NewTek VS-100 TalkShow Video Calling System

NewTek VS-100 TalkShow Video Calling System

NewTek VS-100 TalkShow Video Calling System

B&H # NETSVS100 MFR # FG-000866-R001
NewTek VS-100 TalkShow Video Calling System

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Product Highlights

  • Host Guests/Correspondents via Skype
  • Optimize Skype Calls for Broadcast
  • Scaling and Image Quality Controls
  • HD-SDI and XLR Input and Output
  • Dual Ethernet Ports for TriCaster/3Play
  • HDMI and DVI for Local Preview Monitor
  • Skype TX Software Installed
  • GPI Port for Tally Input
  • 1RU Rackmountable Form Factor
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NewTek FG-000866-R001 overview

  • 1Description

Skype provides a great way for guests and correspondents to remote in to a live broadcasts, unfortunately relying on consumer hardware is fraught with glitches and interruptions. Packaged neatly within a 1RU rackmountable frame, the VS-100 TalkShow Video Calling System from NewTek is a bespoke computer running Skype TX software that is purpose-built for integrating Skype calls into live TV/Web broadcasts. It features dual Ethernet ports for TriCaster and 3Play users plus HD-SDI video in and out as well as balanced XLR audio in and out for hardware-based switchers. Quality settings and scaling are handled within the built-in software, helping eliminate many of the artifacts and aspect ratio issues encountered when simply scan-converting the output of a computer. It also features controls for tweaking the caller's audio, helping ensure both picture and sound are up to broadcast requirements.

Apart from quality, the VS-100 mitigates other pitfalls associated with relying on normal Skype software and consumer computers for critical live applications. In particular, interruptions from other calls, personal data getting mingled in by accident, or IT related problems such as the software freezing or crashing. And in case something goes wrong on the caller's end, there is an option to automatically cutaway to a user-defined still image until a good quality signal is restored or the director is able to cut to a new subject.

Key Benefits

Works with Any Skype User
Record on-air conversations with anyone, anywhere in the world who has a Skype account or can download the Skype client
Eliminate the Satellite Truck
Have correspondents "phone" in their reports over Skype to eliminate the need for a broadcast truck or rental of studio space with a satellite link
Works Like Any Video Source
Add behind-the scenes technical quality control to call audio and video, just like any in-studio production source
Get Higher Quality Results
Avoid the conversion loss, aspect-ratio squashing, and video artifacts of using desktop video with scan converters
Reliability of a Dedicated Professional Solution
  • Avoid the risk of consumer-technology glitches, call interruptions, or computer crashes on the receiving end
  • Reduce the risks associated with mixing personal communication applications with professional systems
  • Remove the unexpected interruptions of conventional software, OS, firewall, and IT policies that make it inconvenient to air video calls from traditional laptops and computer screens

Software Features

Studio-Grade Skype TX software
Skype TX is a special, broadcast edition of Skype that provides audio and video free from notifications, adds, or other pop-ups, is designed to avoid aspect ratio mis-matches, and supports multiple calls at once
Tally Notification of Video Calls
Allows operators to see when TalkShow Skype feeds are currently live in a program
Add TalkShow Units for Multiple Skype Calls
Add TalkShow units and manage all within a single interface that offers previews, continuous call quality monitoring, and contact management. Use SkypeTX Control software - rather than direct keyboard and mouse operation - to manage multipe systems in simultaneous call/multiple TalkShow unit environments
Built-In Video Quality Checks
Failover to a custom still image when unforeseen bandwidth constraints occur below operator-defined preset value
Quality Optimizations
Uses a proprietary, real-time video processing engine that incorporates scaling, format conversion, aspect ratio conversion, and color correction routines. In addition, the software limits the return video resolution in order to prioritize quality for the incoming call video

Hardware Features

HD-SDI Input and Output
Output a live video call to any production switcher with SDI and receiver SDI video from a router or any production source to send a return image back to remote caller over IP
Dual Channel Ethernet Connectivity
Integrate with other NewTek systems. Output over Ethernet to the 3Play integrated sports production system or TriCaster multi-camera production system, while reserving the SDI hardware connection for other feeds
XLR Audio Input and Output
Bring in professional quality audio to send out over the return feed, and output incoming audio over a professional quality connector for integration via your studio's analog audio mixer
Image Adjustments
Built-in image adjustment includes full proc-amp controls and automatic color correction
Audio Controls
Audio controls include compressor/limiter, graphic equalizer, and adjustable head-room
GPI Tally Port
Incorporate a tally system via the HD15 GPI (general purpose input) connector
HDMI and DVI Outputs
The integrated GPU features one HDMI and one DVI output for local monitoring
Front Panel Display
Rack-viewable RGB preview of Skype video calls, VU metering, caller, time, status, tally (on air) notification, and more
Rackmountable 1RU Form Factor
The standard 1RU rackmount design makes the VS-100 hardware and easy fit for integration alongside your existing studio hardware
In the Box
NewTek VS-100 TalkShow Video Calling System
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    NewTek FG-000866-R001 specs

    Video Input 1 x HD-SDI plus embedded audio (for return signal from mixer to remote caller)
    Audio Inputs 2 x Balanced XLR (+4 dBU reference level)
    Video Outputs 1 x HD-SDI plus embedded audio (for Skype call output to video mixer input)
    1 x DVI on GPU (for local monitoring)
    1 x HDMI on GPU (for local monitoring)
    Audio Outputs 2 x Balanced XLR (+4 dBU reference level)
    1 x 1/4" Stereo headphone jack (for Skype program audio)
    GPI / Tally 1 x GPI on HD15 connector
    Reference 1 x Reference input (black burst / bi-level and tri-level support)
    Network 2 x Gigabit Ethernet ports
    Virtual I/Os AirSend I/O:
    1 x Network video input
    1 x Network video output
    1 x Network audio input
    1 x Network audio output
    Tally from mixer over local network
    Operating System Windows 8.1 Embedded
    Software Skype TX
    TalkShow control software providing A/V connection configuration
    Audio EQ, compressor/limiter
    Video proc amps and AutoColor control
    Genlock configuration
    Call Management Direct mouse and keyboard USB interface required for Skype TX management software in single call / single TalkShow unit environment

    Over-the-network from SkypeTX control software in simultaneous call / multiple TalkShow unit environments
    CPU 4th Generation i7 Quad-Core
    Graphics Hardware Intel HD4600 GPU
    RAM 8 GB
    Storage 1 x 120 GB SSD
    eSATA for adding external drives
    Power Requirements Internal PSU: 110 to 220 VAC
    Enclosure 1RU rack-mount metal case with rear-mounted connection panel and front-mounted in-call display monitor
    Dimensions 19 x 1.8 x 16.8" / 48.3 x 4.4 x 42.5 cm
    Weight 10 lb / 4.5 kg
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 25.8 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 26.0 x 24.0 x 9.5"

    NewTek FG-000866-R001 reviews

    VS-100 TalkShow Video Calling System is rated 4.0 out of 5 by 1.
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great way to bring Skype callers in This is a great way to bring Skype callers in to a show and not have to worry about overlay nags, rogue computer audio or return video issues.The system has SDI in and out as well as analog audio in and out. This is important as we want to send program video to our guests while at the same time sending them mix-minus audio from our board. Very easy to wire up and configure. Our previous setup was a computer with a 3G-SDI to USB UVC Magewell adapter. This worked well to get the SDI output from our switcher in to Skype, but it had a couple of problems. We had to do HDMI to SDI media conversion to get out of the computer which takes a frame hit in latency. We had to run 3.5mm stereo plugs for audio which were unlocking and ungrounded. And of course we couldn't actually turn off the return video on the screen, so we always saw the program video within the guests video, which was super annoying. One time we even had another caller try to dial in during another guests segment, and that was embarrassing.This box fixes all of those issues. It has a very easy to use interface and great I/O options. I can't say enough good things about the hardware itself. Only three gotchas:1 - While you're capable of removing the 'Skype' watermark from the video, that is technically a violation of the license agreement (which they let you know). So if you want to remain within license you have to leave that watermark on there. You can move the watermark around the screen, but you can not size it down at all.2 - For what it is, this box is a bit expense. All of the Skype TX units are $ or more, but really it is a computer with a Decklink type card and analog audio I/O. I see little reason I couldn't build this myself for under $2k if I was allowed to install Skype TX myself. But I'm not.3 - The fan can get a bit loud. We have ours in our control room and this box is the loudest thing in there. Even louder that our switcher, playout servers and video encoders. When ordering keep this in mind.
    Date published: 2015-02-17
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