DIY Tech Tools

Have a Merry (Digital) Christmas (party)!

2020 is coming to an end and over here in Belgium (but I guess everywhere) we’ll be celebrating Christmas and New Year in our little “bubble”. In short, this means us 4 won’t be spending the 25th over at my parent’s place together with my sister, her family and my grandma, and neither will we be going to a house for 20 people we rented with a bunch of friends ( I swear, we were so early in booking this time that we got a great house with a jacuzzi and… sigh). SO… an upgraded digital christmas party it is. Let’s get to work.

Let’s start with the easy part: getting connected.

We’ll be using Microsoft Teams since we have it at work, so we won’t be bothered by the 40min limit Zoom has. There are loads of alternatives of course, I’m guessing you won’t need help there. And neither will you need help on bringing the meeting to the big screen. Again: options ranging from Chromecast to just plugging in a HDMI cable (which is what we’ll be doing).

I wanted those watching us to have the best experience too. So I was figuring out how to use my Sony A7 iii and Rode VideoMic Pro+ in this setup. Turns out it’s actually quite easy: you just push the Mic in the Line in and you’re basically done since you can then select it in Teams. If, however, you don’t have a mic 3.5mm jack on your computer (like my Macbook Pro), you can get a USB solution that isn’t that expensive.

The video part is trickier.

Although Sony did put out a solution that worked out fine for me. It basically makes your camera available as a webcam in all solutions you can think of. But it didn’t work for me everywhere. And in that case you can still get it to work by using OBS. You might want to download the other Edge desktop software if the webcam isn’t working there either. That will allow you to use the Remote application as a capture window within OBS and start a Virtual Camera once you have that set up. That virtual camera should then be available, again in your meeting software of choice.

Oh, and for those wondering whether you can’t leave the Mic on the camera: no, the audio isn’t being put through.

But most importantly…

Have a warm Christmas and a good beginning in 2021. I know it’s common to say we best forget 2020, but I for one hope we learned a lot. I sure did.
Oh, and show me how you upgraded your digital christmas party. I’m sure there are way crazier setups out there.

But let’s make 2021 memorable for other reasons, shall we?

Cu there.