DIY-IT Project Guide

DIY-IT Project Guide

Summary: This is the comprehensive guide to the DIY-IT projects. If you're working on a DIY project of your own, this is a good place to start.


Here's a list of the projects we're working on. Feel free to check any of them out.

Build your own, broadcast-quality Skype Studio

The goal of this project is to build a broadcast-quality video studio for Skype in a 10×9 foot space, and spend less than $5,000 doing it.

Building a broadcast-quality video studio for Skype in a 10×9 foot space
One of the most exciting projects I've been working on is building a broadcast-quality video studio for Skype in a 10×9 foot space. Here’s the story that starts it all.

Finding a camcorder that works with Skype is harder than you might expect
Virtually none of the modern, under $1,000 camcorders currently in production can be used as a webcam. Here’s one camera that will work.

Getting started with green screen
This article describes the first steps in creating a green screen for the Skype Studio. As a bonus, you’ll get to see my disembodied head.

Lessons learned from the first full show
Get the inside scoop on the first show’s production snags, plus learn more about the design philosophy for the Skype Studio project.

Soundproofing the Skype Studio
Fortunately, the soundproofing and sound-sculpting materials work and work quite well. The room is now virtually silent and I’ve been able to get excellent recording and broadcast sound quality.

Green screen lighting in the Skype Studio
There are a number of challenges when setting up lighting for green screen in a small studio space. Here’s how I solved them for my Skype Studio project.

Choosing the right computer to power the Skype Studio
In later articles, when I tell you what obscenities I’m making this little machine do in the name of broadcasting, you’ll understand why this is so very important.

Feeding green screen chroma key into Skype
I wanted the remote Skype viewer to see whatever image I wanted behind me: a brick wall, a rack of computers, a bookshelf, a logo, a moving pattern…whatever.

Skype jumps the shark: Seven alternative VoIP services
Microsoft is adding advertising to its audio voice over IP (VoIP) Skype service (for now, video remains unsullied by marketing). Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols explores alternatives that don’t stick an ad in your face while you’re talking.

How to make money online with YouTube: a comprehensive guide
Are you interested in setting up a new residual income stream? While striking it rich with YouTube is very unlikely, it's extremely feasible to make an extra $50-$100 every month or two. Here's how Stephen Chapman does just that.

How Camtasia saved the webcast...literally
David needed to combine audio from a telephone conversation and video from a screen meeting into one recording. It took some hoop jumping, but with the help of some nifty software, he got his recording.

... more to come ...

Broadcasts from the Skype Studio

Want to see what's possible using the Skype Studio? Here are some of the broadcasts I've done. Be sure to check out DavidGewirtzTV for all the latest videos.

T-Mobile VP sounds off on Carrier IQ, AT&T, BlackBerry, iPhone, and eGov
In this video, a T-Mobile VP gives us an exclusive look into the strategic thinking of a major mobile carrier.

Technology policy challenges faced by the U.S. Federal Government (video seminar)
I delivered a guest lecture to the National Defense University in Washington, DC. You can attend this seminar by watching the embedded video. This was the most complex video production I've tried to-date. First, it had to be over Google Video, not Skype. Then, because I had to have the presentation in the prompter at the same time as the audience, I had to do a two-computer, one virtual machine magic trick to rotate and flip the PowerPoint to appear properly in the prompter.

Is Android secure enough for mission-critical government and military use?
I took a deep dive into military and government Android security with Dell’s top Android security expert. This segment wasn't quite as smooth as I'd like, which showcases the important of good bandwidth. Another lesson learned: wear solid color shirts.

The scary truth about voting machine hacking risk
I had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Jon Warner of Argonne National Laboratories for a deep dive into voting machine hacking. This was the maiden voyage of the Skype Studio and solidly proved the concept. There were some glitches, but overall, the subject was fascinating and scary and the studio actually worked as intended.

Topics: SMBs, Amazon, DIY, Microsoft, Hardware, Google, Collaboration, Apps, Apple, Android, Social Enterprise


David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

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  • Some tangential directions to go

    I'm an ---intrigued--- Linux user.

    1) How about a paragraph or two on experiences with Linux SMS apps (since the Mac is UNIX like).

    2) Have you tried faxing from your MFP using google voice?