Who knew live switching could become so sexy! This mundane of professional broadcast practice has mutated into a vital tool for a new breed of indie streamers, but Hollyland is late to that party as Blackmagic Design started it off in late 2019, just in time for lockdown where switching has flourished.
Streamix M1 is a low-cost, portable switcher offering live video feeds with a choice of inputs including HDMI, SDI, RJ45, and mobile phone. Connectivity is through WiFi and/or Ethernet. Hollyland is known for their great range of video transmitter and receiver products so Streamix can be seen as an extension of its wireless video beginnings.
It’s worth mentioning Blackmagic Design’s ATEM Mini switchers, as their low-cost range of products starts at only €262 ($311) with the ATEM Mini which includes four camera inputs. So at the very least, that’s four-camera capture cards in one unit which is and was a bargain – YouTubers bought them in their thousands. Streamix M1 is around €2.536 ($3.009) plus tax and is probably more at home at venues or conferences.
The self-switching market
The start of the pandemic encouraged the use of streaming video, with the new ATEM Mini products you could now have a multi-camera production with audio and broadcast effects and transitions. This market is only going to get bigger and more sophisticated.
But Hollyland’s Streamix M1 is going for the semi-professional live event market. The clue is in the choice of SDI and RJ45 inputs for broadcast cameras which would enable the use of PTZ (Pan, Tilt, Zoom) models. There are two HDMI inputs, two SDI, one RJ45, and one mobile phone input. You can also bring in a video player and one internet source.
For comparison, the latest ATEM Mini switcher is the Extreme ISO which offers eight HDMI camera inputs, an inbuilt streaming engine, and ISO feed separation for remixing but no SDI or RJ45 option. All for €1.144,55 plus tax. This product also includes ISO recording to an automatically created Resolve project file, so half your edit has been done already.
What does Streamix offer?
The Streamix M1 supports any RTMP-supported platform, meaning you can stream up to three platforms simultaneously: Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, or any of the other hundreds of platforms that support the RTMP protocol. Alternatively, you can just open an account at Restream which will do this for you and with many more streaming destinations.
Even though online platforms like YouTube are now mostly live streaming from their home studios, there are many creators who stream their live content from music venues, theatres, and even crematoriums. This is where a platform like Streamix M1 can be helpful. But if you stream from a venue you are dependent on the upload bandwidth available. There are satellite solutions on their way like Space X’s StarLink service and a similar lower orbit product from Amazon called Project Kuiper. But in the meantime, you’re stuck with WiFi, Ethernet, or a bonded cellular product.
Streamix M1 supports both wired and wireless connections and multiple video bitrate options that can be tweaked according to the available bandwidth and desired resolution.
Streamix M1 in use
Streamix is a standalone unit with an 11.6 inch HD–only touchscreen controlling the program views and controls. There is an audio mixing desk within the software if you’re not routing your audio separately (just watch the HDMI inherent video delays that will put your audio out of synch).
You also get a library of overlays to build up your program like scoreboards for different sports or input your own. But with programs like Restream, Ecamm Live and Streamyard you probably have better resources to add to your stream.
Streamix M1 also has 256GB of RAM onboard that allows you to record the ongoing live program while displaying saved videos on the program feed.
Learn More about Streamix on the Hollyland site.
Hollyland Streamix M1 will be available at MSRP $2.999 ex. VAT.
Would you use Streamix M1 for your next streaming project? Tell us about it in the comments below!