Using Skype for a TV recording

A test with your interviewee / correspondent is always good in advance, to check for any issues with their internet signal and setup; also, to brief them on what they’ll be able to see and hear.

Interviewee / correspondent: To be interviewed using Skype, you’ll need a Skype account, but if you don’t have one already, you can set one up here. If you’d like to try using Skype from a mobile, an app for iPhones is here and an app for Androids is here. Remember to hold your phone horizontally for widescreen (rather than sending in tall, narrow video).

TIP: The correspondent or interviewee should use an earpiece where possible, to reduce doubling up of sound, and an external microphone for best audio quality.

Skype operator in the Gallery: At the Mac station in the TV Gallery, open Skype (hover at the bottom of the screen until a dock of applications appears, and click the Skype “S” icon). Sign in, and if the application hasn’t already filled the screen, go to Window > Zoom.

If the numeric dialing pad is in view, disable this: Window > Dial Pad.

On the Vision Mixer and the iPad sound mixer, the Skype computer (since it might be used for other tools to feed into bulletins) is labelled “Mac”.

Call your interviewee to have them ready ahead of the recording. Check that the interviewee can hear both from the presenter/s and from the talkback mic in the TV Gallery, and that the presenter/s can hear the interviewee. The talkback mic can be used to cue the interviewee (e.g. advise them when the interview’s coming up). If doing a video call, check that you can see the interviewee, and that s/he is shown on the “Mac” feed of the TV Gallery’s big multi-view monitor.

Mix the levels on the iPad as usual. Use the “Mac” channel on the “MAIN” bus to alter the level of the interviewee which goes to the final TV mix. Use Bus 5 to alter the levels fed to the presenter/s. Use Bus 6 to alter the levels the interviewee hears themselves – just presenters, VT and talkback mic on Bus 6. Due to low-level cross signals that can bleed to other channels, it’s best for the Skype operator to mute the audio on the Mac when the Skype call isn’t being featured in the bulletin.

Call up the necessary graphic from the Caspar VT software, e.g. the “JUS, live, Sheffield” graphic – this can be dragged into the running order. The graphic needs to be played out by the VT operator by pressing F2 as normal, and left on for the duration of the Skype call.

During the Skype call, use the macros on the vision mixer to switch sources as usual (e.g. “Cam 3 to Mac”).

After the interview, the Vision Mixer should switch away from the “Mac” feed, after which the VT operator should press F1 to remove the graphics, the sound mixer should turn the sound down on the “Mac” feed, and the Skype operator should also mute the sound on the Mac.

At the end of your TV recording, go to File > Sign Out, then Skype > Quit Skype.

FaceTime: To use FaceTime instead of Skype, see the FaceTime instructions instead.

 

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