NewTek launches TalkShow VS-100 video-calling production system
NewTek unveiled TalkShow VS-100, a video calling production system designed specifically for television studios and live video producers. With TalkShow, any television or live video producer can easily reach 300 million monthly connected Skype users and incorporate them as guest speakers into live programs with full-frame Skype video calls.
The turnkey TalkShow system builds upon Skype TX software from Microsoft for initiating, receiving, monitoring, and managing video calls, with a unique set of live production tools not found in other video calling systems. With TalkShow, users have access to customisable settings for fully color correcting live video calls (including features for automatic color balancing) as well as SDI-embedded audio, and compressor/limiter, equalisation, and adjustable head-room controls for further improving audio quality. These tools allow producers to deliver enhanced video/audio experiences that are critical when producing credible, high-quality broadcast programming and are simply not possible with standard desktop video messaging products. Additionally, producers using TalkShow with TriCaster multi-camera video production systems will be able to route Skype video calls directly to and from a TriCaster over a network connection without tying up an additional HD-SDI input.
“Almost every live TV and video program includes a conversation between people—whether it’s a news or entertainment show, a sporting event, or even a corporate meeting,” said Dr. Andrew Cross, president and CTO of NewTek. “While there’s been a growing trend to incorporate social media—such as live Twitter feeds—directly into these programs, integrating a two-way dialogue over Skype dramatically shifts the experience to a more engaging and participatory event. TalkShow truly breaks down the fourth-wall in traditional live television. It’s a fast, easy, low-cost way to reach anyone in any location with a simple Skype video call and to enrich program content with immediate access to the fresh perspective, analysis and opinions that only a guest speaker can deliver.”
Angie Hill, general manager for Audience Marketing from Skype added, “Skype TX is an important part of our offering to media so we’re delighted to welcome NewTek to the Skype family. We’re now able to bring new dimensions to broadcaster’s productions and inspire a brand new generation of media moments.”
TalkShow: Make, Receive, Monitor, and Adjust Skype Video Calls
TalkShow is a production system for live video calls that enables broadcasters to manage all aspects of a live Skype video call in the control room like any other video source—and adjust the visual and audio quality of each call. The low cost, integrated hardware and software solution is broadcast ready, offering dual channel Ethernet connectivity, two channels (1 in, 1 out) of HD-SDI I/O that includes reference signal, professional XLR audio support, Tally support and more. The 1RU system allows producers to easily incorporate TalkShow into any live production or studio environment and:
- Access anyone they can reach online—including the rapidly growing audience of 300 million monthly connected Skype users worldwide, to include more expert analysis and perspective in their shows, without specialized networking tools, ENG clients or proprietary software to call into a live broadcast or event.
- Transform any Skype video call initiated to—or from—a desktop, laptop, X-Box gaming system, Skype enabled TV, or mobile device into full-frame video—with automatic aspect ratio conversions and balanced audio. TalkShow operators can work free of audio/visual distractions such as secondary call notifications and advertisements.
- Color balance video images—with full proc-amp controls and automatic color correction to adjust image attributes for any lighting environment, enabling video calls with poor lighting and contrast to appear with far higher quality.
- Deliver reliable broadcast audio signal quality—with SDI-embedded audio, and built-in compressor/limiter tools that keep call volumes at consistent levels and prevent audio clipping. Additionally, producers who often wrestle with scratchy audio and nasal-like midrange tone that results from small telephonic microphones can adjust overall tonality and background noise of any Skype call using the onboard graphic equalizer.
- Actively monitor live Skype video calls—with full Tally support that allows operators to see when TalkShow Skype feeds are currently live in a program.
- Easily manage multiple, simultaneous Skype calls—within a single, user-friendly interface that offers operator previews, continuous call quality monitoring, and automatic fallback to custom still images when unforeseen bandwidth constraints occur.
Pricing and Availability
The TalkShow VS-100 model is expected to ship in Q4 2014 and is available to order now at a special introductory price of $3,995 USMSRP, which will remain in effect through November 26, 2014. International pricing will vary.