Former Wall Street media analyst Tom Wolzien’s Video Call Center, a content company with a patented technology that enables television shows and networks to conduct live video call-ins much like radio programs, has expanded the capabilities of its offering, introducing the Video App Choice, which allows producers to choose which IP Video is best for specific programs.
Wolzien received the patent for Video Call Center in 2014. In June he attracted broadcast TV station powerhouse Tegna as a “significant” investor in the company.
With Video App Choice, different callers can even use different IP video applications side by side within the same program. In its first full-system demonstration of the new approach, the VCC filled its eight caller system with callers using eight different IP video applications.
“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,” Wolzien said in a statement. “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.”
Production manager and producer Tom Porpiglia has been running the tests using various IP video applications. Text overlays (lower thirds), and caller database and caller clearance information flow seamlessly between applications and call computers whether they are PCs or Macs. “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,” he said in a statement.
IP Video applications that were part of the simultaneous demonstration included include Facebook, AOL video service, FaceTime® video calling, ooVoo, Skype, Viber, Google Hangouts and Gruveo. Additional successful tests have been done with conferencing services FUZE, WebEx, GoToMeeting, and Global Meeting, among others.
“Nobody in television likes being beholden to any one provider, particularly when IP video providers have many other and larger constituencies to serve,” Wolzien added in a statement. “Single web video providers can change their software functionality and terms without notice. Some have been trying to force producers to use specific equipment. We concluded along with our customers, that multiple IP video options are essential for the industry to maintain independence. That’s why The Video Call Center created this new Video App Choice approach.”
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