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.
Note: There is a four-hour limit on Video Chat sessions. This limit is set by our Video Chat provider, not by Switcher Studio, so there is no way for us to remove it. If you need to use Video Chat for longer than four hours, you will need to leave the room and rejoin again.
In this article
Video Tutorial: How to Use Video Chat
Step-by-Step Instructions on Using Video Chat
Step 1: Choose host Device and Join a Room
When using Video Chat you have the option to Host from your main Switcher or by joining Video Chat from a separate device. For most people, using "Host From This Device" will work best.
Open Switcher Studio on the main switcher device.
Tap the Video Chat tab (icon with two heads and a screen).
Tap Host From This Device.
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 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 if using your device's internal mic because Switcher's Video Chat includes echo cancellation. Echo cancellation does not work with external audio inputs.
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.
Host From This Device
Before joining the room you'll have the option to choose how to host Video Chat. Choosing the default option to "Host From This Device" will send your live feed into video chat. This means your guests will be able to see and hear what your live audience sees in addition to other guests in Video Chat. This is best for most setups.
If you disable this feature, you will have to join Video Chat yourself from a secondary device. To do this, simply copy and paste your video chat link in a separate device and join Video Chat the same way your guest would. In this scenario, guests will only see other Video Chat participants and will not be able to see the live feed from Switcher. This set up is not recommended but is good for complex audio setups and certain situations and workarounds. If using this option remember to mute either Switcher's mic or the mic on your second device or you'll hear an echo!
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.