by Megan - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - Permalink
The newest installment of BoinxTV directly supports the global distribution of live news
The landscape of news distribution has changed dramatically since the dawn of the Internet Age. These days, the “Twitterverse” is usually the first on the scene with breaking news – albeit allegations at best in most scenarios – with credited online news organizations following shortly after with more legitimatized versions of the story. With these younger news sources delivering stories at what, at times, feels faster than the speed of light, broadcast television has had to find ways to adapt and keep up in the race to deliver news.
Television news broadcasting operates differently than that which is published on the vast online stratosphere. Needless to say, it requires a physical presence – journalists reporting from a newsroom or on the scene with a camera crew. Delivering a story isn’t always as simple as logging on and posting an article written from the comforts of one’s home. So when Chris Yates, an aviation analyst and regular talking head for stations like the BBC and CNN, was called on to correspond on breaking news stories, he’d often have to drive out to a station’s respective news center, or have a news truck sent out to him. That is, until he discovered BoinxTV.
“There’s traditionally been very little robust software available that would allow me to link into a live broadcast virtually. I checked out all manner of solutions but almost everything I tried turned out to be very low end and failed to deliver,” Chris said. “In late September I happened to get chatting with a couple of broadcast engineers about different ways to stream live video and audio from my home office to the broadcast screen, and they recommended checking out BoinxTV. I’ve been using it for several months now, and it’s proving to be very, very robust.”
Chris has worked in the broadcast and print industries for over 30 years. He cut his journalistic teeth with a decade-long stint in BBC radio, before switching to print media with the globally renowned defense publisher Jane’s Information Group as an editor and company spokesperson across radio and television. At the same time, he successfully ran his own aviation security, safety and terrorism consultancy business on the side, which went fully independent in 2009.
Chris has been across most of the major aviation-related stories for over a decade, including the Concorde disaster, 9/11, Air France 477, Underwear Bomber, Bin Laden death and many others. Although he knows his way around the radio or television studio like the back of his hand, Chris now has the luxury of broadcasting live from his own home office studio.
“Standard practice in the past was an alert call to request either a studio appearance or whereabouts for a satellite truck to attend,” Chris tells us. “Given we live and work in a 24-hour news cycle environment, it’s vital that mainstream broadcasters have access to informed comment around the clock. News organizations I’ve worked with across the globe for very many years know that whenever a major event is breaking within my areas of expertise, they can simply call for a talking head who is able to go live within minutes and provide extensive insight, thanks to the increased capability offered by BoinxTV.”
Being available for a live television broadcast would often require Chris to travel to the nearest studio at the first hint of trouble in the past. While the nearest BBC and ITV studios (both of which have reciprocal arrangements to feed other global broadcasters) are a mere 18 miles away, others, like Sky News, could be up to a 40-mile journey from his home office.
“Major news events that once consumed huge amounts of time are now responded to with a couple of mouse clicks, and at a fraction of the cost previously incurred in terms of personal travel. Not to mention studio booking fees and satellite uplink time incurred by others,” Chris says.
Given the immediacy of radio and television news nowadays, the majority of mainstream broadcasters are increasingly turning to telecommute solutions such as Skype to get on-air talent live as quickly as possible. Chris says that early tests with Skype demonstrated particular issues, such as out-of-sync audio and video, that could have a big impact on an effective performance in the live-to-air environment.
“With BoinxTV, I can bring audio and video together and have lip sync lock, thus making the stream look real, as opposed to something cobbled together at the last minute,” Chris comments. “I’m also really excited about the ability to do green or blue screen. This allows me to deliver a feed specific to whichever broadcaster I’m appearing on at the time, therefore maintaining appropriately targeted visuals.”
He adds, “BoinxTV is a very powerful piece of software with which I can do anything from virtual sets through picture in picture to standard lower thirds. Broadcasters I speak to regularly are extraordinarily astounded by the sound and video quality inbound to them and destined for live broadcast nationally and globally.”
In his office studio setup, Chris runs a primary quad core iMac workstation and dual core MacBook Pro, along with an iPad and a couple of iPhones. A Canon 3CCD camera, full digital audio, and color-corrected lighting enables live television appearances. Two 32-inch Toshiba monitors allow him to actively view live off-air scenes from the field, enabling him to appropriately react to an evolving story in real time as he broadcasts live. “Outbound feeds are achieved predominantly via Skype and delivered by standard or high-bandwidth broadband links. I typically feed out in standard definition, leaving broadcasters free to upscale to suit their own requirement at the other end,” Chris concludes.
Chris recently took to the air and clocked up 18 hours of solid television and radio broadcasting over a single day across CNN, BBC World, Al Jazeera, Sky News and multiple other domestic and international channels, aided in large part by BoinxTV software.
Now THAT’S something to Tweet loudly about.
by Megan - Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - Permalink
BoinxTV is nominated for Best Webcast Platform at the Streaming Media European Readers' Choice Awards 2013. We couldn't be more excited to be included in a category full of some of the most talented and innovative companies around! Show your support and go vote for us here!
by Megan - Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - Permalink
Boinx Software is on the lookout for an intern to help us manage a new Wiki page for BoinxTV, the TV truck – without the truck! This is a paid internship requiring about 10 hours per week. Though we are based in Germany and this is primarily a work-from-home type of job, our marketing team in Boston will assist in managing the internship. This means we are looking for a candidate based in the Boston area who would be available to meet in the Boston office periodically.
Responsibilities for the internship include, but are not limited to:
- Gathering a deep understanding of how BoinxTV works
- Creating and editing wiki entries for documenting app features using Markdown
- Creating and editing screenshots for the documentation
- Responding to customer comments and requests regarding the documentation
- Candidates must be currently enrolled in college and pursuing a bachelor's degree in computer sciences, broadcast technology, journalism, web design/media, IT, film/broadcast, technology, computer and information sciences, or a similar area of study
- Must speak English fluently
- Must be based in the Boston area
- Must be interested and engaged in video podcasting, Public Access TV or similar
- Must be Mac user and own a Mac capable of running OS X 10.8
Think you got what it takes?! Check out the full job posting here and send your cover letter and resume to the corresponding email address. Looking forward to hearing from you!
by Megan - Tuesday, October 02, 2012 - Permalink
The MacTech Conference, a three-day event designed for Apple developers, IT pros and enterprise, is rapidly approaching, and Boinx is proud to be one of the many sponsors for the big event. From October 17th to the 19th, members of the Apple community will meet, mingle, network, exchange ideas and, most importantly, have fun! According to Edward Marczak, Conference Chair and Executive Editor of MacTech Magazine, “This will be spurred on by presentations from some of the best and well-known experts in the community.”
The conference will feature two separate presentation tracks: one focused on programming and development and the other on IT/enterprise and consulting. In addition to Boinx’s sponsorship of the event, we will be recording both session tracks using BoinxTV, a MacBook Pro Retina with two Cameras, and a VGA Grabber each. In addition to these highly informative speaker sessions, the MacTech Conference will also offer evening activities and entertainment. The following has recently been announced:
On the first evening, MacTech Conference attendees will be guests at nearby Walt Disney Animation Studios. Not only will they get a behind-the-scenes look at the Animation Studios and talk with Disney technologists and artists, but also have a rare look at how Walt Disney Animation Studios uses advanced technology to create their animated films.
On the second evening, MacTech's party tradition continues with a walk down Universal's CityWalk to Jillian's where attendees can enjoy all that Jillian's has to offer (bowling, Guitar Hero room, air hockey, video games, arcade, billiards and more). Or, for true entertainment, attendees can try their hand at the now famous Karaoke at the party.
As part of the entertainment flavor of MacTech Conference 2012, Profiles in History: Treasures from the Vaults will have a variety of Hollywood treasures on display the first day of the event, during registration and throughout the day.
We're really looking forward to the MacTech Conference and hope to see you there! Register with our special VIP link to receive $100 off the registration fee PLUS a MacTech subscription (worth $50). But don’t delay! Pre-register (before October 8th) and receive an ADDITIONAL $300 off the cost of registration!!
by Megan - Friday, September 21, 2012 - Permalink
photokina, the photography event of the year (or of every two years, we should say) began just a few days ago on Tuesday. Since then, with the unwavering help of BoinxTV, the photokinaTV team has been producing a series of exclusive interviews with vendors, photographers, and more on FotoTV. The production is run entirely on BoinxTV using a Mac Pro, three Sony HDV cameras and one HDMI signal – oh, and an iPhone, which our resident video guy Bastian built in order to control BoinxTV.
Over the past four days, the crew has produced about 10 15-minute videos per day, which averages one show per hour. With about 30 minutes of pre-production prep and 10 to 15 minutes of production, the team has each video uploaded to the photokina website within the hour. If the photokinaTV crew had to rely on traditional editing, this fast turnaround just wouldn’t be possible. With BoinxTV, they’re able to get the news – and the latest scoop from exhibitors – on the site at the same time the news is announced to the world. One example of this was Canon’s announcement of its brand new EOS 6D. And with little to no room for any technical hiccups, the BoinxTV studio has proven to be a rock-solid production set-up.
In the above video, Bastian speaks with photokinaTV host Marc Ludwig about the latest upgrade to Boinx’s FotoMagico. They discuss the newest features in version 4 and how it differs from previous versions, as well as how professional photographers can use FotoMagico 4 to vastly improve their slideshow creation skills, even without a computer-science degree. Check it out – but be warned! The interview is in German, so if you’re not up on your German-speaking skills, simply check out this blog post where we spell out what’s new in FotoMagico 4. Not enough? Test drive the beta version and see for yourself!
by Megan - Friday, August 31, 2012 - Permalink
The advent of webcams was really exciting, especially for us computer and technology lovers. They’ve gotten quite advanced over the years, and most modern USB webcams now have great resolution and very good optics. But even so, we have a bone to pick with webcams. They auto-set everything. Okay, okay, now we know that having things automatically done for you can be great, but when it comes to making iStopMotion animated movies or producing live TV with BoinxTV with a webcam, the auto-settings can really get in the way.
USB webcams auto-set everything from exposure to white balance to focus. For stop motion movies, that can result in flickering animations when the camera suddenly readjusts to changing image content. You might remember we recently added the ability to manually adjust white balance and exposure on our iStopMotion for iPad app, so when taking a time lapse of something like a sunset, the camera wouldn’t auto-adjust and spoil the lighting continuity. For BoinxTV, when the white balance is auto-set, it makes setting up chroma keying nearly impossible. This is because any change in lighting (for example, simply walking in front of the camera and casting a shadow on the green screen) destroys all of the settings you created in BoinxTV.
So, why are we telling you this? We recently discovered a great app that gives you manual control over all of the relevant settings of a USB webcam. The Webcam Settings app lets you adjust all of the settings on many USB webcams, so your iStopMotion or BoinxTV creations will look picture-perfect.
To use it, first open your video app and select the camera you want to adjust (Webcam Settings doesn't give you a preview, so you need a video app to see the changes you make). Now launch Webcam settings and open the Webcam Settings Panel.s
[Screenshot 1] First, select the camera at the very top. In our example, we’re using FaceTime HD Camera (Built-in). Now (1) either set the camera to manual (if possible) or to aperture priority. "Manual" is always the best choice, but some cameras don't support it. When set to manual, you can adjust the exposure time (2) using the slider. While you move the slider, take a look in the video app to see the changes you make. You can also alter the Aperture if needed. Uncheck the Auto White Balance box (3) and use the slider (4) to adjust the color temperature.
[Screenshot 2] Setting the focus is also possible with some cameras. To do this, go to the “Advanced” tab, uncheck “Auto" (1) in the focus section and set the focus (2). It's incredible how close some of these cams can focus. The Microsoft Cinema Cam HD can focus up to an inch in front of the camera without a problem.
Most cameras are set to 60Hz out of the box. In the US, that is not a problem, as your electricity also has 60 Hz, like that of light bulbs (which flicker at this speed, invisible to the human eye), so it doesn't create issues. In Europe, electricity has 50 Hz, causing image artifacts. Many webcams can be set to another Hz value to fix this.
When you’re finished manually setting the focus, exposure and more, your iStopMotion animation will be flicker free and your BoinxTV chroma keys will remain the way you originally set them up – leaving you free to exercise your amazing creative abilities!
Note: Webcam Settings is not able to permanently store the settings in the camera. So if you close Webcam Settings and your video app, or reboot, the settings will be lost and you’ll need to re-set them.
Because we like you so much, we did a bit of research for you! Here is a list of cameras we have in our office that we tested, including results:
Built in FaceTime HD Camera
* Manual Exposure
* Aperture Priority
* Adjustable Aperture
* Manual white balance
* No focus control
* Powerline frequency control
* Manual Exposure
* Aperture Priority
* Adjustable Aperture
* Manual white balance
* Focus control
* Powerline frequency
Microsoft Cinema Cam HD
* Aperture Priority
* Adjustable Aperture
* Manual white balance
* Focus control
* Powerline frequency
Agama USB Cam
* Manual/Aperture Priority
* No manual Aperture
Editor’s note: This article was written with great help from Boinx’s all-things-video guy, Bastian Wölfle – thanks Bastian!
by Bastian - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - Permalink
Disclaimer: This control set up requires paid 3rd party apps, that together cost about $23!
Controlling BoinxTV using your mouse or keyboard shortcuts works just fine, but sometimes it would be really handy to have an external control panel that would allow you to control the system from a distance. Enter the iPad (or iPhone), and third party apps TouchOSC and OSCulator. Originally designed for OSC (Open Sound Control) to control audio applications, they work just great for controlling virtually any application in some way, BoinxTV included.
The first thing you’ll need is TouchOSC editor for the Mac, which can be downloaded from hexler.net
When you first open it, be sure to select the correct device and orientation you want to use. For handling and screen size reasons, we will assume a horizontal iPad from now on, but everything described here also works on the iPhone (just on a much smaller scale), and also in vertical orientation.
Enlarge the button a little bit so it is easy to hit. When you select it, there are various settings that can be set up in the left column. If you want, you can set a name here; that will make it easier to identify the buttons you send later on. I recommend naming it something unique that describes its action and has no blank spaces. In our case, we want to trigger the lower third of our studio guest John Doe, so we name the button “LT_John_Doe”. It is VERY important that you don’t use blanks, so either replace them by underscores or use CamelCase!
We also need a label to recognize the button later while operating. Again, right click on the canvas and select “Label V”. Drag the newly created label on top of the button and adjust its text using the text field. There is no need to adjust the name field here here as it doesn’t get transmitted anyway. Adjust both color and background for the button and the label to your preference.
Now save the file under a name that makes sense, as this will be name you’ll recognize it by on the iPad. Now hit the Sync button in the toolbar of the editor to start the sending process. Let the window sit there. Now it’s time to switch to the iPad.
The next step is downloading TouchOSC to your iPad. You can get it from the Appstore. It’s $4.99 very well spent, as this universal app will run on both your iPad and iPhone. Once you open TouchOSC, you’ll see this:
Unfortunately, the interface is a bit counterintuitive in the beginning, but you’ll catch on to the process very quickly. First, tap “Not set” in the “Layout” section. There, tap “Add”. In the following screen, you’ll see your Mac (they need to be in the same Wifi of course).
Tap your Mac and TouchOSC will import the file (if the file is present already you’ll be prompted to overwrite it). Now, you’ll get the list with all the available layouts again. Here, tap your Layout you just imported to load it as the active layout.
Hitting the “TouchOSC” back button on the top left brings you back to the main menu. Now we need to go back to the Mac to set up the application that receives the commands. Hit stop on the TouchOSC Editor sync dialog.
Now you’ll need OSCulator, which can be downloaded from OSCulator.net. To get a non-time limited version, you need to purchase it. OSCulator has a pay-what-you-want pricing model with a minimum price of $19. After downloading and installing OSCulator, it will automatically start to listen for incoming OSC connections, so it’s back to the iPad and TouchOSC. Tap on “OSC: Disabled” in the “Connections” section.
Now, enable OSC using the toggle switch. Once enabled, TouchOSC will find all the Hosts with running OSC receivers in your local network. Tap your Mac in the “Found Hosts” section, and head back to the main screen by tapping “TouchOSC” in the top left corner.
Now you have your one button control surface. Tap the button once and take a look at OSCulator, it will now display the button you just pressed in the button list. After that, we’ll need to assign an action to the button. So select “Key Combo” from the “Event Type” popup.
In the small popup window, enter your desired shortcut simply by pressing it. We recommend using the letters A-Z together with the modifiers Shift, Control, Option and Command. It is very important to create absolutely unique shortcuts that no other application uses. While you are in this window, we recommend creating more shortcuts for later use. Make sure you also create one that is just CMD+R for starting and stopping the recording. As the target, always select “BoinxTV” (if it doesn’t appear in the dropdown, make sure it is running).
After setting up your shortcuts, your settings should look something like this. For your convenience, you can also simply download an OSCulator file from here that has all the keyboard shortcuts predefined; all you would need to do is set up your TouchOSC buttons.
Once you have set up your keyboard shortcut for the TouchOSC button, we come to the last step: assigning the button to an action in BoinxTV. So, load your BoinxTV document, select the layer or layer setting and click the “Record Shortcut” button either in the “Layer” or “Layer Setting” column. If you want to toggle the entire layer, choose the “Layer” option. If you just want to toggle a specific layer setting (ideal for lower thirds), choose “Layer Setting”.
As soon as the button says “Type shortcut,” hit the button on your iPad and the keyboard shortcut you entered before in OSCulator. From now on you can toggle this layer or setting with the button on your iPad. The same works with every BoinxTV button that has the option to assign a keyboard shortcut (e.g. camera switching using the “Video Switcher” layer or toggling between speaker and slides using the “Presenter” layer).
All you need to do is create a layout that fits your needs and assign keys. Once you save a document, save the OSCulator settings and have your iPad handy. The next time, all you need to do is launch TouchOSC on your iPad, open OSCulator and re-open the previously created BoinxTV document and you are ready to go!
To give you an idea of what layouts could look like, you can download two example layouts here that we use in our live productions.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave them in the comments of this post and we’ll be sure to respond as quickly as possible. Enjoy!!
by Megan - Monday, May 21, 2012 - Permalink
The Children’s Creativity Museum (formerly “Zeum”), situated in downtown San Francisco, is a place for kids to explore their inner filmmaker, rock star or movie star. They are encouraged to get their hands dirty and sing/dance/shout/whatever to the beat of their own drummer. To facilitate this concept of confidence building, the museum is filled with tools that allow visitors to delve into their creative sides, even including a television studio fully equipped with the same technology professional filmmakers and artists use to film and produce videos.
The museum’s educational philosophy of “Imagine, Create, Share” promotes a divergent thinking process that allows children to explore their wild and crazy ideas (Imagine), express themselves with confidence and the freedom to fail (Create), and validate their ideas while building on those of others, thus strengthening the community (Share). All this is done with a main goal in mind: to nurture what the museum calls the “3C’s of 21st-century skills”: Creativity, Collaboration and Communication. They believe the success of future generations depends on more than just what our future leaders know. It depends on their ability to think and act creatively.
“When people visit the museum, it doesn’t matter how old they are or what their level of tech savvy is. Whether a visitor is three or 55, it’s the magic of being able to create something from scratch that excites them,” says Eli Africa, a Multimedia Producer and Educator at the museum, and self-proclaimed “Imagineer.” He runs many exhibits in the museum, including the animation and video production studios. “It’s not the end product that matters to visitors as much as the process it takes to get there. They’re telling a story through reading, singing, feeling, performing – whatever it is, that’s what people always remember, being in the middle of the process. That’s how I see the 3C’s coming together.”
Through that unique process, visitors of all ages are exposed to the many elements that go into making one’s own original creation, awakening the inner artist within them. “We’re opening the door to a new way of communicating,” says Eli.
Using Technology to Turn Kids into Creators
Around every corner or curve and inside every nook or cranny of the museum is a creative way of exploring, learning and having fun (and with the brightly colored cast of characters adorning museum walls, not an inch of space lacks inventiveness). From blocks and clay to moviemaking and graphic design, the museum is jam-packed with creative activities for kids that nurture the 3C’s.
“The Children’s Creativity Museum provides high and low tech offerings that bridge the gap between art and technology,” says Cathy Barragan, the Marketing and Public Relations Manager at the museum. “Provided with the tools for creative process and the freedom to think and act creatively, visitors are encouraged to move from being passive consumers to active producers in a variety of media.”
The Music Studio, one of the most popular exhibits, is the place kids can go to create their very own music video. It leverages Boinx Software’s BoinxTV to amplify what can be a seemingly simple activity: karaoke. Singing and dancing along to a favorite song becomes a more engaging experience when visitors are able to create something as elaborate and professional as a music video entirely from scratch, using the same high level technology used by real filmmakers. As Eli notes, it’s not the end product that matters, but the unique process taken to arrive there that museum visitors find both encouraging and inspiring. And even though it’s the process kids will remember, the fact that they get to take home their very own music video is simply off the charts.
Making Memories that Will Last a Lifetime
Before entering the music studio, children are greeted with a sign that reads a message reiterated throughout the entire museum: risk-taking, collaboration and confidence are key. “Music Studio is more than karaoke, it’s an introduction to improvisational skills, a chance to collaborate, and a big step forward in developing creative confidence.”
Inside, the room is equipped with a giant green screen stage complete with microphone, lyrics teleprompter and multiple screens for live playback, a computer to host the BoinxTV studio software, and a costume wardrobe. Here, creativity flows. Children can choose everything from costume to song to background setting, allowing their individuality to shine through every aspect.
“Our approach to creativity is based in divergent thinking – a process based on generating creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions. The Music Studio nurtures this skill by giving kids the tools to choose costumes, props and backdrops, and use the latest music composition software to write and produce their own music videos,” comments Irina Zadov, Director of Experience and Community Engagement at the museum. “By prototyping unique soundtracks, green screens, and choreography, our visitors develop creative confidence and a freedom to fail, which we believe is at the core of creativity and innovation.”
At the Children’s Creativity Museum, children are not told what to do or how to do it. They’re given the freedom to make decisions and explore their wildest ideas – without judgment.
“I see that – the power to be a decision maker – carrying on into any aspect of the children’s lives. We’re showing our visitors the tools, but how and if they even use them is totally up to them,” says Eli. “And with those decisions, they are able to express how they feel – through a song they love, an interview they want to conduct, anything. When the kids are on screen, there’s a feeling of, ‘I have arrived.’ It’s quite remarkable, and it sticks with them the rest of their lives.”
In the Music Studio, kids are the stars of their own show, reinforcing the museum’s goal of making children content creators rather than consumers. They’re able to direct and run the production while having full control over technical and artistic decisions. It’s an experience unlike any other, and one that children can only get by visiting the museum. In addition to building the creative confidence needed to freely express oneself, visiting children are able to learn about an industry they might not necessarily be otherwise exposed to. When they’re done creating their musical masterpiece, they can even keep a copy of the performance, immortalizing their moment in the spotlight and allowing them to share it with others.
A Happy Ending After Disaster Struck
“When our Mac Tower was stolen from the Music Studio in the spring of 2011, the museum needed a replacement fast – a new application that would meet our green screen needs to combine with our existing audio-video recording set-up,” recalls Eli. “I discovered BoinxTV through receiving Boinx Software’s email updates. BoinxTV has a lot of features that also make it easy for users to add and combine with, using layers of stills, graphics and video. Each feature can be individually tweaked in some way, opening up more possibilities to telling stories and creating memorable moments with our patrons and staff.”
Museum-goers have been building creative confidence and having fun with BoinxTV ever since.
“We’re so passionate about innovative technology at Boinx and providing tools that are not only fun but actually contribute to creative development,” says Oliver Breidenbach, founder of Boinx Software. “Most of us didn’t necessarily have the opportunity to learn about these tools and industries until much later in life, and now more than ever creative programs are being cut in public schools. The Children’s Creativity Museum provides a safe place for children to explore their imagination and other facets of learning. We’re truly honored to be able to contribute to the education and growth children experience at the museum.”
Investing in Creativity to Invest in Your Children’s Future
“The recession has impacted the entire community, and particularly schools that are unable to support arts programs,” says Cathy. “Fortunately, the Children’s Creativity Museum is able to fill the gaps for many schools through field trip programs, as well as provide opportunities for local teens through the C.I.T.Y. Teen Internship program. As the demand for fee-waived field trips has increased, so has the need to build capacity so that the museum can continue to serve youth and families in the community and beyond.”
Visiting school groups come to the museum and explore classroom concepts in the music studio, bringing an artistic element to the typical curriculum. Being able to produce and choreograph what they’re studying in school in front of the green screen is an exciting and creative way for these students to learn.
As a non-profit organization, the Children’s Creativity Museum relies on contributions of all sizes to be able to continue to provide programs and services to the community. Donations help to build capacity to serve more families, update and refresh exhibits, and support programs such as the C.I.T.Y. Teen Internship program. Investing in the Children’s Creativity Museum is making an investment in the potential of our future leaders. Make your donation today to help cultivate a culture of Creativity, Collaboration and Communication!
BoinxTV: The Technology Behind the Process
To achieve a karaoke production studio cut out for the pros, the Children’s Creativity Museum has a great deal of technology in their Music Studio. They currently use a Mac Pro Tower and Mac Mini hooked up to one 2-chip security camera, an audio mixer, two speakers, two microphones, a karaoke-style teleprompter monitor, a karaoke microphone, a CD-player, three desktop monitors for operator controls and nine Trinitron Sony TVs stacked on top of one another so patrons can watch the entire production as it happens. As a non-profit, the museum is unable to keep equipment as up-to-date as they would like, which means employees often must flex their creative skills to make older equipment (some over eight years old) work with their needs.
Bringing the Technology Home
Though the museum has an extensive set of equipment powering the Music Studio, anyone can use BoinxTV with much less - that’s the beauty of it! BoinxTV by Boinx Software brings the power of the production studio to your Mac – and all you really need is a camera! With this simple setup, users can combine live camera video, clips, photos, 3D graphics, lower thirds, audio and more to create stunning recorded or live video.
Perfect for at-home video production, school news programs, webcasts and more, BoinxTV is a great way to learn, develop new skills, share news with others and express yourself, all while having fun! To learn more about BoinxTV, please visit the Boinx Software website.
by Megan - Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - Permalink
Happy spring everyone! It’s been a busy month for us Boinx folks. I just returned from a trip to Palm Springs for the annual CUE conference (that’s Computer-Using Educators) – what a success! The conference, which is one of the biggest tech conferences in California, was packed with teachers, tech coordinates, students (though just on Saturday, of course!) and more, seeking out the latest in technology for education. It was the perfect opportunity for us to showcase BoinxTV, iStopMotion 2, and iStopMotion for iPad, and all of their educational benefits for tech savvy teachers and students.
Not only did we get a lot of positive feedback from attendees (some may or may not have purchased the iStopMotion for iPad app while at our booth…), but it was so encouraging to see just how big of a role technology plays in the classroom, and how students and teachers alike are embracing it. There was even an exhibit dedicated to showcasing projects that students have created using technology like the iPad. Seeing first hand how confident these young students are was very impressive. Just another example of how, when you put technology in the hands of children, they will do truly amazing things with it.
by Megan - Thursday, February 23, 2012 - Permalink
At West Tisbury School in Massachusetts, a group of students meets every week to shoot their own television show, which is put on display for their classmates and teachers to see each week. How do they do it, you ask? With BoinxTV, of course!
Using the “studio-in-a-box,” teacher Valerie Becker and her “news crew” are able to create WTS-TV, without the need for a studio or expensive editing gear. “This is not a TV production class – it’s a group of dedicated students who are enthusiastic about learning the art of broadcast. But because it's not a class, we’re always on the lookout for vacant classrooms to use for creating the show,” says Becker. “That’s what makes this so impressive, that we're able to do that, because the entire 'studio' is on the computer.”
WTS-TV episodes, which air in the entryway of the school Monday through Friday all week long, cover all West Tisbury School activities, from sporting events to spelling bees and talent shows to school trips. They even list all of the birthdays each week, giving every member of the school their fair share of airtime. Through the production process, students on either end, whether they’re the interviewer or subject, have the opportunity to learn from a unique experience. They’re able to build confidence, learn the art of interviewing and storytelling, and share their West Tisbury experience with peers, building a strong school community and awareness of school events.
“Each week is better than the last,” says Becker of the students’ progress after only a few months of using the software. “BoinxTV is a wonderful tool for elementary students to experience the roles and responsibilities of broadcasting. If we were able to offer a formal class in broadcasting, I would unhesitatingly use BoinxTV.”
Becker and her students have been successfully shooting and airing WTS episodes since December 2011 and are looking forward to expanding their skills as a TV production crew. Check out past episodes of WTS-TV here!