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Using high quality Skype video in TV news bulletins


News items pop-up around the world and with the increasing availability of built-in cameras and microphones on computers and mobile devices, visualized news travels fast. Faster than a camera crew. For WDR, Germany’s national public television broadcaster, video phone service is an important tool, it enables them to add more live shots to news stories.


Digital gathering of content speeds up the process of news gathering. It also saves money, lots of money. WDR reporters only need a webcam and Skype software to tell their stories live. On the internet Skype has become one of the most popular video calling tools. But the degradation in video quality and technical hassle to get Skype in an SDI environment was a downside.


VidiGo Toolbox is a tool with a real-time desktop grabber, video player and still store. We believe it is the easiest solution to bring PC and web content to SDI output. In one click you can select and grab PC and web content – such as youtube and twitter for SDI output. You can adjust the audio volume and set a delay for exact lip-sync. There is an option to automatically insert the required logos. VidiGo Toolbox even allows you to have a return SDI signal so the correspondent can see the host in the TV studio.


When a reporter has a laptop that connects to the Internet, a small video camera and Skype will transmit live images to garnish news stories. This new way of journalism, which some call ‘backpack journalism’, ‘mobile newsgathering’, or ‘visual journalism’, changed field reporting considerably. Broadcasters can bring anyone on air as quickly as a video call can be placed. Where it used to take hours to set up a camera crew, now all they will have to do is to click on a button in their Skype window.