Switcher Studio's in-app Video Chat feature is great for welcoming interviewees, guest callers, co-hosts, or on-site correspondents onto your show. Video Chat guests can join using a web browser on most mobile devices, webcams, or computers. We outline step-by-step instructions below, but the high-level process is as follows:
- Go to the Video Chat tab in the Switcher Studio mobile app
- Join a room in order to generate a link to send to your guests.
- Send the link to your Video Chat guests.
- Once they've joined the room, guests become available Sources (like remote camera angles) that you can add to your broadcast once you're live or recording.
In this article
- Video overview
- How to use Video Chat
- Video Chat time limits
- Video Chat guest allotment
- Video Chat audio monitoring
- Remote Camera Mode
- Compatible web browsers
- Incompatibility with Huawei Phones
- Incompatibility with Director Mode
- Video Chat setup through the Switcher Studio Dashboard
How To Use Video Chat
Step 1: Join a Room
By joining the room, you and your guests will be able to see and hear one another. Your guests will also be able to see the live broadcast.
- Open Switcher Studio on your main switcher device.
- Tap the Video Chat tab (icon with two heads and a screen).
- Tap Join Room.
Step 2: Invite your Video Chat guest to join the room
Once you've joined the Video Chat room, you'll need to invite your guests. They will join using a unique link to your room.
- From the Video Chat tab, tap Invite Video Chat Guest.
- This will initiate your iOS Share options.
- Tap the communication method you prefer. You can send the link via AirDrop, Messages, Mail, Facebook, and more. For example, if you want to send the link to your guests via Messages, simply tap the Messages app icon, type in their name or phone number and hit send.
- Your guests can click on the link on any compatible device with a microphone and camera to join the room.
Note: You can send your guests the link to your Video Chat room at any time prior to the broadcast. The link will not change unless you log into your online Switcher Studio Dashboard and manually generate a new link.
Step 3: Add your Video Chat guests to your broadcast
Once your guests have joined the room, they will show up in the Sources / Production panel. To add them to your broadcast:
- Tap the big red button to begin streaming or recording your video.
- Tap a guest in the Sources / Production panel to add them to your broadcast.
Video Chat Time Limits
Monthly time limit
The amount of Video Chat time varies by subscription plan. You can see the most up to date allotment on our Pricing page.
You can also see how much time you've used and how much time is available on your account by logging into your online Switcher Studio Dashboard and going to the Video Chat tab.
Session time limit
Independent of the total Video Chat allotment, there is a time-limit on how long you can use Video Chat per session. Each participant can only be in the room for 4 hours at a time. That limit applies to the switcher (i.e. the person initiating the Video Chat room) as well as guests.
If you plan on using Video Chat for more than four hours at a time, you will need to leave / re-join the Video Chat room and start a new four hour window. This is a limitation imposed by our provider and not something we can control.
Video Chat Guest Allotment
The number of concurrent guests you can bring into a single session with Video Chat depends on your subscription. You can see the most up to date allotment on our Pricing page.
Unfortunately it's not possible to add additional guests to your plan. If you need more concurrent guests than is included with your plan, the only option is to upgrade to the next subscription level. The guest limit is based on optimizing the experience, based on the underlying technology used to power Video Chat for each plan.
Video Chat Audio Monitoring
You will hear Video Chat guests either directly through your device's built-in speakers or through headphones if you're using them. You can use the built-in speakers because Switcher's Video Chat includes echo cancellation.
Note: Although it's not required, we recommend Video Chat guests use headphones for the best audio experience.
Muting Video Chat guests
You have the option to mute Video Chat guests by default when they join the chat room. Simply toggle the "Mute Guests' Audio by Default" option to ON when you're on the Video Chat tab. When it's enabled to On, the button is on the right, and the toggle bar is blue.
You can also mute individual Video Chat guests at any point. Simply go to the Audio tab (sound wave icon) and tap the microphone icon next to their name. When the icon is highlighted blue, your guest is muted.
Remote Camera Mode
Remote Camera Mode keeps your Video Chat guest's camera full screen. They will still be able to hear everyone else in the Video Chat room, but they will only see their own camera in full-screen with a slider to adjust the zoom level of the camera on supported devices.
Compatible Web Browsers
Video Chat is compatible with the web browsers and operating systems shown below. If your guest is joining on an iOS device, they must use Safari to open the Video Chat link. We recommend all other guests use Chrome for the best experience.
Incompatibility with Huawei Phones
Huawei phones are incompatible with Video Chat. Chrome and Firefox both have open bugs for this issue, which is impacting any web-based video calling on Huawei phones. If your guest appears as a black screen in Switcher Studio, it's because they are using a Huawei phone, and will need to use a different device.
Incompatibility with Director Mode
Switcher Studio's Director Mode can be used to capture HD video from all angles and automatically composite each angle and assets used during the production into one video file. It is not possible to gather local recordings of the footage from Video Chat angles.
Video Chat Setup through the Switcher Studio Dashboard
Prior to June 2020, in-app Video Chat was not possible. Using Video Chat required a dedicated device that was logged into the Switcher Studio Dashboard. It is still possible to use the legacy Video Chat setup though it still requires a dedicated device that's not running the Switcher Studio app. You can watch the video tutorial on how to do that here.