EasyWorship has always been in the business of making your job in the sound booth easy. Let’s face it, if you’re a volunteer, you don’t have a lot of extra time to spend making tech in the sound booth work for you. Anytime we can find something that will give you big functionality with very little work, we want to share it.
At the latest WFX conference in Orlando, I was able to talk with Tim at Magewell.us about their Ultra Stream boxes. Hearing the simplicity and capabilities of this little box about the size of a Roku 4 sounded like something that would be very beneficial to the church market we service.
The Ultra Stream comes in HDMI and SDI flavors. It has a loop through which eliminates a need for a splitter. Plug in an HDMI/Source, like EasyWorship PC, Camera… And pass it through to a monitor, projector or other video equipment down the line. Less equipment in your system is always a plus as it reduces complexity.
The next thing you’ll notice when looking at the Ultra Stream is that it has a USB port. This USB port allows you to record whatever you’re streaming to a USB flash drive. In the event you have a problem with your streaming service or internet provider, you still have a local backup that can be edited and posted at a later time. Not only can you use this USB port for recording, but you can also use it with a USB 3G/4G modem for mobile applications. It’s amazing what you can do with a single USB port when you know your market.
When adding devices to my system I get tired of dealing with the many different AC to DC converters (bricks) I have to have space for on my power strip. The power connector for the Ultra Stream can plug into a power brick or directly into a USB port on your computer. I found this refreshing, as I didn’t have to climb under my desk to plug it in. The simplicity of plugging it into an open USB port on my computer or USB hub is very attractive and simplifies cable management.
The Ultra Stream also sports both wired and wireless network connection support. No matter what environment I’m in, I can always have a network connection to stream to. Wired network setup is plug and play, but the WIFI connection isn’t much harder if you have the app on your phone. Which is one of the smartest things Magewell did with this device. Not only did they make the device robust for today’s connectivity needs in both network and video, but they developed a dead-simple app to go with it.
My assumption when I received this device is that I would have to plug it into a wired connection, access a webpage that is hosted on the device to configure the settings for streaming and wifi. This surprisingly is not the case. When I received the unit, I had it up and running in minutes with the help of the app from the app store. When I opened the app, the device was found immediately over Bluetooth. This allowed me to configure the WiFi settings. In the app, I can add streaming services I want to stream to, preview what is being broadcast and record to my phone or tablet. The simple yet capable app made what could have been frustrating, a frustration-free process.
Finally, after setting up the Ultra Stream the device can be operated with the two buttons on the top of the device. Press the green button to start streaming. Press it again to stop streaming. Press the red button to start recording to an attached flash drive, or press it again to stop recording. Once this device is set up, your weekly streaming tasks can be as easy as pushing a button at the beginning of the service and pushing it again at the end. That’s it! Push-button streaming is here friends. Any volunteer can handle streaming with this device.
For more information on purchasing the Ultra Stream from Magewell, visit their website. magewell.com/ultra-stream