program, and input sources all on the same screen with adjustable PIP & POP functionality. Users can also add their brand logo and subtitle to PGM video for a more stunning live production. You can even record up to 1080p60 to USB drive in the built-in USB2.0/3.0 port. In addition to the program and multiview preview outputs, the switcher can also live stream to 4 destinations at the same time such as Facebook, Youtube, Ustream via Ethernet, without requiring additional hardware. Concert productions, events, parties, competitions, educational institutions, and live sports programming are some of the use cases where the Geek S08 could be utilized.

Option 4 : Oton Geek S08M – 8 Channel SDI/HDMI Live Stream Switcher
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Oton Geek S08M can switch up to 8 different video inputs (4xSDI+2xHDMI+2xIP Stream. The input format will be auto-detected by the switcher, and the output format is selectable by the user. The multiview layout allows you to show preview, program, and input sources all on the same screen with adjustable PIP & POP functionality. Users can also add their brand logo and subtitle to PGM video for a more stunning live production. You can even record up to 1080p60 to USB drive in the built-in USB2.0/3.0 port. In addition to the program and multiview preview outputs, the switcher can also live stream to 4 destinations at the same time such as Facebook, Youtube, Ustream via Ethernet, without requiring additional hardware. Concert productions, events, parties, competitions, educational institutions, and live sports programming are some of the use cases where the Geek S08 could be utilized.

Best Software Switcher : Wirecast

Wirecast is one of the most user-friendly software switchers on the market. You can easily switch back and forth between various camera angles and incorporate overlays onto your stream. Though you do have to pay for it, you can test it out with a free trial.

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Further Readings

If you’ve decided to stream but aren’t sure which camera is right for your organization, you’re not alone. Check out Best Video Cameras for Live Streaming