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Old August 16th, 2010, 05:26 PM   #1
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Production tips for live conference with slides, speaker and audio?

Note, by "speaker," I meant "talking head."

Hi, I will be in charge for producing the livestream video feed from an upcoming conference.

I feel that I will need some help with collecting the AV streams into one computer. Why do I need all AV into one machine? Well, I will be using livestream + livestream producer to broadcast the conference in real time.

To send a feed via livestream, one needs to have all video and one audio channels converge on one computer running the livestream producer application. The app allows to select one or both from two incoming videostreams (with the option to have one of the videostreams be a live screensharing stream) and sends them to the livestream site for "broadcasting."

The conference format: a speaker presents slides from a laptop, speaking into a lav mic, while being recorded by a camera positioned in the audience.

I am not sure how to handle the av stream + presentations.

The simplest option seems to involve having the camera video feed and the audio feed go into the presenter's laptop and stream from there. Simpler, because in this case the livestream app will have direct access to the screen and send the screen capture as one of the videostreams. I however don't like to have the streaming being handled by a computer that is handled by the presenters as I will need to stop/start the process and possibly alternate the camera video with the presentation video.

Another option is to have another (livestream-dedicated) laptop receiving the camera video feed, the audio feed, and the slides video feed.

I am wondering what hardware and connections to use for sending the presentation video feed and the camera video feed (esp. if the camera does not have USB output) to the livestream laptop?

I would appreciate very much it if someone who has experience with livestreaming/ustreaming an event with similar format shares their setup.

Thank you!

Andre
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Last edited by Andre Andreev; August 16th, 2010 at 05:27 PM. Reason: clarified title
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Old August 16th, 2010, 09:56 PM   #2
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I've previously only used one camera + radio mic and in my experience it's been a pain in the ass. Best advice I can give for your situation is to keep it simple and minimise the load on the load on the encoding computer. Do your mixing etc externally and hand a finished signal so that I only has to worry about ingesting and uplinking.

Hope this makes sense.

Andrew
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Old August 17th, 2010, 02:00 AM   #3
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Andre .. if you've never done this before and your job (read life) depends on it, hire in an outfit with experience and watch what they do.

Cheers.
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Old August 17th, 2010, 08:51 AM   #4
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If you have an audience, I presume there will be questions after each presenter's piece. Make sure you have a second mic to get the questions from the audience, and don't let *anyone* talk without a mic in front of their face :-) (and if the presenters complain about the spotlights being shone on them don't let them have the lights turned down either)

I'm afraid my experience doesn't really help much, as we had the presenter's slides on the av pc and those were manually switched when the presenter switched theirs during the talk, the slide were going out via Second Life while the main presentation was going via ustream, with the camera following the projected slides more than the talking heads. Not the way I'd want to do things if I was ever crazy enough to do it again, but we were also doing this for the first time...

Have Fun,
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Old August 17th, 2010, 12:13 PM   #5
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I don't have any experience streaming this type of activity live, but I've recorded this type of presentation for post-production hundreds of times.
For the largest and most important productions I use a computer monitor laying flat on the top of the podium for the presenter to look at and they use a remote control to advance the computer presentation slides, which are on the two notebook pc's at the tech station.
The podium monitor is fed by a VGA switch with 2 inputs and 2 outputs. So either notebook can be displayed on either the podium monitor or the projection screen or both. This gives a lot of flexibility and redundency. It also allows you to flash a message to the presenter on their podium monitor without anyone else seeing it. In your case specifically, it would allow you to have the computers at your fingertips and not on the podium.
Depending on the size of the live audience, as well as how many presenters transition from one to the next without a break will also have a large influence on how you handle the audio.
Give us more details on the size of the live audience in the room, as well as how the room PA system will be handled. Also how many presenters will present without a break and what kind of equipment and people you have with good audio experience.
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Old August 17th, 2010, 05:17 PM   #6
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AV will be handled by hotel

Thank you for all replies!

I don't know yet what the exact setup will be and I plan to have a separate AV person running it (most likely handled by the venue).

Sound would come directly from the mixer; audience questions will come via wireless mics, through the mixer.

The complexity comes from the need to bring two video signals into the "streaming" laptop:
- presentation video, at least 1024x768
- video camera video, most likely standard DV definition.

Another option is to have the streaming laptop be also the presentation laptop, controlled with a remote by the presenter. This would require that I take the USB key and start each presentation manually.

In the case of streaming and presentation happening on same laptop, I'd need to place a video monitor in front of the presenter (as suggested -- TED style)... what is the best way to do this given that the video will also be fed to a projector? How long can an SVGA connection be?
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Old August 17th, 2010, 09:13 PM   #7
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Make sure you have final authority on the lighting. I've had times when a well meaning person turns down the room lights so that the projected PPT image looks better to the audience.

"Hey .... how come the video is so dark?"

(rolls eyes)

Andrew
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Old August 17th, 2010, 09:16 PM   #8
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This is the perfect job for a Tricaster. Get/rent one and be amazed... give yourself a couple of hours to get familiar with it, it's very easy to use. Bring in your camera(s), your audio feeds, connect the laptop via LAN and push to the streaming server either wmv or flash.

Trust me, letting one laptop handle everything... will mess up everything!
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Old August 18th, 2010, 07:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre Andreev View Post

The complexity comes from the need to bring two video signals into the "streaming" laptop:
- presentation video, at least 1024x768
- video camera video, most likely standard DV definition.

In the case of streaming and presentation happening on same laptop, I'd need to place a video monitor in front of the presenter (as suggested -- TED style)... what is the best way to do this given that the video will also be fed to a projector? How long can an SVGA connection be?
Andre, you can get a feed from the AV company's switcher (Master out) directly to your laptop. It is very likely the AV company would be switching from Slide to talking head most of the time. So you have one signal coming in to your laptop,

You can ask your client to tell the AV Company to set-up a Monitor for the Speaker but for any decent AV Company this would be a given.

My 2 cents
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