Blackmagic Web Presenter: Livestream to the web from any camera

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Blackmagic Design have announced the Web Presenter – a product to make getting a video livestream from professional video cameras up and running as easy as possible. If you’ve had to put together a livestream kit before you’ll know it can be a little hit and miss, and if it’s not something you do every day it’s easy to under- or over- spec encoders, switchers and cameras.

Enter the Presenter

The Web Presenter is a single box that takes a feed from your camera (in either HDMI or SDI) and plugs into your computer, encoding the feed to a 720p stream that looks like a regular webcam to the OS. Mac, Windows, Linux and Chromebook computers will automatically recognize the Blackmagic Web Presenter and treat it as a webcam stream.

Web Presenter + Laptop + Guitar = global megastardom from your bedroom

This makes it compatible with all the major online streaming platforms and means you won’t be stuck searching for driver software to get your livestream up and running. The Web Presenter is compatible with Open Broadcaster and XSplit Broadcaster, as well as sites like YouTube Live, Facebook Live, Skype, Twitch.TV, and Periscope.

Inputs and outputs

It also means that you can take a feed from professional cameras equipped with an SDI connection as well as any camera or other device with a clean HDMI-out. The box will accept signals up to 2160p60 and convert them down to 720p for you. You’re allowed to shed a single tiny tear for all those lost pixels.

Only one SDI and one HDMI input – but that’s enough to get a simple production online and broadcasting live to a variety of online destinations.

The 16:9 aspect 720p signal aims to offer a good balance between image quality and use of available upload bandwidth. If the streaming software detects insufficient bandwidth it can instruct the Web Presenter to reduce the frame rate to compensate and avoid a total picture loss.

Add a Smart Panel, get a Mini Switcher too

If you connect the Web Presenter to one of Blackmagic’s Teranex Mini Smart Panels, you get the added functionality of a basic switcher. There’s an HDMI and and SDI input, optimised for use with one camera (SDI) and one laptop or games console (HDMI). There’s also an SDI out so you can send to a monitor and/or recorder to lay off a master copy of your broadcast.

Adding the buttons and screen of a Teranex Smart Panel turns the Web Presenter into a simple switcher as well as an encoder/streaming box.

Price and Availability

The Blackmagic Design Web Presenter is available now for $495 US.

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