Wirecast. Everything you need to stream live from your desktop to the world.

Capture unlimited number of input devices from live camera feeds, iOS cameras, computer desktop, web feeds and more. Add polish and professionalism to your broadcast with live switching, transitions, titles, lower thirds and more. Use the built-in multiformat encoding capabilities and easily stream to integrated streaming services and CDNs.

For information and pricing for Wirecast, please contact a Piston Media Group representative (888) 829-7320 or email us at

Wirecast – Stream It Live

Use the built-in multiformat encoding capabilities and easily stream to integrated streaming services and CDNs.

For more information about Wirecast, Please contact a Piston Media Group representative (888) 829-7320 or email us at

Wirecast – Produce Your Show

Add polish and professionalism to your broadcast with live switching, transitions, titles, lower thirds and more.

For more information about Wirecast, please contact a Piston Media Group representative (888) 829-7320 or email us at

Wirecast – Capture Your Content

Capture unlimited number of input devices from live camera feeds, iOS cameras, computer desktop, web feeds and more.

For more information about Wirecast, please contact a Piston Media Group representative (888) 829-7320 or email us at


Understanding 4K And HDR In Today’s AV Environments

Ken Eagle, director of field training/technical sales at Atlona provides his take on where we are with HDR and what installers need to know.

Seeing is believing. So while we can talk to clients about HDR until we’re red-green-blue in the face, all it’s going to take to convince most people that HDR is worth all the fuss, is one good side-by-side demo. Yes, seeing is believing. After all, one way to think about HDR is that it is the key remaining qualitative difference between the rich, vivid images you see in a theatre release versus what you see in today’s high-end home theatre.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. It’s true that there’s already a lot of information out there about HDR, HDR displays and HDR content, but I’ll say it’s also true that there’s not enough out there (yet) that puts this information into a concise context for installers.

Before delving deeper, there is one question you’ll want to be prepared to answer: is HDR a fad? After all, look at 3D (ironically, many new TVs have eliminated 3D support in favour of HDR).

While no one can say with certainty what’s going to succeed, it’s a pretty safe bet that HDR is going to be with us for a while. HDR represents a major advancement in displaying more accurate, more realistic and more vivid colour with differences that are clearly visible. So much so that viewers consistently chose HDR over non-HDR as the better picture, even when HDR content is shown on lower resolution displays.

Also, in terms of the range of colours it can render, HDR is already a standard feature of cinema and TV video cameras; so while HDR content has so far been slow in coming to consumers, we can expect a gradual if not rapid increase.


So what exactly is HDR?

To start, we’ll review some of the key specifications we need for background in understanding the improvements HDR brings, starting with 4K and Ultra HD.

Unfortunately, the terms 4K and UHD get used interchangeably. 4K is shorthand and technically refers to the digital cinema specification for displays measuring 4096 pixels wide by, typically (but not part of the spec), 2160 pixels tall, creating an image area with an aspect ratio of 17:9. This is a wider-format image than seen in the 16:9 ratio used as the basis for the 1920 x 1080 pixel area associated with HDTV.

While a wide, 4K 17:9 image ratio might be desirable for cinematic productions, displays designed for home entertainment, if designed to a 17:9 specification, would waste seven percent of their pixel area when showing content shot for TV and other 16:9 formats. Scalers could resize the image to use the entire screen area, but would introduce undesirable if modest disproportion to the picture.

Ultra HD, or UHD, stems from a set of broadcast, telecomm and consumer electronics industry specifications for 4K and 8K digital TV, including a CTA (Consumer Technology Association) specification that Ultra HD displays provide an input for a minimum native signal resolution of 3840 x 2160. This is twice the vertical and horizontal resolution as full HDTV, preserving the 16:9 aspect ratio while quadrupling the number of pixels used to render the picture compared to full HD (roughly 8.3 million vs. 2.075 million pixels).

The UHD specifications also call for other improvements in bit-depth, colour gamut (both key parameters for rendering HDR video) and refresh rates.

In recent years, technologies were developed for increasing the dynamic range of pixels used in LCD video displays (as well as the dynamic range of sensors in video capture and post-production equipment) and last year the CTA released HDR10, an open standard for high dynamic range UHD video supported by major manufacturers.

Having all these pixels, whether 4K or UHD, is great for rendering more detailed images, but moving the digital data comprising them from source to display requires more bandwidth than HD. Just how much more is determined not only by the number of pixels, but also by the image refresh rate and colour depth.

Refresh rates for cinema or consumer video typically don’t require more than 60 frames per second and 24, 30 and 60fps is the common refresh rate for cinema or home video. This parameter won’t change as video moves from HD to 4K/UHD screens.

The HDTV specification for colour depth is eight bits. Interestingly, a video signal of 4K or UHD resolution and 8-bits colour depth at 60 fps, fits within the 10.2 Gb/s bandwidth of HDMI 1.4 (as well as HDBaseT) technology. This allowed manufacturers to start selling 4K sets for that generation of source and switching devices, but their only advantage was higher resolution, not the enhancements to dynamic range, which produce the most visible improvements in quality. Even if the sets were capable of HDR performance, they could not accept the data needed. These sets also came to market prior to the availability of high-speed, 18Gb/s HDMI 2.0, resulting in a generation of 4K TVs that won’t work with new generations of Ultra HD Blu-ray players, AVRs, switchers and distribution amps.

While HDTV calls for 8-bit colour, the UHD specifications call for 10-bit. This difference is more significant than the small delta in digits suggests, because each pixel is comprised of three ‘sub-pixels’ of red, green and blue, with each element defined by its colour code. For HDTV, this means each sub-pixel can render 256 colours (28), allowing each whole pixel to display up to 16.7 million colours (2563). However, with a display based on 10-bit colour, each whole pixel becomes capable of rendering over 1 billion, or (210)3, colours.


One might think this just allows 4K and UHD screens to display more shades within the exiting colour range of HDTV, but here is where Ultra HD with HDR makes the difference. Continue Reading….

For more information about 4K workflows and HDR, please contact a Piston Media Group representative (888) 829-7320 or email us at


Avid's intelligent shared storage evolves with Avid NEXIS

At the NAB show back in April, Avid ( introduced the next generation of its intelligent shared storage. Avid NEXIS represents an evolution in the company’s offerings, which date back to the mid-90s with its Unity MediaNetwork, and more recently with its Avid  ISIS line of ‘infinitely scalable intelligent storage’ solutions.
In just six months, Avid NEXIS has gained strong traction in the post production market, with sales to stop-motion animation studio Laika (The Boxtrolls, Kubo and the Two Strings) in Hillsboro, OR, and to creative post house Gorilla Post in Dublin, Ireland, among numerous others. Avid NEXIS is designed to work with all of today’s leading nonlinear editing applications, including Adobe Premiere, Apple Final Cut Pro X and Grass Valley Edius. And for those using Avid’s own Media Composer NLE, Avid NEXIS offers the strongest compatibility in the industry.
Post recently caught up with Avid Senior Principal Product Designer | Broadcast Storage & Editor Bob Russo, who lead the team that developed Avid NEXIS. Here, he explains the benefits of scalable, intelligent, shared storage and how Avid NEXIS’s ease of use allows it to easily integrate into post boutiques and much larger enterprise operations.
Post: While shared storage is not new, the ‘intelligent’ feature is something pros might not be familiar with?
Russo: “Yes, the classic education environment is a good example. You give every student a 1TB drive and you have one student that’s just sliding through, not really working very hard, and he uses 200GBs out of that drive. But then you have another student who is really motivated, and 1TB isn’t nearly enough. You purchased all of the storage but a lot of it is stuck on partially filled drives and you can’t get access to that storage.
“But with Avid NEXIS, you have a common pool of storage. It’s available to be allocated to those that need it. And when we create these volumes, they can be dynamically resized at will, as many times as you want. Other shared storage might allow for resizing, but often there’s a hit in performance when it is being resized, because under the hood they are doing a defrag. If you count the terabytes and get a number of high-quality, local, standalone drives, the pricing is probably pretty comparable, but now you have the flexibility.”
Post: Avid seems to really be touting the ease of use in setting up and maintaining Avid NEXIS?
Russo: “Absolutely…and this is something I feel very passionate about. I’m trying really hard to make Avid NEXIS as simple to set up as possible. Before we have a release, we do installation and usability testing with people not previously trained on Avid NEXIS. We see where they stumble and its very valuable. We’ve used this testing and input from the thousands of customers to simplify and enhance the user experience. Avid NEXIS | PRO brings Avid’s collaborative storage to the smallest teams, who don’t have IT support or system administrator experience. Using Avid NEXIS, they don’t need specific expertise or an IT department. We have a simple click through installation wizard that prompts the user for the few required inputs to integrate to their site. We also have simple to use browser based graphical admin screens to create users, assign permissions, create and re-size workspaces.” Continue reading….

UQAM University Selects Matrox Monarch HD H.264 Encoders as Best-in-class

Monarch HD streaming and recording appliance aids behaviour analysis research in psychology clinic’s observation rooms

Small, private, cozy rooms. Cameras on. Lights on. As senior psychology students delve into the secret minds and emotions of their patients, the interactions are streamed live to distant observation rooms where supervisors unobtrusively view the sessions in progress. At the same time, they are recorded to a secure, remote network location for later review.

UQAM is a French-language public university in Montreal, Canada with international outreach that provides unique programs and advanced research often linked with social concerns. The Centre de Services Psychologiques (CSP) clinic offers one such program where senior students acting as interns consult with real patients. Every session in the CSP’s 23 consultation rooms is recorded for medico-legal policy adherence and training purposes.

Since the consultations are considered medical acts, privacy is a main concern for the center. With their prior recording setups in every room of an analog SD camera connected to a DVD writer or a game capture device with a USB key, privacy protection was not assured. Other problems included faulty DVDs and USB devices, poor quality audio and video, and accidental loss of data, which made for an unreliable media system. These issues impelled UQAM to consider new ways of acquiring and managing their media.

“We checked out the specifications of many devices, ranging from in-computer encoder cards to self-contained devices and found the Matrox Monarch HD interesting for this project. We initially looked at it as an equivalent to the game capture devices, since it could record directly to a USB drive and had a fairly unbeatable price point. We soon realized, however, that its remote recording capability was the key to solving our privacy problem,” said Dominic Besner, Director of Operations, Audiovisual and Multimedia Technical Support at UQAM…[read more]

For more information about Matrox Monarch, please contact a Piston Media Group representative (888) 829-7320 or email us at