Google+ Hangouts On Air Impression

This afternoon my Google+ Hangout On Air account was activated, and I have been doing some testing. Sadly I am slightly discouraged, when you are working with pro gear like the Tricaster you want your video streams to be crystal clear, and your audio to be perfect. With the current hangout interface it is going to be very difficult to obtain the level of quality I am used to.

While it is possible to get good Video quality in a hangout, thus far I have not been able to get the audio to a quality standpoint that I am satisfied with. This is largely due to the Hangout interface taking complete control of my computers audio level control. In my setup I was feeding video from my Tricaster to a Canopus ADVC-300 Analog to Digital converter, and sending digital video via Firewire to the hangout computer. Separately I was feeding a master audio feed from my mixer to the hangout computers mic in port. While this type of video/audio inputs have been effective in the past while streaming to Ustream and other services. The way the Google Hangout interface grabs control of the Audio in line and forces it to 100% causes some distortion.

Audiences will forgive video issues, but you have to have the audio nailed. So over the next couple of days I will engineer up a solution that will work with Hangouts the way I want it to.  Mac producers are in even bigger trouble as the Hangout Interface will not accept a Firewire video INPUT, thus Mac users are stuck with USB interfaced cameras until folks like Wirecast are able to code up a VVD solution.

I did hear that the VidBlaster folks  just released their new update with VVD built into the new build. Unlike Mac users though Windows users can select firewire inputs for their video feeds.

Finally Hangouts Live is not a replacement for getting access to YouTube Live for people like me that do stand alone shows. Our Saturday Morning tech show will likely use Google+ Hangouts On Air on a regular basis from here on out though as it is a group show.

About geeknews

Todd Cochrane is the Founder of Geek News Central and host of the Geek News Central Podcast. He is a Podcast Hall of Fame Inductee and was one of the very first podcasters in 2004. He wrote the first book on podcasting, and did many of the early Podcast Advertising deals in the podcasting space. He does two other podcasts in addition to Geek News Central. The New Media Show and Podcast Legends.

One thought on “Google+ Hangouts On Air Impression

  1. Does the Google Hangout interface use Flash? Also, I wonder if the built-in audio compression is due to the fact that Google is anticipating *most* Hangout broadcasters will be using simple webcam setups?

    Anyway, I hope you’re able to find the optimal settings for your setup and that Google eventually updates its interface to something more full-featured.

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