Sky News chooses NewTek TalkShow for on-air Skype calls

Sky News has selected NewTek’s TalkShow video calling system to facilitate live on-air Skype video calls as part of Sky News’ rolling 24 hour news coverage. TalkShow is the video calling solution that enables broadcasters and video producers to allow any of the 300 million monthly connected Skype users, calling from almost any device, to be seamlessly integrated as guest speakers into any live production.

The four TalkShow systems, purchased through NewTek authorised reseller Jigsaw24, will be installed at Sky News’ headquarters in Osterley, west London.

Sky News had previously used Skype in various iterations for its on-air video calls, but needed to move to a more professional and reliable broadcast platform.

“We found TalkShow to be a nice balance of performance, functionality and price,” said Richard Pattison, deputy head of news technology, Sky News. “We also liked the fact that TalkShow worked out of the box and integrated easily with our existing control PC. It was also useful that it did not require audio inputs to be embedded on video.”

TalkShow is a production system that enables broadcasters to manage all aspects of a live Skype video call in the control room like any other video source – whether before, during or after the call. The proprietary, real-time video processing engine incorporates superb scaling, format conversion, aspect and colour correction routines, and limits return video resolution in order to prioritise the quality of the incoming call video. In addition, with exclusive support for four channels of audio on input for signals coming into the system over the network or SDI, and either front or back pair selectable, operators can have more than one audio feed – such as mix-minus – available for use as the return audio back to the caller.

Operators, producers, or directors can speak with the caller as easily as they do with in-studio talent and crew, and prepare the caller, provide instructions, and relay additional information before they go to air.

“TalkShow is proving to be the video calling solution of choice for leading broadcasters around the world,” said Caroline Niedzwiecki, VP of sales, EMEA, NewTek. “It has opened the doors to an almost infinite choice of expert or commentator – anyone with a connected device and an opinion can now give their views with high quality visual and audio signals.”

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