Hello fellow Web Conferencing Folks,
If you're in the ProAV or video conferencing industry you most likely get this question all the time. How can I use multiple cameras with my web video conferencing software? Power users have adopted web video conferencing for it’s powerful communication benefits and they want to push the limits of what they can achieve. Using multiple cameras will allow presentations to include a second view for products, speakers and almost anything else you can imagine. In this article we review the easiest and most cost-effective ways to add a second camera to your web video conferencing experience no-matter what software you are using.
- Connect multiple USB cameras to a single PC and switch cameras using the software settings
- Use multiple computers in the same meeting space each with their own cameras connected to same meeting
- Use a USB video mixer such as a Roland or Inogenie (reviewed in this article)
- Use a software-based video mixer such as Wirecast or vMix which can create a virtual webcam input from almost any mix of sources which is selectable in any video conferencing software as a USB webcam.
UPDATE - 2/6/2019: Just this past week the HuddleCamHD released a short update on this topic that covers just this topic!
In the above short 10 minute webinar, Paul Richards and Tess Protesto review some tips for using multiple cameras in your video conferencing software. Updates include, how to quickly switch between multiple USB cameras inside Zoom Video Conferencing, how to control multiple USB conference cameras with the same IR remote control and why you should be considering an overhead camera. The entire webinar includes live demonstrations so you can see in detail how to use multiple cameras with your video conferencing software and what it's like to control multiple cameras during a webinar presentation.
UPDATE! 10/19/2016: Lead Engineer Matthew Davis Review the Inogenie Share2 allowing users to combine multiple cameras for use in
Matthew Davis explains how to use multiple cameras with Skype for Business, GoToMeeting and WebEX using the INOGENI Share 2. The INOGENI Share 2 is an amazing USB 3.0 capture device that allows users to bring in 2 cameras into their favorite web video conferencing service along with 2 additional USB devices with a single USB 3.0 input.
For this how to video Matt Davis set up the unit to demonstrate 2 cameras via HDMI and DVI plus an audio input coming from a USB 2.0 HuddlePod Air wireless dongle. As the INOGENI Share 2 demonstration is done you will see that the device has 7 buttons for easy camera layout changes. The layouts include: picture in picture, side by side and other layouts for sharing multiple cameras with your Skype for Business, GoToMeeting, WebEX or Zoom conference.
The INOGENI Share 2 is a great dedicated appliance making dual camera systems for web conferencing a breeze. It's nice because there are buttons on the top, an application and crestron/extron control. There are software alternatives for using multiple cameras in a single USB selectable virtual webcam but it's very nice to have a dedicated appliance to streamline easy of use in the conference room.
Connect multiple cameras to one PC and switch in the software settings
This is a first approach most people take. You can use a USB Hub or the USB ports on your computer to connect multiple cameras to the same PC. Once you have the cameras connected to your computer you can switch between them using the "cameras settings" area of the software you are using. Here is a picture of the settings area in Zoom.US. This solution plays nicely with some free software solutions out there like CamTwist, ManyCam, SparkoCam & Wirecast Play (Thank You Michael Graves!).
Use multiple computers connected to the same meeting
This approach is different because you are now using two computers in the same room with different cameras connected to each "end point". This can be used to dynamically switch between participants if you have moderator control over your meetings. Important to note this set up does not work well when your system is using "Active Speaker". The benefit with this approach is that you can look at two feed simultaneously.
Using a USB Video Mixer with one connection to a PC/Mac
This is the best option. It's also the most expensive but the Inogenie Share2 we will review in the video below is only $1,295. With a USB video mixer you can use traditional video sources such as HDMI, HD-SDI or DVI in 720 or 1080p and easily render them into a single USB 3.0 video output. The Roland line of Video Mixers we have featured below provide advanced features such as transitions, effects and even audio mixers for multiple inputs. The Inogenie Share2 seems to have the perfect combination of features and price point for anyone simply trying to add a second camera to their web video conference.
Here is a breakdown on the currently offerings from Roland for web streaming.
NEW! Use a software that supports multiple cameras from one PC
This is a new addition to our "using multiple cameras with web video conferencing software". Recently we have found two web conferencing software providers that can take in multiple USB cameras from just one computer. VSEE and SecureVideo.com both allow for this type of multiple camera views. After speaking with both companies we found this is a popular request for the telemedicine industry so they took great length to add the capabilities. See below a video of multiple USB cameras being used with just one computer. Plus we have remote PTZ Camera control!
More on Web Conferencing
- Find the top 5 features for web video conferencing software in our review here.
- Top Auto-Tracking Camera for web video conferencing - here.
- Review of the top video conferencing cameras - PTZOptics vs HuddleCamHD here.
- Learn how to setup a two camera “Zoom Room” here.
More on Conference Room System AV
- Check out our review of the top 5 conference room booking solutions here.
- Learn how to check your conference rooms bandwidth for video calling here.
- Looking for conference room computer? Check out how to install the Intel NUC here.
- Learn how to connect h.323 & SIP conferencing systems to the cloud here.
- Top 10 tools for audio visual design and conference room managers here.
- Learn more about lighting for video conferencing in your meeting rooms here.
- Learn all about video conferencing strategy here.
- Learn about designing “Zoom Rooms” for video conferencing here.