Yes today's webinar. back end issues really don't matter to me. Bottomline Rendevous was a bust. He showed one connection but he couldn't reconnect. It didn't come off as solid as you have stated given the trouble your pro had and coupled with the opening statement that you are aware of a lof of bugs in the implementation. Basically saying it wasn't ready for primetime.
I have to assume Lynn was local on the network and couldn't reliably connect. That was enough for me to be worried trusting it for work.
I watched the webinar as well. Rendezvous did not appear to work properly. First, when the host of the webinar (Andrew) brought in a guest to Wirecast via Rendezvous, the guest's voice could not be heard. I posted a question about why that was the case and someone moderating the questions replied that the guest did not have a microphone. Huh? A demonstration is being made to show one of the most prominently promoted features of Wirecast 8, and the guest comes in without a microphone?
Later in the broadcast, apparently another webinar attendee asked why the Rendezvous guest didn't speak and Andrew replied (I'm paraphrasing here) that maybe the guest didn't want to speak much today. Then Andrew wanted to demonstrate how you can easily reconnect with a guest via a previously-established Rendezvous session but he was unable to reestablish the connection.
So then he asked the guest to refresh their browser to try again but that didn't work either so he moved on. A noble effort during a live webcast when things can and do happen, but it did not increase my confidence in the functionality of Rendezvous at all.
I similarly had a situation yesterday where I was doing a test session with a guest for an upcoming show and could only get their video (not their audio) to come in via Rendezvous. They were using Chrome (which is what I experienced on more than one test with Chrome previously, and then once got it to work with audio and video on the same device on another day). I was able to get my guest's audio and video to come in via Zoom (via screen capture, not Rendezvous) with no issue. As I mentioned previously, I have demonstrated to Telestream Support via remote access that with more than one device, I have been unable to bring in guests via Rendezvous using Firefox or the Wirecast Go (2) app, and I shared with Support that i have had issues connecting with Chrome to Rendezvous on more than one device.
I do understand and appreciate that WebRTC is emerging technology and may not be ready for reliable use; that to me is totally fair -- if there is sufficient disclosure to prospective customers of Wirecast 8, and if the hype of the feature is not overplayed.
What is not fair in my opinion was for this feature to have been -- and continue to be -- promoted so prominently (check out the screaming banner at the top of the Telestream website page for Wirecast today, highlighting Rendezvous) without sufficient disclosures about the issues of reliability -- particularly when in Telestream's own webinar on this very subject yesterday, the feature did not work properly.
Bottomline Rendevous was a bust.
Our internal company network, which has a lot of additional security measures and protocols. This can interfere with peer-to-peer conferencing systems like Rendezvous. Andrew, our demo artist, believed a simple restart of the program would have probably solved the issue.
In short, if you have issues on your LAN you may have issues with Rendezvous.
Keep in mind Rendezvous requires bandwidth for each caller and at least 4Mbps bandwidth on the Wirecast computer in additional overhead beyond that needed for live streaming. You should confirm both the guest's down/up speed and make sure you have the bandwidth locally. We may need to clarify the requirements and also some troubleshooting. Yes there are bugs but I have been using it in production (I have guests who don't have Skype for example) and have found I can work around the issues.
My own workflow tips:
Wirecast operator should use separate audio for Rendezvous and their shot.
When coming from iPhone, LTE tends to work better but you have to make sure you have good bandwidth.
When using Firefox or Chrome they should be current versions. I find Firefox a bit more reliable.
If there's a connection issue (no video or audio) have the guest quit and start the browser again and rejoin the call.
Sorry you're experience these issue. We are working on them.
Sorry, that is just a crap bogus excuse. Seriously. Wirecam just worked on my network perfectly with no issues. Now your blaming your poor performance on your own webinar demonstration on your network? Like didn't anyone check that out beforehand?
Separate audio meaning what? Now my remote needs a phone for the video and another one for the audio just so you application works? really? That's your reply?
The bottomline is you dropped wirecam way too fast. I would be fine not updating the OS on the remote devices if that meant reliable solid performance. You updated Wirecast, dropped an important, cool feature from it, replaced it with a VERY beta replacement. Then when it's exposed on your own broadcast to be a failure, out come the excuses.
Look, I am not going to have people to continually reboot, reload yada yada yada to make your product work when I am trying to get work done. Atleast be honest with us all and admit that the webinar was a disaster for convincing anybody how great Rendevous is. It isn't really ready for primetime and by including it in an upgade you have now forced every wirecast user to stuck with paying for the priviledge of being beta testers on a very alpha release level feature.
Hey guys, thanks for being honest and sharing your views, open feedback can be hard to hear sometimes, but we're definitely listening. CraigS thought it might be helpful if I cleared up a few things about the webinar:
1. Rendezvous worked perfectly up to the webinar and in pre-testing for the webinar
2. Lynn was a stand-in for one of my normal Rendezvous test buddies, who weren't available. The reason you never heard her was she just never spoke during the call. Blame the demo artist (me) -- I never prepped her on what she should or shouldn't do.
3. We never pre-tested a re-connect. Again, probably my mistake -- since a good demo person walks through every step of the demo first. But with the initial connection working, I assumed reconnection would not be a problem. (I'm sure you know what they say about assuming). Not sure what happened there or why it didn't work, but historically, testing or demoing Rendezvous on our internal company network, has been very tricky. I'm hardly an IT expert, but I presume this is because most drops on wifi access points are on an internal network which is shared across 400 people with numerous other WAPs, drops, switches and routers, shared across multiple buildings all filtered through Active Directory. Also due to the nature of our business, large aspera file transfers or high network traffic can occur almost at any moment. It's difficult to say if the reconnection problem was with Rendezvous/WebRTC, Chrome, Wirecast, our network traffic or routing, or just our somewhat unusual network protocols and trying to demo a system that is almost exclusively designed for remote guests, rather than local guests. Very difficult to troubleshoot.
4. Rendezvous is great. It's an amazing new feature in Wirecast with incredible capabilities. But it was not designed to be a 1:1 replacement for an actively managed video conferencing service. It's a peer-to-peer, open-source-based tool that can do magical things across unmanaged networks that you should use according to your own risk tolerance. If you find reproducable bugs, let us know. Once we know about bugs, we can usually fix them (some may be beyond our control). We're already fixing the ones we know about and can fix.
Some best practices, that may help with Rendezvous calls:
1. Have your guest run a speed test. They should have at least consistent (not burst) 4mbps up/down symmetrical to be able to participate with full HD sizes and framerates.
2. Wifi and LTE connected guests can and do work, but they will be more prone to drops and interference and network stability issues. If your guests have the option of connecting via a hardwired ethernet connection, you may want to encourage them to do so to decrease the likelihood of connectivity problems.
3. Have your guest close non-critical apps/tabs in their browser or computer.
4. If you run into issues, have your guest refresh or quit and restart their browser. We're finding that some of the bugs are introduced by browsers and WebRTC which are out of our control, which restarting or resetting the browser can fix.
Andrew, thanks for joining the conversation.
Wow, just wow. I am getting more and more underwelmed by this as it goes on!
We were told the great value was you could now do LTE! It's assumed that means realiably! Why add functionality that is unsecure and very poorly implemented?
Now your telling me it's likely to really not work over LTE. Oh and Wifi that DID work, now, well not so much, but hey isn't this cool? ;) NOPE. It's great to use on "unmanaged Networks" You know the kind that don't have security or passwords or any kind of protection to keep your peeps or you from getting hacked.
So basically I get to use rendevous in place of a hundred other better established better debugged "meeting" or conferencing tools like Skype or go to meeting. Apps that just work, but hey what does it matter if guests drop out of the broadcast!!! We can always explain to the viewers how really cool this new feature is that works like they did back in 1995....
This would be laughable if it wasn't so totally sad and ridiculous. Seriously, you folks need to stop talking now before I and everyone else decide to shift to another more reliable platform. Seriously, this release couldn't be more of an epic fail if it tried.
Hmmm maybe I still have the installer for 7.7 around................... Atleast it just worked.
Andrew, thank you for your response. With due respect, I have a hard time accepting Telestream's efforts to manage customer expectations for Rendezvous given the company's press releases and marketing messages which have already appeared in multiple industry trade publications. Below are a few paragraphs from your press release that suggest that customers should have confidence that Rendezvous will work smoothly and seamlessly, simplifying talk show setup in Wirecast. Bold emphasis added by me to call out what was (and still is) emphasized by Telestream to prospective customers of Wirecast 8.
Compare and contrast that to the more measured statements above and in recent live stream demos of this feature since the launch of Wirecast 8 (by which time many customers have already upgraded based on the marketing of the new features and others are not aware of the issues at hand).
What was the degree of reliability of Rendezvous across all tested devices prior to launch? As of now, my experience with Rendezvous across multiple devices and browsers, as reflected in phone calls, emails and remote access with Telestream Premium Support (who have been unable to determine the cause or how to resolve the issues I've been experiencing with Rendezvous) indicates Telestream has not delivered on what was promised in the promotion of Wirecast 8.
From the Telestream Press Release promoting Wirecast 8:
"The new Rendezvous feature functions like a videoconferencing system within Wirecast allowing users to bring in live video feeds or interviews from anyone, on any smart device, from any location, and broadcast them live. Rendezvous enables Wirecast Pro users to interview multiple people simultaneously and invited guests can join by simply clicking a link provided by the Wirecast operator. "
“The Rendezvous dashboard makes it easy to conduct panel interviews, talk shows, and video conferencing, and utilize remote screen sharing, with just a few clicks,” said Tom Prehn, Senior Product Manager at Telestream. “What used to be a challenging, complex process involving 3rd party video conferencing platforms, complex audio and video routing, screen or baseband capture, can be accomplished natively within Wirecast in moments.”
Rendezvous pairs perfectly with Wirecast’s free iOS camera and RTMP streaming app, Wirecast Go, enabling smooth remote production and contributions from Apple mobile devices.
I'm pleased to say I talked with a Sr. Person at Wirecast that owned up to the failures. For me. that spoke volumes. OWNING a problem customers raise is how you manage expectations going forward.
We all understand that a company wants a major release to be met with fanfare and a healthy bump in sales. There were a number of obvious issues.
1.) It didn't look like the webinar was rehearsed or practiced. Honestly I don't think that they even did a run through to make sure it was all going to rock.
2.) When things don't go as planned, don't say your guest doesn't have anything to say or other excuses. Those happened because they were not prepared with what to do if there was a hiccup.
3.) When a function that has been highly promoted as the be all end all, it better be just that, OR you just come clean and say that some of the expectations were overstated and an update release is in the works for a near term release to address instability issues that cropped up.
Honestly builds credibility. If you are honest about something that clearly isn't working for a number of people, doesn't work on your own network or webinar. Don't try to hide it with "it works for me" or it works best on unmanaged networks and don't try LTE..... Instead. Accept that it doesn't. OWN it. When you do we are more likely to be believing when you promote something else if you own the errors and fix the errors promptly.
Every company goes through these product cycles. It is just life in engineering products with high expectations. For now I can live with my plan. have two installs. 8 and then a Roll back to 7.7 Wait for the update that fixes wirecast Go to work like it should, like wirecast cam did or better. Fundamentally Wirecast is a solid platform. I think we all know that. I am sure 8 is largely a solid platform. It's just for those of us that rely on remote or local LAN iPhoneography in our work. That was a huge let down. Once I understood how old the wirecast Cam code was, it was clear it had to sunset.
I received personal assurances that they got our message loud and clear. That they are being responsive to fix the bugs and clean up wirecast go to be as solid as wirecast cam was. I am hopeful that it won't be too long until there is a great upgrade release.
Drax Thanks for that update. I hope that they will be able to resolve the Rendezvous reliability issues across devices and platforms in the update. I realize and appreciate that there will be unique circumstances that prevent technology from working in certain situations. I also understand that some issues are outside of Telestream's ability to resolve. It would be helpful to understand how reliable the feature/technology currently works across devices at least based on testing so that users have a sense of how likely it is to work in the near term.
For example, for talk shows, I would much prefer to use Rendezvous over Zoom if I knew it was likely to be reliable broadly across devices (via Firefox and Chrome browsers and iPhones with iOS 11) because I know that with Zoom, if one guest drops off, the canvas is reconfigured and the shots of the remaining guests are misaligned as a result.
But if there are too many issues with WebRTC (or its integration with Wirecast) to ensure reliability in the near term, then I'd rather know that upfront and not spend time or energy trying to test it with guests to see if it will work on their devices, and I'd rather stick with Zoom (despite its limitations) given the tradeoffs. That comes back to what you outlined -- just be honest about what's going on and progress on fixing it.
I like Wirecast and I like the user interface and a lot of the features, and I really appreciate that the development team and others are working hard to bring new features and drive out the bugs to optimize the user experience. I just want to have confidence that when I use it, it will work reliably and that my clients and guests can count on a positive experience when working with me.
Drax Exactly. Never once has WebRTC ever been mentioned in the Wirecast product hype by Telestream about Rendezvous. Rendezvous has been (and continues to be) billed as a Wirecast feature that "makes it easy" to accomplish for Wirecast users what used to require third party video conferencing platforms. How many Wirecast users have raised concerns that it is not working and why is Telestream now trying to retroactively suggest that Wirecast 8 users check to see if they can get WebRTC to work? Why is it that the feature that Telestream has promoted so heavily is still not working reliably for so many users so that they can "bring in live video feeds or interviews from anyone, on any smart device, from any location, and broadcast them live," as was promised? I submitted support requests several weeks ago and spent hours working with Premium Support (that I paid for) and still have not received an answer on why I can't get Rendezvous to work on multiple devices. I have not received any follow-up either.
CraigS Ok I stand corrected on my use of the words "never once." However, that doesn't negate the rest of my comments about Telestream's claims that Rendezvous will work on any smart device from any location -- nor does that statement address any requirements for guests' devices. The statement only speaks to the host computer for which I have plenty of resources, and yet still am unable to reliably bring in guests on multiple different devices. All of this in spite of the fact that Telestream Premium Support has confirmed the devices have plenty of bandwidth and plenty sufficient hardware/operating system chops and that the Rendezvous setup process on both the host computer and guest devices has been properly followed.
I honestly haven't seen any marketing material that stated that. We've only certified iOS and the bandwidth conditions are a factor on the guest's side. We don't clearly state user bandwidth needs though. Sorry about that. We should.
The guest can use the WebRTC test link I provided. If there's an issue with WebRTC itself we have to let those working on open source development know.
Quoting from that press release directly: "The new Rendezvous feature functions like a videoconferencing system within Wirecast allowing users to bring in live video feeds or interviews from anyone, on any smart device, from any location, and broadcast them live. Rendezvous enables Wirecast Pro users to interview multiple people simultaneously and invited guests can join by simply clicking a link provided by the Wirecast operator."
That direct quote from Telestream's press release (marketing materials), posted on the Telestream website, has been picked up in a number of industry trades verbatim (as typically happens).
It's not reasonable to now ask Wirecast 8 customers to ask their guests to use the WebRTC link to see if that works and then to still wonder whether or not Rendezvous will work. There have been mixed messages coming from Telestream on what is needed from the guest. As I mentioned, Telestream Premium support assured me that 2mbps upload and download is plenty sufficient for a guest to participate, and that either WiFi or LTE are fine. I've seen posts on these forums from Telestream representatives indicating that WiFi seems to work better with Rendezvous than LTE (or vice versa, I can't remember). I've also seen posts from Telestream reps here that 4mpbs is best for reliable use of Rendezvous (but that does not jive with what Premium Support indicated). Premium Support suggested in an email to me that Chrome browser works better than Firefox -- but that both should work ok. These are all mixed signals and they don't instill any confidence that you have a truly tested, viable feature to offer.
Why would I possibly want to put my guests through testing a WebRTC link if there are multiple other issues (as outlined above) that might also prevent Rendezvous from working (not to mention others that maybe Telestream and/or customers haven't even yet identified or at least publicly shared), despite the claims in the press release as quoted above?
To top it off, the Wirecast Facebook Live shows lately have been suggesting people might or might not want to move away from using other platforms like screen capture of Zoom or Skype yet depending on their "risk tolerance." Huh? Why would risk tolerance be a factor if Rendezvous was working as promised in Telestream's marketing materials? I've upgraded to Wirecast 8 based on a feature that was hyped and now need to decide if I'm willing to take enough risk to see it will work reliably?
Or I'm supposed to test based on a newly emerging list of tests with every guest based on a moving list of possible reasons of why Rendezvous won't work on Firefox or Chrome or LTE or WiFi or certain device configurations? It makes no sense at all and there has been no acknowledgement from Telestream that this is a significant issue for a significant number of users across many devices. Instead, Telestream representatives continue to use words like "magical" to describe Rendezvous and continue to tell Wirecast 8 customers to "test" Rendezvous in their workflow and not in a production environment (a given) instead of acknowledging that many of its customers -- even with the help of Telestream Support -- have done just that -- and can't get Rendezvous to work.
And to top it all off -- Wirecast 8 was released more than a month ago and I've still not yet seen a single live or recorded demonstration by Telestream of it working properly - with a guest coming in with both audio and video working.