Bob Caniglia of BlackMagic Design and I had the opportunity to sit down "together" -- socially distanced by about 3,000 miles -- and discuss how to get set up with video conferencing and streaming in these days of a pandemic.
BlackMagic makes high-end video gear, but it has also introduced a $300 interface called the ATEM Mini, which is a complete four-input HDMI switching box (with a ton of additional features). I'll be covering that in-depth in coming articles and videos.
Today, though, we talked about how to get set up even if all you have is a laptop with a built-in camera. You should definitely watch the video, but here are a few takeaways you can put to work now:
- Sound is even more important than video. Bob suggests placing some towels around to mute the harsh sounds in small places.
- If you're experiencing bandwidth issues, it's OK to transmit in 720p format. There's just no need to try to stream 4K or even 1080p if you want to save your pipes.
- If you need a makeshift tripod, consider using a lamp. Most nightstand-style lamps have a 1/4-20 screw holding on the shade. This is the same thread as is used for most tripod mounts. Credit for this idea goes to internet photo phenom Peter McKinnon.
- Your next step up in video quality will be a webcam. It's often good to use a webcam because laptops tend to capture video from unflattering angles.
- Even though your DSLR has an HDMI-out port, you can't just plug that into the HDMI port on your computer. You'll need an interface device like the ATEM mini to make it work.
- Bob talked about streaming PlayStation 4 games. He provided a link with some helpful tips.
It's possible to have a very workable home studio in a small space. Bob and I were both recording from home, and you'll see how he has a very nice green screen background in a tiny room.
There's a lot more to our discussion. Go ahead and watch the video. Also, feel free to post below if you have questions. Also, are you using a home studio or doing video conferencing from home? If so, let us know how you're doing and what your setup is like.
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