You may well have seen Skype being used on news channels or talk shows - but the version of Microsoft's communications app that broadcasters use isn't the same as the one that you may have installed on your notebook or PC. Two years ago, Microsoft launched Skype TX - a 'studio-grade' solution for broadcasters - and today, it released the latest update to that offering.
Microsoft says that Skype TX lets broadcasters "seamlessly integrate a potential cast of 300 million users into a studio workflow - and straight into the heart of a show", promising "all the benefits of Skype minus pop-up windows, chat or other message notifications".
Today, following feedback from broadcasters in nearly 100 markets around the world who have been using the product over the last 24 months, the company has announced the launch of Skype TX 4:
More flexible and scalable than its predecessor, Skype TX 4 offers broadcasters and media partners the ability to integrate multiple studio-grade Skype video calls into the broadcasting workflow. And, with only one system required for multiple calls, broadcasters need less equipment and setup time, therefore reducing the overall cost and control room footprint.
Two hardware partners are already lined up to ship hardware that works with TX 4:
NewTek TalkShow™ VS 4000 multi-channel video calling system was designed exclusively for conducting multiple live, production-ready Skype video calls simultaneously. TalkShow VS 4000 is a facility-class, 1RU rack mountable hardware unit with 4-in, 4-out industry-standard I/O for integration into SDI workflows and IP video workflows via NDI™.
Quicklink TX Multi is a new hardware solution that converts multiple Skype calls into studio-grade quality video/audio transmissions. Quicklink TX Multi will be available in three options including, HDMI/SDI/Analogue video and audio I/O (The Quicklink TX), multiple simultaneous SD/HD-SDI I/O (The Quicklink TX Multi), and multiple simultaneous SD/HD-SDI I/O with additional channels and real-time server hardware monitoring, plus alert system (The Quicklink TX Enterprise).
The Skype TX solution is supported by a team of Microsoft specialist broadcast engineers and technicians. Microsoft, NewTek and Quicklink will be showing off the latest TX 4 offering at the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Show in Las Vegas from April 18 to 21.
Further information on Skype's broadcast solutions are available on the Skype in Media site.
Images via Microsoft