Setting up

We want your appearance on a show to be a successful one. Here are some guidelines to help you look, sound and feel good!

 

What kind of computer should you use?

You can use either a Mac or a PC. If you have a laptop, keep in mind they usually have poor webcams and even poorer microphones built in. We would recommend that you hook up an external webcam and/or microphone to your laptop to ensure good video and audio quality.

 

What kind of bandwidth do you need?

Bandwidth is the single biggest issue we’ve had with some guests on previous shows. Usually it’s a lack of good, reliable bandwidth or slow bandwidth that causes the problems.

 

Ideally a high-speed DSL line, cable modem or FIOS would work well. While you can use wireless Wi-Fi connections, be aware that these connections can be less reliable, specially if in a public area you have no control over.

 

What kind of webcam is recommended?

There are many webcams out there. Some good, most mediocre. In our experience, the best image quality comes from Logitech C910 or C920 webcams. These are full HD capable webcams with near camcorder like lens quality. You can find out more about the Logitech webcams here.

 

What kind of microphone should you use?

There are thousands of microphones out there and a large number are quite good. What isn’t good is a cheap built-in laptop mic, cheap lavalier mics, cheap headset mics or most of the built into monitor mics.

 

Ideally, a good condenser mic is the best choice as it has a warmer sound. There are many good USB mics and quite a few decent headset mics. Some brands to consider are (not listed in any order):

 

•  SAMSON / ZOOM

•  RODE

•  SHURE

•  SENNHEISER

•  SONY

•  ELECTRO-VOICE

•  BLUE MICROPHONE

•  MXL

•  AUDIO TECHNICA

•  PLANRONICS

•  LOGITECH

•  OSP

 

What about SKYPE?

Ah, yes, Skype! Between bandwidth and skype we have nightmares at night before each show… Skype is a fabulous tool that every so often simply gives us problems due to bandwidth, bad audio settings or bad video/audio. Following are some screenshots of what to set up in Skype prior to a show to ensure your audio quality is as good as it can get (that means you sound great, clear and understandable).

 

 

 

 

First, Go to Tools > Option

 

 

 

 

Next, Select Audio Settings

 

 

In the Audio Settings box make sure  that:

1. Your microphone volume is set as high as possible, and

2. You de-select the box which automatically adjusts your volume (this often causes many problems)

 

 

Lighting yourself

Another issue we often have with guests is that they’re nearly invisible dark smudges with no discernible features. Hmm? That doesn’t sound too good, does it? We want you to look great!

 

Lighting is very important for good video quality and even more so when you’re using a webcam,. Webcams make you look best when the subject, you, is lit up properly. Too much light and your image is burned out. Too little light and no one can recognize you.

 

Here are some recommendations for good lighting:

1. Make sure you have some light source in front of you or a little on the side. We want people to see your face!

2. Try to minimize the amount of back light because that tends to create contrast and makes your image darker. Bright windows behind you are a no-no.

 

Any other questions?

Feel free to get a hold of us prior to the show. Visit our Contact Us page and we’ll get back with you as quickly as possible, or sooner!