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Pros and Cons of Zoom and Teams for Remote Production

Anthony Burokas of Stream4us discusses the limitations of using business chat apps such as Zoom, Teams, and Skype in pro live production--such as the inability to correct color or edit isolated audio tracks--and recommends ways to circumvent those limitations in this clip from his presentation at Streaming Media East Connect 2021.

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Learn more about remote production at Streaming Media West 2021.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Anthony Burokas: There's a big difference between business chat apps and video production apps. Sometimes there's a bit of pushback as to why the remote guest has to connect to your system. "Why can't we just use WebEx or Teams or Zoom or Google Meet because that's what we use to do?" The main reason is that those business chat apps are not designed to enable producers to get isolated audio--we just call it ISO--and video from each person separately. Business chat apps mix everything together in the cloud. Video production apps are designed so that we can adjust audio levels, gain, and equalization for each person individually. We can also color correct, reposition the camera feeds as we need for our show. With dedicated numbers for connections, we can pre-build the shows and multiviews, knowing ahead of time, who will come in on which remote camera connection.

This is simply not possible with the business chat apps. Now, if there's some overarching reason why a person can't or will not connect directly to the video production app, you can use the business chat apps and then use some tricks to try and get that person's individual feed from the business chat app into your production. For instance, you can dedicate a laptop to each person you need an ISO from . That's what a lot of people do with Zoom. You can pin or highlight (whatever each app calls it) that one person on that one device. And then you can use free software like NDI Screen Capture to grab that screen and bring it into your video production software of choice over the local area network. Or you can send that screen out on HDMI and capture that as you would any other camera feed.

Interestingly, Microsoft Teams has integrated the ability to send out individual NDI streams for each caller, as long as there aren't too many callers. You're not going to get 50 ISO feeds over NDI from one computer. And you need to have enough local bandwidth and enough CPU processing power to handle multiple NDI streams at the same time.

It also takes a bit of setting up. They've got a whole page on, on all the different steps you need to do to make this happen properly. Lastly, the audio is still mixed together, but having ISO app output capability built into Teams is a nice feature. If you use Teams, give it a try.

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