No working day is ever the same for Freelance Technical Director Lutz Conneus. In any given week, the Hamburg, Germany-based professional can be found developing a live stream workflow for a local public broadcaster, live streaming an indie band’s concert to YouTube, or supporting AV for a corporate launch event. A live production chameleon, he’s able meet a range of live streaming and AV needs using a small arsenal of AJA gear, including the HELO H.264 streamer/recorder, the Io 4K audio and video I/O device, and the Ki Pro Ultra Plus digital recorder, among other tools.
When German Public Broadcaster ARD wanted to create a parallel feed of its live programming for Facebook Live, it called in Conneus for an assist. Having worked with the AJA HELO on previous projects, he introduced the device into the workflow two years ago and it’s been going strong ever since. The setup consists of several cameras and incoming signals that are run through on-site servers and a router as a single HD output to HELO which then streams through to Facebook Live, Periscope and YouTube using streaming service ContentFlow.
“ARD tried other solutions prior to HELO but found the HELO UI to be much faster and more efficient, and has been impressed by the overall experience. It’s been a game changer for their workflow, because it’s so easy to use that even the social media reporters are able to access and use the web GUI to start and stop streaming,” Conneus shared.
His vast AV repertoire has also attracted the attention of corporations looking to advance their live streaming strategies. One such company enlisted his help to stream an employee intramural sports match to YouTube. For this project, Conneus used three Sony cameras, each with SDI outputs, which were fed through an AJA Io 4K video and audio I/O box to a Mac running Telestream Wirecast. The switched signal from Wirecast comprising all three camera feeds was then sent out of Io 4K as one output and run through HELO, then encoded, streamed to YouTube, and recorded to a USB drive.
“I absolutely love how Wirecast and Io 4K work together. With Io 4K, you can easily get four SD streams into Wirecast with the speed of Thunderbolt, while generating a single output. It saves a lot of CPU usage too,” Conneus explained. “And clients love that I have an H.264 recorder like HELO that’s not only easy to use but also generates a USB file that I can hand off directly after.”
Conneus’ clientele also includes musical artists and groups looking to live stream concerts to Facebook Live, YouTube and other social streaming platforms. For local band Mom’s Pride, he recently deployed a workflow in which three iPhones captured the on-site performance, footage that was then fed through the NDI camera app into Wirecast via a WiFi connection, and the output was ultimately sent through Io 4K into HELO and then to Facebook Live.
“The HELO and Io 4K are some of the best investments I’ve made. They’re easy to use and extremely reliable, especially compared to other solutions out there. AJA gear is a great deal for the quality and functionality you get; you easily recoup costs in just a few uses,” Conneus noted.
Some of his jobs also require playout of pre-made content, for which he’s come to rely on AJA’s Ki Pro Ultra Plus. When supporting live production for a major car manufacturer’s launch event, he set up the client with a Ki Pro Ultra Plus to support four streams of HD playback within a single UltraHD raster of pre-developed content. Whatever the project at hand, Conneus continues to find use for AJA kit.