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  • Improving quality of over-the-internet video interviews

  • Bob Cole

    September 11, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    I’ve noticed that programs such as the PBS News Hour use Skype for remote interviews. The picture quality is much better than what I have been able to achieve with Zoom.

    Does anyone have an idea just how they achieve this?

    Could it simply be the bandwidth on the interviewee’s side? I’ve been using Zoom to interview people in remote, rural areas, and it is possible that they have relatively slow internet connections.

    My other theory is that Zoom simply dials down the quality in order to accommodate the quantity of data they have to process. If so, if there is a paid service which would be better, I’d happily try that.

    Thank you. I did make a related post about internet interviews, but this is a different slant on the topic so I thought it should be a separate query.

    Bob Cole

  • Jeremy Garchow

    September 11, 2021 at 2:16 pm

    Check out

    Allows you to use multiple devices, including iOS devices, and the footage is recorded source side and then uploaded.

    Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have used Open Reel for this, but it’s expensive. Riverside is similar but more affordable.

    Both methods take some pre-production setup times and won’t be as easy as Zoom, but you get more out of them in the end.

  • Mark Suszko

    September 15, 2021 at 9:38 pm

    There’s perhaps a difference between the live streamed signal quality, and downloading the archived local recording afterwards. Shouldn’t be, but i think that’s one place to look for an answer. If I was depending on a system like this for my program, I’d insist on local archive at maximum bit depth, then FTP or mail a drive or whatever, to get the good version. The live version for me only would need to be good enough to check for framing and composition, etc. and to conduct the interview.

    If you really need to do everything live… I’ve got nothin’. Except to throw more money at it in terms of higher end cams and encoders, and a provisioner that can handle it.

  • Michael Hadley

    October 28, 2021 at 4:35 pm

    I’ve used many different options and agree: is the best compromise solution without spending thousands of dollars. That said, we send kits to participants with a Logitech webcam and two Lume cube lights as well–those help too.

  • Rich Rubasch

    October 28, 2021 at 10:23 pm here.

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