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Video Call Center App Allows for Video Call-In Shows Across Platforms

October 20, 2015

The Video Call Center has announced that it has created an application, Video App Choice, which allows users to host video call-in shows regardless of what video platform they’re using.

"Our customers told us they didn't want to be locked into Skype or FaceTime or any other single IP video provider for good business reasons," said Tom Wolzien, VCC Chairman. "Therefore the VCC team designed and rewrote our 4TH generation Caller Acquisition Technology (CAT) to run on either PCs or Macs to handle any video application that doesn't require proprietary hardware.”

Since webcams have been standard equipment on even the cheapest laptops for about a decade, it’s become common for guests to appear on news programs using them. The biggest reason is that they’re a lot easier and cheaper to set up than satellite links or video phones. All the guest needs are a reasonably good computer, smartphone or tablet and an internet connection.

Image via Shutterstock

Or at least in theory. In practice there are a lot of incompatible software formats, ranging from Skype, to Apple’s FaceTime to Google Hangouts. A fast-paced newsroom can’t waste time troubleshooting different webcam platforms with changing requirements.

Although it would be possible to take the output and run it into a studio’s video switcher, it’s a lot easier for them to handle video calls in software.

"In a show with dozens of callers, the call screeners can't be worrying about whether a caller has the right video application, and with these advances we can now match the call computer's software to the caller to get them on the air quickly and with the best possible quality," Tom Porpiglia, a TV production manager and producer, said.

Video App Choice handles the different video formats easily, overlaying character generator output over the lower third of the screen. VCC demonstrated the application holding chats with eight different services at the same time: Facebook, AOL, FaceTime, ooVoo, Skype, Viber, Google Hangouts and Gruveo.

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere

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