I have had the Teradek Vidiu Go for couple of months.
I have to say that I was extremely skeptical at first, as I usually am when someone says “you won’t believe it” but now I believe.
Late in March, our basketball team competed for the state championship. The arena where the championships are held in the Coliseum in Macon, Georgia. If you know anything about Macon and particularly the coliseum area, you know that cell signal is at a premium. When I arrived that night, I tried to text a teacher from another school who was in the building but struggled to get a signal to him. I thought this is the perfect place to see if the Vidiu Go will actually do what it is billed to do.
I had already tested the Vidiu Go to make sure it would work while I was in my classroom. I added the information about the stream (READ AS: tell facebook what you want to title the video and a description - more on that later) and I was ready to go. I started the stream before the team came out (Facebook streaming time: ALWAYS GO EARLY! You don’t want to miss something as you are trying to connect). Again, I was concerned because I had just tried to send a couple of texts with very limited luck. The stream connected in seconds… Check out the unedited walkout footage below.
I’d say that worked and worked well. The key to the strength of the Vidiu Go lies in the TWO 4g LTE connections. I was able to use two cellular connections to give me enough bandwidth to stream HD footage in the same place were minutes earlier I didn’t have enough bandwidth to send “where are you?” via text.
The real test for if the Vidiu Go would work came after the game. After the photos, trips to hug parents, etc, it was time for the team to celebrate together. So if the VidiuGo will work on the court in the area, how well will it perform, not only under the stands but two layers deep into the player’s locker room? Take a look (Don’t judge the camera work…. It had been a VERY long day):
As you see, the Teradek VidiuGo held it’s own until the 2nd door closed! I was shocked, I was certain that it would not last that long. I knew for sure that as soon as I entered the first door the signal was lost but, to my surprise, I was able to stream live for the most important part of the celebration.
Last month, I wrote about how small the VidiuGo is and how it fits perfectly on the camera but I hadn’t really dug deep into what it can do. I actually surprised some of the marketing folks at Teradek when I mentioned the graphic overlays. The Vidiu Go has graphic overlays built into the system that can be edited live inside the menus. While I would not suggest you use the scoreboard graphic for basketball, you could certainly use it for baseball or soccer. It’s pretty simple but having to update it every time a basketball team scored would be too cumbersome. Like the score overlay, the text overlay is extremely simple to use. It does leave a little green haze around the text during the times that I have used it but nothing too crazy.
So the only downside with the overlays and the setup for the live stream is accessing the menus. Actually getting to the menus is easy but making changes on the fly can be a little cumbersome. It’s not a deal breaker but adding text or changing the text for different live streams takes a couple of minutes because you have to click to delete each letter/number of the text then add each letter via a scroll to make the new text. Again, the Vidiu Go is small and my hands are not.
The Vidiu Go helped me several times during the baseball season. As you may know, baseball is played in an open field usually quite a distance away from buildings for obvious reasons. Sometimes the games are played at completely different parts of town from the school. One example that I experienced happened to be our the last game of the regular season. The field was located about 3 miles from the school. The only power in the venue was on the concession stand wall that was actually inside the field of play and in the park bench known as a press box at the top of the stands. In addition to the premium on power and connectivity, space was a concern. When we go on the road, we don’t have a huge setup but we do need space for a table and a couple of chairs. The only place we could find that vast of an amount of space was actually between the backstop fence and the home bleachers. This was also the best place for me to run power from the “press box.”
As you can see in the photo, the Vidiu Go mounts easily on top of the camera and takes an HDMI or SDI feed so whatever you have, you are good to go. This set up was pretty easy, I ran one power supply from the press box and with a surge protector provided power to the camera, Vidiu Go and a small 2 channel mixer. With those three things, we had a broadcast with a graphic and play by play! As a small program, it was great to be able to really do this show with 2 people. Play by play and a camera operator. If your camera operator can carry a thought and operate a camera at the same time, you can throw a headset on them as well and you now have play by play and color as well as a good looking show (BTW: I hate fixed camera broadcasts of any sport thought baseball and softball seem to be the most frequent victim of this treatment…)
After using the Vidiu Go for three or so months now, I have to say that I am beyond impressed with how well it works and how dependable it has been for me. I typically stream to youtube and the NFHS Network and have had no issue with either. I definitely suggest you give it a shot - especially if you are a school that has to travel a great distance in order to play other teams or are in an area where internet connectivity is rare if at all.
Tom White is the digital media instructor at Morgan County High School in Madison, GA. Currently teaching TV production and animation pathways, Tom's programs have received state and national honors including the 2016 NFHS Network School Broadcast Program Of The Year.
Prior to teaching, Tom was a marketing, promotions, and online content director for a major radio corporation in Atlanta. Tom studied exercise science at High Point University prior to his radio career. Despite his winding career path, his mother still thinks he is special.