Telestream released version 7 of their popular video software switcher Wirecast today. Along with a new logo, they redesigned some of the basic features to streamline the product. They also improved the software so it will work better on a PC or Mac. I take you though a first look at the new version.
What is Wirecast?
Wirecast is a video software switcher and layer system. With this software, you can set up scenes to record or stream to your favorite platform (e.g. Facebook or YouTube, Livestream, UStream, etc). You can layer a video with graphics, photos, other videos or one-on-one conversations via Skype or Google Hangouts.
There are two versions. Wirecast and Wirecast Pro. The software starts at $495 and you can get Wirecast Here.
Changing of the Source Settings
The biggest change is how you set up scenes. The 2nd window has been integrated into the main program as a sliding tool pane. Simply select the double-arrow to slide the window over and make changes.
The settings inside are also a lot easier to use so you can set up your scenes better. In Wirecast 6, the crop functionality would always be hit or miss. This new interface is smoother and causes less headaches.
Green Dot, Red Dot
On the right side is a set of dots in green and red. Green indicates the preview area and red the live. You can easily switch between the three settings so you don’t always have the preview pane in front of you.
With these two features, you can control your workspace easier and get things out of the way when you need it.
ISO (Wirecast Pro)
Another revamp was with their instant replay option. This allows you to create a few second replay for live action recordings (such as sporting events). Now called Replay + ISO, you have more options to create and insert replays.
More Gaming Functionality
You can stream up to 1440p 60fps. Perfect for any Twitch or other gamer that is streaming or recording their gameplay. You can then make an overlay with you in front of a green screen and side graphics to go on your YouTube or other channel.
This is not new to Wirecast and I haven’t had the chance to test yet. You can download the iOS app and use it to send the video from your iPhone or iPad to the software, creating remote camera options from close range.
One thing I didn’t check on the video was a feature to sync up audio with the video source. In previous versions, if you ran sound through a soundboard, the video might be way off from the audio. With this feature, you can delay one to catch up to the other. Ultimately giving you better audio in all your shots.
Cons on Wirecast 7
The biggest problem with the software has always been the speaker latency. You cannot listen to yourself because of this. The video sync options can’t help here and so you are left not able to listen to what you are recording/streaming.
The switch option still has bugs to work out. If you set up layers (for example) and choose “Smooth” transition, the layers act separately and don’t move the way I would like.
Another big issue is when I go to edit any text or titles. it’s not as intuitive as I would like. The Text box actually will freeze up at times while I am trying to adjust size and font. This seems to be a PC issue, though. Speaking of which…
PC or Mac for Wirecast?
I have installed the program on both platforms. There seem to be less issues with the Mac version from what I have used so far. Of course, this is the first release of the new upgrade, so if you are using your machine for production purposes, you might want to wait until 7.0.1 or later.
The issue with Wirecast for Mac is the limitations of the hardware. You can build a powerful box with multiple inputs for PC.
Wirecast is going in the right direction. The $299 upgrade price (for Pro) was a hard pill to swallow this morning. Bottom line is I have to do what I can to have the best experience in creating video content for you.