Internal multiview and countdown timer display features?


New member
We've been relying heavily on our VS4000 to continue producing a weekly round table discussion program during the pandemic. It's performed remarkably but we've had to tack on some external equipment to perform features that might work better if done within the VS4000. We found that if we sent program video from our switcher back to our Skype guests, they were thrown off by seeing themselves reverse flipped and delayed, and they could not see if the host or other panelists were reacting to them. None of the guests could see if any of the others was trying to weigh in and would cut each other off accidentally. As a temporary solution, I'm using a small Blackmagic 4:1 multiviewer device to create a "quad multiview" of three Skype guests and our host's camera (image attached). This is the view that I send back to the Skype guests so that they can see each other at all times, which enhances their ability to have a natural conversation (as natural as video calls can be). The downside to this is that their video is not "mirrored" so they see themselves flipped, and there is even more delay added to the return video in the process. I'm also using external equipment to embed a countdown timer into that quadview display so my guests know how much time is left in the show. I then switch between that view and program (if needed, to show guests roll ins or graphics) using a separate switcher (even more delay). The guests are more comfortable now and eventually get used to the flipped view of themselves, but the whole process is clunky. They inevitably mention that a minimal delay "gallery view" with mirror flipped view of self is a feature of Zoom ask why we don't just use Zoom. The ability to break out each guests audio and video on a single device is lost on them.

I'm wondering if it would be possible to add a software based customizable "multiview" as the return video source from within the VS4000? Generating a multiview return feed from a combination of Skype feeds and an external input seems feasible and would be worth the investment if it was available as an add on license. Being able to display a timer that could be controlled from within the Talkshow app (or with a GPI) would be really useful too.


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'the write stuff'
Interesting notions, thanks.

Just to mention it, if you are producing your show on a TriCaster with your TalkShow, you could set up a custom return feed (complete with countdown overlay) using an M/E. You'd still have a slight delay on the return, but you're going to have that anyway given that the return feed is external to the VS4000.
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