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Old February 20th, 2018, 09:30 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Burlington
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If you only have one computer for several tasks?

A rhetorical question (but actual answers would be helpful):

You only have one notebook computer, that has OBS, Webex and PowerPoint, that has been used in the past to record with OBS, while showing PowerPoint both on the notebook screen and a projection system, and sharing the desktop via Webex.

You've been asked to add a camera for a combined live presentation and PowerPoint to be shared via Webex and recorded with OBS. The camera arrived today but I haven't seen it yet. It's described as a sophisticated USB camera with a PTZ remote control and a tripod mount.

What are your opinions on the best way to utilize the equipment described above to switch between the camera and PowerPoint while recording with OBS and sharing the desktop via Webex?

Just let the OBS screen recorder run while changing between displaying the camera or PowerPoint using Windows controls? Use the webcam function inside Webex? Try for the first time to use OBS as a switcher instead of a recorder only? How would that even work with PowerPoint on the same computer and with streaming via the Webex app rather than OBS?

Thanks in advance for any input. I'll be testing the camera Wednesday and using it Thursday morning.
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Old February 21st, 2018, 10:47 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Milwaukee WI
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Re: If you only have one computer for several tasks?

Hi Jay,

Are you at all familiar with NDI? NDI is an IP video format put out by Newtek, but there are no royalty fees so many many software vendors are adopting and using NDI in their software, including OBS, XSplit, vMix, etc.

I'm not sure exactly how it might play a role in what you want to accomplish, but it may provide some benefit to the workflow.

Newtek offers a free suite called NDI Tools, which includes NDI Scan Converter which takes the output of any app and converts to an NDI stream. This differs from a screen grabber since it is taking the output of an app rather than just whatever is showing on the desktop. You can in fact output several NDI streams from the same computer from different apps all at once, none of which are currently shown on the desktop necessarily.

So I'm just picturing a scenario where perhaps PowerPoint is outputting as NDI and then coming back into OBS or something? OBS can also output NDI, then there is Newtek NDI Transmit ($195) which takes an NDI source and makes it look like a webcam to WebEx and similar software.

Maybe run vMix which can also input and output NDI, mix cameras and PowerPoint content in vMix then output the mix as NDI and get that into WebEx using NDI Transmit? Not that familiar with OBS, have only used it to record NDI source to H.264 file, not sure what its mixing capabilities might be.

Not saying I know the complete workflow solution here, but I think perhaps NDI could play a role in making it happen. vMix also offers their own free version of NDI screen capture software, but have not tried it.

NDI for OBS - https://obsproject.com/forum/resourc...bs-studio.528/

NDI Transmit demo - https://www.newtek.com/software/transmit/

NDI Tools pack here - https://www.newtek.com/ndi/applications/

vMix Screen Capture - https://www.vmix.com/software/download.aspx

Good luck

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers
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Old February 21st, 2018, 10:57 AM   #3
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Location: Portland, Oregon
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Re: If you only have one computer for several tasks?

Can you monitor or control OBS or Webex when powerpoint is on your screen? Once PP goes full screen, how do you get back to the camera? Or, maybe PP never goes full screen? But then, what does your local audience viewing the projector see?

In my experience, an unmonitored stream can and will bite you, and bite you bad!
30 years of pro media production. Vegas user since 1.0. Webcaster since 1997. Freelancer since 2000. College instructor since 2001.
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Old February 21st, 2018, 01:44 PM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Burlington
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Re: If you only have one computer for several tasks?

Thanks all for your replies.

The camera is a HuddleCamHD 10x.

The camera seemed to work fine.

In today's trial run we successfully used my first suggested course of action.

OBS records the computer screen.

Webex shares the computer screen into a Webex meeting for all distant attendees.

I run multiple mics into a mixer for both room PA and a feed to the phone for distant attendees.

PowerPoint is running full screen for the show.

The Windows camera app is showing the HuddleCam full screen.

Using Windows Alt+Tab to toggle between PowerPoint and the Camera as needed was successful and the test recording with OBS worked fine.

We do have a computer in the room that is monitoring the Webex live meeting just as a distant attendee would see it.

It's not my preference to also have the camera on the projector screen in place of the PowerPoint show when we switch, but I can live with that.

Thanks again all for listening. Perhaps this will be helpful to someone else as well. The people I'm helping are probably tired of me saying "if we were doing this the best way, we would..."
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