Gameplay Camera Setup
A technical guide sending gameplay video to the WFTDA Broadcasting/Quad Media Remote Studio.
There are 2 common methods for sending your video:
Connecting to the studio via video call, a browser or app based service (eg: vMix Call or Skype). This is extremely simple, reliable, and compatible with just about any device (phone, tablet, laptop, etc.). The drawback is that quality is highly variable and resolution and bandwidth are constrained. In cases of poor internet connection or simpler hardware, this is a great choice.
Sending a video stream via RTMP to the remote studio ingest. This is a more technical approach and requires proper encoding hardware and software (eg: OBS). RTMP also relies on steady internet connection and more upload bandwidth. RTMP is capable of a higher overall quality and consistency and is the only way to achieve high resolution and high framerate streams.
The method we choose for your show will mostly depend on your hardware and the internet access at the game venue.
More details available in the Remote Studio Broadcast Event Preparation document.
Phone or Tablet
All mobile devices connect in generally the same way so these instructions should work with any Android or iOS based phone or tablet. The big advantage of mobile devices is that they include internet connectivity (WiFi) and video processing in 1 device.
Things you'll need to make your Phone or Tablet into a remote studio camera:
Power cable for the device. Sending video will drain most batteries in under 1 hour of gameplay.
Tripod with phone/tablet mount. Helps with long term operation and smooth camera motion during gameplay. Here’s an example of an inexpensive set.
Headphones without a microphone. If possible, connect a set of headphones that does not have a built-in microphone. This will allow the camera operator to hear the live stream announcers but the device’s built-in microphone will still be used to hear game whistles & ambient sounds.
Ethernet dongle if possible. Most iOS & Android devices are capable of connecting to a wired internet connection with the appropriate connector. Make sure your ethernet device also passes power so you can keep the device charged!
Camcorders, DSLR's, and Action Cameras (eg: GoPro) are all viable options but require an external device (eg: laptop) to handle internet connectivity and video processing.
In addition to the gear suggested for Phone/Tablet use, you'll also need specific gear for your camera to send to the studio:
Video encoding device: a computer or dedicated encoding hardware.
Video capture device to connect camera to computer
Connecting to the Remote Studio
Via vMix Call
vMix Call is the default connect option. It requires no additional software/app installation or account setup. It is the best method for most mobile devices and venues with poor internet connectivity.
Android users open the link in Chrome (default)
iOS users must copy the link and paste it into Safari browser. Clicking on the link from an email or show doc will not work.
Computer users should use Chrome on Windows/Linux or Safari on OSX.
Enter a device description in the Name field. This doesn’t appear on stream, it’s just for the studio to see.
Using a name like "iPhone 10" or "Samsung Galaxy" helps us troubleshoot issues with the incoming connection.
The studio will provide a 10 digit password to enter in the Password field.
Join the call!
Your device should ask permission to use your camera and microphone- allow both!
Your back camera view should appear in a red box in the upper left and the signal from the remote studio should be visible beneath it.
Mobile devices: rotate your device to landscape mode. Make sure you’re sending a widescreen format signal to the studio. This will also allow the studio return signal to fill your screen.
There is a control bar at the bottom of the screen which allows you to mute your mic, turn off your camera, and adjust other settings.
The little red box with your own camera feed may be turned off using the menu at the bottom. Or you can use it as a real-time view of the game you’re shooting. The return from the studio will be delayed; not good for following action.
The Gear icon will open a menu that allows you to change your camera input.
Microsoft Skype can connect to the studio as a video call. This the best option for some mobile devices incompatible with vMix Call. The app must be installed on your device (app available for iOS, Android, MacOS, and Windows) and you must create and log in to an account. Download available in your app store or from the website: https://www.skype.com/en/get-skype/
A Skype call link will be provided for the camera to connect to the studio.
You’ll have to disable background blurring in the app; this setting is found in various places depending on your OS/app version.
The Skype call must be maintained for the duration of the event; hanging up or switching apps causes a number of issues with the studio workflow.
RTMP is the best method for computer based workflows with very reliable internet connectivity. This method requires more robust hardware and a reliable internet connection. We’ll need to determine whether your computer and WAN are capable before pursuing this option. Some experience with streaming is helpful.
Determine your signal spec and share them with the remote studio:
Configure your encoder with the URL and stream key provided by the remote studio.
No return audio is available in this workflow, but you can use another device to connect to the remote studio for monitoring via Discord or vMix Call.
Preferred camera location is mid-court on the start line side of the track.
Camera should be elevated enough to shoot over the top of people and other obstructions. Any elevation is helpful.
Camera Operator Guide
You can listen to the commentators (who are watching your feed) in real time by monitoring the vMix Call return or Discord Studio Monitor audio channel. This is super helpful for matching what the commentators are talking about with what you should point the camera at. If you’re sending video via RTMP, ask for a vMix seat assignment for monitoring purposes or access to the Discord audio return.
During the show we use Discord text chat to relay important information. This is the best way to stay in touch with the team: https://discord.gg/WQkDRyMKEC
The largest amount of action possible - generally follow the pack and keep as many players in the camera shot as you can. Allow space to see jammers entering from the back and exiting the front.
Team huddles and benches - during timeouts and breaks, show the audience what the players are doing. Team celebrations after a big jam are fun.
Penalty box (if skaters are present) - Between jams it’s super helpful to see who’s in the box or at least how many skaters from each team.
Use your best judgment as a derby fan: If you find it fun or interesting, the audience will too. If you think it’s important to what’s happening in the game, it’s important to us.
Don’t Show Us
Injuries/downed skaters - always point the camera away. Show us a team bench or a random wall; just don’t keep the camera on the downed skater or medics.
Projected scoreboard - we have a feed of the scoreboard already in the broadcast, please don’t point the camera at a projection. Viewers already know the score.
Audience - It’s OK to see the audience on the edge of the frame, but don’t use audience-only shots if you can avoid it. Audience members should be aware that there is recording/streaming in the building but still have a right to privacy- they are not the stars of the show.
Solo jammers outside the pack - The scoring lap is boring; stay with the pack and wait for the jammer to catch up. If there’s jammer-on-jammer action outside the pack, that’s good to show.