Using ProPresenter 7 to Switch Live Video Inputs
ProPresenter could be the missing piece in your live stream setup. Did you know that ProPresenter itself is now capable of both being a software video switcher AND a live stream encoder? Add on the fact that you can create content, and display it on your streams and now you have an all in one solution like no other. Let’s look at how you can use ProPresenter to manage the video for your live stream!
What are video inputs & video switching?
ProPresenter has had the ability to input a single video source for a few years. If you’re wondering what live video is… live video, for example, could be a feed coming from a camera or the output of a hardware switcher. By adding that ability ProPresenter became capable of being used to output video from a camera with lyrics or lower thirds layered on top of it.
With ProPresenter 7 we introduced the ability to input multiple video sources while also switching between them. This added the flexibility for ProPresenter to be used in certain use cases as a software switcher.
So why would you use ProPresenter as a software switcher? Well, we believe one of the best use cases is in a live stream! Now with the ability to go live straight from ProPresenter, bringing your live video into ProPresenter allows for a ton of flexibility. Not only that but being able to have one place for volunteers and staff to easily control your live stream and in-house lyrics make this a great all-in-one solution.
So how do you bring your video into ProPresenter?
For that, you need a capture device. A computer typically doesn’t come with any sort of capture card built-in, and an HDMI input is only used for displaying that input on a screen like a tv, not for inputting the signal to the computer for other software. Many manufactures like Blackmagic Design, Elgato, & Magewell sell both USB & Thunderbolt based capture cards for laptop computers as well as PCIe cards for inside of a desktop computer. We highly recommend the Blackmagic Decklink Duo for up to 4 different inputs at up to 1080p60 or the Blackmagic Ultrastudio Mini Recorder with 1 input at up to 1080p30.
If you want to be able to switch your cameras outside of ProPresenter and just input the one final video output of that switcher to ProPresenter to then layer content on and go live from, we recommend the Blackmagic ATEM Mini Pro as an affordable solution for many organizations. The USB-C output on the Atem Mini and Mini Pro can be used to input your final program video output into a computer. If you haven’t seen our review of the ATEM Mini Pro check it out here: Blackmagic ATEM Mini Pro Review
What about choosing which content goes to my live stream?
When you use ProPresenter to input your video, adding your lower thirds and lyrics over that video becomes a simple process. Once you enable the live video any slide content will then be layered on top.
If you plan to use one computer and one instance of ProPresenter to both control your video for a live feed and send lyrics to your in-house screens then something to consider is your “looks”. In ProPresenter, look allows you to define which layers are being sent to the screens of your choice. So for example, if you have 1 projector in your auditorium and you want different layers to show up on your live stream than your projector, you’ll create a look for that! In this scenario, you likely will want to disable the video input layer for your projector and the media layer (which is where your motion backgrounds would be playing) on your live stream. In doing this you can also apply a lower thirds theme to your slides layer on your live stream output so that your lyrics will be in a lower third format instead of centered on your screen.
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