GH5M2 Development story
3 : The Way to Realize Wireless Live Streaming
Date : 2021.09.02
Hello. I am Okamoto who was in charge of the software specification of GH5M2.
In the past, there were two ways to broadcast live on SNS such as YouTube and Facebook: one is to use a smartphone camera to broadcast anywhere, and the other is to use a fixed Mirrorless camera and a PC or a switcher.
LUMIX has already released "LUMIX Tether" and "LUMIX Webcam Software (Beta)", and provided the function of live distribution using LUMIX and PC in fixed placement.
With the development of the GH5M2, we aim to expand the scope of live broadcasting and make it easier to broadcast live.
- Easily deliver high-quality live broadcasts to the smartphone native generation
- Live broadcast without restrictions on camera location
With the above two points in mind, it is equipped with a live streaming distribution function that combines the high picture quality of a mirrorless camera with the convenience of a smartphone. This makes it possible to change the position of the camera at any time, regardless of location, and to broadcast live in the high quality video of the mirrorless cameras.
One of the most important aspects of the development of the GH5M2 is the ability to broadcast live in high quality video without using a PC.
To achieve this, we have developed an app “LUMIX Sync” with live streaming function and a PC software called "LUMIX Network Setting Software" that allows you to easily send destination URL and stream-key of the live distribution site into the camera.
The GH5M2 offers two main methods for live streaming.
One is for those who want to broadcast live on the fly, you can set all the streaming settings on your smartphone and start/stop live streaming.
The other way is to set up a livestream site for livestreams in advance, load that information into the camera, and livestream the camera alone.
Through LUMIX Sync streamers are able login to YouTube and Facebook from the app, making them as easy to use as native streaming apps. At the same time, it also has the ability to manually enter destinations to accommodate other live distribution sites. Of course, you can also start/stop live streaming from LUMIX Sync.
Entering the destination URL or stream-key displayed on a livestream site into the camera is a large number of characters and a lot of work. With LUMIX Network Setting Software, you can easily set the distribution destination.
Also, if you connect the camera to LUMIX Sync via Bluetooth, you can use the shutter remote control function to start/stop live distribution from a remote location.
With regard to the issue of "During a live broadcast, it is difficult to know if it is actually being delivered.", we have developed the idea of displaying a red frame during REC, which is being introduced in S1H and later, and by displaying a blue frame on the LCD UI screen during streaming, we can tell at a glance that streaming is in progress.
We created samples of several colors for the blue frame, and selected the color with the best visibility by checking them on multiple in-house monitors.
The hardest part of this development was the actual broadcast test to the streaming site. There were security differences between countries, and it was difficult to stably access the distribution site, or errors occurred during distribution, and it was difficult to understand the cause.
Because of the pandepmic during development, it was impossible for the developers to actually go to the site and check, and the specific reason for the error was unknown. To solve this problem, we have developed software that can output a log of errors in order to ask the member in charge in the country to perform distribution tests and to understand the errors that have occurred. We tested the software and repeated the test again and again depending on the error. This eventually led to an understanding of the cause of the error, and the streaming functionality was complete.
Streaming with USB tethering is expected to be available later this year.
With this function, even those who feel the Wi-Fi communication between the camera and the smartphone is unstable can use the wired connection (USB) to perform live distribution with more peace of mind.
Currently, the most popular live streaming sites in the world are YouTube, Facebook, Twitch and bilibili.
We will continue to listen to users' opinions and work to respond to new needs and improve usability. I hope you will enjoy a new mirrorless world with the GH5M2.
GH5M2 Development Story