You can add a live webcam or desktop source from another location into your Studio production. This is called Remote Guests (formerly known as Live Interview) and is a helpful solution when trying to produce a virtual event.
Guest(s) will need an Internet connection, Google Chrome, a webcam, and a microphone connected to their computer.
It is strongly recommended that audio is provided to any local hosts or interviewer directly via the headphone out jack on your Studio unit using headphones, IFB's, etc. Otherwise, there will be a distinct echo in your stream during the interaction.
Navigate to the Inputs tab. Select Add Input > Remote Guests > Add remote guests. (You can also go to Settings: Project Format and select Remote guests tab under User Interface.)
A Guests tab will open. Within this panel are two tabs, Invite and Chat.
When Invite is selected, you will see a Guest link, which you can copy to your clipboard and send to your guest(s) (via email, a messaging app, etc.) You can add up to five (5) guests.
This guest link will remain constant with your Studio project unless you click Reset guest link. Note that different projects will have different URLs.
When the guest receives the link, they should open it in Google Chrome on a computer.
Remote Guest only works with desktop Chrome; there is currently no support for this feature on other browsers or mobile devices.
Opening the link will bring the guest to the guest lobby. If this is the guest's first time opening this page, Google Chrome will request permission to access their camera and microphone. Mac users may also see a prompt to allow Chrome to access their camera and microphone; all of these permissions should be allowed.
Once all devices are allowed, the guest can enter their name and click Join to connect to the Studio session.
When a guest has joined, they will see their camera feed in the bottom right corner overlaying the Program output, a Broadcast Preview notification, and hear Program audio.
They also have access to the internal chat with you (the Host) and all connected guests. Guests can access the chat by clicking the expand arrow in the upper right corner of their portal.
Guests can choose to share their screen rather than their webcam by clicking the Share screen button in the upper right corner. This is useful if the guest is giving a presentation or demonstration on their computer.
This will open a Chrome window allowing them to choose between a full desktop screen, an application window (e.g. Microsoft PowerPoint), or a specific tab in Google Chrome.
Once they click Share, their webcam input will be replaced by the selected screen source.
Some other controls your Guests have include:
- Stop Video: Will stop sending their video (but will still send audio)
- Mute: Will stop sending audio to Studio (i.e. mutes their own microphone, continues to send video)
- Settings: Allows users to select a different webcam and audio source, if available.
- Leave Interview: They can exit the interview.
In Studio, you will see your guest(s) appear under the Guests tab after they have joined the Studio session. You can add any individual guest as an input to your multi-view by clicking the corresponding + Add As Input button. Their audio will also become available in the Audio Mixer. When you have more than one guest available, you can add each of them as individual inputs.
You can also quickly create a gallery-view graphics overlay directly from the Guests tab by clicking the + Add As GFX button. This will by default include all guests plus the first input in Studio (i.e. the first input listed in the Inputs tab) in a single picture-in-picture graphic.
If you wish to use a different source as the host or build a static image around the inputs, you can edit and customize the overlay from the corresponding GFX Designer.
You can then switch in your graphics overlay using the corresponding GFX controls in the upper right corner of the Studio interface. Audio from all available inputs will come into Program alongside it.
When a guest is switched into Program (either individually or part of a group), they will see a red On Air indicator in the upper left corner, letting them know that they are live.
To open the internal chat with your guest(s), select the Chat tab on the left side of the panel.
If you want someone else on your team to have control over switching guests in and out of Program, add your guests as inputs, then add your team member as a Web Control user.
Note that the remote inputs synchronization setting does not affect remote guest inputs.
You can disconnect a guest from Studio by navigating to the Guests tab, hovering your cursor over their image and clicking the trash can icon. The guest will receive a notification that the host ended their session.
If a guest is not seeing their camera or microphone activate in the guest lobby in their browser, there are two common causes for this: browser permissions and network firewalls.
Browsers will request permission to access your guest's camera and microphone the first time they open the guest lobby page. If they are initially denied permission, they will need to go into their browser's settings and manually enable them.
If the guest is using Google Chrome, here's how to do this:
- Open Chrome.
- At the top-right, click the More icon (three vertical dots) > Settings.
- At the bottom, click Advanced.
- Under 'Privacy and security', click Site settings.
- Click Camera or Microphone.
- Turn Ask before accessing on.
They should then be able to permit your camera and microphone each time they click on a guest link.
If the guest is using a corporate network (office, school, conventions center, etc.), where they or their IT team may need to ensure the proper firewall ports are open to incoming and outgoing communication.
In addition to the standard firewall ports all encoders need open, the guest will need to open the following which allows for WebRTC:
- TCP 3478
- TCP 19307
A quick test to know if the issue is down to blocked ports would be to connect the laptop to a mobile data hotspot on a phone for a few minutes and then test it again. If the webcam video comes through, then we know there is something blocking video on the original network.