Case Studies

Magewell USB Capture Solution Delivers Live Production Reliability for SENSITIVE Agency

  • The Customer: SENSITIVE Agency, Paris, France

  • The Challenge: Bringing HDMI camera and computer sources into production software for live event streaming

  • The Solution: Magewell USB Capture HDMI Gen 2

  • Benefits: Trusted reliability, flexible input signal compatibility

Based in the western suburbs of Paris, France, SENSITIVE Agency is an audiovisual production firm specializing in live event streaming and creating video that delivers high value for its top-tier clientele. Founded in 2014 as Morezantv before rebranding to better reflect its expanded multi-platform services, SENSITIVE provides "Live and Alive Video Production" for all business applications that use video to communicate effectively.

SENSITIVE prides itself on producing television-quality video while offering clients reliable streaming distribution, plus expertise in audience acquisition strategies. The agency has produced close to 80 projects for clients including NIKE, Yves St. Laurent, and EIT Health.

The Challenge

Benjamin Thereaux, Live Stream Director at SENSITIVE Agency, needed a capture device that would enable him to flexibly bring HDMI sources into live production software running on a laptop. "I needed a reliable product to bring HDMI camera feeds into my vision mixer software, or bring the output of a slide computer into my live production computer," he explained.

With agility and portability as key goals, Thereaux decided to purchase a USB-based capture device. "I wanted to be able to bring my vMix-based vision mixer anywhere, with everything in a backpack."

Flexible input signal compatibility was also important for the project-based nature of his business. His team uses various models of both company-owned and rented cameras, and often takes slide inputs from client-provided source computers.

The Solution

Thereaux purchased a Magewell USB Capture HDMI Gen 2 external capture device, and uses it to capture video into the vMix software on his Windows-based live production system or the Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) on his MacBook Pro.

Thereaux quickly found the Magewell device to be more reliable than alternative options. "I also tried a USB capture card from another vendor, but it simply didn't work," he explained. "When I used the other device, sometimes the image was cropped, other times part of the image was glitchy, or it simply didn't recognize the source feed. In contrast, I have never had a single problem with the Magewell unit. It always finds the source, always displays the image correctly, and is consistent during the whole production."

The Benefits

The USB Capture HDMI device has given SENSITIVE Agency the input signal flexibility they needed, along with the robust reliability that is essential in live event productions. "What I think is most cool about the Magewell device is that I can connect any source to it, and I'll still get a stable signal in my vMix software," said Thereaux. "A PC that has a weird frequency, a camera in interlaced mode, anything – I've never seen it fail. It's a good ally when your job is event-based live streaming, as there's always a new equipment setup to fit with. And while the hardware can get hot when running constantly all day, I have never seen even a brief glitch. I know I can trust it.”

While many live events have been cancelled or postponed during the COVID-19 pandemic, SENSITIVE Agency has quickly found new uses for the USB Capture device. "We gained many new clients during the pandemic," said Thereaux. "A lot of them want to broadcast their productions into web conferencing software such as Zoom, Teams, or WebEx. Others also want to use those same conferencing solutions as inputs into vMix for enhanced live production, so they can give viewers a 'better-than-just-a-Zoom' experience. We use the Magewell USB Capture device to bring video and audio sources into Zoom, etc., or to bring the output of a dedicated web conferencing computer into vMix.”

For SENSITIVE Agency, the Magewell solution has proven to be the perfect fit. "You might be able to find a cheaper HDMI-to-USB capture device, but the Magewell USB Capture HDMI is so neat, so slim, and so reliable that it's worth the price," concluded Thereaux. "Because in live production, that's exactly what you're looking for.”

Products Used

USB Capture HDMI Gen 2

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