Skype to TV setup help

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by maflynn, May 2, 2016.

  1. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #1
    I'm looking for a product or set of technologies that can resolve an issue I'm looking into.

    At the dojo I work at, we're looking to setup a skype setup so that a couple of the students who are not local can continue to participate. I'd like to have some sort of camera that feeds into a tv that we have setup in the dojo. Its an older flatscreen of that matters. The usually webcams don't seem to help me out as I couldn't find a USB port on the TV.

    Any suggestions on how to get the ball rolling and perhaps get my mind wrapped around what our options are, would be appreciated.
     
  2. kohlson macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    #2
    I'm not aware of anything that plugs into a TV. But you could try a mac. Using a mini or similar, plug a camera into the computer, and the computer to the flat screen.
     
  3. campyguy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #3
    One of our offices has an old Logitech HD webcam, it's HDMI-only, I think it's the 960-000921 model, and it wasn't cheap - around $350 (but I got to write it off as it was a business expense...). Skype's built in, but it's getting harder to find one of these units - I'm not buying anymore of these, but it's been bulletproof so far.

    A few of my friends use Kinect with their Xbox One, and I'll admit it's pretty slick. The Xbox connects via HDMI and the Kinect plugs into the Xbox. QED, and there will be plenty of updates even if the Kinect is left to languish a bit in the future.

    Or, the "cheap" but effective option is to use the Skype web beta with an existing PC or Mac with or without a decent webcam that's plugged into the PC/Mac. I've been testing it out, and it's pretty slick.
     
  4. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    #4
    You have two remote people that need two-way video conferencing with your main site with (apparently) a large screen at your location to easily see the two remote guys.

    If all you want is them to see your site, they just need a PC or web-capable phone/tablet. You can use a phone/tablet/PC and aim the built-in camera at the location of interest. They can connect using Skype, Google Hangouts, etc.

    If you want to also see *them* on the large screen, you'll need to connect your PC or mobile device to the large screen. That requires some type of adapter which is different with each device. E.g, you can directly connect an iPhone or iPad using a Lightning-to-HDMI adapter: http://amzn.com/B009WHV3BM There are also adapters for VGA, component video, etc. For a laptop you would need an appropriate HDMI cable.

    Depending on the make/model/year of mobile device or laptop, you might get better results with a USB webcam: http://amzn.com/B006JH8T3S

    For video conferencing software Google Hangouts is free and supports up to 10 users. It supports Windows, Mac, iOS and Android clients:
    https://apps.google.com/products/hangouts/

    A separate but related Google option is Hangouts On Air, which is more designed for live streaming of talks, webinars, etc. It is also free and supports these features:

    - Unlimited number of viewers
    - Multi-camera broadcasts with video switching via control app
    - Cloud-based video recording
    - Unlisted or private broadcasts

    Multicam On Air setup: http://www.audiovideopro.net/hangouts-on-air-for-broadcast-multi-camera-shows/

    Getting started with Hangouts On Air: https://support.google.com/plus/answer/2553119?hl=en
    Unlisted On Air broadcast: https://support.google.com/plus/answer/4646402?hl=en
     
  5. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #5
    Thanks for the input, I was indeed thinking about this incorrectly, Its not that complex but for some reason I was just making it more complicated then it ought too. We're looking at hooking up a webcam to a laptop and then hooking the laptop to the TV via HDMI. I think that will work
     
  6. kohlson macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    #6
    Other things to consider, depending on your goals. If the idea is that you can connect f2f with them from time to time, simple is better. But if the idea is closer to "telepresence" (longer connect times, just-like-being-there connectivity) consider things like lighting and sound at both ends. These can make a big difference in how connected both ends will feel. And while yu can spend a lot on this, even spending a little helps - inexpensive lamps, computer speakers, and mic's.
     

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