Elevating Remote Production in the Cloud
These issues aside, audience members really liked the look and feel of the show. For them, it was a polished show with graphics; introductions; panelists; and a nice, dynamic look, moving between each panelist as he or she spoke. StreamYard built in smooth moves for selecting participants, switching between slide views, making the participants larger, and fading the panelists’ names in and out. It has also added producer controls for guest audio, enabling me to turn off echo cancellation and manually increase the volume for that one remote guest who’s quieter than the others.
We had no issues handling multiple guests and slide presenters, whether it was just one person in a given seminar or two or three. With StreamYard, it just didn’t matter, but it would have presented a problem in vMix, etc. We could have nine people present nine slide decks without any difficulties.
As with any videoconferencing solution used for remote presentations, some guests have trouble figuring out how to screen share. Different browsers on different platforms put up different alerts in different areas of the screen. But, thankfully, in an age when so many people are doing remote meetings, guests tend to have a lot more experience in how to share their screen than they would have had a year ago. So what was once a potential major hurdle is now more often a minor inconvenience.
The Next Level
There are several higher-end cloud solutions available for producers who do a lot of cloud-based production. These include Dazzl, TVU Networks, Gnural Net’s LiveToAir, Streamix, and Sony Virtual Production. As I mentioned before, there are also solutions that push desktop apps into the cloud. But these higher end solutions come with significantly higher prices as well. If you don’t see a price listed and you have to inquire about the cost, you know it’s likely to be substantial. It also takes time to configure these solutions to your liking. But when they are fully set up, they offer considerably more nuanced control of every step of the production compared to the mid-tier cloud-based solutions. Be sure you have the time to see if it’s worth it for your client(s).
For me, StreamYard worked so well for this multiday conference that I’m currently also using it to do recordings for an international conference that can’t take place in person right now. This event will include 32 speakers in 17 countries around the world. I’m in Texas, and the event organizer is in California. We both oversee each recording because he knows each speaker well and helps him or her get acquainted with me. He’s also making sure each presentation looks and sounds good while we’re doing it and that we have an opportunity to change things, with no time for an advance tech check. We just get people situated for 10–15 minutes and then record their presentation. With one presenter or two, one slide deck or two, a laptop, a phone, or whatever, it simply works.
In the end, this is what we are looking for: a tool that does what it says it will do, reliably and repeatedly, and enables us to deliver a polished final product. This way, we can get the job done in a professional manner and make our clients happy.
Disclosure: There are no ties between me and any product or company mentioned. I am a regular paying customer of all of the services I used, just like everyone else. My views are my own, and my decisions to use a product or not and to write about it or not, as well as what I say about it, are solely my own.
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