Skype provides a great way for guests and correspondents to remote in to a live broadcasts, unfortunately relying on consumer hardware is fraught with glitches and interruptions. Packaged neatly within a 1RU rackmountable frame, the VS-100 TalkShow Video Calling System from NewTek is a bespoke computer running Skype TX software that is purpose-built for integrating Skype calls into live TV/Web broadcasts. It features dual Ethernet ports for TriCaster and 3Play users plus HD-SDI video in and out as well as balanced XLR audio in and out for hardware-based switchers. Quality settings and scaling are handled within the built-in software, helping eliminate many of the artifacts and aspect ratio issues encountered when simply scan-converting the output of a computer. It also features controls for tweaking the caller’s audio, helping ensure both picture and sound are up to broadcast requirements.
Apart from quality, the VS-100 mitigates other pitfalls associated with relying on normal Skype software and consumer computers for critical live applications. In particular, interruptions from other calls, personal data getting mingled in by accident, or IT related problems such as the software freezing or crashing. And in case something goes wrong on the caller’s end, there is an option to automatically cutaway to a user-defined still image until a good quality signal is restored or the director is able to cut to a new subject.
- Works with Any Skype User
- Record on-air conversations with anyone, anywhere in the world who has a Skype account or can download the Skype client
- Eliminate the Satellite Truck
- Have correspondents “phone” in their reports over Skype to eliminate the need for a broadcast truck or rental of studio space with a satellite link
- Works Like Any Video Source
- Add behind-the scenes technical quality control to call audio and video, just like any in-studio production source
- Get Higher Quality Results
- Avoid the conversion loss, aspect-ratio squashing, and video artifacts of using desktop video with scan converters
- Reliability of a Dedicated Professional Solution
- Avoid the risk of consumer-technology glitches, call interruptions, or computer crashes on the receiving end
- Reduce the risks associated with mixing personal communication applications with professional systems
- Remove the unexpected interruptions of conventional software, OS, firewall, and IT policies that make it inconvenient to air video calls from traditional laptops and computer screens