Blackmagic Design today announced Geek&Sundry uses Blackmagic Studio Camera HDs, Pocket Cinema Cameras and ATEM switcher technology to broadcast all of its daily Twitch programs. Geek&Sundry’s weekly broadcast schedule includes the multi camera live broadcast of 10 different shows, which are streamed live over Twitch to hundreds of thousands of followers and subscribers Monday through Friday.
Geek&Sundry, an epicenter of gaming and lifestyle for pop culture fans, started its new Twitch channel in the spring of 2015, broadcasting two live shows each night, Monday through Friday. Within the first several months, Geek&Sundry’s Twitch channel gained more than 100,000 direct subscribers, and each show had been viewed more than four million times. The shows focus on a variety of different gaming, movie, TV and social media topics, and include a mix of hosted interviews and discussions with live game play, all broadcast to a Twitch audience that can immediately take part and comment on the broadcasts.
To broadcast and stream the shows, Geek&Sundry built a full broadcast studio around a variety of Blackmagic Design equipment, including three Blackmagic Studio Camera HDs and Pocket Cinema Cameras. Switching for the shows is done using a Blackmagic ATEM 1 M/E Broadcast Panel and Blackmagic ATEM Television Studio, and the shows are captured and recorded using Blackmagic HyperDeck Studio Pro and HyperDeck Shuttle SSD recorders, as well as DeckLink Mini Recorder capture and playback devices.
“Our Twitch channel has grown five times faster than even our most optimistic projections, and we hit our year end subscriber goal within three months. A big part of that success is due to what Blackmagic products have allowed us to do,” said Zac Eubank, technical director and producer for Geek&Sundry’s Twitch channel. “We have to provide the highest quality shows and be constantly reinventing what we do. It is quite an accomplishment to be able to do this with only myself and one other staff member, but we can with Blackmagic.”
On each show, the Studio Camera HDs are used as the main cameras capturing the hosts as they discuss various games and films, while the other cameras are used for roaming shots and to get close ups of various board and video games as the hosts begin playing. All of the cameras are switched via the ATEM Television Studio, which also handles feeds from computers running video games, so that viewers can see them being played in real time.
“The Studio Cameras are phenomenal. So easy to use and the image quality is amazing,” said Zac. “One of the most useful features is being able to dial in color correction on the cameras directly from the ATEM camera control software. I save a huge amount of time each broadcast with this, and when you are trying to get out two shows a night every week, every little bit of saved time is huge.”
“The most elaborate show we do each week is ‘Critical Role,’ our Dungeons and Dragons broadcast,” continued Zac. “We use every camera, with two of the Studio Cameras on the players, one Studio Camera on the board and a Pocket Cinema Camera on a computer. The ATEM Television Studio switches everything and lets us split the screen into top and bottom panels. Between the two of us, we are able to run every ounce of a professional broadcast for ‘Critical Role’ with a four camera set up and doing color correction on the fly. The cameras are bright and clear, we lock them into an F4 aperture and walk away knowing it will look great.”
Zac concluded: “Also, since we have such little time to change sets and rearrange camera positions each day, the fact that Blackmagic has designed its products around SDI makes us much more efficient. We created up and down stages with SDI connectors directly in the floor so that we can move and set up quickly. Blackmagic really has made it not only easy, but also so much fun to come up with new ways of doing all of these shows.”