USB Pro Originals

Recent articles from the USBPro Community
Technical Sales with a key focus on customer service. Matthew has a technical background based in online meeting software and hardware.

Why YouTube Live is a BIG deal!

Why YouTube Live is a BIG deal!

Hello USB Pros!
Today we are going to review the latest YouTube Live details including how to get setup with a simple webcam broadcast all the way up to a professional RTMP stream. Streaming to YouTube Live is easier than ever. In this review we take you through the entire YouTube Live and Google Hangouts on Air process from start to finish. This review talks about the major solutions step by step so you can get a visual on how all this works. YouTube LIVE is going to change the broadcasting landscape. Once again Google is going to be giving professional tools to the masses for free. Google Hangouts was the first rendition of free video services but now YouTube Live is going provide a combination of Google Hanouts and YouTube with all new professional options!

Simple Hangouts on Air

Hangouts on Air are basically live broadcast's in the Google Hangout suite. So once you have your YouTube Live Event scheduled and ready to broadcast you have the choice of a "Quick Set Up" which will launch the Hangout's on Air suite. This set up assumes you are going to be using a USB webcam and microphone connected to your computer like you would for a regular video conference call. We really like this set up because you gain all the Google Hangout functionality such as Screen Share. You also get a function called "Live Control Room" where you can tweak some of the settings for what will be shown on the YouTube side. 

So in a nut shell Google has combined Google Hangouts with YouTube in the most straight forward way you could imagine. Google Hangouts on Air uses the simplistic WebRTC video conferencing which simply opens in the web browser your using (Preferably Google Chrome). I think this is a genius way to get more people into live broadcasting and opening up the possibilities for small schools who might want to broadcast a play, bars who want to share a video stream of a live performance or churches who want to share the service. 

In the next section we are going to talk about using a USB video mixer and even a RTMP stream. These are preferable technology solutions because they will allow technicians to include multiple cameras and microphones from existing broadcast set ups. But it is amazing that Google has simplified the process of video broadcasting down to a USB webcam and microphone for the masses. As you can see from slide 3 above users can even use "Hangouts on Air" to broadcast directly from your smart phone!

Using a USB Video Mixer

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Why Green AV?

Why Green AV?

Global warming is a major cause of concern for everyone because climate change is affecting every country in the world. It is a high time that we start caring for our environment for a better and longer life ahead. Many industries across the globe are taking green initiatives to make their businesses more environment friendly and video conferencing is no different. Video conferencing is already a cost cutting solution for many organizations but in a way it also holds importance for a cleaner environment.

Video conferencing is all about connecting people, conducting meetings and communicate internally or externally. Before video conferencing, managers from all over the country or globe used to fly or drive to an important meeting such as an AGM. As a result, it created more carbon emissions, used more fuel, created more pollution through smoke and so on. With the help of video conferencing all these things have been reduced by more than 50%. Every member of the meeting can join and contribute via internet instead of being in the very same room.

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Exploring UVC Camera Controls

Exploring UVC Camera Controls

A USB Video Class or UVC device for short is any advice which is capable of streaming a video, whether it be a webcam, digital camcorder, a video converter for analog or a simple still-image camera. So as long as the device supports video streaming, it may be called a UVC device.

Video controls

Using the correct pieces of software, one is able to access the video controls of such devices, allowing you to not only change the recording specifications (resolution, quality, etc) but also the physical condition and features of the camera itself. These include the ability to zoom, pan, tilt, roll, focus, a change in exposure or even enabling scanning mode.

So long as the camera supports one of these features, a suitable piece of software should be capable of providing an easily used and understood user interface to access these controls.

Then there's the digital side of the picture, settings which can't be controlled physically. These include brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpness, hue, gamma and digital zoom but definitely don't stop there. Similar to the physical control options, support for any of these is optional since the primary function of the device itself is streaming video whereas these features fall into the category of secondary, optional features and their only benefit is adding to the functionality of the camera itself.

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The Logitech ConferenceCam Family of Products

The Logitech ConferenceCam Family of Products

Logitech Conference Cameras

Logitech is the leading manufacturer of webcams and gaming peripherals. The company has a reputation of making reliable products which last a lifetime and do not compromise on performance. Logitech makes products for individuals but with the introduction of Skype for Business, the company has also introduced three new video conferencing cameras for businesses. The new line of video conferencing cameras are Skype for Business certified and are ideal for small group meetings.

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Video Conferencing & Carbon Emissions

Video Conferencing & Carbon Emissions

Today we wanted to acknowledge a really cool web app that helps organizations determine their carbon footprint and the amount of carbon they can offset with video conferencing. CRS teamed up with USB Pros to show off just exactly how easy it is to calculate an organizations carbon footprint. This website,www.PledgeVideo.Org,provides great information on calculating the carbon emissions reduction you can expect from video conferencing. Without going to far into this blog post the below quotation is from PledgeVideo.Org

"We make calculating your CO2 reduction from video conferencing super easy! Join the club and hold your companies commitment to the environment in the light!"

CalculateCarbon
Step 1: Calculate Carbon Footprint
Calculate your Cabon Usage
 

Let's first calculate your organizations estimated Carbon Footprint.

Carbon Footprint.jpg
Step 2: Measure Your Offset
How much can we reduce?
 

Then we calculate your carbon offset through reduced business travel and productivity. Feel free to add other source of reductions in (Tons of CO2)

badge.jpg
Step 3: Calculate Carbon Neutrality
Take a step toward Carbon Neutrality
 

Carbon Neutrality is the amount % of carbon you offset versus what you consume. This shows the overall health of an organization and their environmental impact.

 

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