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Quezzers
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Tech know how required on ZOOM

Hi Does anyone know answers to the following please ?

I want to set up a laptop for Zoom meetings using 2 USB cameras and disabling the built in webcam. I know how to use two cameras in Zoom but the tutorials I have seen use the built in camera plus a USB cam. I want to use separate cameras on tripods and not the laptop one at all. Can the built in cam be disabled and will Zoom work with the two webcams if the laptop one is disabled?

Question the second part. assuming I can do the above I will be using Logitech cams with built in microphones into two USB ports. The headphone socket will be feeding into a PA system. Does this have any effect on the audio going out on Zoom? if I have a line out of the headphone socket

I will be very grateful for any answers to this

Regards Frank

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lotharmat
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Re: Tech know how required on ZOOM

I would think you'd get a better / quicker response on the Zoom forums!



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Quezzers
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Re: Tech know how required on ZOOM

Thanks for that I can't find a Zoom forum on here and thought this was the nearest to one
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lotharmat
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Re: Tech know how required on ZOOM

Try some of the articles on here - I think there are quite a few decent ones!



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goslow
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Re: Tech know how required on ZOOM


@Quezzers wrote:

Hi Does anyone know answers to the following please ?

<snip> I want to use separate cameras on tripods and not the laptop one at all. Can the built in cam be disabled and will Zoom work with the two webcams if the laptop one is disabled?

Question the second part. assuming I can do the above I will be using Logitech cams with built in microphones into two USB ports. The headphone socket will be feeding into a PA system. Does this have any effect on the audio going out on Zoom? if I have a line out of the headphone socket <snip>


If you are running Windows on your laptop then you should be able to disable the built-in web camera temporarily in device manager to remove that from the setup. Same for the in-built microphone.

If you are expecting to use video and sound from the two separate cameras, switching between the two, how does the Zoom software deal with the sound when you switch? Have you checked to see if picture and sound can be switched at the same time between the two USB cameras? Do you have to switch audio separately.

If you are relaying sound via PA at the same time as part of a Zoom 'live event', you should also consider the possibility of acoustic feedback between the PA speakers and microphones and consider where best to place the equipment to avoid this.

Are you able to try a 'dry-run' of your setup prior to the event itself with another person on Zoom? Might give you some confidence in how/if your planned setup will work (or not!).

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Quezzers
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Re: Tech know how required on ZOOM

Thanks for the quick reply gaslow. I am exploring the possibility of using Zoom to do a hybrid meeting . A live audience plus more  joining on Zoom at home. Up to now we have only had live meetings and have a PA system we use for that. In addition we use a projector for PowerPoints etc. Interviews with  2 persons take place out front where the live audience can see them.

My idea is to have one laptop on Zoom with a disabled internal camera and two Logitech c920 webcams out front for the interviews or whatever else we need them for. One person would operate that laptop to switch cameras as necessary.

I am assuming that switching the cameras should switch the built in mics on them and putting the line out or headphone output into the PA system should give our live audience, audio. But your point is one I need to find out about. I am assuming that as both video and audio come through the same usb connection switching cameras in Zoom will switch audio, but I don't know for sure and can not test this as we do not yet have the cameras, Which is why I am asking these questions before our committee spends money on something that might not do the job 

I also  need to know that feeding audio out of the laptop would not affect audio out on Zoom to those at home. Feedback shouldn't be a problem as we already use the PA with mics and don't have a problem.

I also plan to have a second laptop on Zoom with an external camera set up to give Zoom users at home an audience shot, no sound needed for that one but it could be used to answer chat comments during the meeting.

I hope this explains things and that you may have some ideas

 

Regards

Frank

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goslow
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Re: Tech know how required on ZOOM

My guess would be if you plug two USB webcam's with mic's into one laptop, you will see two imaging devices and two audio sources. I would also guess that Zoom would treat these as separate entities so you would have to switch audio as well as video. You won't know this though until you try it. Try logging a support ticket with Zoom to check if that would be the expected behaviour.

Without knowing 100% what you are trying to achieve, it sounds reasonably complicated to manage as a live event using the basic features of Zoom. If I have understood correctly, you are planning x3 independent cameras covering a live audience, as well as an interviewer/interviewee on stage. Remote viewers will watch the event on Zoom.

If that is so, would you not be better to give each camera its own laptop and let each laptop simply join in as part of a general Zoom meeting? That way each laptop would only have one camera and one audio device. Zoom viewers would be able to see all 3 cameras at the same time. You could then also take the audio feed for each laptop into the PA system independently to provide the live sound mix for the audience in the room. You would need more laptops and people to control them but it would be more flexible than trying to control everything through one device.

Your other option might be to use some sort of video switcher for the two cameras plugged into one laptop. Explanation for a Zoom room below is along the same lines as what you seem to want

https://info.conferenceroomsystems.com/two-camera-zoom-room-system-for-video-conferencing

You would also need to know how good the mic's in the USB cameras are at picking up the sound and different distances. If they are too sensitive and omni directional, you could end up with feedback problems in the room. If they are not sensitive enough, you will have to have them close up to the participants. You might need to use separate mic's for the live p.a. and let the USB mic's run just for the Zoom audience.

All of the above is just speculative guesswork. You won't really know what is possible, or how well it will work, until you try a demo run to see how successful it is and what obstacles crop up.

Hope that gives you some other options to think about but for more in depth advice you should probably seek out some forums specifically for AV/Video conferencing/Zoom.

(Edit: I can see you have posted in https://community.zoom.com/ which partly confirms some of the above)

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Quezzers
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Re: Tech know how required on ZOOM

The laptop with one camera is to show the audience in the room for those who are on Zoom at home. No audio is required for this, just the camera on the audience and a Zoom connection. It could also be used to monitor questions on chat from Zoom users. This is supposed to make everyone feel more a part of the audience.

The laptop with two cameras would have them set up on tripods and used to broadcast the same things that a live audience would see E.G Committee members reports, Notices, News items ,interviews with speakers, switching the cameras as needed. If the change of camera does also change the audio source that is exactly what I want..  Assuming that the camera mic's are supplying decent audio to Zoom, then I think they should be OK to feed the sound desk Feedback shouldn't be a problem with  the adjustments we can make. But if all else fails then we fall back on the PA using separate mic's as we used up till now.

I plan to use Logitech C920 cameras  and have a support ticket with Logitech to try and find out if the audio will follow the selected camera. If that wont work then I could use a couple of mic's and a small mixer to feed audio into the main laptop.

Thanks for your interest and advice I will post again when I get some more info from other sources.

By the way I run a streaming system elsewhere using a Black Magic ATEM mini pro switcher and several second hand Sony  Handycam's with HDMI out ( ATEM takes HDMI inputs) This works a treat and the audio from the Handycam mic's is very good. This type of system could work but would require the second laptop still, to send the audience picture out on Zoom

Regards  

Frank

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Quezzers
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Re: Tech know how required on ZOOM

Update on my last reply to goslow

I have bought 2 brand new  usb webcams (unknown make but defo Chinese) for £1 each at a car boot sale this morning Connected them to an old acer laptop and tested on Zoom. 

You were right in that the built in mic does have to be switched separately to the camera but simple switching of the camera using Alt N works fine or the drop down box can be used.

The drop down box can be used for audio switching reasonably quickly. And whilst I didn't expect much of the mic's on these cameras they provided a reasonable level of audio when I plugged headphones in. The laptop audio on it's speakers wasn't very good but I suspect that the laptop may be the cause of that I have yet to organise a test meeting to see how it works in a live situation.

Regards

Frank

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