Switcher Studio's Video Chat feature is great for welcoming interviewees, guest callers, co-hosts, or on-site correspondents onto your show.
To start a Video Chat, you'll be using both the Switcher Studio app and your online Dashboard, so make sure you have both an iOS device and a browser handy before you start this tutorial.
Video tutorial of using Video Chat
In this article
- How to set up a Video Chat
- Bringing your Video Chat into Switcher Studio
- Audio modes for Video Chat
- Important notes
How To Set Up A Video Chat
- Log in to your Switcher Studio Dashboard from a computer or from a mobile device.
- Click on Extensions > Video Chat in the main lefthand menu to set up a new call.
- Copy the Video Chat invite link and send it to your guest. Your guest simply needs to click the link in order to join your chat — no special installations required!
- Click Launch Video Chat.
- Enter your name and click Join Room.
- Have your guest also follow step #5.
When your guest joins the call, the Dashboard page allows you to see and hear one another. Be sure to keep the device with your Dashboard open nearby during your video production.
Note: Video Chat is supported by most computers with modern web browsers, including Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, and Apple Safari. Video Chat does not work on Mozilla Firefox browsers at this time. To join a Video Chat from an iOS device, you or your guest must use the Safari app.
Bringing Your Video Chat into Switcher Studio
Now that you have set up a Video Chat in the Dashboard, it's time to bring in the audio and video from the chat as a source for Switcher Studio.
- Tap the Video Chat tab inside of the Switcher Studio app.
- Toggle the Video Chat option to On. The audio and video from you and your guest will both be available as sources within the Switcher Studio app.
How Long Can You Stream With Video Chat?
Your subscription determines how much Video Chat time is included on your account each month. The current allotment for each plan is outlined below.
Note: 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).
If you plan on using Video Chat fore 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 limitation of our provider and not something we can fix.
Trial users have access to 5 hours of Video Chat.
Essential Plan Users
Essential Plan users have access to 5 hours of total use time per month with Video Chat. Your available Video Chat time resets at no additional charge on the 1st of each month. Enable “auto-refill” to add additional time to your account automatically if you run out of minutes. If you exceed the monthly quota more than once, please consider upgrading your plan.
Standard Plan Users
Standard Plan users have access to 30 hours of total use time per month with Video Chat.
The available Video Chat time resets on the 1st of each month. Standard Plan users have the ability to turn on the auto-renew feature in order to automatically refill their minutes upon exhaustion of time.
Plus Plan Users
Plus Plan users have access to 100 hours of total use time per month with Video Chat. That time can be split among three team members. An additional 30 hours is automatically added for each additional person added to your team.
The available Video Chat time resets on the 1st of each month. Plus Plan users have the ability to turn on the auto-renew feature in order to automatically refill their minutes upon exhaustion of time.
How Many Guests Can You Have With Video Chat?
The number of remote guests that you can bring in with the Video Chat feature is dependent on which Plan you are using.
Trial users can bring in 1 remote guest with Video Chat.
Essentials Plan Users
Essentials Plan users can bring in 1 remote guest with Video Chat.
Standard Plan Users
Standard Plan users can bring in 2 remote guests with Video Chat.
Plus Plan Users
Plus Plan users can bring in 4 remote guests with Video Chat.
Audio Modes For Video Chat
Audio during a Video Chat can be handled in one of two ways: Standard Mode or Manual Mode.
Standard Mode is the simplest option, and it is the recommended option for most of your video productions. In Standard Mode, the broadcast and the recorded video will use only the audio between you and your guest. The main audio input to your switching device is automatically muted. You can see and hear your guest using the Video Chat room on your Dashboard. Your audience can see the production but will hear only the conversation in the room between you and your guest.
Note: In Standard Mode, you can still unmute the main audio input in Switcher, but unwanted echo and feedback can result.
In Manual Mode, the audio from the Video Chat is muted by default, and the main audio input on the device is unmuted. Once the Video Chat is active, you can manually unmute the guest when you are ready. In this mode, you can speak and listen to your guest through the Dashboard on the separate device, and your audience can hear only the guest and the main audio input inside the production. You should leave your own Video Chat audio muted when using this mode. This also allows you to use the main audio input on the device during the production without feedback issues.
In the Video Chat tab, the guest will have a mute button next to their name. You can manually change the mute settings at any time during a Video Chat. You can only change the Audio Mode behavior before the Video Chat toggle is toggled to On.
Remote Camera Mode
If you're using Video Chat to bring in a remote correspondent or just need a remote camera in general, use the "Remote Camera Mode" toggle to keep the remote participant's camera full screen. They will still be able to hear everone 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.
Incompatibility With Director Mode
Director Mode can be used to capture HD video from all angles and automatically composite each angle into one video file with every media asset, effect, and transition that you made during your production.
Video Chat sources can be captured through a web browser from anywhere around the world, from a diverse list of mobile devices, webcams, or computers. Because of the distance, the variety of equipment, and bandwidth requirements, it is not possible to trigger, store, or gather local recordings of the isolated footage from Video Chat angles. We are working to create a solution for this workflow so that our users can use Video Chat while taking advantage of the benefits offered by Director Mode.
Compatible Web Browsers
Video Chat is compatible with the following web browsers. Chrome offers the best user experience across most operating systems, with the notable exception of iOS, where the Safari app (11 or higher) is the only supported browser.