Telestream Wirecast 5: The Definitive Review

My review of Wirecast 5 is up on Streaming Media Magazine. To make a long story short, if you’re a Wirecast user, you’re going to want to upgrade. 

Here’s the intro, which sets the stage:

Telestream has significantly improved usability with a redesigned interface, beneficially expanded the product’s input capabilities, and upgraded the product’s plumbing with features such as x264 encoding and HD-SDI output via Blackmagic Design’s Intensity or DeckLink cards. All told, these improvements make the $129 upgrade price ($295 for the Pro version) a no-brainer decision and strengthen the product’s value proposition vis-a-vis other software and hardware production switching tools.

The article discusses the new user interface (below, click for full resolution view) and the updated Desktop Presenter feature, which allows producers to include windows on the broadcast computer as a source for Wirecast, which makes it easier to produce software demos and PowerPoint-based presentations from a single computer. Then it explored the quality and usability of the newly incorporated x264 codec and tested the ability to output an HD-SDI signal using a BlackMagic DeckLink card, which helps Wirecast integrate into traditional broadcast environments. 

wc5 1.png

Here’s the vastly simplified user interface (click to see a full resolution view).

Here’s the conclusion, which wraps things up.

Overall, in terms of usability and functionality, Wirecast 5 is a significant advancement over previous versions. I ran several longish trials, including a 12-hour broadcast to YouTube Live, and found the program very stable on two computers, the aforementioned Z400 and an 8-core Mac Pro. So, while your results may vary, I feel comfortable recommending that Wirecast 4 users upgrade immediately, and I will certainly do so myself. Note that while you can install Wirecast 5 on Macs without uninstalling previous versions, on Windows you’ll have to cut the cord and uninstall.

Again, click here to view the article in Streaming Media Magazine. 

About Jan Ozer

I help companies train new technical hires in streaming media-related positions; I also help companies optimize their codec selections and encoding stacks, and evaluate new encoders and codecs.

Check Also

Video on Best Practices for Delivering Live Video to Geographically Distributed Viewers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *