Sports Events Broadcast with a Budget PC


New Member
Hello everyone,

I'm reaching out to seek your assistance in finding entry-level solutions for amateur clubs to broadcast their youth teams.

I understand that quality comes at a price, but this project aims to help clubs with very limited budgets upgrade their broadcasting capabilities. That's why I'm asking for your help in identifying the most cost-effective options.

I've been exploring MiniPC Gaming options within a 300-450€ budget, as these clubs will need to purchase all the equipment from scratch. The setup would involve connecting 3 cameras via USB, possibly through a capture card, along with microphones and multiple scenes.

I've been particularly interested in MiniPCs for several reasons:

They offer numerous native USB3 slots and support multiple screens.
They are easy to set up on the sidelines.
I'm aware that these might not be the most powerful options, but my question is whether such solutions can withstand an entire day of soccer matches.

Here are a few models I've been looking at:

I realize you might be weary of helping people find budget solutions when investing in quality usually means spending more. However, this is for a good cause.

Please let me know if these PCs are viable options or if you have other recommendations.

Thank you all for your help.


Active Member
Multiple USB video captures are often problematic and random. I made 4 of them work on one of my rigs, before I found out that they were deceptively marketed and nowhere near what they claimed to be, which is probably why they worked.

The problem is bandwidth or data rate. One USB controller (not port, more on that later) is usually good for one HD video stream. Not much more. If you put a hub on it to connect all of your video captures, then you can't get full quality from all of them. The result of that squeeze depends on the details of how the USB capture cards work:
  • They might compress *in the card* to fit the lower data rate than they would like to have. You can't get that quality back.
  • Or they might give up and not provide a signal at all. Or not a useful one.
    • It might even oscillate or "round robin", which one gives a good signal, with nothing to do with your production goals.
Even if you have enough ports to connect all of the capture cards directly to the main box, there's still often a single internal controller and an internal hub. Same problem.

See if you can get a machine that has a PCIe slot available, and put a multi-channel capture card in that. I think you'll be much happier!
I like these so far:


Active Member
For budget, you're *really* tight! But you probably already know that. :-)

For a budget of 300-450, the 4-channel PCIe card that I recommend takes about 200 of that, and just two or three good-quality USB captures would be about there as well, and they would still have the problem above. That only leaves you 100-250 for the rest of the machine.


Active Member
For being easy to set up on the sidelines, you can make a full-sized tower fit that requirement too. Just put something around it that keeps the entire rig together permanently, and is itself easy to manage. Do you have some DIY skills?


Active Member
What Aaron said about USB Root Hub ports

I agree with Tomasz, in that with that budget, I'd strongly consider a refurbished PC (here in North America, Dell's refurb PCs come with warranty, and sometimes can be a decent deal...) Cheaper doing pure DIY 2nd hand, but then you have no idea what you are getting, including someone's previously over-clocked and about to die system)... the club most likely doesn't want to chase h/w issues, so I'd avoid a non-certified used system.
- With that budget, you are not looking at 4K video nor future AV1 support, I'm presuming
- so for 1080p 25/50, an older system works fine. The reason to avoid an Intel 6th gen (or anything even close in that vintage) is that Windows 10 is supposed to be end-of-life in under 2 years, so unless club ok with replacing PCs in 2 years, best to get something that is solidly Windows 11 compliant now. And to keep costs down, I'd go with Intel QuickSync (QSV) encoding, avoiding cost, size and power of dedicated GPU
- Here, a 3 year corporate lease return would be on Intel 10th gen, and avoiding lower-end CPU models, would probably be fine, and reasonably priced. Personally, I wouldn't go older with 14th gen just released... not that older wouldn't work today, but unlikely to last that long
- 16GB RAM is probably enough IF you keep setup optimized (OS, OBS, etc), but 32GB would give you some breathing room (for Win11 at some point, future updates, etc).