New Deal with 1SourceVideo Puts H.264 Box On Sale Through B&H, Adorama and DVE Store
BoxCast CEO and co-founder Gordon Daily says he realized the business world needed a simple, plug-and-play streaming video solution years ago, when he was working nights as tech support for a funeral home.
The funeral director wanted to live-stream funeral services, the way churches in Las Vegas live-streamed weddings. At first, Daily dismissed the idea, figuring nobody was going to get on the Internet to watch something as downbeat and unglamorous as a funeral service. But the funeral director was adamant. He knew there were family members who would want to be a part of those services as they happened even if they couldn’t attend in person. “Come on, streaming’s not hard,” Daily told him, starting to explain how he could rig a video camera and computer with a streaming device, but he was met with immediate protest: “I don’t know what that stuff is.” It needed to be simple.
“We thought about these amazing events that were happening all around us — sports, baptisms, funerals, church services, weddings, municipality meetings — and people weren’t streaming them,” he recalls. “Fast-forward a few years to 2017 and still, people who want to experience 95% of these events aren’t able to because people aren’t streaming them. It makes no sense to me. But you have to realize — it’s been too complicated.”
That’s where the BoxCaster came from. Designed to be the simplest HD streaming system available, the BoxCaster is a $499 piece of hardware, about four inches long by three inches wide and one inch thick, with HDMI and RCA stereo inputs, a 10/100 BASE-T ethernet port, and H.264 encoding hardware inside. Daily says that’s all there is to a complete streaming system — you plug in an HD camera feed and the BoxCaster and uploads it to the cloud — a platform hosted by Amazon Web Services, specifically — for distribution.
“When I say ‘complete,’ I mean it’s everything you need for your organization,” Daily says. “You can put it on your website, you can simulcast it onto all of your social channels, you can promote it and you can make money on it.” The BoxCast platform can handle streaming at five different bit-rate profiles, archiving (with on-demand playback), and even credit-card processing for ticket-based viewing, depending on service level.
BoxCast has been growing over the years, starting with a base of churches and educational institutions — Daily estimates that between 12% and 14% of college athletics programs use BoxCast for streaming their games. Business has been expanding to include local governments and corporate customers, among others, and the company just secured a higher profile in the pro video industry with the news that BoxCaster and its associated streaming subscription plans are now available through 1SourceVideo’s reseller network, which includes B&H Photo, Adorama and DVE Store.
The company signaled its ambitions in the pro video space at NAB 2017, when it announced a 4K BoxCaster Pro supporting SDI and XLR input, HEVC encoding, and 60fps output, but Daily won’t say when it will actually be shipping. “We’ve got customers who have it in hand who are just putting it through its paces,” he said. “We’re working with them to make sure it’s as usable as possible. And we’ll have a bunch of them at NAB that will be functioning so people can play with them.”
The BoxCaster lists for $499, but is currently available at a street price of $299. Subscriptions start at $240/year and scale up to $3,600/year, depending on features included.