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Bye Bye Wirecast! I Just bought vMix HD!!

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.

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vMix HD: Tools For Desktop Video

vmix-logo-300pxFor the past several weeks I’ve been experimenting with vMix HD, a software based tool for real-time video production on the desktop. I’ve been running the free 60 day trial version of vMix HD, which runs on Windows.

It now seems very likely that I will purchase a license for the Basic HD version, since it’s very capable and costs only $60.

To understand why I’m so very appreciative of vMix HD, it helps if you know what I’ve been using in this role for the past few years…Telestream’s Wirecast.

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Interconnecting Jitsi Video Bridge, ZipDX & YouTube Live

In the production of over 530 VUC sessions we’ve undertaken some odd and occasionally rather complicated arrangements. Quite possibly the most complex is when we interconnect the WebRTC-based Jitsi Video Bridge with YouTube Live and the ZipDX conference bridge. I set about described aspects of this process a year ago, but stopped short of describing how the entire arrangement worked. Well, worked most of the time. This article will bring you current with my various attempts to make this process robust and repeatable.

Preface: When we use Jitsi Video Bridge we lose a couple of the conveniences that come with a Hangout-On-Air. Where a Hangout-On-Air has an automatic link to a YouTube Live event, we must do this manually when we use JVB.

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A Challenge: WebRTC Screen Sharing v2

screenshare-composite-example2-300pxIt’s been a year or more that tools like Google’s Hangouts have supported the ability to share a host computer screen with the viewing audience. This was rightfully heralded as “a very good thing indeed.” However, it’s current incarnation is considerably less than ideal and seems to be stalled. I’d like to lay out a challenge to see if anyone is interested into taking this to the next level, which is something that we’ve tried to do with a few VUC calls earlier this year.

Here’s the fundamental problem; people use screen sharing to give demos of software and share documents, which includes giving presentations a la PowerPoint, Keynote, etc. Currently, Hangouts, Jitsi Video Bridge and the like show either the screen share or the camera. In the case of slide presentations there can be very little activity in view as the presenter speaks to the points shown on the current slide. This creates less than compelling visuals.

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