Easy-to-use video setup
October 20, 2011 3:21 PM   Subscribe

Questions about setting up a recording/video conferencing setup for my company. Hardware, software, and studio tips needed.

So, I've been tasked with refreshing a PC to let our sales manager record product demos and live-stream meetings via WebEx, Skype, and (possibly) Adobe Connect.

Hardware wise we have a pretty well spec'd Dell Precision with:

Core2Duo @ 3Ghz
4 GB of RAM
128GB Intel SSD (latest revision)
standard def Canon camcorder streaming via firewire card
Logitech C910 HD webcam
2 lav mics
a shotgun mic
crappy, on-board soundcard

I'm rebuilding the Machine with Win 7 x64 and want to take this chance to make the machine as elegant and user-friendly as possible.

Here are my questions:

1) Is there some kind of intuitive "digital director" software that allows you to choose which mics and cameras are being streamed? Something that would let him control the A/V situation across multiple programs (WebEx, Skype, recording software). Not afraid to pay, but not looking to spend more than a $100 or so.

2) What's a simple, but somewhat powerful recording suite for presentations. We're not too concerned about post-production. Currently using Debut Video to record the demos, but the software is kind of chintzy and ad-supported. Also, changing cameras and audio inputs is cumbersome at best. Again, the cheaper the better.

3) PCI Sound card options. SO MANY! We're not looking for studio-quality here, just something with decent DSP for echo-removal, mic boost, ect. Currently we're just plugging either the lac mic receiver or the shotgun mic in depending on the situation. We'd REALLY like to avoid an external mixer as he wants this to be as easy as possible. At most we'll have the webcam mic and either the shotgun or lav mics (never at the same time). Under $100 is key.

4) Is there an HD usb-camera (webcam is a little limiting) that will remotely zoom? Not digitally zoom, but something with an actual optical zoom. I know a lot of cheap HD camcorders have USB inputs, but I'm not clear on which will act as streaming cameras.

Thanks a lot, I'm sorry if this is a little rambling, but the whole situation is very confusing and annoying.
posted by lattiboy to Technology 3 users marked this as a favorite
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