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First Look: vMix 19 and vMix Call

vMix CEO Martin Sinclair gives Shawn Lam a close-up look at vMix 19 and its signature new feature, vMix Call, which makes it simple and effective for webcasters to integrate remote callers into their live streams.

Shawn: It's Shawn Lam here for Streaming Media Producer at NAB 2017. I'm here with Martin Sinclair, CEO of vMix, and we're going to be talking today about vMix Call. When you start producing web-based events, a lot of times you'll want to be connecting in remote callers, remote speakers. And that's really been a pain point for producers for a long time, because we've been trying to pull in callers from Skype and other types of services, and that's had its limitations and challenges, especially when it comes to Audio Mix Minus, that's been a real big challenge.

So Martin, you have a solution out. Tell me about vMix Call.

Martin: New at NAB this year is vMix 19. vMix 19 includes a brand new feature called vMix Call, that allows you bring in up to eight remotes guests, and it's all completely integrated. So what that means is your guest only needs a laptop and a browser, and maybe a webcam. They could also install a professional camera if you wanted higher quality, but that's all they need on their end, and an internet connection. And they log into our website, no software installation required, and within a couple of seconds you've got the high-quality feed from them, and they also receive back the program feed from your production.

So you have a two-way point-to-point video feed, and key to this is Automatic Mix Minus. Because you're be using vMix for your entire production, we can manage the audio mixing automatically so they don't hear any echoes, and the production doesn't hear any echoes.

Shawn: Let’s talk about latency. What is typical to experience in this type of a conversation?

Martin: We try to keep it under a second, worst-case scenario. So if you have a good connection between two points it will be almost like they're right next to you. If they're on a 3G connection out in the middle of the mountains or something like that, then it might be half a second. Because we've done a lot of tests from all around the world, so we've had from Ireland to Australia, and everything in between. So it really just depends on how far away they are in the world, and that's an important feature of vMix Call: you can bring in multiple callers from everywhere in the world.

We've done demos where everybody in the world, from all these different countries are all part of the same show at the same time.

Shawn: Let's have a look at the software.

Martin: vMix Call makes it really easy to add your remote guest. You simply select Add Input, select the Video Call tab, and select Host a Call. Now this will generate a number, and all you have to do is tell your guest to go to, and type in that number. So what I'm going to is I'm going to add that in there, and I've got that ten-digit number and I've got my cell phone, because not only can they use a laptop, they can use an Android cell phone running Google Chrome.

So all I'm going to do on this is visit and type in my name, and the password. So all I have to do is type in the number, and on the cell phone interface I can choose my front camera or my back camera. So I want to give this production an overview of what's happening at NAB right now, so I'm choosing my back camera and I'm logging in. And now within a couple of seconds I've got the video feed right here, and I can just go and give them a tour, and it has full audio built into it, so I can say, "Hey, here I am at NAB 2017, and here is the booth."

And of course, on the video feed here I have a return video feed as well, so I can see what's happening in the studio. And of course, to add multiple guests you just follow the process again and add multiple calls. And I can manage a couple of additional settings such as bandwidth, for low-bandwidth applications I can select what audio source to send them. The key thing, as we mentioned before, is that regardless of what audio source you send, it will automatically handle the Mix Minus, so there won't be any echoes.

Shawn: Thank you very much Martin, this has been a look at vMix 19 featuring vMix Call, this is Shawn Lam for Streaming Media Producer at NAB 2017, thank you.

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