TalkCenterAmerica is a new kind of television program. It's just like calling talk radio, but with a video picture of you (or whatever you want to show) from your smartphone, pad, or webcam enabled computer.
Now Playing: Behind the Scenes at Comedy & Cats Show, April 17th
Our Project: Video Caller Television is a new TV genre being created by Wolzien LLC using patent-pending Video Call Center technology. Multiple callers from around the world connect individually via IP video services like Skype(R), are screened by producers and sent to the show host for final switching to air using assistive automation. Uniquely for TV, the host controls the air. There is no control room. The system combines the democracy of the web (anybody can call) with the editorial control/curration necessary for responsible television at operating costs similar to talk radio. We're right at the intersection of social and mass media; TV and the web.
Our Laboratory Show:TalkCenterAmerica is the developmental program platform designed to learn about new content forms that can be created through The Video Call Center and to perfect the unique, hybrid web-broadcast technology under the extreme stresses of real-time, live television.
How To Call Our Next Show
Simply make a video call to SkypeName talkcenteramerica
(all one word) from your video enabled laptop, pad, smartphone, or computer.
When you call, you will automatically be connected to an open caller line in The Video Call Center. If they are all filled, you will get a busy or offline (we're not) message, please keep calling until you get through.
What to Expect When You Call
When you connect, you should see and hear a special live video feed via Skype with a continuous information crawl for callers. Our producer will click in to the audio to ask you your name, location, and what you want to talk about, and then switch your video and audio over to our host who will put you on the air to get your comments and ask you questions.
Here are some adjustments and hints to make your call smooth and successful:
Two Video Controls on Your Device: When you connect through Skype, you will need to be ready to click on two video controls that exist in most versions of Skype. You will need to authorize your camera to transmit (usually click on a camera at the bottom of your Skype screen with a red slash to get rid of the slash or click on the "send video now" bar in earlier Skype editions) and you will also need to accept the incoming video that you will use for your cue.
Seeing Your Video AND Our Video: Video calls need more data than voice calls, and sometimes the audio will complete, but the video won't in one direction or the other. The producer will check to make sure that we see and hear you AND that you are seeing the return video through Skype so that you will see and hear your cue.
Watch Skype Video Return Feed ONLY When You Call: Make sure that all other video and audio feeds on your device are turned off when you call (including this talkcenteramerica.com web feed) and ONLY watch and listen to the Video Call Center return feed via Skype. This will assure that there is only one audio signal (your voice) going through your computer. Otherwise there may be multiple audio signals (yours plus the non-Skype program feeds), and you will not be heard.
Web Dropouts and Automatic Gain Controls: We all know that the web is less than perfect, so sometimes there are audio dropouts for a few seconds during an on-air conversation. Just keep talking, and usually the audio will come right back. If the host thinks you've missed something, she will ask you to repeat it. It is important to keep talking because, if you don't, the automatic gain controls on Skype will think you are done and silence the circuit out of your computer. Once that happens it can take a few more seconds of talking for the automatic gain controls to reopen your circuit. The longer you've stopped talking, the longer it takes to reopen the circuit...and it gets to be a vicious circle. No talk, nothing to open the circuit...then when the caller does start to speak again, he/she can't be heard because the automatic gain controls are now in a deep sleep, and need five or ten seconds to wake up.
Speakers: Turn down the speakers on your device so you can just hear the show. if they are too loud, the audio will loop back through your mic. Goes doubly for external speakers.
Using Your Smartphone: You can also connect direct from your smartphone or other portable device through the Skype Name. Your smartphone will connect either via the cellular network or via wifi. You need to know which because the signals may act differently.
Move slowly when Smartphone connected: If you are using your smartphone connected through the cellular network, us of the network by other callers, fog, mist, rain, and motion all can impact the flow of data, even from places where video worked before. Sometimes the video will freeze mid-call and the video call will be disconnected because of data dropouts. If you are using your smartphone to call, our experience suggests that you should move it slowly so as not to interrupt the data flow if you want to show something else during the call. We have successfully tested video calls while walking and from moving cars. It works sometimes, but not others, and sometimes drops out in the middle of the call.
Earpiece: You may wish to have use an earpiece and microphone (Bluetooth or wired) to make sure you can hear and be heard, particularly in a noisy place. BUT, test it first because a bluetooth earpiece that works with a regular cell call may not work with the part of your device that handles Skype.
Don't Be In the Shadow: You will also look much better if there is more light in front of you falling on your face, than behind you (like a window showing the outdoors or a white wall behind your head, which could then be in deep shadow). But too much light in front and none behind you will wash out the picture of your face. You should be able to see yourself on your screen and be able to check.
Headroom: Position yourself on screen with just a little room above your head at the top of the screen. We found that after people get themselves set and framed nicely, they sometimes slouch down in their chair...and pretty soon their chin is at the bottom of the picture and the is a huge amount of space above their heads. We don't care if you slouch, please re-adjust the headroom on your camera if you do.
Return Audio: The return audio you will be hearing from your Skype call DOES NOT include your own voice, while the feeds back to other callers waiting on Skype and viewers of the Livestream web feed that everyone else sees does include your voice. This is intentional, so that the little delays in the web don't cause confusion while you are talking with the Host. Sometimes you see reporters on TV rip their earpieces out of their ears while they are live. That's because their own voices are coming back to them a half second later, and it is driving them nuts (as it would anybody). To avoid this problem, we send back the program audio to callers on Skype, but it is minus each caller's own voice. After all, the caller knows what he or she is saying, and doesn't need to be reminded a half second later.
You can link to our About page for more info and BE SURE to read the fine print about, among other things, how we may use the video, audio, and content in your call at Terms & Releases.
Thank you very much for helping with our developmental programs from The Video Call Center...Changing the faces of television(R).
The TalkCenterAmerica Team
Skype and its symbols are registered trademarks of Skype and its affiliates. "TalkCenterAmerica" and "changing the faces of television" are trademarks of Wolzien LLC. *Patent Pending. Copyright (c) 2013-14 by Wolzien LLC. All rights reserved. 4/24/2014