The Cheap Studio Setup

It has been 3 months since the last article. Initially, I wanted to write something in May, but back then, I successfully locked myself out by logging in with the wrong username saved in my password manager. Since I am having 3 weeks off, and not going anywhere, I got around to fix this tiny issue together with replacing LastPass with Bitwarden.

After 3 years at the current company, I also got on the promotion track to manager. The panel itself consists of presenting 4 slides in 15 minutes about yourself and your future business case (how you would bring money into the company). 10 minutes Q&A come on top of the presentation itself. Since the covid situation has been still ongoing, the format has been changed from face-to-face presentation to virtual Teams session.

I thought in the beginning that the business case itself is just a mere convincing situation that you would present to the panel, which only needs to make sense. Whether many of the assumption that you make are true, or how it in the end the results (in terms of revenue) will turn out in the future, are not the main criteria of the assessment. And also, imagining the panel viewing 15 presentations within 24 hours, which follow the same guidelines, with focus on corporate values, the listening capability of the panel will drastically decrease and in the end, what they will remember, beside their notes, would be only the impression that you left behind.

That’s why I thought I would come up with a rather different, or not so usual presentation format, so that the panel can remember me.

With the usual Teams setup, the algorithm cuts your portrait out and you can maybe change your background picture. However, given the fact that while presenting, there will be no screen sharing allowed, it will be difficult to have the panel concentrate on you and have the slides in front of them at the same time. Therefore, I came up with the following:

  • Software
    • OBS Studio (Link) – Free
    • iOS Camera App for OBS Studio (Link) – 16 CHF
  • Hardware
    • A green table cover for garden table from Migros – 11 CHF
    • Duct tape – Free
    • Mobile Wardrobe – Free (had it before)
    • iPhone tripod – Free (had it before)
    • (optional) Røde NT-UBS bought on ricardo – 120 CHF

This allowed me to put up key slides or statements on the “camera” and a high quality image of myself and a clear cut portrait. Compared to the usual images, this did give the panel a good professional impression.

I also tried Droidcam, which streams the video via WiFi, however, the app itself gets stuck after 15 minutes, even if you buy the Pro version. Also the latency is not very low and can have delay when not using the same audio source.

Also to mention, the performance actually depends on the image quality that the laptop is processing. OBS Studio and the camera input are not multi-core optimized and I only observed one core working. When the image quality is set too high, then the laptop cannot delivery the camera stream without lag.

So long for this one. A quick write-up without gossips :D.

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