Run your own little broadcasting station

I have had in my life several occasions where I felt very strongly the need to become a director and make a movie, however everytime I had some camera but I would always kind of give up because I did not have access to post production. Then I wanted to start a cable channel, gave up on that too. When my son was born, I used to film him everytime I got back home after work and the collection of him growing up and moving, etc were all converted using MovieMaker on the PC to a single WMV file on a DVD and send to all the family and they liked it, but I did not become a director.

I will not show you my vacation photos and my kid videos and talk about my ambitions. This review is about a full fledged pre-production in a box. (Is it a surprise or is there something in the water or the air in Germany, most of the software that we have reviewed is generally made in Germany or German speaking countries and they are all top class software in terms of quality.)

BoinxTV, a rather strange sounding name, comes in two flavour, the Home version and the Pro Version. It offers the users the ability to create videos for either PAL or NTSC (US and Japan) systems. The app starts with offering the user the choice to start with one of the 9 in-built templates. These cover a variety of templates, it can be a show for YouTube or a News Template, a Conference Room or a Tech Show, a Sports show with scores, An online shopping store, an Astrological show and a news room with chroma-key, like the news channel where the background can be replaced but shot against a green screen.

The interface to use BoinXTV is quite simple but logical, it is composed of many Layers that like any paint program are overlaid on top of the other. So creating a video with a channel logo and scrolling tickers and speaker names, etc are easy. Simply drag a layer and drop it in the main composition area. Each of the layers added have a button attached, titled Live, when it is lit (the layer is Live = Shown on the preview screen. When it is off, the layer's contents are not seen in the output.

For a particular show, all the layers can be queued in advance, each layer can be setup with shortcut keys for starting and stopping. The layers have a detailed inspector window that allows for tweaking the parameters. Mos of these are location based, like X, Y, top width, bottom width, etc. Layers are arranged in Categories for easy access. More layers can be created using Quartz Composer (if the know how exists, otherwise Boinx offer to help create the custom layer for a price) Layers can have a finite time on stage or infinite, infinite time is more like the logo that remains for ever and finite is like the name of the speaker/title of the show, it appears and then goes off stage.

Apart from Layers, there are sources, this is where all the media for the project is held, be it Movies, Images or Audio. These sources can be used as the source for many of the layers that have a source component.

The UI resembles a TV station indicating LIVE with a big red 'lit' button. The differences apart from the price are in the fact of how many layers are allowed, number of camera sources one can use and the output size. For $49.99, the Home editions is value for money for any enthusiast that is trying to demo their own games, home videos, or take on the role of Zac and Miri, create a video blog, a podcast channel as the output generated by Boinx can be uploaded to YouTube directly.

To best demonstrate the functionality of BoinxTV, here is a preview movie of what can be done with Boinx. This is a collage of several things, but making this was really easy with BoinxTV. It might look a bit too crowded, but trying to cram a lot of things in the few minutes is difficult.

Over the years, I have seen several attempts for software that aim at helping the home enthusiast, from linear editing, to post-production, etc. Boinx TV is one solutions that works best for both the Home user and the Pro user. It is after the advent of the Mac App Store that the Home Version is priced even lower at $49.99 which used to be around $200-250 range.

We had a chance to try out the Pro version, but did not have an IP Camera to test and with Apple changing the I/O slots every so often, the Firewire cable required was a bit of an issue. However BoinxTV is easy to use, it is recommended that one spend a little time understanding the layers and how they work, timing is of utmost importance to blend in the layers. Shortcut keys can help there. There are some wonderful examples of what people have done with BoinxTV. The presented has been chroma-keyed to have a floating window on the screencast.

We would recommend that there is no better software at this point of time that provides the functionality and features specially for the home user. If one is serious about professional quality production with multiple feeds, etc, then the Pro version is the way to go. In the broadcasting industry, where equipment is generally very expensive, Boinx TV is the perhaps the most affordable component that ties everything together.

Creating a video with fx and live video, etc is an easy task with BoinxTV, use the pro version, plug in a couple of Firewire cameras and the Mac is a production studio. With layers that allow for switching between the camera sources. If the production is a simple screencast of a vlog, the iSight source is good enough. Most of the sources and items on the screen can be scaled and positioned to individual settings giving total control of the output.

Having tried this, we might even consider looking into a video review for our products in the future (Thanks for the software to BoinxTV).

And did we mention that BoinxTV won the Apple Design Award in 2009.

Software : BoinxTV
Version : 1.7
Publisher : Boinx Software
Website :
Twitter : @BoinxTV
Platform : Mac OS X (10.5.8 or higher)
Demo : 5 Days
Price : $49.99(Home) or $499(Pro)
Mac App Store :
(PRO )

The home version is exclusively available on the Mac App store only.

And we have a copy of BoinxTV for one lucky winner, all you need to do
1. Follow @whatsin4me
2. Retweet the message "Read, follow @whatsin4me and RT this msg. You might win a copy of #BoinxTV from @BoinxTV"