Remote Post-Production: Real-Time #WebRTC Streaming in OBS & Beyond

I. Tech Emmy Awards go to … #Webrtc solutions?!?

Among the 2020 Emmy Engineering awards, it was interesting to see two companies providing Real-Time services, Evercast and Sohonet, the latter for their ClearView Flex product and service.

Host Kirsten Vangsness presents an award to Alex Cyrell, Roger Barton, and Brad Thomas from Evercast at the 72nd Engineering Emmy Awards ceremony.
  • Meetecho’s Janus for the server and some extra platform work. (Interestingly enough, Sohonet clear view also uses Meetecho’s Janus server and the webrtc stack).

II. OBS with WebRTC Inside!

The Evercast solution publicly leverages a modified version of OBS (21) to support streaming webrtc (69) originally developed by CoSMo in collaboration with Evasyst, an e-Gaming company which since pivoted and rebranded itself Kast.

  • multiple codecs rooms
  • support for VP9 & AV1
  • 5.1 audio pass-through for Janus, and the equivalent for OBS.
  • SDI support through Black Magic Decklink Devices
  • websocket remote control, and much more.

III. Beyond OBS … Advanced workflows with Millicast Encoder, Studio & Player

OBS-studio is perfect for the original use case of streaming one’s screen from a consumer PC to a social platform using RTMP. For that workflow it’s a great tool with little to nothing one can really complain about. Not to mention it’s FREE. The limitations only arise when trying to use OBS for things it was not originally designed for.

Millicast Encoder

The Millicast Encoder is responsible for encoding the original source on a computer connected to a physical capture device (SDI, HDMI) or virtual device on the network ( NDI).

Millicast Player

A significant amount of users are also using OBS-studio-webrtc as an adaptor. They receive a stream through NDI, or through a browser source (see below), or other creative ways; and either push it to a professional SDI display or masquerade it as an NDI source for other software running on the same LAN.

  • Tablets
  • and TV playback with Chromecast and Apple TV.
  • iOS: iPhone & iPad
  • AppleTV.
Millicast Player Beta on TestFlight

Millicast Studio

The original use case, which involves capturing multiple sources, mapping audio channels, mixing audio, compositing frames and so on is still important. These days people want to do it with several encoding pipelines in parallel, and on their iPad.

IV. Quality, Innovation and Differentiation

Software quality

In terms of software quality, I would say that OBS is under tested. Like anything else, if it is not tested it is broken. They have a very agile process, and fix bugs very quickly, but lack a complete thorough test suite with coverage and other usual tools most open source project users have become used to.

Innovation and differentiation.

It is unlikely that WebRTC will gain wide adoption for production and broadcast use cases if it remains based only on the version implemented in the browsers.

  • Better bit depth (10bits)
  • 4:4:4 chroma sampling
  • Dynamic color space (HDR)
  • Scalable codecs

V. Take Away for Christmas

Millicast and CoSMo are releasing today the latest version of OBS-studio-webrtc for desktop. It is fully synchronized with the latest version of OBS-studio, v26.

Annex 1 — Evercast at IIT-RTC 2017

Speaker: Alex Cyrell
Company Name: Evercast, LLC
Title: Co-Founder
Bio: Co-founder Evercast, LLC, Pioneering the implementation of RTC in Movie and TV Production. As founder and President of OmniMount Systems, Inc., Alex Cyrell took OmniMount from garage level early start-up, through several growth plateaus into an international enterprise currently exceeding nine figures in revenue. He designed, engineered & marketed an extensive line of products with myriad applications-across a spectrum of industries. He established broad B2B and B2C distribution. International sales exceeded 60 countries. He has been awarded numerous patents & international awards in design engineering, media & advertising, including the prestigious Clio & Mobius awards. He personally wrote an Underwriters’ Laboratory (UL) standard. Executive Producer: ANOTHER ROAD HOME Released in over 40 movie theaters to critical acclaim from major media outlets e.g. The New York Times, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, CNN and many others. Co-founder, Future Primitive Designs, Ltd. Developed breakthrough detail replication methods and tooling processes that enabled miniaturization of over 400 miniature guitars, microphones & symphonic instruments. Sales reached over 8000 stores and museums. Global sales exceeded 50 countries. Partner, Desert Dreams Productions, LLC: music recording, publishing & music video production-an evolution of Cyrell’s early career as a professional musician, playing with music industry legends Michael Jackson, Tom Jones, Big Joe Turner, among others. Cyrell has consulted in several diverse industries; from green construction to health care/advanced medical diagnostics. He has been a ‘Technopolis’ mentor and guest lecturer at Arizona State University’s School of Mechanical Engineering. A member of Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA); National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). BA Hofstra University. Graduate Studies: Graduate Faculty, The New School.

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The Fastest Streaming on Earth. Realtime WebRTC CDN built for large-scale video broadcasting on any device with sub-500ms latency.