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Zoom as a Pro Production Tool

Pandemic-era social distancing and the pivot to remote production have brought Zoom into the mix for many live producers who might have never used it before. Live X's Corey Behnke, SLV Live's Shawn Lam, and LiveSports LLC's Jef Kethley discuss how Zoom has entered their workflows in this clip from Streaming Media West Connect 2020.

Learn more about remote live production at Streaming Media East.

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Read the complete transcript of this video:

Corey Behnke: Zoom is an amazing production tool. Let's not split hairs. Let's call a spade a spade. We have some clients who want to use Google Meet, or they want to use Teams, or they want to use something else. But it's pretty much our preferred workflow for, "Hey, let's all get together and make a show together." Now, maybe we might put in some of the content.So the back-end producer plays can be for the zoom. Also the guests, the rooms. We've created probably eight different workflows using Zoom, sometimes as an input source into a switcher, sometimes as an out. I mean, it's crazy, right? As a production tool, it's allowed our industry to innovate in a way that we wouldn't have otherwise been able to. So we use SRT, we have a product called Live X Director that gets you 200-400 milliseconds so that someone can actually cut cameras remotely.

I think back to that latency thing and the Zoom thing--you almost have this differentiation of products for the thing that you're trying to do.

"Hey, I'm a director. I need to cut a show." "Okay, well, you need this ultra-low-latency product."

"Hey, I'm a back-bench producer and one to two seconds is okay for me." "Okay, well, we're going to put you in a Zoom."

"Hey, I have 20 consumers that have to come on this show and they have their laptop camera." "Okay. Get our Rivet app or use Zoom."

So I think it's been kind of revolutionary. I think it was made for this moment and I wanted to pooh-pooh it so hard. Back in March, I wanted to be like, "You're going to use Zoom. You don't know what you're doing." And I was full of shit. It is a legit product for today's market.

Shawn Lam: I definitely could echo those sentiments, because early in March, my whole business was just consulting my existing clients--or my previous clients, I should say, because they were no longer doing much business--as to how they were going to pivot and what platforms they were going to use. The obvious one seemed to be Zoom. But because they were going through some challenges early on, I was able to say, "Yes, you can use zoom, but here are some of the challenges, here are some other platforms that you may want to be looking at and that I can recommend and train you on." So, as a consultant, it was good to be able to recommend something that was different than the "consumer" or the obvious option. But now it's harder to not recommend Zoom because it's stable. It does a really good job. Everyone has used it. And you need to have a really compelling reason not to recommend it moving forward.

Jef Kethley: I think Corey would probably agree with me on this: The reason not to use Zoom would be if you had a great product like Corey's Rivet to bring multiple people in that you need to control. That's where you use the other tools. If you just need easiness and a common way for everybody to get into it, Zoom is still a go-to, without a doubt. Teams is right behind it for us, especially with the new NDI outputs that opened up a whole other world for us.

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