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"Virtual" Video switching for Live Stream?


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To begin I am not sure if this would be the appropriate area to post this in but seeing as how it incorporates video switching, this made the most sense to me.

I am looking for a product/software that I would imagine could be described as a Virtual Video Switcher. I will explain the situation and how I am imagining how it could be achieved below.

The situation:

There are large virtual events (competitions) happening in a few months that I am involved in that would normally be held in person, but due to COVID-19 it has been transitioned to virtual. These competitions run for approximately 3 weeks and consist of multiple teams competing at the same time in different scenarios. Because this is virtual, the idea is that each team would record their submission on one platform to then be viewed later by judges and then those recordings played on another platform to be viewed by attendees (Platform referring to video conferencing products). My idea is that I could have all teams join into a piece of software as "attendees" that I could then Video Stream into a live event software (Such as Zoom Webinar or Teams LIVE) so that people could view the competition in real time.


The Idea:


Each "team" would use a computer (or laptop) and a webcam and join this software/hardware/product and would then become an "input" for a video switcher (hence virtual video switching) and the video switchers "output" would be what attendees are seeing. Judges could go around to each of the "streams" so that they could do their work, but public viewers would only see the "streams" that we "output" to them.



The Problem:

I have no idea if this sort of service exists. Traditionally we would just have each booth with a camera hooked up that goes into a hardware video switcher that we can then preview and have our program sent to projectors/screen etc. What I am attempting to figure out is if I could accomplish the same idea with relatively the same amount of control, but do it in a way that doesn't require more than 4-5 people be in the same room.



Obviously, I could have X amount of computers, each running a meeting with 1 of the teams in it, and then take an output from each computer and put it into a video switcher, which would have it's program output put into a video capture card into a "master" computer that would be used for the public stream. The problem with this is that each event could have upwards of 50 teams at one time which means that we would need (ballpark) 85 computers running in the same room which is a very large risk.


Is this possible or is it far-fetched idea?



If anybody has done this sort of thing before, or knows of somewhere I could go to get more information, it would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you,



Edited by SzokeM
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https://obsproject.com sounds like it would suit you. I think it does everything you're asking for. It's free, so you can give it a try and see, either way!


The sheer number of streams is probably the limiting factor. I couldn't find any published hard limits, but I imagine you would start to hit the limits of the computer you're running on.

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Are you saying the whole thing is live or just part? You initially mention people submitting recordings for later viewing, then describe doing it live?


If it's all done live then it sounds like Microsoft Teams Live Events will do what you require. I have used it a few times at work recently.


You have a producer, which is in effect the host, with a camera input. Then you invite people as presenters, the producer has control of which presenters go 'live' to viewers.

However, regardless of who is being shown any unmuted audio is live. Also the presenters can see each other a bit like a 'normal' Teams meeting.

When you create the event, it creates a link which can be sent to viewers (who are not taking part) which will only show them what the producer decides - with the caveat of being able to hear any unmuted audio.

If it sounds a bit confusing and a bit clunky, it's because it is! Teams Live Events still has a way to go....

Oh, and it's a separate license to the rest of Office 365 and I don't know if you can buy it as stand-alone product.


If that's not what you are after, paid for Zoom may do it??


OBS would work very well if it's just one live camera and a bunch of recordings, it can stream to pretty much any platform.

Edited by sleah
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Sounds to me like a Zoom webinar.

You add all of the participants as “ordinary users”. They can all see and hear the presenter, but cannot contribute audio/video.

At the appropriate time, you “promote” each team to be a presenter, so they can be seen/heard, and “demote” them afterwards.

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Run VMix on Amazon Webservices. Completely remote control and allows multiple inputs to the system from a multitude of sources. Effectively replaces your hardware mixer. It can accept a range of inputs via NDI and srt, and running it in the cloud should help mimimise issues related to the control sites internet bandwidth.
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