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Can I give different visual weight to different webcams?

New Here ,
Mar 03, 2011 Mar 03, 2011

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Hi, I've used Connect Pro to sit in on some classes, and it's worked pretty well. Now I'm evaluating Connect 8 and looking for some specific features.

I've got the 30-day trial to test it out, and the one thing I'd like, but I can't seem to find is a way to give different visual weight to different video sources. I'm thinking of something like Skype where my own video is in a PIP window with the other parties' video maximized.

It seems logical to me that, as a host, I should able to assign a presenters' video to the big "Share" pod, and keep other participants' webcam feeds smaller. But it doesn't seem that I can do that. I can make the whole video pod bigger, but it still gives equal visual weight to all sources. I'd like one to be bigger than the others.

Is this possible in Connect 8? I can't seem to find any documentation on it, so I'm thinking not. But maybe I'm missing something.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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Guest
Mar 04, 2011 Mar 04, 2011

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Michael, Sorry.  All webcam video is delivered into the video pod as equal size streams.  Good idea.  One other option, RefinedData has a pod called TalkingStick.  It has a lot more options and you might want to look up that pod on the Adobe Connect Exchange.  The pod for C8 is out but may not be posted yet so you may have to request the pod.  It is not free though so understand that.

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New Here ,
Mar 07, 2011 Mar 07, 2011

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Hi, and thanks for the helpful answer. TalkingStick seems like it might work well. It strikes me as odd, though, that Connect doesn't have this built-in yet. It seems to me to be a pretty basic feature for video conferencing.

My ideal situation would be a drag-and-drop feature where you could just grab one of the feeds from the video pod and drag it into the main window. Even more ideal would be the ability to do this per-user, so that each user could choose his/her own preferred setup.

The use case I'm investigating is connecting rooms on 2 university campuses, and adding home users in as needed. This feature would be a huge benefit to us, and to be frank, not having it may (I do emphasize may, since the other features are very compelling) be a dealbreaker. We would want to have the feed from the campus delivering the course to be primary to the second campus and the home users, but not on their own campus. In the "home" campus' case, we'd want the other campus' feed to be primary.

TalkingStick may be the solution that we'd need to go with. Expensive, but it may be worth it.

Thanks again,

Michael.

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Guest
Mar 08, 2011 Mar 08, 2011

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Well, you make good points.  Adobe operates in a partnership arrangement and encourages partners to create pods that meet customer needs.  Adobe like most developers has a certain level of resources to develop features and in this case the partners like Talking Stick and Vidyo have developed some awesome pods. Adobe will always make improvements to pods but also encourages partners to add value to build an Adobe Connect eco-system around development of broad solutions. You can also take our toolkit and develop your own pods as an option!

Also, one has to compare the video capabilities of Adobe Connect versus the competitors in this space such as IBM, Microsoft, Cisco, and Citrix.  We have an unlimited number of webcam videos that can be added to a meeting.  I was just noticing today that one of those vendors limits to 6 the total number of video cameras that can join a meeting.  One other only allows one camera.  So, we stack up really well in this space.

Let's talk about streaming video in a Connect room like Flash video.  None of the others can handle streaming video natively. Some try to make an attempt but one of them requires the entire video to be downloaded in bulk before any of the attendees can begin watching video! Crazy! Another vendor can't handle any type of video at all....they use screen sharing....which is a huge bandwidth issue and most of the time terrible video experience.  We handle video better than anyone....all because Connect is built on top of Adobe Flash Media Server.

Hope that helps.

Thanks for the suggestions...I'll pass them on to product management.

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New Here ,
Mar 08, 2011 Mar 08, 2011

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Thanks for your further helpful reply. I have been looking at other solutions and you're right - I believe the Connect is the best offering out there in terms of what we need, especially in the educational sphere. In further discussions with my counterparts, it seems this specific feature is now "nice to have" but not critical. I'm convinced we should go with the Connect platform, and if we can either get this feature built-in at some point or connect to a third-party pod, that would be even better. Our needs are small enough now that this likely won't be a dealbreaker.

Just out of curiosity, what's the Vidyo pod? I haven't looked it up yet, so I will do that, but Vidyo was the one other intriguing solution in terms of video conferencing - their software seemed great for multiple camera feeds. If that kind of thing could be hooked into Connect, that'd be great.

I'll go look up the pod right now. Thanks!

Michael.

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Guest
Mar 09, 2011 Mar 09, 2011

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Vidyo is a development partner of Adobe.  They have under development a HD video pod for Connect 8 that integrates.

See this press release:

http://www.vidyo.com/news/news_AdobeConnect_100610.php

The pod is not available yet but will be this year we think. Stay tuned.

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New Here ,
Mar 09, 2011 Mar 09, 2011

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Thanks Heyward, I will definitely keep my eye on that.

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