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msmuit 17th April 2012 15:14

Hardware encoder question
I want to do a live broadcast. My source will be a video switcher that has USB out connected to my laptop. Obviously there is a load on the laptop cpu to do the encoding.

If I were to buy a hardware encoder such as Blackmagic h264 pro would there be a much lighter load placed on the laptop cpu?

I am assuming that the blackmagic box would be doing the encoding instead of the laptop.


ernielive 17th April 2012 17:50


The Black Magic H.264 Pro Recorder is actually pretty hardware intensive. I suggest at least an i5 CPU (i7 is recommended) with 8GB of RAM if you decide to go that route.

msmuit 18th April 2012 09:30

Thank you for the response!

Would I gain anything by purchasing the H.264 Pro Recorder if I already have a video switcher that plugs into my laptop by usb?

ernielive 18th April 2012 11:41


The H.264 Pro Recorder is certified to work with our Procaster software for quick and easy set up and streaming. Procaster may not detect uncertified devices, and we may have a harder time troubleshooting if you run into any issues using an uncertified device.

thisisafrica 17th January 2013 04:36

Only saw this thread now, I actually bought a H264 box assuming since it's certified for Livestream and it generates H264, no re-encoding would be needed.

Streamed an event in December and my small AMD laptop was not able to keep up processor wise - had to attach a Macbook since re-encoding was needed.

So the way I see it there is no specific advantage for Livestream to this box encoding H264 although the resulting image is quite good.

ernielive 17th January 2013 10:29


The advantage of using the H.264 Pro Recorder is that you can broadcast in high quality over USB 2.0. The Pro Recorder decodes the video before it is re-encoded by Procaster. As you've noticed, this process is extremely CPU intensive and requires a higher end CPU such as an QuadCore i7 to keep pace.

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