Companion Satellite

What is Companion Satellite?

Companion Satellite is a sister-application that connects your Stream Deck back to your original Companion installation, allowing you to control your production equipment over the local network, or even across the internet.

Use a Stream Deck to direct your next production remotely with Companion Satellite

Use a Stream Deck to direct your next video production remotely with Companion Satellite

 

Downloads

Install Companion

Before we get to the Satellite application, Companion itself is an application that runs on Mac, PC, and even Raspberry Pi to control over 200 brands of live production equipment on your local network – think ATEM Switchers, PTZ cameras, video playback, audio faders, timers, PowerPoint presentations and more. It centralizes the control of all your production gear into a single (or multiple!) Stream Decks.

The computer you choose to install Companion on to needs to be accessible to the other production devices on your local network. For example, Companion is installed on my Mac, which has the IP address 192.168.8.138, and it speaks to my ATEM Mini Extreme ISO which has the IP address 192.168.8.223.

Typically in this scenario, the Stream Deck is connected via USB directly to the host computer. Therefore, the distance between the two is limited by the length of the USB cable (3-10 feet).

However, I can access Companion’s interface on my Mac installation from any other computer connected to the network, by opening up a web browser and typing in the address 192.168.8.138:8000 (the “:8000” indicates the port number).

If this is new to you, here’s a previous blog post I wrote about how to install Companion.

 

Install Companion Satellite

But what if we want to use the Stream Deck surface at a different desk, or in a different room, or in an entirely remote location?

This is where the magic of Companion Satellite comes in.

Similar to how we could use a remote computer’s web browser to connect to the original Companion installation, we can use Companion Satellite on a remote computer to connect your Stream Deck’s USB surface back to the original Companion installation.

On the remote computer (connected to the local network):

  • Connect your Stream Deck via USB to the remote computer
  • Open Companion Satellite (the icon will appear in the upper right task bar on a Mac)
  • Click “Change Host”, and input the IP address of the computer running the original Companion installation (remember, in my example, this was 192.168.8.138)
  • Double check that “Change Port” is set to the default port number of 16622

Now the buttons on your Stream Deck attached to the remote computer will reflect the layout of the original Companion installation, and you can control your production remotely across the network.

If you are outside of your local network, connect via your VPN to be able to control your production over the internet.

MultiViewer Over Zoom

One last bonus step, if you use an HDMI-to-USBC webcam adapter (such as the CamLink4K), you can send your MultiViewer through a video conferencing service like Zoom (for low-latency), and you now have a truly remote switching solution so you can direct a live production outside of the studio.

Remote switching a live production with MultiViewer over Zoom and Stream Deck control via Companion Satellite

Install DJF Companion Profile on a Mac

 

Installation Instructions (on a Mac)

Running Companion is one of those “easy when you know how” things. This article will show you how. Easy!

Companion also runs on Windows and Pi. This article will focus on a Mac installation.

Here’s a consolidated list of software downloads for the 6 Segments we will dive into below:

  1. Companion 2.2.1
  2. Blackmagic Switcher Software 8.7.1
  3. Stream Deck 5.2.1
  4. VLC 3.0.17.3
  5. VICREO 5.0
  6. H2R Graphics 2.8

 

** UPDATED JUNE 1, 2022 **

1. COMPANION (2.2.1)

Download Companion:

    • The DJF Companion Profiles require running Companion 2.2.0 or later to support the most up-to-date features and modules.
    • You will not be able to operate or install this profile using Companion 2.1.3.

 

Open Companion

    • Companion’s Web Server icon will be in the top-right menu bar. Click it to open the tray.
    • Check the server is running locally on 127.0.0.1 (easiest setup).
    • Set the Port to 8000 (or 8888)
    • Launch GUI in a web browser.

Install the DJF Companion Profile

    • Navigate tabs to Buttons > Import/Export.
    • If you already have your own custom Companion setup, click “Export” to save a backup of your profile first!

 

  • Replace Current Configuration (recommended)
    • Select Import. Choose the DJF Companion Profile file (ends with “.companionconfig”)
    • Select “Replace current configuration”.
      • **Note that this will wipe all existing Companion pages, so make sure you’ve backed up any essential work first!

  • Individual page import (not recommended)
    • Note that the DJF Companion Profile pages are heavily inter-connected, hence it is recommended to “replace current configuration”. While you can copy and paste buttons quite easily after the initial “replace current configuration”, importing individual pages will require manually updating the Page-jump actions, plus you must be careful to target the correct instance label of a module when importing.
    • If you still wish to import individual pages, note that there are also several “backend” service pages need to be imported to very specific pages to maintain integrity:

 

        • Backend service pages for v3.1:
          • Extreme………..Pages 55, 56, 57, 58
          • Pro………………Pages 83, 84
          • PTZ……………..Pages 86, 87
        • Backend service pages for v2.5:
          • Pro………………Pages 22, 23

 

    • Once those backend pages have been imported to their specific page numbers, you can import individual pages to any other Companion page.
      • If dealing with a dual profile that contains both Extreme and Pro, make sure you target the correct instance (i.e. “ext-atem” and “pro-atem” are completely different implementations of the same ATEM Module).
      • Note that any Menu or Page-jump buttons will need to have their action “Set surface with s/n to…” updated manually.
    • For example, if you wanted to import the Extreme’s VLC page:
      • Import DJF Companion Profile Pages 55, 56, 57, 58 to their respective Pages, 55, 56, 57, 58 in your Companion profile.
      • Import the Extreme VLC (Page 30) to whatever blank page you have available in your configuration.
      • Update the Page-jump button actions (ie VLC’s Button #1) to target your configuration layout.

 

Set ATEM Module’s Target IP Address

    • Under the Connections tab, click “Edit” for the “atem Blackmagic Design” module. Update the Target IP to the IP address for your ATEM Mini/Pro/ISO, and for your ATEM Mini Extreme/ISO if running dual systems.
      • **Note: it is recommended to keep the instance labels the way they are (i.e. “ext-atem” and “pro-atem” etc.) Changing the instance label names will update most – but not all – variable names, and will leave some button text (i.e. the BLK button) unable to find the new name.
      • **Note: you can find the ATEM IP using BlackMagic’s “ATEM Setup Software”. Setting a static IP address is recommended.
    • All other modules (VLC, H2R, VICREO, OSC) are pre-set to local 127.0.0.1 and don’t need to be changed.

Set the Home Page

    • Under the Surfaces tab, click the green “Settings” button for the “Elgato Streamdeck Plugin” (or the actual Stream Deck serial number, if running Companion solo).

 

        • Slide the Page number for your specific profile’s HOME PAGE
          • DJF PROFILE v3.1
            • 32-button Extreme…………………..PAGE 1
            • 32-button Pro…………………………PAGE 66
            • PTZ……………………………………..PAGE 88
            • Vertical Pro…………………………….PAGE 96
            • Vertical Extreme……………………..PAGE 98
          • DJF PROFILE v2.5
            • 32-button Pro…………………………PAGE 1
            • 15-button Pro…………………………PAGE 31
            • Vertical Pro…………………………….PAGE 71

Make Changes to Companion’s Settings

    • “Remove the Topbar on all buttons”:
      • Go to Companion > Settings > Navigation Buttons > “Remove the topbar on each button” > SELECT “Enabled”.
      • **Note that the PNGs and text layout on the DJF Companion Profile buttons have been designed for the full 72 x 72px.m The buttons will look squished unless you remove the topbar.
    • “Enable OSC”:
      • Go to Companion > Settings > OSC > SELECT “Enabled”.
      • Set the OSC Listen Port to “12321”.

Troubleshooting:

    • If your Stream Deck is plugged in but the Companion buttons are not showing up, go to Companion’s “Surfaces” tab, and click “Rescan USB”
    • If you’d like to run this without a the actual Stream Deck hardware (i.e. use it on a computer or tablet instead), click on “Emulator” in the top left corner. Locally, the address will be http://127.0.0.1:8000/emulator
    • If there’s a conflict while running Elgato Stream Deck’s native software simultaneously with Companion, quit both applications.
      • Then try opening Elgato’s Stream Deck software first;
      • then starting the Companion server secondly.
        • (Make sure the Companion Plugin within the native Elgato Stream Deck app has been installed – see “Stream Deck” installation instructions below).
    • **Note: The DJF Companion Profiles require running Companion 2.2.0 to support the most up-to-date features and modules. Some functions will be missing if you try to operate the profile using Companion 2.1.3.
Read More

ATEM MINI PRO RIG

Compact, portable, mountable. Fully self-contained power, networking, and monitoring.

Save time and space when you arrive on set with a self-contained ATEM Mini Pro / ISO rig. Don’t bother updating network settings as you move between the office, home, and location with a built-in router. A single V-mount battery or AC adapter powers the whole system and eliminates cable clutter. Mount it on a tripod, or place it on a desk. Save footprint and cable runs by stacking laptops, mixers, cameras, or autocue on to the rig itself.

This ATEM Mini Pro / ISO rig was designed almost entirely using off-the-shelf, universal video production parts. 15-mm rods, rail blocks, NATO clamps, and 1/4-20 cheeseboards makes it highly customizable with existing production production equipment. Plus, when you out-grow your ATEM Mini, there’s no wastage since all these parts can be re-purposed in other kits, such as camera rigging.

 

Read More

Free DJF Companion Switcher Profiles

Welcome!

These downloads are standalone switcher pages. Test out your network configurations and Companion modules (ATEM, VLC, H2R, VICREO) for switching, graphics, video playback, and slide control. Import it into a new or existing Companion configuration to easily add network control of an ATEM switcher.

If you want to extend your capability, check out the full-featured v3.0 profiles for both ATEM Mini Pro and Extreme below.

And please do join the mailing list to keep track of my Companion updates as well as production tutorials!

It’s an awesome portable Switcher page that’s easy to import to any Companion profile! 🙂

Note that the v2.0 DJF Companion Profiles mentioned in my 2021 YouTube Companion tutorial videos have been superseded by these free trials of the Home Page v3.0 (below). The download does not include the native Stream Deck application profiles or the ATEM Macros that are found in the full v3.0 package.




Get Companion release updates!

FREE 1-PAGE SWITCHERS

A MORE POWERFUL
ATEM MINI PRO & EXTREME

The DJF Companion Profiles below are recommended for use with an Elgato Stream Deck XL, Regular, or Mobile app for best user experience.

The layouts also run without Stream Deck by using a web browser on a computer, tablet, or mobile.

FULL-FEATURED DJF COMPANION PROFILES v3.0

SEE ALL PROFILE CONFIGURATIONS

Ava DuVernay: What do you want?

I love this advice from filmmaker Ava DuVernay at the 2013 Film Independent Forum. The last question put to her was: “Should we keep making 50K films, even if they don’t launch us to Sundance?” To which Ava replies, “the question is, what do you want?”

Why are you doing what you’re doing? Why do you make films? What does success in filmmaking look like to you?

Telescope Timelapse for Daft Punk’s Album Launch

I’ve been babysitting the giant dishes at Australia Telescope today, in preparation for Daft Punk’s album launch. How are the two related you ask? Good question. Sony is keeping quiet on that one.

I sat in the dry grass with my calculator computing how many rotations we could get the telescope to make over 300 x 4-second intervals. Three and a bit, it turns out. The dish takes about 9 minutes to make a full rotation, and it takes me about 20 minutes to create a 12 second shot.

Australia_TelescopeSurrounded by kangaroos and hares, I thought how lucky we are in Australia to have such a beautiful landscape and fresh air (and how lucky I was to have access to a piece of machinery the weight of 1.5 jumbo jets). Six telescopes line the 3km railway track with a fibre optic cable sending enormous amounts of data back to the server in a room insulated to prevent radio interference. Even mobile phones have to be switched off at the entrance to the property.

I’m also filming night time-lapse, but at 40 second intervals, will generate only 3.5 seconds of film every hour. Slow going. However, the star trails look astonishing with the milky way rotating past the dish’s upturned nose! I’m working at the end of the track, and it feels very remote. There’s no moon, no ambient light, just a countless array of stars above this enormous machine. Its motors grind away in the otherwise silent landscape. It slowly turns its face towards me and I can’t help feeling like it has a personality of its own.

The staff at the CSIRO have been great sports with all the filming and interviews.

During Daft Punk’s show, I went up in a light aircraft to shoot aerial shots of the dance floor. This was the best angle to see its design: a spinning record. However, looking through a lens with a moving horizon while doing constant 2g turns did make me chuck twice!