NAB 2024: vMix Talks vMix 27 and Zoom Integration

Among the key features of vMix 27 are Zoom integration, enabling remote producers to bring in (theoretically) an unlimited number of remote guests, vMix Senior Systems Engineer Heath Barker reports in this interview with Streaming Media contributing editor Shawn Lam of SLVLive in the vMix booth at NAB 2024. Barker also does a quick hands-on demo of how the feature works.

Shawn Lam: I'm here at NAB 2024 with Heath Barker from vMix, and we're going to be talking about the latest release of vMix, which is vMix 27. Quick overview, what are some of the big features in 27?

Heath Barker: The biggest feature for vMix 27 is our Zoom integration. So it's possible to take all of our Zoom callers from a meeting directly into vMix as individual inputs. So that means that you can bring in both their video and their audio independently so that you can do things like ISO record them or stitch them all together into a full layout with having your main caller and then various panelists on the side or something like that. So, a lot of flexibility with Zoom. The other thing that's cool about it is historically we've had vMix Call, which was limited to eight callers. Zoom has no limits in terms of numbers of inputs. Where the limits lie are bandwidth--so you've got 30 Megabits of bandwidth to work with, and that equates to about five high-definition 1080P sources. If you've got a premium Zoom account, you'll have access to that 1080P, but it could be something like 2360P, and if you've got them as small individual inputs, that's going to look great. So that's the main one.

Shawn Lam: How is this different from Desktop Capture?

Heath Barker: In Dsktop Capture, you could really only bring in one at a time, whereas now you can bring them all in. And it was difficult to do things like bring in individual inputs and their individual audio so that you could do things like editing afterwards or recording ISO recording of each. So much better than that. And it all runs in vMix, so you don't need a second display to record on.

Shawn Lam: For me, when I watch it or when I use this feature, it's the clean input aspect that's super important, because when you bring in a Zoom input using Desktop Capture, you always get their name and their connection bandwidth. There's always something going on in there.

It's totally clean, which is fantastic. And then you can lay your overlays, like your lower thirds and stuff on top of them. We've got a demonstration that we might be able to show you a bit later.

And so not only can you bring in independent Zoom inputs as ISO cameras or ISO participants, we could also send back out. So how does that work?

Heath Barker: vMix has access to four outputs. You can just select one and whatever you're sending on that output will be what your Zoom participants see as you in the meeting, if that makes sense.

Shawn Lam: So that could be a program, but it could also be any other output that you designate as an output?

Heath Barker: Correct. If you had a host, you might just send their direct camera feed because that's more natural for them, but if the Zoom participants actually want to see what the whole show looks like, you could send them the whole show and how it looks. That includes them and everything as well, so that they've got a full understanding of what's going out, say to a livestream or something like that.

Shawn Lam: Traditionally when you're doing mix minus with video, you're sending video in and sending it back to them, which is kind of what we're talking about. We can choose what to send back. It can be confusing for the viewers, but worse is the mix minus for audio. We don't want to send them back audio. So how do you manage that?

Heath Barker: So vMix itself does mix minus for you. I recognises a Zoom input, and if it's a Zoom input, it means the participant could be talking. So we're never going to send that back. We're minusing that out. It's minus from the mix, hence mix minus, and so whatever we send back will be everything you want to send minus the Zoom inputs.

Shawn Lam: So no echo, no squeal, echo, no feedback. Just happiness.

Heath Barker: Now you could still get some echo or things like that if your participants, for instance, were not wearing headphones and had very loud speakers and they were getting noise back into their microphones. So things like that can still happen. So you do definitely want to, as vMix always say, test, test, and test again. But as far as mix minus goes, it's pretty solid in vMix. So what I've done is set up a little demonstration of how the Zoom integration works. In this, I've set up Zoom on my phone. So I'm calling into vMix as a Zoom caller. This is me here and this is what I'm getting as a Zoom feed from vMix. And I can now bring that into a shot that I've pre-prepared, such as this one that has a bunch of layers for all of my Zoom participants, these guys here, and one of them is me. And I'll aim it at myself with my thumb off the camera and I can cut to that. So I can just switch into myself, try and manipulate myself. There we go. And then cut to another camera, cut to a different camera, cut to myself. So it's the ability to make a much nicer-looking zoom, something that's really customised for what look you are looking for rather than what Zoom wants.

Shawn Lam: How easy is it to add in the Zoom input? Can you walk us through that?

Heath Barker: Sure. So it's a matter of going to Add Input in the bottom corner and then selecting Zoom as your input, clicking OK, finding the new input. And from here in the Zoom Manager, you can pick from your participant list. And so as participants appear in the Zoom meeting, you can right click on them and you can choose to add them as a new input, or you can add them as a existing Zoom input if you've already got one built there. So very, very simple to add people into vMix.

Shawn Lam: And then once you've added, say 1, 2, 3, or 4 inputs, how easy is it to switch? Who is on that input?

Heath Barker: If you look at my Zoom input over here, I can right-click on there and I can change my participant to be whoever I want. There is where you would do your switching. It's very, very easy.

Shawn Lam: Excellent. All right, thank you very much, Heath. This has been a look at vMix 27 at NAB 2024.

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