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My Take – Using your mobile camera as a webcam

A couple of weeks back Chris Kranky offered a post where he explored this topic in some detail. It’s a good idea. Well worth exploring since common, and especially built-in webcams, are so bad. He tried a handful of iOS and Android apps on various handsets. It was a good experimental series.

I’d like to add a slightly different take, using a couple of additional apps that have crossed my path. In particular, I’d like to highlight NDI as a technology that’s very useful in this application.

What is NDI?

According to Newtek:

“NDI® (Network Device Interface) is a low latency IP video protocol developed especially for professional live video production, and is supported by an extensive list of broadcast systems from many manufacturers.”

NDI Camera

Newtek has offered two different NDI Camera apps. The original (no longer offered) which I bought for around $20, leverages full-bandwidth NDI. Full-bandwidth NDI offers the best image quality, and lowest latency, but requires massive bandwidth. It can work very well used when on a robust Wi-Fi network.

NDI Camera Julio

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New Skype Alternatives for Internet Broadcasting

Skype-alternativesI have an issue with “meta“ things. I blog, but I’m not engaged with the broader realm of bloggers. Blogging about blogging baffles me. Similarly, although I’ve been involved in the VUC since 2008, I’m not really engaged in the world of podcasters/internet broadcasters. I’m trying to work on this by sharing some of the techniques that I’ve discovered in doing VUC calls.

Last fall I was advising podcaster Mike Phillips with some issues of audio quality with respect to remote participants in podcasts.  He appears to be a frequent contributor to the blog of the IAIB. It was there that I stumbled upon a post recommending Skype Alternatives For Internet Broadcasting.

This post implies that Skype is tremendously popular in this space, and yet there is some desire to seek out functional alternatives. The author, Andrew Zarian, offers the following list of alternatives; Google+ Hangouts, Zoom, Apple’s FaceTime and Cisco’s Jabber. All are certainly worthy of consideration.

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