My 60 day trial of vMix HD came to an end last week. My experience using vMix was so much better than recent experience with Wirecast that I decided to purchase a license.
That said, it wasn’t clear which version of vMix was appropriate. The trial license is the “Pro” version, which is all-bells-&-whistles enabled. The “Basic” version is free, but limited to SD resolution and the number of inputs that it can accept. The “Basic HD” version, just $60 USD, adds the ability to operate at resolutions up to 1920x1080p.
The company lists the limitation on the “Basic” editions to “4 Total Inputs” and 3 “Capture Inputs.” This terminology is not exactly obvious. So, I began by purchasing the Basic HD license to see if it would meet my needs.
If my first approach was too much for my desktop, then perhaps I could split the workload between my desktop and my laptop. This presents a different set of problems, but ultimately makes the process more robust.
In this arrangement my laptop joins the JVB session. It’s running VoiceMeeter, Chrome & Bria. It provides the audio mix-minus feeds.
It’s worth noting that a Google “Hangout” is not the same as a “Hangout-On-Air.” A Hangout-On-Air is streamed and recorded via YouTube in real-time. This gives it the potential for much greater reach. A normal Hangout is not streamed in this manner, although it does allow for PSTN connectivity.
This difference is arbitrary, although I’m told it stems from legal concerns about copyright issues that could easily occur if Hangouts-On-Air were allowed to have broad interop capability.
The fact that the VUC uses a Hangout-On-Air has compelled my search for a reliable, high-quality means of interconnecting the Hangout-On-Air and ZipDX conference bridge. Given my long-standing and vociferous support of HDVoice even the PSTN access provided by a plain vanilla Hangout is troubling. Connecting via a pure IP means, like SIP URI, would allow interconnection with much better audio quality.
The VoIP Users Conference is closing upon 500 weekly sessions, each one more-or-less a conference call. Along the way the manner in which the calls happen has evolved. A bit of background about this will serve to frame why I’ve been seeking a way to interconnect a Google+ Hangout and the ZipDX conference bridge.
It’s been a busy week. After spending the mid-week in Chicago I drove to Austin for a meeting on Friday. It’s a three hour drive [cue the opening theme to Gilligan’s Island] each way giving me some time to listen to podcasts en route.
The company mandates that we use a rental car for long drives. It’s cheaper than paying for the mileage on our personal vehicles. This time around I rented a Chevy Malibu at Hobby Airport.
Although I owned one for a long time, I’m generally off Chevy these days. I was surprised to find that this Malibu didn’t suck. It was a decent drive and had some of the conveniences that I’ve usually found lacking in other rental cars. Most notably, it had a USB port to which I could connect my phone. This was how I listened to podcasts while driving.
At this very moment I face a bit of a problem. What to write about? I have a lengthy list of ideas, notes and incomplete drafts. Oddly enough, none have any appeal at this very moment. Yet here I sit, on board a Jet Blue flight from Houston to New York…which is typically prime time for wordsmithing without distraction.
When I travel I tend to listen to podcasts. Often I’ll catch up on VUC calls that I’ve missed. Today I have a couple of episodes of Escape Pod and CBC Radio’s Spark on my phone. All three are favorites and well worth your time to give them a listen.