webinars. Since I typically produce webinars
using a 320x240 talking-head input, along with
4: 3 aspect ratio PowerPoint slides, swapping in
the 16: 9 input from Web Presenter didn’t automatically work. Specifically, where the webcam
input a 4: 3 video that fit the input window perfectly, Web Presenter input a 16: 9 image with
letterboxes on top and on the bottom.
It took a few minutes of tinkering, but the fix
was scaling the 16: 9 image using vMix’s positioning controls to eliminate the letterboxes, and I
was ready to go. This isn’t a problem inherent to
Web Presenter, but if you’re swapping out a 4: 3
webcam for the Blackmagic Design product, it’s
an issue that you may experience as well.
The unit does a great job handling multiple
disparate formats and scaling them down for
the 720p video actually transferred to the com-
puter. I asked about the 720p limitation and
learned that it relates to installation simplici-
ty: To make the unit look like and install like a
webcam on the target range of devices, this was
the best approach. This may be, but as a practi-
cal matter, Skype has gotten a lot more adept
over the years at recognizing capture devices
such as the Epiphan Video AV.io 4K for audio
and video input, and of course this unit can
input up to 4K video. Beyond Skype, live vid-
eo mixers such as vMix or OBS can work with
most capture devices.
What the AV.io and similarly priced capture
devices can’t do is input and switch between
multiple streams or input XLR audio. If your
streaming application calls for these requirements, and 720p input is sufficient, Web Presenter is a perfect choice. If you’re looking for a
general-purpose capture device for streaming,
you may find the 720p limitation frustrating.
Jan Ozer ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is a streaming
media producer and consultant, a frequent contributor to industry
magazines and websites on streaming-related topics, and the
author of Video Encoding by the Numbers. He blogs frequently at
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