AIRCast Studio

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Using AirCast Studio

AIRCast Studio is the session production environment where you, your team, and your presenters work together to manage all content and presentations broadcast to your virtual attendees.

There are six primary areas visible in OnAIR Studio:

  • Information Header – contains session information, session status and the external clock option.
  • Main Stage – the location of up to sixteen live streams of presenters, screen shares and media viewable by your virtual attendees
  • Preview Pane – this is where the host can organize presenters and media and decide both the layout in the Main Stage as well as the location of each stream in the Main Stage display
  •  Green Room – The waiting area for presenters. The Host can bring presenters from the Green Room onto the Main Stage.
  • Tools Options Pane – on the far right you will see different functions such as Media, Recordings, Live Polling, Live Q&A and more.
  • Tools Menu – along the bottom is the Tools menu that provides Hosts, Presenters, and non-presenting support staff access to different options for the current presentation. The Tools Menu will change based on the type of session role each person has when they are in the session.

Important definitions 

AIRCast Studio is a comprehensive production environment for your sessions. You should be familiar with these terms:

  • Breakout Rooms – small rooms (up to 40 people). Attendees can join to engage in conversation and screen sharing. Breakout rooms can be included in any session that has “Enable Breakout Rooms” as part of the AIRCast Session setup.
  • Broadcast – this is the output of the Main Stage and sent to all attendees who are viewing the session. Test Broadcasts can be conducted before a session, until 60 seconds before the session starts. A Broadcast can be ended early and restarted within the session times.
  • Clock App – the session countdown timer can be opened on an external device, such as a smart phone or tablet. This is useful if the presenter or support staff don't have multiple screens and need to be aware of session length and times.
  • Control Room – a behind-the-scenes management area where staff can preview all sessions, send out alerts, communicate with presenters and display a live host or MC feed directly to all or selected participants.
  • Discussion Forum – an information text chat area used by attendees and presenters prior to the start of a session or poster session.
  • Host – One of more persons must be assigned the Session Role of Host, who are able to manage all aspects of AIRCast Studio. Only one Host at a time can be running an AIRCast Session, but additional hosts can replace the current host whenever the currently active host needs to step away or be assisted in cases of technical difficulty. Hosts are also able to present as needed. Hosts can be assigned via a session role or via the global host assignment option found in the Sessions tab of the OnAIR Portal configuration.
  • Invited Guest – A Host in AIRCast Studio can send an invitation to an external guest presenter, even if they do not have a registration or login to OnAIR. This invitation provides a link to the invited guest who, upon clicking on the link, is brought directly into the AIRCast Studio Green Room (See Green Room for additional information).
  • Layout Options – part of the preview pane displays a drop down of different Main Stage layouts. These layouts will display media, shared screens and presents in a variety of layouts that can quickly be changed as needed.
  • Live Poll – this function displays one or more questions where attendees can choose one or multiple answers. Live poll results can be shared with the attendees by the presenter. The results can also be shared to the main stage by the Host.
  • Live Q&A – this option displays the Live Q&A panel, displaying questions posed by attendees. The Presenter or Support Staff can respond to questions verbally or in writing, and questions can be ranked, moderated, saved, exported, or deleted as needed.
  • Media – AIRCast Studio can display video files and images as part of the Main Stage presentation. These are brought into the Media Pane and added to the Preview/Main Stage by the Host.
  • Main Stage – this is the area in AIRCast Studio where the host organizes and presents all content to your virtual attendees. The Main Stage can hold up to sixteen active streams of content, which include presentations and media such as videos or audio tracks. The Host can organize the different streams of presenters and media into different layouts and actively change how this combination of presenters and media can be displayed.
Note: Attendees can "react" to presentations with emojis such as like, love, applause, laughter, surprise, and sadness. 
  • Non-Presenting Support Staff – additional team members can be brought into AIRCast Studio in a supporting role, such as a Live Q&A moderator, manage Live Polling or check-in with presenters in the Green Room prior to being brought onto the Main Stage (See Main Stage for additional information).
  • PTZ Camera - Pan/Zoom/Tilt cameras are stand-alone cameras that can be placed in an auditorium providing different shots used AIRCast Studio. These cameras are un-attended and can be controlled by the AIRCast Host and AV Partners.
  • Presenter – Presenters can be assigned to AIRCast Studio as a Session Role or in the Attendee Record using the Presentations module to assign their presentation to a specific session. This is the current scenario used in OnAIR to assign presenters to sessions.
  • Presenter Chat – an informal text chat window used by all presenters in the same session.
Note: Chats sent to presenters can be seen as an alert that will pop up on the top left corner of the window.
  • Preview Pane – this is where the host can organize presenters and media and decide both the layout in the Main Stage as well as the location of each stream in the Main Stage display.
  • Remote Projection - this is the ability project live streams of virtual presenters onto separate screens or displays at a live event. This is a powerful option when you have both live and remote presenters. At a live event, your audience can be watching both the live presentation as well as one or more virtual presenters on different screens on the main stage.
  • Share Screen -Presenters or Hosts can opt to share their screen and bring onto the Main Stage. NOTE: presenters can show only one stream at a time, so their video and any shared screens will be alternated between the two.

Understanding Session Roles in AIRCast Studio

There are different session roles specific to AIRCast Studio. When you are creating Session Roles in Presentation Setup, you will see two options that can be selected:

  • Include this role in Online Agenda/OnAIR – you would check this option for presenters and for hosts if they are also presenting. Their contact photo is also included in the session description.
  • AIRCast Studio Host – select this option for persons who are assigned the Host role for a specific session. Remember, only an AIRCast Studio Host has access to the full range of functionality, including being able to invite external guests or attendees to the Main Stage and creating Breakout Rooms. All sessions must have at least one Host assigned to the session.

Another way to assign AIRCast Studio Hosts

You can also assign hosts globally for all sessions by entering their email address(s) in the OnAIR Portal Configuration, in the Session Settings.

 Session Roles you can assign

It is up to you to create session roles that can be assigned for each specific session you are producing.

You will need at least one Host as well as typically at least one presenter for each session. You can consider assigning additional hosts as well as non-presenting support staff who can manage Live Q&A and Live Polling.

  • Host – This is the required session role needed to manage the production of your session, organize the layout of presenters and media, and manage additional functionality such as inviting external guests and managing breakout rooms.

This is enabled by selecting the AIRCast Studio Host option when defining the session role in Presentation Setup or by adding the Host’s email to the AIRCast Session Admin Host list.

  • Secondary or Additional Hosts – You can assign as many hosts as you wish to AIRCast Studio; however, only one host at a time can manage the production of your session.

Secondary Hosts can step in and take control at any time, which is useful if the currently active host experiences connectivity issues. Also, Secondary hosts can assist the primary host in working with presenters, managing breakout rooms, answering Live Q&A, and overseeing Live Polls.

This is enabled by selecting the AIRCast Studio Host option when defining the session role in Presentation Setup or by adding the Host’s email to the AIRCast Session Admin Host list.

  • Presenters – Presenters are the persons assigned to a session that are presenting the session content. You can have more than one presenter for each session.

It is useful to remember that you can give a presenter designation to a host as it is quite possible that a session host would also be presenting content.

Presenters are enabled by assigning them the appropriate session role in the session setup or adding a Presentation module entry linked to an AIRCast session.

  • Non-Presenting Additional Staff – you can name this anything you wish, such as Moderator, Staff, or any other designation you wish.

This session role does not have Host or Presenter options and is limited to assisting with Live Q&A or Live Polling.

This category of session role is defined by NOT selecting either option - AIRCast Studio Host or Include this role in Online Agenda/OnAIR.

  • Include this role in Online Agenda/OnAIR – you would check this option for presenters and for hosts if they are also presenting. Their contact photo is also included in the session description.
  • AIRCast Studio Host – select this option for persons who are assigned the Host role for a specific session. Remember, only an AIRCast Studio Host has access to the full range of functionality, including being able to invite external guests or attendees to the Main Stage and creating Breakout Rooms. All sessions must have at least one Host assigned to the session.

How to use each section

Green Room

The Green Room is the Presenter waiting area, where presenters are placed when they first start their presentations

This is an important concept as you may have multiple presenters placed in the Green Room and it's up to the Host to move them onto the Main Stage. The Green Room is also where the host will invite any external guest speakers or attendees to wait before being moved onto the Main Stage. 

Green Room Options for the Host 

  • ADD will move the presenter into the Preview Pane of the Main Stage
  • END will remove the presenter from the Green Room
  • The audio icon will mute or unmute the presenter’s audio feed
  • The Talk Button will enable all hosts to speak with the selected Presenter in the Green Room

Main Stage

This is the area where you organize up to sixteen streams (presenters and media) for broadcast to your virtual audience. All streams that you add to your Main Stage are first displayed in your Preview, where you can decide on the presentation layout to be shown in the Main Stage.

This category will provide information in three different areas:

  • The Preview Pane
  • Main Stage Layouts
  • Important Reminders

The Preview Pane is where your chosen streams and media are placed so you can determine your Main Stage layout and assign each preview stream to the desired layout location.

The process is quite straightforward:

  1. You add in any presenters, screen shares (for Host) and media that you wish to display on the Main Stage
  2. You select the Main Stage Layout from the options menu at the top.
  3. Using the numbers on the layout, click on each preview item in the correct order so they correspond the Main Stage Layout you’ve selected
  4. Select CUT to add your content to the Main Stage
  5. While the current Main Stage content is proceeding, you can start building your next Cut…simply by repeating the above process
  6. When you are ready to switch to your new layout, simply select Cut again to replace what is currently on the Main Stage with your new layout

You have these layout choices to use for presenting your session content in the Main Stage:

Other Main Stage Layout Options

Depending on your chosen layout, you can have additional options to manage the layout of your streams in the Main Stage.

 Full Screen – This option, when selected, will change the associated image or video to full screen

Spotlight- In Multiple Streams Top and Left layouts, selecting the Spotlight Icon will move the associated image or video to the spotlight, or the primary image in the layout

It’s quite straightforward to create different stream layouts in your Main Stage. While one is active, you can keep creating new layouts with new or existing streams in your Preview.

A few reminders

  • When in Preview, your presenter’s audio is active and can be heard unless they are muted. You can mute the presenters, or they can mute themselves.
  • You can mute the entire Main Stage presentation by muting or unmuting the Main Stage audio indicator at the top of the Main Stage. This only mutes the Main Stage sound for you, not the attendees. This is useful if you are having a conversation with the Green Room or cueing a video.
  • As Host, you can stream both media and your camera at the same time. However, presenters will only have one stream for media and their camera. If they play a video, it will replace their camera.
  • Screen share for the host and presenters always come into the Preview Pane and not automatically onto the Main Stage. This enables the host to ensure the screen share is formatted correctly (e.g. PowerPoint is in full screen mode).
  • If you end the AIRCast Studio Broadcast early, the session itself remains open even if no AIRCast Studio broadcast is occurring
  • Any Host can take over Host duties at any time by clicking the REPLACE HOST button (displayed in the top right of the screen). Any media used on AIRCast Studio must be saved locally on your computer
  • If you are using video from the Media Panel, you can choose where the video begins prior to bringing it onto the Main Stage

AIRCast Studio Tools

AIRCast Studio offers a variety of tools for the host and presenter to use during presentations. The tool bar will appear differently for each type of user, offering each user type a different selection of options:

Host Tools 

Presenter Tools

Invited Guest Tools

Non-Presenting Support Staff Tools

AIRCast Studio Functions

AIRCast Studio functions will change colors depending on their usage.

The Present icon is green when it is OK to proceed and start your presentation. Until your presentation is started, your Mic and Camera icons are inactive.

When your presentation is active, your icons show Red and your Mic and Camera start automatically. You can stop your camera or Mic as required.

When any of your AIRCast Studio options are selected and active, the associated panel is shown on the right and the selected icon turns blue

 Functions available in AIRCast Studio

The following options are available in AIRCast Studio, depending on what role you are logged in as (see above for specific available options).

  • Present/Stop Presentation – select Present to join the Main Stage as a presenter. If you are host, you will be placed straight to Preview. Otherwise, you will be placed in the Green Room.
  • Start/Stop Camera – this option will turn off your video. You can toggle this on and off as required.
  • Mute/Unmute Mic – this option will turn off your microphone. You can toggle this on and off as required.
  • Settings – this option lets you configure or change your video and audio options.
  • Share Screen – This option will share your screen, where you can select what screen on your computer you wish to share to the Main Stage. If you are presenter, you can only share a screen or display your video, not both at the same time.
  • Media – this option displays the Media Panel. Here you can choose video or image files you wish to display on the Main Stage. Please note that you can only choose videos or images that are on your PC, not ones that are in the cloud or at a web address.

Also, if you are a presenter, you are allowed only one stream for camera and media, so if you bring in media you can only show your media or your camera feed, not both at the same time.

  • Invited Guest – this option lets you bring in an invited guest to the Main Stage. (See Invited Guest for more information).
  • Attendees – this option lets the host view all attendees in the session. Additionally, attendees can raise hands and at the direction of the Host, join the Main Stage presentations.
  • Breakout Rooms – The host can create Breakout Rooms that attendees can enter for group conversations and screen sharing. See Breakout Rooms for additional information.
  • Live Poll – this option displays the Live Poll pane, where the presenter, host or non-presenting support person can define poll questions, present the poll to attendees, and share poll results.
  • Live Q&A – this option displays the Live Q&A panel, where you or your non-presenting support team can review, manage, and respond to questions.
  • Discussion Forum – This is the informal text chat area for attendees and presenters to have conversations before and during a session
  • Session Information – This option displays the session details, including presenter information and session description.
  • Presenter Chat – This is a private chat area for all hosts, presenters, and other staff in the current session.
  • Preview – This option displays both the attendee view and a preview of the current presentation. You can also see the two back up streams. Note that the previews are only available when a Broadcast is active.
  • Control Room Chat – This is a private chat area for all presenters and control room staff.

Using a 'Lower Third' graphic (e.g. presenter's title and role)

You can apply a lower third caption for all presenters in AIRCast Studio. Lower Thirds Graphics are easily customizable, providing you with an easy to use editor for designing the background color, graphic, fonts and more. They can be used to give information about the presenter or the topic.

 Once designed, they can be easily enabled in AIRCast Studio. Additionally, the host can choose to edit the name and second line content as needed directly within the AIRCast Studio environment.

In your AIRCast Studio Session, when you bring one or more presenters to the Main Stage, simply select the Lower Third Graphic On/Off Button to turn on or turn off the Lower Third Graphics.

Editing a Presenter's Lower Third Graphic

If needed, you can click on the pencil icon under a Presenter's preview feed and update both lines of the Lower Third Graphic.

Media Panel

In the AIRCast Studio menu, Media is your holding area for video files or images that you wish to include in your Main Stage Presentation. Both Host and Presenter can add media for inclusion on the Main Stage.

What media can be used?

You can use images or videos, but they MUST be local on your computer.

Both images and videos should be 1280 pixels wide, 720 pixels high for optimum image quality. Also, they should not exceed 2Mbps and be encoded with H.264 to ensure smooth streaming.

  • For the Presenter
    If a presenter adds a video or image to the Media Panel, they have the ability of switching between their video feed and their selected media.
    Selecting Cut on their selected Media item will switch back to their video feed.
  • For the Host
    The host can add as many media items as needed. These Media items can be added to the Preview and managed as part of the Main Stage Presentation

Managing videos in the Media Panel

Videos can be started, paused, and stopped at any time by using the video controls on that video, as displayed in the Media Panel.

This is important as you may wish to cue a video to a specific location and then pause it in preparation for a specific part of the upcoming presentation.

When you add a video from Preview to the Main Stage, it will start playing automatically.

Breakout Rooms

Breakout Rooms are virtual rooms where attendees can move into for conversation and screen sharing. This is an extremely useful option when you want to break your attendees into different rooms based on different topics or conversations. 

There are two ways breakout rooms can be created and managed: 

  • Automatic Assignment - This option will have OnAIR randomly assign attendees to rooms, to the maximum number set by the Host. There is no limited to the number of rooms that can be created. You can have up to 40 attendees per room, and AIRCast Studio will automatically create as many rooms needed so all attendees are in a room. Presenters and Hosts can move into and out of any room as required. 
  • Attendee Selects Breakout Topic -This option lets the Host define up to 10 breakout room topics. Then, attendees can choose to enter the breakout room of their choice. If the maximum number of attendees for any room is met, OnAIR will create additional breakout rooms with the same topic name. You can have up to 40 attendees per room, and AIRCast Studio will automatically create as many rooms as required. Presenters and Hosts can move into and out of any room as required.

Once attendees have joined the breakout rooms, both the host and presenters can perform these actions:

  • View a list of all attendees in each Break Out Room
  • Join the Break Out Room as a Presenter or Host
  • Start or Stop the Main Stage broadcast into each Break Out Room
  • End Break Out Rooms (choose 0 seconds to end immediately)

Attendee, Guest, and Sponsor options (e.g. invite on-stage)

The Attendee Panel provides a view of all attendees viewing your session as well as sponsors associated with the current session.

Attendee Options

In the Attendee List, hosts and presenters can view a list of all attendees currently in the session and can also view all attendees who has raised their hand.  You can search for attendees by name using the search field at the top of the attendee view. 

Selecting the Raised Hand icon will filter the attendee list, so you only see attendees who have raised their hands. 

You can clear a raised hand for any attendee simply by clicking on their raised hand symbol. You are also able to clear all raised hands at any time by clicking on the Clear Raised Hands button at the bottom of the panel.

Inviting Attendees onto the Main Stage

Hosts are able to recognize attendees who have raised their hands and invite them to the Main Stage. You can invite a single attendee or select multiple attendees to invite.

Once invited, attendees receive a message asking if they wish to join you on the Main Stage. If they accept, they are immediately placed in the Green Room, and their view of the session changes to the view any other presenter would see. 

Once on the Main Stage, invited attendees can speak, like any other presenter. Once removed from the Main Stage, the attendee’s view reverts to their normal view. 

Sponsor Options

The Sponsor Tab shows all sponsors associated with the current session. if they are logged into the OnAIR portal, there will be a green dot on their image, letting you know they are available to make a presentation on the Main Stage.

Simply select Invite, and the sponsor will see a pop up alert letting them know they are invited to come onto the Main Stage for short presentations or announcement.

Like an invited guest or invited attendee, the invited sponsor will first join the Green Room and then brought to the Main Stage by the Host.

Knowing when your presenter's online / in the studio session

It's important the Host knows if and when presenters have logged into OnAIR and have joined the AIRCast Studio session. If a presenter has not shown up, it's also important to be able to contact that presenter as soon as possible.

The Contact Presenter option is part of the Session Information function, and for each presenter associated with the session, you have three status indicators:

Presenter not logged into OnAIR (no green or red indicator)

Presenter logged into OnAIR but NOT in the AIRCast Studio session (green indicator means they are logged into OnAIR)

Presenter logged into both OnAIR and the AIRCast Studio session (green indicator means they are logged into OnAIR and the red indicator means they have joined the AIRCast Studio session)

Contacting a Presenter

If a presenter is not in the AIRCast Studio Session, you may wish to contact them to let them know it is time to join the session. If they show a green dot, that means they are in OnAIR and you can contact them by chat, text or message, simply by pressing the Call button to the right of the presenter.

If the presenter is NOT logged into OnAIR, you can click on the Details tab to view emails and phone numbers for the presenter.

The Session Clock App

The Session Clock App is a useful tool where you can scan the provided QR code on your phone or tablet and view the session timer on your external device. This is very useful when presenters may not have multiple screens. Having the session timer displayed on a separate mobile phone or tablet can be an easy way to keep the session time in view at all times.

More about PTZ Cameras

AIRCast Studio can connect to and control P/T/Z (Pan, Zoom, Tilt) cameras. These cameras can be placed in auditorium or room and can be rotated, tilted and zoomed as needed to change views of presenters or show the audience.

PTZ Cameras can be brought into AIRCast Studio by:

  • Host
  • Camera Operator (new session role)
  • Standard Webcam

Host Access

From your Join Green Room check screen in AIRCast Studio, you can add a PTZ camera. You can also select Add Camera from the Media Panel.

On the stream displayed in the Main Stage Preview, you will see a Joystick Icon. Clicking on this icon will open the camera controller screen. See PTZ Camera Control for additional information.

Camera Operator Access

Persons set up with the Camera Operator Session Role will see a special Camera Operator view of AIRCast Studio.

Camera Operators can set up to four PTZ cameras, and they can assign camera names and manage and save settings and positions for each camera.

Typically, an event organizer would log in and set up PTZ cameras and then rely on the Host or Backup Host to manage and reposition cameras from AIRCast Studio. With that said, it is possible for the camera operator to manage PTZ cameras during the session as well.

Standard Webcam Access

Some webcams can be controlled remotely by AIRCast Studio just as if it were a PTZ camera. If you connect a webcam, the PTZ camera controller will display available camera controls. Please note that not all commercially available webcams will be able to work in this fashion.

PTZ Camera Control

Once you click on a PTZ Camera icon, you will be brought into the PTZ camera control screen. Here, you will be able to control and position your PTZ camera, no matter where your camera is located.

This is ideal for remote AV teams to manage the camera positions in real time at your event.

Each camera can be controlled with a variety of movements, large, small and incremental. Once a camera is positioned, you can save a specific setting as one of five presets.

Each preset will move the PTZ camera to the saved position, and you are always able to modify or delete presets as needed.

PTZ Camera Operators

PTZ Camera Operators are given special access to control one or more PTZ cameras in a session. These Camera Operators are assigned in the Session settings of the OnAIR Portal. The camera operator is ideally used for someone to set up one or more PTZ cameras, but then lets the Host / Backup Host manage the cameras directly from AIRCast Studio.

Remote Projection

Remote projection is the ability project live streams of content onto separate screens or displays at a live event. This is a powerful option when you are running a hybrid event and have both live and remote presenters. At a live event, your audience can be watching both the live presentation as well as one or more virtual presenters on different screens on the main stage.

This allows your audience to view both live and virtual presenters in real time at the same presentation.

Remote Projections are also available in the Stream to AV Partners option.

To set up Remote Projection:

Step 1

  1. In the OnAIR Portal, Enable remote projection
  2. Set an access code (minimum eight characters)
  3. Enter stand by image (otherwise a default image is shown)

Step 2

  1. Within each session, select the OnAIR Tab
  2. Enable Remote Projection

Step 3

  1. In AIRCast Studio, monitor icon indicates Remote projection such as a PC with monitor or smart tv that can browse internet
  2. Enter the remote projector URL in portal setup
  3. Enter the Remote Projection access code
  4. Enter the device name
  5. Set the device orientation
  6. Click on remote projection icon and choose location
Note: It is important to disable Sleep mode on PCs.