AFO Live Stream Update – The Budget

Here’s a quick update on my planned budget and how it’s tracking. Planned

Item Budgeted
Wirecast $495
Camera $400
Misc $105
Total $1000

Actual (so far)

Item Budgeted
Wirecast $845
Sony HDR-PJ540 $365
Microphone Adapter Cable $8
Camera Hot Shoe Adapter $20
Microphone Foam Wind Cover $3
Total $1241

Yes, I’m already over budget. Wirecast has two versions, standard and Pro. It turns out that the Pro version is required to control A/V sync properly. It costs $995. I contacted their sales department and got a %15 discount. Total cost: $845. I decided it was worth the extra cost since that feature was specifically one of my stated goals, especially with the discount. The camera I bought has the perfect features for this live streaming project and retails for close to $600 new. After shopping on ebay for a bit I ended up with a used one for $365. The other miscelaneous items are to connect a microphone to the new camera. There still may be a few small items yet to purchase, but I’m hoping to get by with what I already have, or can borrow. I was hoping to stay under budget enough to squeeze in a Pelican case to protect all of the equipment during travel. Alas, that may have to wait until next time. I’ll post a budget update if I acquire anything new. Thanks to everyone who has donated to the fundly campaign. Now you know exactly where the money is going.

AFO Live Stream Update – New Camera

This camera will bring the HEIN to your computer screen.

This camera will bring the HEIN to your computer screen.

Today I picked up a new (to me) Sony HDR-PJ540 camera. This means the live streaming gear is now equipped with 3, HD sony cameras. While far from being a professional, or even prosumer level camera, it has some nice features that should improve the live stream from AFO 2014. First, it has a microphone input. This will allow for conducting interviews or picking up audience reactions without the background hiss that comes with many built in microphones. Second, it has a very good stabilization system that will hopefully improve action shots. Third, is that it is still fairly cost effective, though it is more expensive than the other two cameras (Sony HDR-CX220) currently in the kit.

These guys, directed by human volunteers, will bring you AFO 2014.

Directed by human volunteers, these will bring you AFO 2014.

So, with wirecast loaded and the new camera in hand, it’s time to do some testing. I have always strived to run these streams on a very small budget. As such, the other cameras are the lowest entry level models and don’t include anything beyond the basic point and shoot video features. Not only am I looking forward to learning some of the advanced features of this camera, but I really think that it will improve the quality and capability of the AFO 2014 live stream, which is part of the overall vision.

Anyone subscribed to my ustream channel may see the stream go on and off. Feel free to tune in and let me know how it looks. Perhaps later I’ll do an official test broadcast.

Also, thank you to everyone who has donated to help make this possible. Funds were directly applied towards this camera. Of course, there’s still time to donate to the AFO stream, or to tell your friends that this is worthy cause. All help is extremely appreciated. Sharing our sport and spreading the jam are truly a community effort.

Stay tuned for more updates. I’ll talk about my budget, progress on testing, any marketing efforts that are underway, and more! Also, would anyone out there like a writeup on my live stream setup? Maybe it could help others build their own. Or is there anything else that you want to hear about? Let me know in the comments.

The AFO Live Stream Vision

In my initial request for help streaming AFO 2014, I set a goal of making it the best live stream ever. So, what does that mean? Well, I am starting with very lofty goals. I think they are doable, but they will take alot of of work. So, don’t be disappointed if only some of this comes to fruition. If we don’t make it for AFO, there’s always the next big event. Here they are in a nutshell:

Improved Software: Since FPA 2013 I have been using open source (free) software. While it works, it is not as fully featured as a paid software package. I’m planning to purchase Wirecast. This will allow me to keep audio & video in sync and to support multiple quality streams. It also opens the door for better graphics embedded in the stream.

Better Graphics: Ryan Young is working on an electronic judging system. As part of that effort he will output a screen that includes scores, players names, and other information. I will be able to pull that into the stream.

3rd Camera: Most events I have streamed use a single camera because it is the easiest to produce. However, for major events I like to setup 2. It gives better viewing angles and a more professional feel. So why a 3rd camera? 2 reasons. 1st, I want the 3rd camera to be fully wireless. This way it can move in the jams and find the best viewing perspectives. 2nd, I’d like to add post routine interviews to the stream. A mobile camera, with microphone will make this easier.

Commentators: Most professional sports broadcasts have commentators. My hope is that commentary will help keep new viewers tuned in and maybe turn them into fans. All I need a 1 or 2 extra mics, a better mixer, and 2 knowledgable people willing to add commentary. Anyone want to volunteer?

Audience Audio: I’ve had numerous requests to mic the audience. Viewers like to hear the cheers as a team shred. I’ve been trying to figure this out since FPAW 2013. I almost had it working at FPAW 2014, but the software I had was too limited and I had to turn it off. With the new software, I will try again at AFO.

Better Promotion: I know we have a good product. And I believe the more people who see Freestyle Frisbee, the more people who will become fans or even become players. So, getting the word out about the live stream could be the most important aspect of all this. Exactly how to do this, I am still figuring gout. Any ideas? Perhaps this is a good topic for future posts.

So, what do you think of the list? Will these items improve the stream? Think we can really pull it off? Which items are the most important? Let me know in the comments, or by sending an email. And if you want to help, don’t forget to donate at my Fundly campaign.

AFO Live Stream – first milestone

A few weeks back, I submitted a Spread the Jam Grant to the FPA to help with the cost of professional live streaming software called Wirecast. This software is integral to making the stream better. It allows for controlling A/V sync, managing multiple cameras, producing multiple quality streams, and much more.

Well, today the FPA approved my grant request. So, I now have Wirecast up and running on my streaming laptop. I am learning it’s ins and outs and preparing it for use at AFO 2014.

In the next day or two I’ll share a little more about my grand vision for live streaming AFO 2014. But, this software is a key component. Thanks to the FPA for supporting this endeavor!

Also, thanks to everyone who has donated so far to my fundly campaign. It’s just shy of 40% of my goal.

Live Stream for AFO

ls1The AFO team has asked me to live stream the event. They want to make this the best live stream to date. Of course I said yes! I love that I can help bring my jamily closer together and maybe even spread the jam.

But, I can’t do it alone. It’s truly a community effort. Tournament directors pitch in money, equipment, and internet access. Jammers on site volunteer to run a camera or man the computer system. Other jammers and friends donate their cameras, tripods, microphones computers, and more. And, of course I put in lots of time and money as well.

Knowing that we are such a community oriented group, I am making the call out for help to make the live stream at AFO be the best live stream to date! If you will be at AFO and are willing to run a camera, help with setup, or anything else, please let me know. Also, if you happen to have a video camera, tripod, microphone, or audio mixer, and are willing to bring it along, let me know what it is. I’m hoping to setup a 3rd camera for AFO…the first 3 camera freestyle frisbee stream.

For AFO I am also trying something new. I have started a fundly to give more people the opportunity to help out. Funds will go directly towards covering the costs of doing the live stream.

If you enjoy the live streams and want help make them continue, please do what you can to help. Or, share the link and spread the word.

One last thing. I don’t want to inundate everyone on this list with regular status updates and continual requests for help. So, if you want regular updates, check the blog at

Thanks. I’m looking forward to jamming with everyone at AFO and sharing the competition with everyone who can’t make it.

Live Streaming FPAW 2014

FPAW 2012 BannerThis year’s Freestyle Frisbee World Championships is in Medellin, Columbia. What, to far to go to watch? Don’t worry, we will be working to live stream the event. Alot of things have to come together for this to work, but so far things are looking good. Check out our Live Freestlye page to watch it live. The event starts on July 31st and goes for 4 days. I will be updating this site with more details, schedule, etc so check back often. Hope to see you there. But if not, then let’s meet online.

Watch The Jammer’s 2014 Live

The Jammers 2014The Jammer’s freestyle frisbee tournament is one of the most fun frisbee events around. Players are coming from all over the USA to show thie best frisbee tricks on the Jacksonville beach. One thing about freestyle frisbee…a good beach wind makes the tricks that much more amazing. So what do you do if you can’t make it to the beach on May 31st? WHy, tune into the live stream! This year Heinsville will be live streaming the event. Expect the stream to turn on around 12:30 EST with competition play beginning around 1p. Click here to watch: