Blackmagic Web Presenter
HDMI and later connected my Sony
a6300 DSLR. Web Presenter immediately recognized both units running in multiple video configurations without a problem.
When I attempted to connect a
Shure lavaliere condenser microphone, I couldn’t find a Phantom
power switch, so I asked Blackmagic support and confirmed that the
unit does not supply Phantom power. Instead,
I routed the audio through my PreSonus Au-dioBox 44VSL into the XLR input and was rewarded with absolutely flawless audio quality.
In my experience, audio quality is a huge differentiator between amateur and professional
Skype calls and webinars in particular. If you
don’t have another option for easily inputting
XLR audio into these types of presentations,
Web Presenter is a great option.
As another benefit, Web Presenter (and the
Teranex Mini Smart Panel) provides a volume
meter on the front panel, which you can see in
the low green in Figure 1. This is both a great
way to monitor volume and to detect when you
may have inadvertently configured multiple
audio inputs, such as when you intend to input
via XLR but forget to disable audio coming in
via the HDMI and/or HD-SDI inputs.
After attaching my hardware, I started configuring Web Presenter via the buttons on the front
panel (Figure 3). You start by clicking the Menu
button, which cycles through the four menus:
Video, where you can select the input; Transition, where you choose a transition between the
two input feeds and transition duration; Audio
Mixer, where you enable and disable inputs and
choose XLR options such as Line/Mic and input
level; and a setup screen for software updates
and the like. Note that you can access the Video
and Audio Mixer menus directly via buttons on
the front of the unit.
My primary concern, of course, was disabling
the audio coming in through HDMI input, which
I did, and choosing Mic level input for the XLR
port. In Skype itself, I configured Web Present-
er as both the microphone and camera and was
ready to go (Figure 4). I made several Skype
calls, and the unit performed as advertised.
To test the unit’s switching capabilities, I
connected the HDMI output of my HP notebook to an HDMI-to-HD-SDI converter box and
plugged that input into Web Presenter. Then I
switched back and forth between the two inputs—one video, one PowerPoint—which the
unit handled perfectly, despite the different
input resolutions and frame rates. I captured
some of the video during these experiments
and input it into Adobe Premiere Pro. I saw
that the switch between the two streams was
accomplished in a single frame, with no tearing
or other residue. Note that Web Presenter can’t
configure the two inputs in a picture-in-picture
or side-by-side view; you can only switch between them.
I next tried working with Web Presenter on
the HP ZBook using the vMix live video mixer, which I use for multiple purposes, such as
streaming to Facebook Live and producing
Working with Web
Skype on a Mac