How to Set Up a Multi-Camera Live Streaming Webcast [2021 Update]

multi camera live streaming

The availability of low-cost broadcast equipment and video streaming platforms has opened many doors. A major advantage of live streaming today is the all-around affordability. A decade ago, this was certainly not the case.

These days, organizations of all kinds and sizes can produce and broadcast live content. Likewise, with an online video platform like Dacast, it’s easier than ever before to stream live video, whether it is multi-camera or multi-platform streaming of your content!

Despite improved accessibility and affordability, however, some broadcasters are still concerned with how to maximize the production quality while minimizing production budgets. 

In this article, we’ll consider one particular approach to broadcasting live video streams: multi-camera live streaming. Specifically, we’ll talk you through how to set up a multi-camera webcast, all with a one-person crew. From there, we will take a look at some different tools you need to host a multi-camera stream of your own.

To get started, let’s quickly talk about the value of live streaming with multiple cameras.

Table of Contents

  • Why Stream with Multiple Cameras?
  • Challenges of Multi-Camera Streaming
  • Best Multi-Camera Live Streaming Software
    • VidBlasterX
    • Wirecast
    • OBS Studio
  • Equipment Requirements for Multicam Live Streaming
  • Set-Up and Operation 
  • Other Considerations
  • Technical Roles
  • Conclusion

Before discussing setup and equipment considerations, will go into an introduction to multi-camera live streaming.

Let’s get started!

Why Stream with Multiple Cameras?

live stream multiple cameras
There is a lot of value in multi-cam streaming.

Streaming with multiple cameras makes video content more exciting. Just look at any professional broadcast on TV or any film. The scene tends to cut between multiple different sources. 

News shows, for example, often use three cameras with the following angles:

  • A wide shot that shows the entire studio
  • A medium shot that shows both hosts and their desk
  • A tight shot that shows the head-and-shoulders of each host individually

This allows the broadcaster to switch in real-time between different views. The wide shot can be used to “establish” a setting and help the viewer orient themselves. The medium shots are ideal for interactions between multiple people. And the tight shots capture the emotion and allow for one person to take center stage.

This is basic cinematography. Multi-camera filming has been a staple of video production for more than 100 years, for good reason. It’s simply more interesting, more engaging, and generally a better way to communicate a story.

Online live streaming is no different. Streaming with split screens or switching between multiple angles is engaging. It can even be done with a single operator using fixed cameras or PTZ cameras.

Challenges of Multi-Camera Streaming

Of course, some challenges come with this method of storytelling. More cameras equal more complexity. Live streaming with multiple sources requires linking all the different cameras to one central hub, and someone has to decide which shot to switch to at any given moment. 

The person in charge of switching shots has to be fast and decisive. In general, multi-camera streaming requires increased staff-power, more equipment, and more data.

However, the advantages are worth it and this type of broadcast is getting easier than ever. In the past, multi-camera streaming required a major crew and a television studio. Today, with the use of the best live stream software, you can make high quality, multi-camera live stream with one person or a small team within a reasonable budget.

Best Multi-Camera Live Streaming Software

Multi-Camera Live Streaming Software
It is important to invest in an encoding software that supports multi-camera streaming.

You’ll need a hardware or software encoder with an HD input to create your video stream and do secure video upload. Some viable options include live stream encoding software and hardware encoders. 

Let’s take a look at three of the best live streaming software options on the market. We’ll review how they work for multi-camera streaming, from small-scale community broadcasts to private video hosting business initiatives. 

These software packages are VidBlasterX, Wirecast, and OBS Studio.

1. VidBlasterX

vidblasterx live streaming software


VidBlasterX is Windows-only software, and its unique modular design makes VidBlasterX highly expandable and customizable.

VidBlasterX Home is the basic product. It supports up to 7 modules. VidBlasterX Studio has several features for studio production of videos (hence the name) and allows for more versatile video. The Studio version supports HD and full-screen television-quality production, as well as community support. VidBlasterX Broadcast incorporates all the features of VidBlaster Studio, adds more module capacity, and is recommended for professional broadcast studios. With Broadcast, you get direct email support from the developer.

Basic Features:

  • Live mixing tools to switch between multiple sources in real-time
  • Low latency design using proprietary “SyncLok” feature
  • Modular audio mixer
  • Video effects and green screen support
  • Custom scripting language

VidBlasterX supports multiple cameras via the camera module. More than one camera module can be added to monitor and switch between different cameras.

Key Features:

  • Modular user interface; everything is customizable
  • Includes macro and scripting functionality to automate or hot-key actions
  • Supports overlays and lower thirds
  • Chroma key support
  • Live streaming and recording up to 4K resolution
  • Compatible with social media platforms as well as most OVPs, including Dacast with a direct integration
  • Audio mixer
  • Multiview support


  • Has plans for a wide range of budgets
  • Feature-rich
  • Easily customizable


  • Not compatible with macOS
  • Not well-suited for inexperienced live streamers
  • Slightly complex


VidBlasterX is available in three versions. Each of the following options is priced with an annual subscription model:

  1. The Home version ($9/year) supports 7 modules.
  2. The Studio version ($99/year) supports 25 modules.
  3. The Broadcast version ($999/year) supports 100 modules. This version also supports multiple recorder & streamer modules in a single profile.

First, the difference between the versions is the number of simultaneously active modules you can have. The Home editions support up to seven modules, enough for basic live streaming. The Studio edition supports up to 25 modules, and the Broadcast edition supports 50 modules. These higher limits allow professional users with multiple monitors to set up and oversee complex workflows.

Additionally, the Broadcast edition also supports UDP streaming, multiple streaming sources, and recorder modules in a single profile, and includes priority support.

2. Wirecast

wirecast pro streaming software


Wirecast is a powerful live streaming software that’s available for Mac and Windows. Wirecast’s live streaming software makes it easy to incorporate pre-recorded video content into your broadcast. It also supports the encoding of HD and SD sources for streams broadcast simultaneously to multiple servers and platforms.

Basic Features:

  • Support for multiple sources including cameras, webcams, IP cameras, and NDI sources
  • Screen share and videoconferencing built-in
  • Stream and record streams locally
  • Tool for animating titles and graphics

Key Features:

  • Input sources from cameras, mics, webcams, IP cameras, capture cards, and desktops
  • Ideal for sports: instant replay, scoreboards, clocks, and timers
  • The free wireless camera app allows you to use any iOS device as a video source
  • NDI support
  • Graphics and titling tool
  • Audio mixer and up to 8 audio tracks
  • Built-in video conference tool
  • Stream to more than one destination simultaneously
  • Support for MIDI hardware controllers
  • Stream and record simultaneously, with re-stream and live captions options
  • Multiple bitrate streaming
  • Integrates with Facebook Live and Twitter for sharing comments on-screen
  • Includes instant replay, scoreboard, and timers for sports
  • Free wireless camera app turns iOS devices into mobile live video sources
  • Stream to multiple destinations simultaneously
  • Integrated video chat via “Wirecast Rendezvous”
  • Local program output

The latest version of Wirecast is 14.1. It is the newest full version and was released on January 25, 2021. It features several enhancements and fixes, including FBLive polling, re-written WebStream plugin, and Virtual Camera improvements. To know more about it, you can check out its tech specs here.


  • Easy-to-use, user-friendly platform
  • Compatible with most popular operating systems
  • Fully loaded with valuable features


  • High price point
  • Many features locked in the “Studio” version
  • Consumes a lot of computer memory


The software comes in two versions:

  1. Wirecast Studio for enhanced live production & streaming: pricing is $599 with a free trial
  2. Wirecast Pro for advanced live production and streaming: pricing is $799 which also comes with a free trial

There are two different versions available. Wirecast Studio costs $599 and supports two guests via video chat.  The Pro version costs $799 and adds support for up to 7 guests via video chat, supports a wider range of capture devices, scoreboards, 3D virtual sets, and more.

Check out this document for some recommendations for using Wirecast with multiple cameras, or click here for a real-life example.

3. OBS Studio

OBS Studio Version 26.1.1


The last of the multi-camera live streaming software options we’ll examine here is OBS Studio. OBS Studio is an open-source software application available for Windows, macOS, and Linux. OBS offers many great features for new broadcasters who are just getting the hang of live streaming. The software has a set of OBS specific settings and system requirements to ensure the most optimal live broadcasting experience. The latest version of the classic OBS Studio Version 26.1.1 released on January 11, 2021, and is available for free download. 

Basic Features:

  • Support for a wide range of sources including cameras, audio devices, screen capture, webcams, etc.
  • “Scenes” feature allows you to preconfigure complex arrangements of graphics, video, overlays, etc.
  • Audio mixing capability
  • Video transitions and effects including green screen
  • Support for a wide range of plugins to add features such as NDI support
  • Modular user interface

OBS supports multiple camera sources natively. These sources (up to 8 of them) can easily be monitored via the Multiview feature. Multiview also makes it easy to transition to any of them with a single click.

Key Features:

  • HLS Live streaming and recording functionality
  • Audio and video mixing, filters, and transitions
  • Support for hotkeys
  • Chroma key / green screen support
  • Scenes allow you to prepare overlays in advance for rapid switching
  • Support for a wide range of video, audio, and image sources, as well as screenshots
  • Expandable via plugins to add NDI functionality, remote control via WebSockets, advanced scene switching, and more
  • One notable negative is that OBS Studio does not offer multi-bitrate streaming
  • Detailed wiki and highly active user forum for support/help. Many YouTube tutorials are available as well.


  • Free to use
  • Works with most OVPs
  • Works with Windows 8, 8.1, and 10; macOS 10.12+; as well as Linux
  • Is open-source for ongoing development and crowdsourced improvements
  • Great for beginners


  • Lack of detailed guidance and support
  • Very basic compatibility with macOS
  • Very taxing on CPU and memory


OBS Studio is free to use and can be modified or extended by anyone via an API, plugins, and scripts.

To learn how to live stream using OBS Studio, check out our dedicated guide to streaming with OBS on Dacast.

Equipment Requirements for Multicam Live Streaming

Just like with any professional broadcast, you’ll have to consider the live streaming equipment needs. Multicam live streaming has a few specific requirements.

We’ve already covered multi-camera live streaming software options, but let’s take a look at the camera, switcher, and audio needs.

1. Camera

You will need two or more cameras for a Multicam live stream. Your chosen cameras must be equipped to shoot in HD (high definition). These days, it’s easier to acquire affordable cameras that shoot at 1080i and output either an HDMI or HD-SDI signal. 

It is very important to shoot in HD, even when you’re streaming at SD (standard definition) bit rates. This is because HD sources have significantly higher visual quality than SD sources, even when encoded at lower bit rates to accommodate a diverse viewership.

For example, check out the Canon EOS C200 4K HD camcorder. This camera has a 4K CMOS sensor, Dual DIGIC DV 6 Image Processors, an ISO range of 100 to 102,400 dual XLR inputs, and HDMI outputs and is compact enough for travel. Make sure to select fluid head tripods that fold up compactly enough to fit in a suitcase.

2. Switcher

Seamless switching between the various cameras is a must. In addition, the ability to add transitions, effects, and graphics is key. 

Some viable switcher options include software-based products such as Telestream’s Wirecast, which we mentioned above in our encoder review. 

For hardware switchers, you might consider the Black-magic Design ATEM Television Studio, or all-in-one streaming boxes such as the Livestream HD500.

3. Audio

For some events, a few wireless mics will be sufficient. More often than not, there will be a live sound system to which you can connect. We recommend bringing your own small audio mixer to control the level of the feed you receive. 

With your own mixer, you can also add your own ambient mic. The mic can capture the audience and venue sounds not picked up by the PA system.

Another consideration is maintaining sync between the audio and video. Typically the video switcher introduces a delay of 2-3 frames, which means you want to delay your audio by the same duration.

Sometimes the solution involves routing the audio output of your mixer through one of your cameras. That way, the audio embeds the video inside the camera. Then, it reaches the switcher through one of the video inputs. At that point, the switcher maintains the audio/video sync on its own.

However, if you bring the audio directly into the encoder, note that you will need an audio delay unit to compensate for this lag.

Set-Up and Operation for Multi-Camera Live Streaming

multi camera streaming setup
Multicam live streaming requires a more complex setup than single-camera streaming.

To help put the scope of setup and operation into perspective, we’re going to run through a live streaming success story where there was a one-person crew controlling the two cameras, switcher, audio mixer, and encoder.

In this configuration, two cameras were connected to a Black-Magic Design ATEM Television Studio Switcher. The switcher was very compact and affordable, with a list price of about $1000. To use it, the operator employed a laptop as an external control surface and a field HD television as a multi-view monitor. 

The ATEM used had 6 inputs and HDMI and HD-SDI outputs. It also featured a real-time H.264 output for recording an archive of the program stream.

The HDMI program was routed out to a Matrox O2 Mini external video capture device. This device, in turn, connects to a second laptop, which acts as the encoder. A Mackie 1202 mixer receives a feed from the house PA system. 

The output then went to a Behringer DEQ2496 processor. The processor delayed the audio 2 frames. From there, it converted it to a digital AES/EDU signal for input to the ATEM switcher.

Also included in this system is a Matrox DVI convert. This convert transcodes the screen of the host’s computer into an HD video signal that you can switch to a video source. A pair of studio headphones monitor the audio from the Mackie mixer and also the encoder laptop. 

Finally, the encoder laptop also serves to monitor the webcast.

Other Considerations for Multi-Camera Live Streaming

multicam live stream
Streaming with multiple cameras is pretty straightforward and can be quite easy once you’ve gotten some practice.

There are a few other things to keep in mind when it comes to multi-camera live streaming. The most important thing is to designate one camera as your wide/master shot and designate the other for your close-ups.

You’ll spend most of your attention framing the close-ups. When you need to change angles, switch to the wide shot until your new close-up is framed properly. You may need to adjust your master shot from time to time. However, you typically use this camera to fall back to when you lose your close-up. 

The idea is to avoid panning and zooming to cover the action. You should refrain from panning unless you’re actively tracking a moving subject. 

Additionally, a small camera team is ideal, but you can certainly operate a multi-cam live stream with one single person.

Technical Roles

With the above context in mind, let’s take a closer look at the necessary roles and design requirements for successful multi-camera live streaming.

By nature, one-person multi-camera live streaming requires a single person to wear several distinct hats. These roles include:

  • The work of 2 (or more) camera-people
  • Director of programming
  • Technical engineering director
  • Audio engineers
  • Encoding engineers

This setup should be enough to get you through your first Multicam live streaming project!


I hope this post has offered you a clearer understanding of how multi-camera live streaming works. Additionally, you should now have greater insight into how you can make it happen with a one-person crew. Whether you want to stream live video on your website, broadcast live sporting events, or incorporate live streaming into your business or professional organization, knowing how to do multi-camera broadcasts can take your content to the next level.

Do you have further questions or comments about your multi-camera live streaming experience? We’d love to hear from you in the comment section below. For regular live streaming tips and exclusive offers, you can join the Dacast LinkedIn group. Whether you need enterprise-grade features, such as cloud-based video hosting, or plan to broadcast a one-time event live, we’re here to help!

New to Dacast and interested to try out our white-label streaming solutions for yourself? Why not sign up for a 30-day free trial (no credit card required)? That way, you can test out all the streaming and hosting features before making a commitment.

Good luck with your own multi-camera live streaming setup, and thanks for reading.

This article originally appeared as a part of our Tips & Tricks series educates readers on advanced tricks of the trade for video and has been updated with the latest information as of April 2021.

The series comes from the expertise of outside experts in the field, and some parts of this post were written as a guest post by Gregg Hall. He joined us from Webcast and Beyond, an online video service that researches the best equipment and techniques to produce high-quality yet affordable webcasts. Gregg founded Webcast and Beyond organization in 2010.

24 thoughts on “How to Set Up a Multi-Camera Live Streaming Webcast [2021 Update]

  1. Andrew Haley says:

    Great article! A few additional things to point out when considering an on-location setup:
    1) Wirecast also has an audio delay, so you can sync audio there without the need for a delay unit.
    2) That’s a very advanced mobile setup, but it’s certainly possible to pare down on equipment even more. For example, you can actually run the ATEM TV Studio and Wirecast on the same laptop, using a single capture card. Or, if you just want to go software switching all the way, Wirecast + two capture cards will work very well.
    3) There are a lot of great, small and very portable hardware encoders and streaming boxes that can be useful on location. The Teradek VidiU and the Matrox Monarch are two such examples.

    • Gregg Hall says:

      Hi Andrew –

      Good points! Regarding the audio delay in Wirecast I believe that function is only available in the Pro version, not the standard – but still it is nice to have this integrated into the software package. The Behringer DEQ2496 processor which I mentioned also has a compressor/limiter built in which is useful in a one-man scenario.

      With respect to running the ATEM software together with Wirecast on the same laptop, I still prefer to separate them for these reasons:

      1. The laptop running ATEM software is also capturing a high-res archive, which is protection in case the Wirecast computer crashes.

      2. Since I am monitoring the webcast on the Wirecast PC (the encoding computer), there is not enough screen real estate for the ATEM control panel, plus the Wirecast app plus the browser for watching the live stream.

      3. When I travel, I like having two laptops just for redundancy; if one fails it is possible to reconfigure as you suggest and run everything on one machine.

      Thanks again for your input!

  2. Gregg Hall says:

    Hi Thad –

    If you have Thunderbolt, I highly recommend the Black-Magic Design UltraStudio mini-recorder for $145.

    It has both HDMI and HD-SDI inputs which then feed into your PC over a thunderbolt cable. Wirecast Standard or Pro will recognize this input. Regarding USB 3.0, yes, this is a viable option but you have to be careful to use a PC that is certified to work with the BMD hardware. The issue is the USB chipset and firmware onboard your computer; be careful to select the right PC or it won’t work!

    If you have a choice, always go with SDI connections since you can achieve cable runs of up to 300 feet and do not need to worry about some of the irratic behaviors associated with the HDMI protocol. Lastly, Wirecast standard should be fine. If you bring your audio into one of your cameras then the audio and video are synchronized going into Wirecast so that you won’t need audio delay within the program. Hopr that helps!

    • thad strobach says:

      very helpful for sure. i appreciate it. in fact, i’ve already bought the black magic mini recorder and the sdi feed out of my camera is perfect. for some reason the hdmi out does not show up in wirecast. i suspect i need to get in touch with black magic over this issue.

  3. Mike says:

    Hi Gregg,
    Thank you for this great setup, but what would be a good solution if the cameras are a bit far from your setup and must go wireless?

  4. Nils says:

    Hi Greg,

    Nils here again up in Seattle. I managed to get a video feed from my canon xf-100, to the Black-Magic Design mini-recorder and have Adobe Connect see the feed. This felt like a great step in the right direction.

    Now the only problem, which I believe you mentioned as a possibility, is that Adobe Connect 9, although it has a 16:9 option, is squashing the video horizontally and is pillar-boxing. You mentioned a blog that you researched offered a possible fix. I’ve been looking at the Talking Stick pod and Flash Live Media Encoder but don’t really understand what I’m getting into or if it’s even a possible solution to fill the 16:9 frame. Any thoughts?



    • Gregg Hall says:

      HI Nils – The moral of this story is that most webinar platforms are not friendly when it comes to hooking up professional cameras whereas webcasting solutions such as will easily accomodate external a/v equipment. Nonetheless if you need to use Adobe Connect then the best path to take is to use Telestream Wirecast which will “see” your cameras, switch them and then output the feed as a virtual camera which allows other applications to grab it as though it was a webcam.

      • Nils Finholt says:

        What a journey! I indeed have had success with Wirecast for broadcasting 16:9 sd video in Adobe Connect without distortion or horizontal squishing of the frame. Thinking that I had enough to do a nice production, I picked up a Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 usb audio interface to pipe in the audio of 4 lav mics. Sounds great in theory, but it appears that Wirecast can only see one channel of the device. Doing some research I’ve found some people have used software solutions like Audio Hijack and Soundflower to work the signal into Wirecast. Others just run an analog out from the mixer into the computer audio in. I have a new Macbook Pro that no longer has an analog input. Seems like I might need to return the Focusrite (such a nice interface darn it), pick up a usb to 1/8′ adapter with a headphone jack, and use the analog out of a traditional mixer. Long-winded way to ask, how do you deal with multichannel audio running into Wirecast. It seems really surprising that Wirecast doesn’t want to play nice with a multichannel digital audio interface. Am I overlooking something?



          • Dacast Team says:

            Thank you reading us! Because the comment you are answering is now two years old, OP might never see your comment and answer it.
            I would seriously recommend you to contact Telestream (Wirecast) or Adobe in order to fix any issue related to the two previously quoted products as we do not sell or support them 🙂

  5. Gregg Hall says:

    Nils – Take the output of your mixer and feed it to the XLR inputs on your camera. This will embed the audio with the video signal coming from the camera’s HDMI output jack. Wirecast will now see both audio and video from the Black Magic ultrastudio mini recorder external capture box.

  6. Mark says:

    Hello Greg.

    I plan to use 3 cameras connected to this Roland mixer. I also will use some external audio mixer just like you, in which I will plug 3 lavalier microphones. Is there any way to control all 3 channels separatly for possible latency (not sync with the video).

    Roland has the option to control each audio channel, and add up or take up to 500 ms, but when I output the master from the audio mixer, that will be group off all 3 channels in one, and will treat them as one channel, so I will not have control of individual tracks for any possible latency.

    Is there any way I can do this in the mixer itself?

    I know I can connect each microphone to the camera, and deemed sound coming from HDMI and then control each track individually, but how can I control each of them for latency if I want to use an external audio mixer.

    Thank you for your answer.

  7. Phil Cutting says:

    Hi, this is an interesting article. I’m in the process of setting up a similar business in the UK but I have no idea of rates. How much do you charge your clients for a setup such as pictured?

  8. Dacast Team says:

    Good morning Jimmy! Thank you for reading us! I will try to answer all your questions the best I can.

    1&2. You can often use the same laptop but there are some less powerful systems where we would recommend using two different computers. Otherwise you should be just fine.
    Typically, when using the ATEM switcher you would dedicate one laptop to run the ATEM, performing switching operations and recording a very high quality H.264 archive stream via a USB cable from the ATEM to the laptop. The switched output from the ATEM would then be routed to an encoder, which could be a second laptop loaded with Wirecast (I wouldn’t recommend running both applications on the same computer). The ATEM can’t encode an RTMP stream, but as mentioned it does create an excellent H264 MP4 archive. Since the ATEM handles all of the camera inputs, only one capture device is needed on the second laptop to encode the program video. You don’t need the ATEM if your laptop has multiple capture ports available and is powerful enough to handle the load (2 or more cameras + graphics + streaming + recording to disk).

    3. The Matrox Convert DVI is one of several devices out on the market which acts as a scan converter to transcode the output of a computer’s graphics card into an HD video signal that is compatible with a video switcher, or other capture device. I doubt that the Epson EB-1975W projector will output the correct HD video format (typically 1080i @ 59.94 Hz)over its HDMI port unless that is the format originating from the host computer. Some high-end laptops are capable of outputting HD compatible video in which case the Matrox unit would not be necessary.

    I hope it will help you complete your setup.

  9. Dacast Team says:

    Good afternoon Jimmy.

    Indeed, you should be able to make the stream run even with using the ATEM only. The Matrox would free your laptop of some of its workload, but I would still advise you to run some tests before considering making this purchase. Your laptop could be powerful enough to handle the streaming and the recording. It would be better to be 100% sure you need it.

    Spending a little more on the ATEM Production Studio 4K could be interesting as you’d be good to go for a long time without thinking about changing. You’d be investing for the future.

    But yes, I would still recommend you testing only using the ATEM and your laptop. If your CPU & GPU get overloaded, it would then be time to consider the ATEM.

  10. Stephen Ugah says:

    Hi Dacast.
    I wish to setup live streaming of about 6 cameras for church programs. All cameras to be wall-mounted, rotate-enabled, zooming, settings all from the control room. What setup and gears do I need?

    • Dacast Team says:

      Thank you for your interest in Dacast’s Streaming Solutions. I have forwarded your inquiry to either our sales or support team and they will reply to you shortly. Have a great day!

  11. Steve says:

    Hi, I am using blackmagic Intensity Shuttle USB 3.0 to capture video input’s and stream through OSB. Up to how many of these video captures can I connect to my video server? I have 4 USB port’s, but need to coneect 6 video capture’s. Can I use an active USB Hub to add 2 more ports?

    • Harmonie Duhamel says:

      Hi Steve, I hope you are well. Our best advice would be to ask this question to Blackmagic support and make sure you have enough bandwidth to support all these streams. Please feel free to contact us if you need any further information. Have a great day!

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