LOS ANGELES — “Revolutionary” is an often overused word in tech circles, but it applies to the latest offering from Sling Media, the Dish subsidiary behind Slingbox and Sling TV, which is set to release its new SlingStudio product line — a line destined to find a home in adult video production and beyond — starting at less than $1,000.
According to the company, SlingStudio is a comprehensive system enabling both amateurs and pros to live-switch, record, and stream multi-camera productions in full HD, pulling live video feeds from several devices simultaneously — including smartphones — opening new opportunities for crowd-sourced video footage, budget-friendly adult productions, and high-end live webcam shows.
The foundation of SlingStudio is the Hub, which acts as two Wi-Fi routers with networks that cover up to a 300' range. The first network is dedicated to incoming video, including up to 1080p60 / 30 Mbps using H.264 encoding, transmitted wirelessly via SlingStudio’s CameraLink from any HDMI-enabled camera or camcorder. The second network handles other tasks, such as controlling the free Console app via an iPad and for streaming video to the web.
The easy-to-use Console app controls all of the Hub’s functions, from switching to recording, and streaming, as well as transitions and lower-thirds using a familiar touchscreen GUI. Initially compatible with YouTube and Facebook Live, more streaming platforms are planned for the future. Local recording via onboard SD card or connected USB 3.0 hard drive allows live-to-tape shoots that can be imported into Adobe Premiere Pro or Apple Final Cut Pro X as synced sequences using Sling Media plug-ins.
Available separately, the SlingStudio Battery enables the Hub to become completely wireless for easy setup and use in remote locations — perfect for “real world” locations and utmost portability — with an ease of transport bolstered by a fitted backpack that safely houses all system components.
“Between the main Hub, CameraLink units, USB-C Expander, and Battery, SlingStudio is a compact, portable, and intuitive solution that can provide high-quality results whether the sources are cameras, smartphones, or media players,” explains a SlingStudio rep. “Cameras and other HDMI sources can connect to the Hub wirelessly using CameraLink units, [which] are battery-powered and plug into your source’s HDMI output.”
The rep stated that this wireless connectivity enables longer transmission ranges than typically allowed by HDMI cabling while reducing the potential for cable snags, and notes that another wireless option is available via Sling Media’s Capture app, available free for iOS and Android device users.
The Hub accepts a single local HDMI video feed as well as a separate line-level audio feed from a mixing board or other analog audio source, while Sling Media’s USB-C Expander splits the Hub’s USB-C port into two USB 3.0 ports and a wired Ethernet connection.
“Hard drives connected via USB 3.0 can be used for recording and media playback, while USB 2.0 drives will be limited to media playback only,” the rep concluded. “If a wired connection is required, use the Ethernet port on the hub to connect directly to a LAN for reliable connectivity not restricted by network interference.”
This convenient system will be a boon to budget producers seeking that “pro multi-cam” look, forward-looking cam studios seeking multi-view broadcasts — a plus for multi-performer sex shows, and more.
Iconic N.Y.-based pro source B&H Photo Video will be SlingStudio’s exclusive point of sale for the first 90 days following the line’s scheduled May release.
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