Take a MacBook with embedded webcam, add Skype video and mix into a WiFi Connection
Amber MacArthur is a local Toronto-based technology reporter who not only does daily television broadcast reports for CityTV but also has her own CommandN.tv online video podcasts. Last Wednesday at mesh 2007 I found her in one of the conference hallways broadcasting live to CityTV’s local cable information station, called CP24, being interviewed by an anchor back at the studio. The viewers would see the anchor while Amber appeared on a display monitor beside the anchor (unfortunately I had no way to capture the actual broadcast).
As her video source she was using her MacBook’s webcam, capturing the picture via Skype for Mac and sending it out over the conference’s WiFi network back to the CP24 studio where they were receiving the video on another Skype client and putting it up on the flat panel display monitor in the anchor’s studio. Because this was a live broadcast, she did use a mobile phone for the audio as they could not risk any audio degradation due to packet loss, etc. She did say that had it been a recorded event, they would have used Skype as they can then edit out any audio problems.
Amber uses Skype for Mac quite extensively for her own podcast interview recordings and has a Cyberspeaker for Mac to assist with these recordings. CommandN is produced weekly every Wednesday and can be uploaded to iTunes for viewing on a PC and is also available in several other formats. Recently she launched Webnation, another weekly technology show produced for broadcast on CityTV but also available for download via iTunes; once again Skype plays a key role in its production.
I’ll be watching for a future opportunity to capture an actual broadcast as viewed over my cable service. And there should be a contest for the most innovative application of Skype; this would be a winner!