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New Contributor

Use webcam instead of screen sharing

In order to more professionally run a webinar with multiple panelists in one room, I acquired a video (HDMI) switcher (ATEM mini). This device is recognized by the computer as a webcam. I want to rum all video sources - camera, presentation, demo - and audio through this switcher.

How can I ...

  1. share this webcam without cropping?
  2. share this webcam as prominently as a shared screen?

I need a way to force the webcam signal full screen and not cropped to the participants.

The same requirement would be there If I wanted to broadcast e.g. a speech, which is not supported by a presentation.

Is GoToWebinar prepared for any primary content type other than shared screens?

3 REPLIES 3
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Respected Contributor

Re: Use webcam instead of screen sharing

I think GoTo is working on the webcam cropping issue.  Right now you can not turn off the cropping.

 

If you do not share your computer screen (stop, not pause) on the presentation computer, then your webcam will fill the image that is shared to the audience. Set up a test webinar and try this out.

 

I use my ATEM Mini daily and run my microphone through the MIC1 input.  This gives me a convenient On/Off switch rather than using the mute in the GoTo control panel.

 

NOTE:  The MIC inputs are unbalanced stereo, not balanced mono.  You can run the output from an audio mixer  into one of these inputs using the same kind of cable you would use to get an MP3 player or computer audio into a mixer.  Mine is a dual 1/4" to a stereo 1/8" mini.  Sometimes these are referred to in pro-audio as an 1/8" Insert cable.

 

Then you have to test out the sound level to find the right level to send out of the mixer to the ATEM input.  I setup a test GoToWebinar session and tried lots of levels until I found the right one.  The audio meter in GoTo helps a lot, but the ATEM Mini has no input meters, so you have to use your ears. I have not tried the ATEM Mini software, maybe the software has input meters.

 

The push-button volume controls on the ATEM are nice, but I do not use them.  It appears that you can push the up arrow up to five times to raise the volume, and push the down arrow five times from the default position to lower the volume.   Not very scientific, but nice in a pinch to quickly raise the volume of a video in a live situation.  If the ATEM looses power, the volume settings will default back to the middle position.  Thus, I set the audio level for my microphone at my outboard mixer rather than at the ATEM.  A single clipping light on the ATEM Mini would have been nice.

 

Be aware that you can not play music through GoTo, even using the ATEM Mini.  You can, but it will sound strange.  GoTo employs a Downward Expander in an effort to reduce the background noises, but this wrecks music.  We have been asking for a switch to defeat this "feature" when we need to play music. This defeat switch will even help for presenters who do not speak very loud.  It is frustrating to hear the Downward Exander attack the presenter's voice, and there is noting I can do about it.

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New Contributor

Re: Use webcam instead of screen sharing

Thanks a lot for all the details.

 

For me that means that the ATEM mini is just not usable with GoToWebinar. Cropped presentations or screens are just not acceptable. 

I see that if you just use the webcam to show your face, the cropping may actually be helpful. But don't dare to leave the track. I've been looking to streamers to learn about producing high quality webinars but with those limited capabilities in GoToWebinar, that may be the wrong place to look.

 

@Chris Droessler - The ATEM software indeed has a panel that controls the audio levels. It can even alpply audio effects like limiter, Compressor, Expander and with the newest version the also offer delay.

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Respected Contributor

Re: Use webcam instead of screen sharing

"For me that means that the ATEM mini is just not usable with GoToWebinar"

 

It's not perfect, but I use the ATEM Mini with GoToWebinar.  I have found ways to work around the limitations.