Livestream wants to democratize live broadcasting and is offering this little box to do it
For less than $300, the pocket-size Broadcaster Mini can wirelessly broadcast live 1080p video to millions from any camera with an HDMI output.
Joshua GoldmanManaging Editor / Advice
Managing Editor Josh Goldman is a laptop expert and has been writing about and reviewing them since built-in Wi-Fi was an optional feature. He also covers almost anything connected to a PC, including keyboards, mice, USB-C docks and PC gaming accessories. In addition, he writes about cameras, including action cams and drones. And while he doesn't consider himself a gamer, he spends entirely too much time playing them.
ExpertiseLaptops, desktops and computer and PC gaming accessories including keyboards, mice and controllers, cameras, action cameras and dronesCredentials
More than two decades experience writing about PCs and accessories, and 15 years writing about cameras of all kinds.
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It's still rare to find cameras with wireless livestreaming capabilities built in, and add-on solutions are typically aimed at professionals. That's why the Broadcaster Mini is so remarkable.
Through a Micro-HDMI port on the side of this little red box -- it measures just 2.9 inches wide by 2 inches deep by 1 inch high (73x51x25.5 mm) -- you can connect to any camera with a clean HDMI output -- new or old -- and start wirelessly broadcasting live video. Not bad for $295 (£190 or AU$375, converted), which undercuts Teradek and its similarly featured VidiU Mini at $499.
The Mini's HDMI input supports video up to 1080i, which it can then encode on the fly in H.264/AAC at up to 1080p at 4Mbps. You can then use the box's built-in 802.11n dual-band wireless (2.4Ghz or 5Ghz) to send your video to Livestream's viewing platform that can be watched on any device from smartphones to computers to a Roku box.
All of the setup and control of the Broadcaster Mini is done through an iOS or Android app on your smartphone or tablet. The app even allows for two-way communication between you and your viewers.
A built-in battery lets you stream cordlessly for up to 2 hours, but you can power it off its Micro-USB port with an AC adapter or a battery pack. LED status lights on the back offer some feedback on remaining battery life as well as HDMI and Wi-Fi connections and if you're stream is ready and live.
All in all it seems like a solid solution for simple, straightforward live broadcasting at a more affordable price (as long as you're OK with using Livestream's services, of course). But for those who need a more robust solution, there's the new Broadcaster Pro.
It's slightly larger, but has a longer battery life at more than 3 hours; a full-size HDMI input; 3.5mm line-in audio input and headphone out; a 10/100 Ethernet port; a USB port for connecting a 4G LTE modem; and an OLED display for settings and feedback. Wi-Fi and encoding support are the same as the Mini.
The Livestream Broadcaster Pro will be available in April for $495 (£325 or AU$635, converted).