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Broadcasting, Live Streaming Hardware, Compare BoxCast

BoxCast Spark, Resi Mini, and Blackmagic Web Presenter live streaming encoders

Encoder Comparison: BoxCast Spark vs Resi Mini vs Blackmagic Web Presenter

Live streaming encoders are a dime a dozen these days — but what separates an average encoder from a great encoder? We’re here to help, by breaking down three of the most popular live streaming encoders on the church market today: BoxCast Spark, Resi Mini, and Blackmagic Web Presenter. We’ll compare features and cover why some features matter more than others when it comes to live streaming.

In a way, your live stream is the digital front door of your church, so you want to make sure each stream is successful. To be successful, it all starts with an encoder that is not only reliable but also easy for you and your staff to use.


Table of Contents

We’ll compare all three encoders across four key categories:

When purchasing a live streaming encoder, it's important to consider these categories.


Inputs and outputs of the BoxCast Spark, Resi Mini, and Blackmagic Web Presenter live streaming encoders

Inputs + Outputs

Inputs and Outputs BoxCast Spark Resi Mini Encoder Blackmagic Web Presenter
Video Input: Available in HDMI 2.0 (4K) and SDI HDMI SDI (4K)

Video Output:

No HDMI Out / Display Port Out (for factory use only) SDI Loop out / Monitor Out
Audio Input: Balanced ¼” + Unbalanced 3.5mm Stereo + Embedded HDMI or SDI Embedded HDMI Embedded SDI
Audio Monitoring: 3.5mm Headphone Out No No
SD Card Slot: MicroSD No No
USB: USB C (Power) USB 3.0 / USB 2.0 (2x) USB C USB C (Webcam Out)
Ethernet: Yes Yes Yes
Power: 12V Power Adapter 12V Power Adapter AC Power Cord
Learn More: Tech Specs N/A Tech Specs


You’ll want to make sure to purchase an encoder with the correct inputs and outputs (I/O) for your church’s unique setup. The following three I/O are worth considering when doing your research:

Video Input

Your video input is what you’ll be plugging your camera or switcher into. Spark has an HDMI 2.0 input, allowing you to plug a 4k signal into it, at which point the encoder will downscale to 1080p automatically for the stream. While Spark will stream in 1080p, it will locally record in 4k. Resi Mini has a normal HDMI output, which does not give you the same options — you’d need to manually change the resolution of your camera or switcher. Web Presenter has a 12g SDI video input, which will also accept a 4k signal and downscale to 1080p for streaming.

Audio Input

All three encoders have the ability to embed audio over a video signal. Here’s where you have options: if you’re sending in audio over HDMI, Spark HDMI and Mini allow you to do so. If you’re looking to send via SDI, Web Presenter and Spark SDI have you covered. It’s worth noting that Spark is the only encoder among the three that offers yet another option - bringing in audio over Balanced ¼” and Unbalanced 3.5mm Stereo. This is especially important if your sound engineer wants to create a custom mix with their soundboard.

BONUS: Spark is the only encoder on this list that has a headphone output to monitor your stream. This is extremely helpful for troubleshooting and ensuring that the encoder’s sound is on the mark. Without the headphone output, your setup becomes a bit more complicated — you’ll have to stream your data to the cloud and then wait to hear it on the stream. This will also have a 30-60 second delay, making it difficult to troubleshoot if anything goes wrong.

SD Card Slot

Neither Resi Mini nor Blackmagic Web Presenter offers a backup recording option. If your stream fails and you aren't recording elsewhere, you’ll have no recording. Spark includes a micro SD card slot that allows you to pop in a micro SD card and record a backup. This is crucial if you face network issues and need to ensure you have a backup of your live stream. Learn more about recording to a microSD card on Spark.


Encoder Features

Features BoxCast Spark Resi Mini Encoder Blackmagic Web Presenter
Video Compression Standards: H.265 HEVC H.264 H.264

Streaming Protocol:

BoxCast Flow Resilient Streaming Protocol RTMP, SRT
WI-FI: Yes No No
Video Scaling Inputs: 4K > 1080p No 4K > 1080p
Audio Adjustment: Yes No No
Simultaneous Live Streams: Unlimited Multiple 1
Cellular Bonding: No No Yes (With Phone Hotspot)
Webcam Output: No No Yes
Max Streaming Quality: 1080p60 1080p60 1080p60


Every live streaming encoder offers a unique feature set. But some features will be more important to you, depending on your setup. Let’s break it down:

Video Compression Standards

Perhaps you’ve heard of H.265 or H.264, but what are they and why are they important? H.265 is newer and more advanced than H.264 in several ways. H.265 (also called HEVC, or High Efficiency Video Coding) allows for further reduced file size, and therefore reduced required bandwidth, of your live video streams. To give you an example: If you have poor internet at your location (2-5mbps), then H.265 needs half of the data to make it look as good as H.264. Therefore a 2mbps stream with H.265 will look just as good as a 4mbps stream with H.264. Bottom line: If your internet is spotty, you’re going to want HEVC.

WI-FI Streaming

Although we recommend connecting your live streaming encoder to your network with an ethernet cable, sometimes that just isn't possible. Having WI-FI on your live streaming device is a great backup if you plan to live stream in a room that might not have a hardline connection. Combine this with HEVC compression, and you can have a great looking stream over WI-FI.

Streaming Protocol 

Black Magic’s Web Presenter will stream RTMP or SRT to your destination. BoxCast and Resi both offer their own custom streaming protocols for their encoders. Spark is powered by BoxCast Flow and Resi is powered by Resilient Streaming Protocol (RSP). These customized protocols offer an extra layer of security for your stream and help your encoder succeed when the network is not ideal. Also, you can create an extra delay to store your stream in the cloud, so if there are any network interruptions, your encoder will have time to catch up with any drops, and never stop streaming.


BoxCast Spark encoder in use with on-screen monitoring interface illuminated

On-Screen Monitoring

When live streaming, it’s always helpful to see what is going on with your encoder at a quick glance. Without a screen, it’s very challenging to ensure everything is working correctly and to troubleshoot on the fly.

This is where Spark stands out — the encoder features a 4.3” full-color touchscreen that provides a view of the live stream, where you can easily monitor video resolution and audio levels. Spark also integrates with the BoxCast Dashboard, allowing you to schedule and edit your broadcast. Keep an eye out for future improvements, too — soon enough you’ll be able to start and stop your broadcasts directly on the Spark screen!

Unfortunately, the Resi Mini Encoder does not include a screen. You’ll need additional equipment on hand to log into the online portal to check any settings and make sure you have a signal. This can present a challenge for volunteers or team members without login credentials. 

The Web Presenter includes a 2.2” screen that enables you to view video input, audio levels, bitrate,  and change settings. To see more stats from the Blackmagic Web Presenter, you will need to connect a monitor via SDI from the monitor output.This would require an SDI to HDMI converter or an SDI monitor


The BoxCast Dashboard and Spark encoder in use during a live stream production

Platform Features

Lastly, let’s look at the bigger picture and compare the platforms that pair with each encoder. Each platform is unique and offers different features that can help your organization succeed.

BoxCast and Resi each have an online platform with a handful of features, while Blackmagic’s Web Presenter is a stand-alone device without a platform. 

Now let’s compare platform features:

Platform Features BoxCast Spark Resi Mini Encoder Blackmagic Web Presenter
Simulated Live: Yes Yes No

Concurrent Broadcasts:

Yes Yes No
Sharing Clips Tool: Yes No No
Graphic Overlays: Yes Yes No
Live Captions: Yes Yes No
Trimming: Yes Yes No
Downloads: Yes Yes No
Storage: Yes — Learn More Yes – Learn More No
Adaptive Bitrate Streaming: Yes Yes No
Paid Subscription: Yes – Learn More Yes – Learn More No
Customer Support: Yes Yes Yes


Each organization has its own needs that may vary, but we’d like to break down some of the most important features to consider when looking for a streaming platform:

Multiple Destinations

You may only stream to one destination now, but as your audience grows, you may need the ability to stream to multiple places — without taking up additional bandwidth. With Spark and the BoxCast platform, you can stream to unlimited destinations from a single mbps stream.

You send BoxCast one 5mbps stream and they will transcode it and send it to an unlimited number of destinations for you, such as Facebook pages, YouTube, your website, and even other RTMP addresses. The Web Presenter can only stream to one destination, and the Resi Mini Encoder can send to multiple destinations

Simulated Live

With BoxCast and Resi, you can upload a video and schedule it to rebroadcast at a later time. This is a handy feature if you find the need to pre-record an event and “stream it live” later.

Concurrent Broadcasts

Flexibility is key when it comes to live streaming. You never know when you’ll need to live stream two events at once. Even if it’s not something you do now, you may in the future as your church grows and holds more events and services. With Resi and Blackmagic, you’d need to purchase an additional encoder to stream simultaneous events. BoxCast can save you the equipment costs, allowing you to stream a concurrent broadcast using our Broadcaster App for iPhone or browser-based Producer.


What do you want to do with all of your old broadcasts? Storage can often be an afterthought in the decision-making process, but it’s actually pretty important. With Blackmagic, you’ll be relying on the destination that you stream to, like YouTube, to save your content. Both BoxCast and Resi offer cloud-based storage within their servers, keeping the videos nice and safe. This option also gives you a backup recording that you can download and trim later. 

Customer Support

Have you ever had an issue with your live stream but no one to call? One of the biggest benefits of paying for a live streaming service is being able to call a customer support team and ask a question. If you’re using Spark, the BoxCast support team is able to view in-depth diagnostics of your streams and can diagnose and help troubleshoot any issues. BoxCast support is available by phone, email, and chat, and is always happy to help make your stream a success. Both Resi and Blackmagic also provide various forms of support. 


Final Thoughts + Further Reading

While all three encoders have a lot to offer, BoxCast Spark clearly stands out. Spark offers more flexible inputs and outputs, a robust feature set, and a touchscreen for monitoring the live stream. Add in the fact that Spark is backed by the impressive BoxCast platform — which also features Sites and Sharing — and you’ve got a product that will help your church live stream with ease. 

Looking for more resources on live streaming encoders? Check out these articles: