The miniCASTER is a pocket-sized hardware encoder that sits on a camcorder to convert video signals into live IP-based streams for news reporting and location broadcasts. It was developed by leading online video and live streaming service TV1.EU, which is based in the Bavarian district of Unterfoehring, one of the main media areas of Germany.
The core system uses H.264 HD compression to encode the feeds, which can be delivered over landline, dual-band WiFi, satellite or 3G/4G networks to CDN (content delivery networks) and video platforms. The miniCASTER produces one HD and one SD stream in parallel and is also able to record the camcorder output on to a SD card at the same time.
The miniCASTER has been built on to now offer a range of systems. Among these is the NewsSpotter, a satellite uplinking system that operates in the Ka band and comes in three models, a basic flyaway package, a car-mounted unit and the AirFly, which combines the vehicle arrangement with a solid flight case for loading on to aeroplanes.
The StreamMachine is described as the Swiss Army knife of live encoding and is an SDI hardware unit for both multi-camera web production and high-end broadcast studio links. The miniCASTER SDI receiver is designed to work with the main miniCASTER unit and offers two SDI out connectors that allows user to forward two SDI signals simultaneously. It can also produce six streams to the decoder at the same time. Streaming and transcoding packages are also available in conjunction with TV1.EU.