Live streaming has become a big business. Between gaming platforms like Twitch and standard platforms like YouTuve and Rumble, it's never been easier to stream video. Even podcasters have gotten into the video game in larger numbers than those of us who have done it for over a decade. But proper production setups can be incredibly expensive and require a lot of specific hardware. The Roland AeroCaster is the company's answer to cumbersome production systems.
The Roland AeroCaster is a live and recorded video switching system for small and medium sized setups. The system integrates nearly everything that a broadcast might need and does it in an incredibly small format piece of hardware. The core device is a small switching board with a few core inputs. On the back is a pair of combo jacks, so you can plug in XLR microphones, instruments, or even a soundboard. There are also RCA jacks for a line level connection.
On the front are a series of controls. For audio controls, there are sliders for mic 1, mic 2, line-in, and main. This gives you the ability to control the individual volumes for each direct audio input on the back of the board. There are also audio quality controls, such as de-esser and low cut filters. There is also control for an on-board microphone, sync delays, and more.
For video, it is a pretty standard basic video switcher. You've got buttons for your four video inputs, as well as the ability to create split-screen variants between any pair of inputs. However, the controls on the board are just the beginning of the story. The real magic comes from the connected software.
The Roland AeroCaster LIVE app is really what separates the system from its competitors, some of which we have tried out. The software is well thought out and gives a lot of capabilities that we have complained about with other devices. First and foremost, the system allows you to import photos, audio, and video from your iPad for broadcast. This means that you have the ability to run bumpers, advertisements, and more. This is a huge benefit and something that makes the system really attractive.
In addition, the software integrates with streaming destinations to create a single point of connection. For those who are looking for a simple setup, you can connect to Twitch, Facebook, YouTube, and more. You can also monitor chats and comments on these platforms all within the software. For those looking to broadcast on a bigger stage, you can use RTMP directly to a service like Restream or Wowza to stream to multiple platforms.
One thing that really makes the Roland AeroCaster unique is its use of mobile phones as cameras. Rather than having to purchase special hardware, you can use your existing phone or tablet as a camera. This makes sense, especially for startup broadcasters, as we all have our current phone and many of us also have our last generation phone. This gives older phones a new life while producing a video quality that is equal to most professional streaming webcams.
The Roland AeroCaster is available now with a retail price of $295. You can get it right now at Amazon, B&H Photo, and more. To learn more about it, check out the product page.
Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.
Allante - also well known as Wolff - is the newest member and co-host for PLuGHiTz Live! Radio. A gifted artist, he is usually found drawing up a character or two or sketching up whatever comes to mind. Do not think that he is not a hardcore gamer because he is about as hardcore as it gets! His favorites range from fighting games to RPGs, adventure and even a racing game here and there. Fighting games are his forte and he relays this message for all who oppose: You mess with the Wolff and you get the fangs!
Xbox Live - Enigmatic Wolff
PSN - Tsukuyomi_Okami
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.