DISH Network just made a major splash with the announcement of an entry-level video production system targeted towards YouTube, Facebook Live and other streaming service content creators. The new product, released under the Sling Media subsidiary, is dubbed SlingStudio and is slated to go on sale in May with a price tag of $999.
This portable video production system is completely optimized to work with live streaming services thanks to a private, built-in Wi-Fi network. The SlingStudio allows up to 10 cameras (or smartphones) to wirelessly connect to the device while users monitor up to four of these feeds at any given time. This control—which allows video and sound editing on the fly—is accomplished via an iPad app, while the device itself records to an external USB hard drive that will sync and push content out to Facebook Live, Twitch, YouTube and other streaming sites.
SlingStudio is attempting to make multi-camera shoots affordable. The industry standard is currently the NewTek Tricaster, which can cost up to five figures and prices out many hobbyists and small companies from these types of valuable tools.
DISH CTO Vivek Khemka was interviewed by Variety and spoke about this new product, stating:
“Existing multicamera video platforms run upwards of $5,000 at a market entry point. Where Facebook and YouTube have democratized live streaming, SlingStudio is democratizing the gear that directors need to make those streams great. With its accessible price and easy-to-use apps, SlingStudio changes how content creators can think about producing video.”
While the SlingStudio will certainly be more affordable than a Tricaster setup, many users will likely end up paying a bit more than the $999 MSRP. DISH plans to offer a suite of accessories, some extremely necessary, which will increase the costs. One of the most integral is the CameraLink, a $349 adapter that connects into an HDMI port of a camera and enables wireless connectivity for use with the SlingStudio. Additional battery packs to increase the SlingStudio’s uptime will run you $150 per pack.
Regardless, this product pledges to offer a lot of bang for the buck and opens the door for users to get professional production values at a hobbyist’s cost. Expect the quality of live streams to go up across the board once the SlingStudio is released and starts making its way into the hands of makers.