Originally Posted by 4lids
We utilized one of our web-based kits for the Grundy Center stuff last night, since one truck was off doing another remote and the others are both in for engine repairs. Sometimes it looks almost broadcast passable and other times it doesn't.
As far as the audio, we are still adjusting to automation and life without an audio operator. The entire newcast is being run by one person (there is a producer in the room too to assist with the show, but nothing technical). 90% of the work now is before the show with the coding, instead of the old way where 90% of the work was during the show. If someone in news codes something wrong and the director doesn't catch it right away, you will have those issues. A big issue is that we set levels before each show with mics and servers, but sometimes levels will differ once we get into a show. It will get better and better as we get more comfortable (only one month in).
Being an IT guy as well as a meteorologist at work, may I offer a couple of suggestions for improvement?
First, ditch Ustream.tv, or use only as a last resort, and then use Skype instead. Several reasons:
1. You can get talkback to the anchors without a cell connection (hook up an earpiece to the headphone jack of the laptop)
2. Bit rate quality can be adjusted. When you have a high speed connection, you can bring it up, and then bring it down when in a low-speed area.
And frame rate is decent, 10-20 fps.
3. No pop-ups/ads.
4. Got a 16-9 camera? it will complement your widescreen view nicely. :-)
5. "Conference call" feature so everyone can hear/see each other.http://www.ehow.com/how_2015260_thre...ith-skype.html
6. Your competition won't see where you are until you are "on air"!
I saw Skype in action with Nashville TV stations and reporters covering a mayor's news conference (the trucks were down by the river) with the recent major flooding there. I was impressed. Yes, I could easily tell it was over an Internet connection. But it wasn't distracting, and I'm a media/video junkie, so of course I could tell! WGN-TV's Tom Skilling went storm chasing and used Skype while on the road, live. He got a decent picture; it broke up some, since he was on dirt roads in the middle of eastern Oklahoma. But when it was good, it was more than passable. And your reporters could feed live tornado video back to your newsroom, and they can pop it up on air.
As for the no audio person, that's disturbing to me. Unless everyone shoots even audio levels, and talks at the same loudness each time, that doesn't sound like it's going to work very well.