ProPresenter 7 has been announced this morning. It is the long-awaited upgrade to ProPresenter 6, first released in 2015. ProPresenter 7 is a major upgrade, and appears to bridge much of the gap between ProVideoPlayer, and ProPresenter.
While users of the most basic features may be fine staying on ProPresenter 6 for some time to come, ProPresenter 7 is a must-have upgrade for any power users – and will bring about great long-term enhancements for any user.
Some of the new features include:
- New user interface
- Advanced screen output options
- Announcements layer
- Share playlists between libraries
- Enhanced audio routing
- First-class Windows support
- New pricing and upgrades structure
- No modules – everything comes in the one license
I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to beta test ProPresenter 7 over the last month or so. I’ve put together this article as an overview of new features I’m excited about.
If you want the full overview of Pro7, you may want to re-watch the keynote.
New User Interface
Let’s start with the most obvious change – the user interface. ProPresenter has looked very similar for many versions now, and while I’m not an advocate for wholesale changes for the sake of it, I think this one will turn out to be a good long-term change.
The user-interface now flows left-to-right. The three columns represent:
- Select content
- Present content
- View output
The video bin still sits at the bottom centre of the screen, and the audio bin sits on the bottom right.
The toolbar has had a bit of a revamp. It is no longer customisable, and all the ‘Clear Layer’ buttons are now on the right side near the preview window. The clear buttons are stacked in layer order too, and active layers are highlighted red. This is a big win.
Advanced Screen Output Options
The next biggest change, and really *the* major change the whole release is focusing on, is the way you configure outputs.
In ProPresenter 6, we had a fairly limited selection of options – a main output, a stage display output, and some edge blending / multi-screen options if you bought the correct modules. You could also do SDI and NDI with add-on modules (but these were limited – want to do edge blend via SDI or NDI – not possible).
Now, we have a pretty wide range of settings that can be mixed and matched however you desire.
- Unlimited main outputs
- Unlimited stage display outputs
- Edge Blending
- Alpha Keying
- Multiple output options:
- Display output
- SDI Output
- NDI Output
In short, you can send any type of output to any type of connection (so long as your computer is powerful enough).
For Mac users, this means you may wish to invest in an external PCI enclosure or eGPU, so you can load up your Mac with additional output cards. The keynote demo was run on a Mac mini with eGPU and DeckLink SDI card, costing about US$2300.
For Windows users – this is really your time to shine! I’ve already got various media PCs with SDI outputs and beefy graphics cards – now I can finally use all this with ProPresenter! A demo in the keynote was run on a Intel NUC running Windows 10, with an external eGPU housing a DeckLink Card – costing about US$1500.
As well as these new output options, you can also preview any output via the preview window on the right. Additionally, new options in the Stage Display editor allow you to create advanced layouts – including multi-viewers of all your other outputs. The Stage Display editor actually has all the same features as the new slide editor – plus a few extras – which is great.
All these output options are great – but what can you do with it? Surely you won’t need more than one main output, and one stage display?
Wrong! Creating a separate Lower-Third output for video is possibly one of the most commonly requested features. Several people, including myself, have written third-party tools to enable this. Now, this functionality is native to ProPresenter.
The ‘Looks’ configuration screen allows you to specify which layers are sent to each screen. Not only this, but you can also override the Presentation Theme (‘Template’ in Pro6 terminology).
You could send a special lower-thirds theme to your web stream (and alpha key it), or maybe send fancy decorative lyrics to a centre screen while sending just plain old text to the side screens.
This configuration is quite flexible, and can even be changed mid-event with a command attached to a slide (or the click of a button in the menu).
There is a new layer, called ‘Announcements’. This layer allows you to have two documents running simultaneously. As the name suggests, this is intended for churches to have an announcement loop running in the foyer constantly, while sending different content to the main screens in your auditorium.
Library & Playlist Sharing
ProPresenter 6 supported multiple libraries, but they were fairly limited in functionality. The biggest issue was that you couldn’t share documents between the two (easily).
A common use-case for libraries may be two distinct congregations sharing one computer. One may be ‘traditional’, while the other could be ‘contemporary’. These two groups would mostly have different songs, maybe even setup a bit differently. But what happens if they want to do a combined gathering, or introduce a song from one to the other? In ProPresenter 6, You end up duplicating documents.
Now, playlists are easily accessible and you can drag-and-drop files from any library into any playlist.
Enhanced Audio Routing
ProPresenter 7 has enhanced support for multi-channel audio, with lots of routing options. This will potentially make it much easier to run stems from right within ProPresenter.
First Class Windows Support
I’ve been playing with ProPresenter 6 on Windows on-and-off for a while now, but it’s never been quite right. It’s always been a port of a Mac application. This all changes with ProPresenter 7.
With all the new display options in ProPresenter 7, I’d say Windows is now the more desirable platform. Add fancy graphics cards and SDI cards, and spend a fraction of the price for equivalent hardware on Mac.
Windows is now 64-bit too. I’ve been running the beta releases on Windows 10 1909 x64, and it’s been fantastic!
ProPresenter 7 on Windows is native, and a first class citizen. I know which platform I’m going to be rolling out!
It’s also worth noting older OS versions will no longer work. If you still run Mac OS 10.13 or lower, ProPresenter 7 will refuse to run. You need Mac OS 10.14 (Mojave) or newer.
Pricing & Licensing
Pricing for new users is US$399 for a single seat, and US$999 for a campus-wide license.
Upgrades from ProPresenter 6 are US$275 for a single license and US$675 for a campus license.
Users who purchase ProPresenter 7 get support & upgrades for free for the first 12 months.
After the first 12 months, you can purchase another 12 months of support and upgrades for US$159 for a single license or US$399 for the campus license. This support license is referred to as ProPresenter+, and will allow rolling upgrades.
This isn’t a subscription – it’s still a software buy-out, but you only receive updates for as long as your ProPresenter+ subscription is active (of which you get 12 months free with your initial purchase).
There are no additional fees for any of the modules that previously cost additional licensing fees. (It’s worth noting the Master/Slave Module isn’t available yet)
Should I upgrade?
If none of these features excite you, and you are pretty much content on ProPresenter 6, then I wouldn’t be in any rush to upgrade. Wait a few months for all the early adopters to get in, wait for a few more patches to be issued, and then later this year consider upgrading.
If you like the sound of these features, but are cautious of jumping in quickly, then rest assured this upgrade has been put through its paces by a hundred or so beta testers over the last few months. It has been used on real-life events for churches big and small (including Passion Conference). While no one will ever guarantee the complete absence of bugs, this software seems pretty good at this point.
The trial is available today, so by all means jump on board with the demo and have a play with all these new features! You may also want to watch the official tutorial videos on YouTube to get a sense of the capabilities of this new software.
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