NewTek™ announced today that TalkShow™ VS-100, the video calling production system designed specifically for television studios and live video producers is shipping. Introduced at IBC 2014, TalkShow is the new studio-grade solution that enables broadcasters and video producers to allow any of the 300 million monthly connected Skype users, calling from almost any device, to be seamlessly integrated as guest speakers into any live production.
The turnkey TalkShow system builds upon Skype TX software from Microsoft for initiating, receiving, monitoring, and managing video calls, with an additional unique set of live production tools such as call recording not found in other video calling systems. These tools allow producers to deliver enhanced video/audio experiences that are critical for producing higher-quality broadcast programming that is simply not possible with standard desktop video messaging products.
“TalkShow and Skype TX allow producers to fundamentally change the way shows are made by taking audience participation to a whole new level,” said Dr. Andrew Cross, president and chief technology officer at NewTek. “Newsrooms with immediate access to experts the world over, fans interacting live with their favorite sports teams, game shows with live video participants, corporate meetings with live executives from remote offices, guest professors from across the globe appearing in classrooms – the potential is beyond the imagination and I personally can’t wait to see it.”
The low cost, 1RU integrated hardware and software solution is broadcast ready, offering two channels of HD-SDI I/O (1 in, 1 out), dual channel Ethernet connectivity, SDI-embedded audio and professional XLR audio support.
TalkShow is the only production system that enables broadcasters to manage all aspects of a live Skype video call in the control room like any other video source––whether it is before, during or after the call. Producers can easily incorporate TalkShow into any live production or studio environment with:
- Broadcast-style video from regular Skype calls
With automatic aspect ratio conversions and balanced audio, and without requiring a scan converter.
- Optimized on-air video
NewTek’s proprietary, real-time video processing engine incorporates superb scaling, format conversion, aspect, and color correction routines; limit return video resolution in order to prioritize quality of incoming call video.
- Built-in video quality checks
Failover to custom, still image when unforeseen bandwidth constraints occur below operator-defined preset value.
- SDI I/O
Output a live video call to any production switcher and input from router or any production source to send a return image back to remote caller over IP.
- Access to anyone with a Skype Account
Add to anyone else who downloads and signs up for the standard desktop client.
Unlike any other solution available, TalkShow is the only video calling production system to add:
- TriCaster Integration
Direct network integration via NewTek’s AirSend™ technology allows a TalkShow unit to supply a video call to TriCaster, and receive a return signal from TriCaster, without using SDI hardware connections, but using Ethernet instead. TriCaster will also send a tally notification downstream to TalkShow to indicate when a Skype call is on air.
- SDI Embedded Audio
Embedded SDI audio on input and output, reduces cabling requirements and providing added flexibility for integration into established workflows.
- Better Return Sound
With exclusive support for four channels of audio on input for signals coming into the system over the network or SDI, and either front or back pair selectable, operators can have more than one audio feed—such as mix-minus—available for use as the return audio back to the caller.
- Audio over IP
With fully integrated Dante™ audio support, TalkShow interfaces with other audio devices utilizing the Dante networking protocol from Audinate®. In addition to sending and receiving audio over the network, and versatile audio source selection, TalkShow supports extensive management of network audio signals, including gain, equalization, compression, metering, and more.
- Talk Back
Operators, producers, or directors can speak with the caller as easily as they do with in-studio talent and crew, and prepare the caller, provide instructions, and relay additional information before they go to air.
- Color Correction
Outside the controlled studio environment, when lighting conditions or color characteristics are less than ideal, easily compensate with TalkShow. It’s the only solution to include NewTek’s fully configurable proc amp settings and auto color correction, so picture characteristics can be optimized dynamically in real-time—without requiring monitoring.
- Preview Monitoring
The promise of full-motion Skype calls should pay off with full-motion previews, so operators know exactly how the call is proceeding. Where other solutions may make you rely on video previews with a frame rate of approximately 5 frames per second, TalkShow supports full-motion, high-quality video previews for real-time monitoring of input and output signals.
- Tally Support
TalkShow is the only Skype TX solution to support a tally overlay visual for return to callers, indicating when they are on air. The tally overlay is customizable, allowing for a show logo or graphic of choice—not only to let callers know when their conversation is live, but to provide for additional branding opportunities for your program as well.
- Built-In Video Screen with Tally
TalkShow operators can view a full-color preview via the video screen built into the faceplate for instant recognition of the caller currently connected to that system, with tally support to indicate whether the caller is live or on standby—quick and easy verification of which TalkShow system is on air in a multi-system installation.
- Professional Audio Tools
Incoming and outgoing audio signals are fully configurable, with gain control, compressor/limiter, and 7-band equalizer on inputs and outputs to enhance sound quality, adjust levels for consistency, and prevent clipping or overdriving. TalkShow also includes VU meter displays that are configurable in all common professional audio scales, including dBFS, dBU, and dBVU, for accurate, real-time audio monitoring.
- Minimal Latency
TalkShow is optimized to provide the lowest latency when integrated into and genlocked within broadcast environments.
- Record and re-use
TalkShow enables full-bandwidth recording of any call onto external USB 3.0 or SAN storage with the click of a button—so you can capture the call while it’s happening, and use it in a later broadcast or a whole new program. Calls are saved as distinct QuickTime files that work with every major non-linear editor and all other NewTek systems for archive, postproduction, and playback.
- System Restore
TalkShow has a comprehensive restore function that allows the operator to undo system changes by returning to the factory default settings at any time.
Pricing and Availability
TalkShow VS-100 is available at the introductory price of $3,995 USMSRP until March 31, 2015. International pricing will vary.
For a complete overview of TalkShow, please visit http://www.newtek.com/products/talkshow.html.
Skype video and audio quality is dependent on CPU, network and Internet settings and connection speeds.
NewTek is transforming the way people create network-style television content and share it with the world. From sporting events, Web-based talk shows, live entertainment, classrooms, and corporate communications—to virtually any venue where people want to capture and publish live video, we give our customers the power to grow their audiences, brands and businesses, faster than ever before.
Clients include : New York Giants, NBA Development League, Fox News, BBC, NHL, Nickelodeon, CBS Radio, ESPN Radio, Fox Sports, MTV, TWiT.TV, USA TODAY, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and more than 80% of the U.S. Fortune 100.