Hangouts on Air for broadcasting Part 3: using a vision mixer

Live broadcasting

Blue studio set
Streaming ready: a vision mixer simplifies multi-camera broadcasting


Hangouts on Air are steadily gaining ground as a viable way to stream live events to a large number of viewers.

The Google+ Hangout system already has some useful features for broadcast, including support for up to 10 participants, each with their own video stream, screen sharing, and support for basic on-screen graphics and titles.

Hangouts on Air add the ability to stream the Hangout live to YouTube, and record it for later replay; Hangouts on Air also add some specific features appropriate to broadcasting to a public audience.

Our first feature in this series looked at some of the tools and techniques for setting up a Hangout on Air as a broadcast.

Our second feature looked at creating a multi-camera broadcast within the Hangout On Air itself. This multi-camera set up has some advantages, such as the ability to mix camera angles in a studio or live event setting, to bring in a “roving” camera, or even to allow a remote guest as an on-screen participant.

But, as our second article shows, there are some limitations to this approach. This centre around the use of bandwidth, and the need to have a separate camera, computer and capture card for each camera angle. Each camera angle also takes up a “seat” in the Hangout.

Streaming via a vision mixer – or a software-based mixing application – overcomes many of these drawbacks.

Next: Setting up for a Hangout on Air