Newegg Engages Customer Base with Blackmagic Design Live Production Workflow
Newegg (www.newegg.com) is a leading tech-focused e-retailer in North America with a global reach into more than 80 countries in Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East. Founded in 2001, the company offers consumers a comprehensive selection of the latest consumer electronics, entertainment, smart home and gaming products.
In addition to its online retail presence, Newegg also produces a vast amount of rich video content under the moniker Newegg Studios, which publishes regularly to its YouTube channel boasting nearly half a million subscribers. Newegg Studios’ YouTube channel focuses on all things tech: consumer electronics, smart home, gaming, DIY and more. Viewers enjoy exclusive interviews, unboxings and live event coverage. Powering this successful channel is a host of Blackmagic Design gear including two URSA Mini Pro 4.6K and URSA Mini 4K digital film cameras complete with URSA Studio Viewfinders, Micro Studio Camera 4K, ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K live production switcher, HyperDeck Studio 12G recorder and several Micro Converters.
Newegg Studios’ production facility is a fully equipped content creation machine that enables Newegg to keep its customers up to date on the latest tech products, news and events.
Creating a Professional Workflow
In the early days of Newegg Studios, content was captured on prosumer video cameras and then DSLRs.
Newegg Studios’ senior manager Nick Scibetta noted, “Initially the DSLRs served us well, however they just couldn’t hold up to our strenuous production schedule, and began to fail. Blackmagic Design allowed us to use reliable professional video equipment we could count on. When we bought our first URSA Mini 4K, it elevated our production quality overnight.”
After Newegg Studios integrated the URSA Mini 4K into their workflow, the team sought additional Blackmagic Design solutions to develop a comprehensive production workflow. This included the addition of two URSA Mini 4.6K digital film cameras and an ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K live production switcher.
Scibetta described their workflow, “The URSA Mini 4K is our center camera. Behind it, we have a teleprompter so our hosts can get notes and cues. Then, we have two URSA Mini Pro 4.6Ks set up as left and right cameras. Instead of one locked-off camera in the center of the room showing everything happening, we’re able to switch between these different cameras and focus on either host or any additional guest we have in the studio that day. This makes our shows much more interesting for viewers. Also, when hosts hold smaller products, we’re able to show a close up of their hands to let the audience easily see the product they’re discussing.”
He continued, “The ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K is actually one of the pieces I’ve been most excited about. Previously, I had been limited to using software-based solutions to control our inputs. Software can do a lot, but if it glitches mid-stream, you’re stuck with a problem that typically requires a system refresh or a total restart. With the ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K, I have a hardware control panel with CCU controls and a stable solution without sync issues. We can take advantage of programmable tally lights in our URSA Studio Viewfinders and the ability to color match our cameras from the switcher. It’s been a real game changer and we try to funnel every setup through it.”
Newegg Studios utilizes three Blackmagic URSA Studio Viewfinders for an even more streamlined production experience.
Scibetta added, “When we assign the cameras in the ATEM, we’re able to point out each camera to the hosts; the tally indicator lights on the URSA Studio Viewfinders make it easy for them to see which cameras we’re using in real time. All of this runs into a control booth with several monitors to display the signals we’re getting from the hosts’ laptops. Using the ATEM, we can easily switch between these different signals to keep things dynamic.”
In addition, Newegg Studios is using a HyperDeck Studio 12G to record and pre-produce content published to Newegg Studios’ YouTube channel. The production crew uses the HyperDeck to record content, and then put it up on the website and YouTube right after it’s shot, or simply play back from the recorder during live shoots. By using the ATEM to switch between cameras easily, the crew can edit interviews live and on the spot for the first time. Previously, for interviews that weren’t being streamed live, Newegg would have to record from each camera and then sync audio with either external recordings or with one camera’s microphone channels. All of this can now be done in real time, saving storage space and production time.
Streaming for the Holidays
Newegg Studios’ content also includes timely themed livestreams where the hosts unbox, discuss and showcase the latest computer technologies and accessories. One such livestream was Newegg’s yule PC project, a creative spin on the longstanding yule log tradition associated with the holidays. In this digital recreation, the Newegg Studios team livestreamed a “yule log” burning on a custom PC build 24 hours a day throughout December.
Scibetta said, “For this stream, the main goal was to find a camera that provided excellent versatility. The Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera 4K has a simple and straightforward design, giving us a solution we could configure exactly for our needs. Another huge selling point for us was size.We’re now able to use the larger URSA Mini 4K and URSA Mini Pro 4.6Ks because they have a finite run time, so we’re less concerned about how much space the production gear takes up. With the yule PC project, we were streaming for 24 hours a day. It was basically a semi-permanent stream, so we couldn’t have it taking up valuable production space on the larger sets. The Micro Studio Camera 4K was perfect because it allowed us to set up the stream in a very small area behind one of our stages where it could run all day, every day uninterrupted and out of the way. With this project in particular, the Micro Studio Camera 4K demonstrated its durability and has shown itself, day after day, to be the right tool for a variety of jobs.”
Looking ahead, Newegg Studios plans to continue enhancing its production value with Blackmagic Design solutions.
Scibetta concluded, “Blackmagic Design is a brand I’ve been excited about for some time due to the high-quality, end-to-end solutions they provide at price points that work for us. For every project I’ve wanted to undertake, Blackmagic Design had a solution perfect for what we wanted to accomplish.”
About Newegg Inc.
Newegg Inc. is the leading tech-focused e-retailer in North America, with a global reach into more than 80 countries in Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East. Founded in 2001, the company offers its tens of millions of registered users a comprehensive selection of the latest consumer electronics, entertainment, smart home and gaming products. Newegg is consistently ranked as one of the best online shopping destinations, and the company regularly earns industry-leading customer service ratings. Newegg is headquartered in City of Industry, California, with North American distribution facilities located throughout the United States and Canada.