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A year in Google Hangouts what’s cool and new

We have been helping companies to produce professional Google Hangouts for a while now, as well as creating some cool products to help people who want to run regular Hangouts. To some of these you can download our Google Hangouts PDF here.

Google Hangouts have come a long way in the last year so we thought we’d look at some of the latest developments and some of the Hangouts we have done this year that we are proud of. Anyone with a verified account can now stream live video on YouTube, and verified accounts can now create a Google+ Hangout on Air. Previously it was only available to users with over 1000 followers and 100 followers were announced in August this year. Now opening up the platform to everyone.

We’ve helped produced a number of innovative Hangouts that have utilised the platform in all sorts of ways from Jamie Oliver spreading the word about Food Revolution day, LCD Soundsystem having a band reunion or allowing teenagers to greet Wembley arena from the comfort of the bedroom!

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver reaches out across the globe for Food Revolution day

Read More…

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Take control of video projects with VF Hub

Video asset management? Surely that’s not a problem? In truth of course while it’s never a problem when you begin creating video assets, it quickly becomes one as your project or projects develop.

That’s because the more work you create the faster  you gather huge quantities of video assets, some of which may be useful in current or future projects. Fine, but do you really have time to look through these assets in real-time, searching for the moment you need? You probably don’t: That’s why we developed VF Hub, our bespoke end-to-end video management system.

Where’s that clip?

We’ve built VF Hub (Mac or PC) to be super-easy to use. A simple user interface combined with our ability to develop the software with the look, feel and feature-set you and/or your company most need make this a useful companion tool for any video project. This is probably why the software’s already in use across a range of big organisations. We also include it within our innovative Broadcastpod solution.

Naturally our solution isn’t confined to asset management. VF Hub provides a range of features: Media publishing, review and approve, playback, export and editing tools are included.

The intention is that everyone involved in your enterprise’s project can use VF Hub, which acts as a central location for authors to upload content, editors to manage, review and control distribution of content and for production staff to export markers into editing suites like Adobe Premier Pro. It acts as a central hub for video assets. As you add clips to the central pool it’s easy to add relevant metadata designed to make these assets easy to search when seeking an appropriate clip.

video management software, review and approve video clips

Our solution’s not confined to video.

We also deployed it within a company-wide eLearning solution for Peugeot, partly because of its ability to take PowerPoint slides (converted through Adobe Presenter) in order to convert them into webinars.

Three side story

There’s three main features to the Hub: The Presenter, the Player and Mesh.

The Presenter works a little like PowerPoint and enables presenters to play slides and video clips in a similar way. It also enables users to capture and save all movements through the slides in order to create a repeatable online presentation. Our secure, cloud-based Presenter offers digital asset management of all video assets and a range of automated playback options.

The Player is a video on demand player through which you can playback your assets in sync with each other. The customizable interface is designed for fast and easy playback of webinars and integrates slide navigation (which can be disabled) and the ability to offer a carousel view of similar views and webinars held within your system.

Mesh meanwhile is a simple drag-&-drop solution that lets you quickly and easily create work by dragging and dropping selected clips into the timeline. The created work must then have metadata created by the user before being uploaded into the system for review.

VF Hub also lets you collaborate on clips using built-in tools that enable multiple users to review and comment on any video asset added to the VF Hub Media Library. These include Spatial, Temporal or Voice interactive marker tools to make the range and nature of comments as flexible as possible. These markers can also be exported into various formats (XML, CSV, PDF) and/or exported into editing software such as Premiere Pro.

We’ve developed this software to be a flexible solution with which you can ingest, manage, review, comment and archive your precious video assets for use in current and future projects. The system is great for video blogging, online webinar creations but is also sufficiently powerful to be a handy resource for larger projects and company wide video asset management. If you’d like to find out more about VF Hub, please contact us.

What’s the business case for Google’s Chromecast?

Google’s new content streaming product Chromecast is high on the tech news agenda at the moment. This cheap gadget should let you stream content from a computer running Chrome, iOS or Android device and is expected to give Google a stake in a market for streaming devices that’s currently dominated by consoles, Apple and Roku.

Under pressure

Competition between Apple and Google has reached such intensity it’s easy to characterize the new device as nothing more than an Apple TV spoiler, but that’s to limit these systems to some monochromatic duopoly. Read More…

Television heads over the top

Yet more evidence consumers are driving change in the way broadcasting works comes in the latest Infonetics research reports that claim Pay TV incumbents are losing subscribers to new IPTV services in Brazil, Russia and Europe, even while Apple now offers the world’s most popular streaming TV solution, Apple TV.

Channel surfing

“We continue to see strong growth among telco IPTV upstarts, like Rostelecom in Russia, GVT in Brazil, KPN in the Netherlands and providers in Eastern Europe where competition for new pay TV subscribers is particularly fierce,” said Infonetics analyst, Jeff Heynen. Read More…

Adobe Connect drives Peugeot – Citroen’s eLearning system

Dreamtek recently put together a sophisticated eLearning package for Peugeot – Citroen, using Adobe technologies to create a flexible solution that’s improving dealer’s technical understanding while being more flexible and less costly to deliver than before.

Peugeot-208-GTi-3Peugeot Academy

The Peugeot – Citroen Academy is an essential part of the company’s business. It’s a state of the art training facility the company uses to inform its dealers of every element of its vehicles’ engine maintenance and technical management.

In other words, if you sell Citroen or Peugeot vehicles you must attend the centre to get trained in servicing, new product sales, health and safety and more. You must attend these courses if you want to be a Peugeot dealer — but that works out expensive in so many ways when hundreds across the country need to find the time and the money to attend the company’s Coventry HQ.

The Academy asked us to pull the project together following our success putting something similar together for Jaguar Landrover. Read More…

YouTube takes on cable TV

YouTube appears more like a bona fide television channel every day: it has now begun serving up programming on a pay per view basis with a series of partnerships including some established TV brands and a handpicked initial selection of Creators.

[ABOVE:  Sesame Street aka The Jim Henson Co is among the first 53 channels available via YouTube subscriptions.]

Around 53 partners have launched premium content channels via the international service, and while the selection might be small you shouldn’t underestimate the significance of the step, which puts the Google service squarely in competition with cable and satellite providers. Read More…

Microsoft plots holographic video chats for Skype

The future is now, at least when it comes to some sci-fi dreams, including those of holographic video conferencing. We’ve seen these ideas represented artistically in Star Wars and Deus Ex and it has long held a place in novels, now it appears Microsoft hopes to put it together in the here and now.

“You’re my only hope”

The technology could in theory enable the Princess Leia’s of tomorrow’s world to leave holographic messages for others to see, reading between the lines of a recent Microsoft Research job posting. Read More…

Video advertising works, but emotion is everything

We often discuss the value of viral video in a brand’s marketing matrix, but online video also has a part to play in more conventional marketing as the Web audience becomes more accustomed to feasting their eyes on short video ads — but online video ads are becoming much more widely accepted and, at best, can be deeply effective. A few thoughts on online video advertising, how it is growing and what it might do for you and your business.

[ABOVE: This is the top online ad of last week, according to AdAge.]

Read More…

NAB highlights: Apple, Adobe, and pro plug-ins

The world’s largest video industry trade show, NAB, takes place this month, driving Apple to ship an important Final Cut X update, Adobe to introduce new iterations of its video products, and a host of interesting new plug-ins from other developers. A few highlights from this year’s event:

Screen Shot 2013-04-04 at 17.50.08 Apple’s Final Cut push Read More…

4 video-blogging services give YouTube+

YouTube has become the de facto destination for online video, but the evolution of social media means there’s emerging services which may be worth experimenting with, particularly if you or your business happens to be chasing a younger demographic—and all of them prove there’s life after Instagram.

Services like Pheed, Keek, Vine and other contenders are all pursuing slightly different models that may supplement your YouTube activity.

Introducing Pheed

Described by Forbes as “Twitter with a business model”, Pheed is catching on among younger users seeking an easy to monetize alternative to YouTube. Illustrating its popularity, the Pheed app was top of the iTunes Store charts in February, above YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Read More…