I want to take a live video feed (say from a security camera) and overlay an image over the top of the live video. Is there hardware/software to do this realtime? I don't care about storing the data, and I can't store it to disk first, it needs to be live video in/out with overlay composited on top. Any suggestions?

3 Answers 3


Gstreamer offers the ability to overlay images on videos and has also excellent live streaming capabilities.

Some useful links:



  • These look like just what I was looking for. Thanks! May 30, 2014 at 17:04

If you are open to a hardware only solution (possibly cheaper than having a dedicated PC for the task and certainly far more reliable), then what you are looking for is a device called a logo generator/keyer.

Basically, the device constantly outputs a video of the logo you want to overlay and keys it on to the video stream being passed through. The devices range in cost from around $800 to several grand, but the low end models should be cheaper than having a dedicated computer with sufficient power to do the processing all the time if this is for more than occasional use.

  • I like the idea of these, but they seem brutally overpriced, and some of them are exceptionally large. Seems like they could be done in a much smaller footprint with modern technology. May 30, 2014 at 17:05
  • @JasonMalcolm - as opposed to requiring a full blown computer costing over $1000 to do the same thing with less reliability and more complexity? The devices don't have to be particularly large, and often do more than just the one thing you are looking for. Mostly, they are the size they are to fit a standard production rack or to use higher durability components. They aren't cheap, but when you compare the cost of other devices used for handling video, they aren't particularly expensive either. Video just isn't cheap to work with in real time.
    – AJ Henderson
    May 30, 2014 at 17:49

there is an other nice on-the-fly video overlay software called Clamp, which is a commercial add-on for Wowza Streaming Engine. This can read overlay instructions during a live event from a text file or from database and apply them on the live stream at specified times.

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