The company has been presenting webinars for more than 10 years, and does approximately 50 live in-studio webinars annually. The topics range from video best practices and tips from its customers and industry thought leaders, as well as product training and corporate communications. Each of those webcasts is viewed an average of 1,000 times a year, so the company has about 50,000 unique live and on-demand webcast views annually.
After assessing the quality of their webinar videos, the Sonic Foundry team decided to upgrade their studio equipment, including cameras. Video is essential to the business, and customers expected the latest advancements in image quality.
“Often you’ll see webinars out there that don’t have a video component, just slides and audio,” said Tammy Jackson, Vice President of Marketing and Communications. “But if you can upgrade to include video in your webinars, like ours, it creates a much more immersive experience for the audience.”
Vaddio, a Minneapolis-based manufacturer of specialty pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) cameras and high-end camera control systems, recommended a RoboSHOT 20 UHD camera and a PCC Premier controller for Sonic Foundry.
The new system provides professional quality video. Designed for use in medium to large spaces, the ultra-high-definition (4K) PTZ camera provides pristine image quality and outstanding low-light performance.
The room is 18 feet wide by 15 feet deep, and the remote controlled camera is mounted about ten feet away from where presenters are seated. Typically, they need to capture just two to three people in a frame, and up to five people in a panel discussion. With the RoboSHOT 20, they can record live, stream on demand, or do both at the same time.
The PCC Premier is a broadcast-quality joystick controller that comes with many precision controls for the most demanding camera operation environments. It features full preset store and recall, a large color touchscreen, fine adjustment of camera color settings, and IP management for seamless camera control.
Shane Tracy, Vice President of Mediasite Events, which provides turnkey online event streaming services to hundreds of companies, healthcare organizations and continuing education conferences each year, said he appreciates the intuitive controls.
“I’m just a regular guy who can go in and figure out the touch panel. It was very straightforward,” he said.
“The video quality is dramatically improved since we installed the RoboSHOT 20 UHD camera,” explains Tracy. “The colors are more accurate and the picture is clearer. With this camera we don’t need a person to run the camera, run audio, and run the webcast. We’re able to do it as a one-person job, which is huge for us.” Their set up has also impressed customers and inspired others to think about doing similar video webcasts.
Adds Tracy, “People think you have to spend a lot of money to do webinars. When they see our simple set-up and what’s involved, they realize they don’t have to spend six figures to create a webinar studio.”