Fire-and-Forget Video Production

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By: Steve Vonder Haar

Creating streaming video can be such a hassle sometimes.

Setting up cameras. Adjusting audio feeds. Getting the lighting just right. There’s a lot of work that goes into making presenters look presentable. Indeed, it’s fair to say that one of the biggest barriers to getting organizations to use video more frequently is the sheer challenge that can be associated with creating quality video content in the first place.

So the task for executives evangelizing the use of streaming in the enterprise is pretty obvious: Make it easy for employees to create video, and they’re likely to use the technology more often.

One way to overcome this key stumbling block to streaming adoption rests in convincing executives to consider a “fire and forget” strategy when it comes to video production. Take aim at installing automated, standardized video capture equipment up-front and then do everything you can to ignore it once executives start making presentations.

The idea is to automate the video capture process and make it virtually invisible – or at least non-intrusive – to presenters and event participants on the scene. In some cases, this approach will require some up-front investment.  But it could be the spending on standardized, automated equipment and processes that transforms streaming in your organization from a novelty into a mainstream tool for business communications.

The first place to look for automation opportunities is in the camera gear deployed in a room where presentations are made frequently. Multiple cameras can be installed in a single room, for instance, and plugged into a single system that automatically switches camera feeds based on the directional source of voices participating in a meeting. In addition to automatic switching, the quality of video also can be improved via the installation of high-quality, permanent audio and lighting systems.

Even if you have a presentation area equipped with only a single camera, automation can play a role in easing the video capture process. In many cases, for example, streaming platforms can be programmed to begin recording video at a pre-selected time. The pre-set recording schedule works particularly well at educational institutions where it is relatively easy to identify the assigned times when classroom lectures are slated to begin and end. (Of course, if professors start a bit late, it is helpful to have editing tools that can be used after class to cut out unwanted “dead time” captured at the beginning of an automated recording.)

More elaborate systems can leverage electronic scheduling systems to trigger automated recordings. Depending on how a system is programmed, in-room equipment can begin capturing video content at times when a meeting is scheduled for that room.

This approach helps eliminate some of the human error that can keep streaming from meeting its full potential. Sometimes a recording is never made of a meeting or presentation simply because users forget to push the “record” button at the beginning of a session. Fewer recordings translate into fewer opportunities for capturing video sessions that enhance information sharing within an organization.

It may take some time before automated video production takes full root in the corporate world. But the day may come when executives actually complain when their presentations are not automatically captured for distribution via streaming video. My hunch is that today’s corporate streaming evangelists would more than welcome such a hassle.

Steve Vonder Haar is a senior analyst with Wainhouse Research and can be reached at


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