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Live Stream hardware 2021 - what's current?

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I'd like to do a live stream for the VIR 24 hour, but I'm not well versed on how all of the parts work, nor familiar enough with it to know what I'm looking for.  There is surprisingly little information about live streaming from your car that doesn't include doing it through a direct app on your phone (which requires something like 1000 followers).


The Yi4K seemed to be the 'cheap but good' option but it is now NLA so the cheap part goes away.  Is there a new "good but cheap" option out there?


I found a write up of how to do it with a Rasperry Pi, one of my kids has  couple on his desk that he plays with, but he's not 100% sure he can make it work reliably.


The other bits about renting a hot spot seem pretty straight forward, but the camera to broadcast interface seems like you need a $400 Go-pro brand camera.


Any advice?

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  • Technical Advisory Committee
Posted (edited)

@MMiskoeyou can still find yi4k cameras online. At least you could in February. I bought one for about $130 and followed Paulie’s instructions. 
weve played with it creating livestreams to my YT channel but have not used it in a race yet. Others are still using this method successfully. 
iirc you need at least a hero 4 or later to be able to livestream with a go pro, so the pricing of the yi4k, and its livestream connection simplicity were always pluses that are still there. 

Edited by mcoppola
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Bit of a hijack, but just learned that daypasswireless is no longer offering Verizon hotspots, just T-mobile/sprint. Does anyone have any experience renting from any other services that still use Verizon? 

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  • 4 months later...

I have been falling down the car live streaming rabbit hole for a couple years now, and can tell you that finding a reliable solution on a cheap budget is wishful thinking.  I have jacked around with 2nd hand Yi4k's, GoPro's and hot spot rentals, power issues, charging issues, name a problem and I have probably experienced it.  I have wasted several hundred on crap that I probably should have just bit the bullet the first time.  That said, a very nice solution for the encoding your video source and transmitting it to YT (without that 1K subscription bs) is the Magewell Ultrastream.  Operates off 5v, has held up to Texas heat, encoded video quality is much nicer than the Yi4K, supports addtional audio feeds and most importantly has been rock solid reliable for me.  This is a standalone encoder, so you will need a camera that can output to an HDMI (or SDI which is a different model). 



For me, the last hurdle, down the rabbit hole, that I will be jumping over is the "hot spot rental".  We have had pretty good luck with DayPassWireless, but then our last H2R race had awful internet connections which resulted in annoying laggy video feed and interuptions.  The odd thing is we had a fantastic connection at the same race a year earlier.  Nevertheless, for us the the last piece of the puzzle is the upgrade to a cellular modem.  We are picking up a Peplink BR2 Max Min, but you can get older CradlePoint unit pulled from service vehicle for around $100.  Then all you need is a PrePaid Sim data plan from ATT or VZN which is the same price I was paying for my DayPassWireless 4-day rental with shipping.


As for my camera I went with a barebones professional POV camera called the AIDA HD-100.  The main driver for me is it has a larger video processor chip, so it will produce a better image than your typical consumer grade POV camera (ie. GoPro, Yi4K, etc).  It camera body also supports standard CS-Mount lens, so I can OPTICALLY get the field of view I want in the car and not just some "digital zoom" that your consumer grade cameras do.  Being a pro-grade camera it has been reliable, as long as it has been fed probably power.  It operates of 12v, and you cannot screw up the polarity, ask me how I know.  :(  Thankfully, AIDA has been fantastic in supporting us, as they warrantied the camera after killing it in a car that had the voltage polarity reversed.




Edited by BryanPendleton
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  • 2 weeks later...

The setup going into our car is a Peplink UBR dual sim with VZW and ATT sims and paying the annual subscription to use their WAN bonding technology. In car encoder pulling from a GoPro8. With the encoder the camera feature set itself becomes less important, and I will limit my stream to 720p to conserve bandwidth (unless I have strong enough signal for 1080 to be reliable).

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