VideoBox Specs

Here’s a rough outline of what I built (sorry I didn’t take better notes).

Board is a Gigabyte with VGA/DVI/HDMI out and a bunch of PCI / PCI-16 slots. I bought it in some package deal with a Core i7 from Microcenter. I think CPU & Motherboard ran about $350. The rack mount case is from some eBay vendor (there are lots of them) – it ran $69. I had the power supply (500w) and hard drive (1T Barracuda 7200rpm) from another box, so I just scavenged them. Microcenter has a sale on Ram at $49 for 8 gigs, so I put in 16 gigs. I had a copy of Vista 64 bit floating around from a dead box, so I used that as the OS.

The 10U rack came from a music store (I used to use it for power amps) – I think it was $139. The mixer is a Behringer rack mount that you can find at Guitar Center for less than $300 – you just patch it in using 3 prong mic cable to 1/8th stereo into the PC as a line-in. The “cameras” (such as they are) are all Microsoft HD Webcams – I have 4 of them hooked up. You have to fuss with them a bit to figure out where to plug them in so as not to have two on the same buss. They still get a bit confused sometimes, but it’s not bad. DON’T USE THE MICROSOFT HD WEBCAM STUDIO (the high-rez one) as of this writing Wirecast doesn’t support them, but there are lots of support requests in for drivers for these. The webcams came off eBay – you can find resellers hawking unboxed versions for about $40 each.

Let’s do a cost thing:
CPU & Motherboard: $350
Rack PC case: $70
Ram: $100
I already had the power supply, drive & OS – but I did drop some on DVD recorder & ports: $100

PC Ready To Rock:  $620 or so.

Rack, mixer & cameras: $700 with cabling

So, maybe $1400 for everything without Wirecast software or monitors. I used a 24 inch for my main monitor hooked up HDMI, then I have the VGA going to a small 15 inch monitor turned around so the talent can see what they’re doing – that goes to an NTSC converter so the whole rig becomes a sub-studio on my regular webcasting set-up. Check my latest blog entries for video clips of me using / upgrading the VideoBox.

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