Tech demos with Zoom
Using zoom as a ‘kind of’ vision mixer so you can use multiple device demos.
Earlier this week, I had an interesting exchange with BBC mojo guru and trainer Mark Blank Settle about sharing different devices on Zoom. He was training and wanted delegates to be able to see app on Android and iOS phones (ahh, the joy of mixed tech economies).
The solution of sorts — get each device to dial in as a delegate and then switch between them as required.
I wanted to give it a proper go as I’m in a similar boat. I do a lot of mojo sessions with students and its a really mixed economy of tech. I also have a slight issue that my trusty, but old, MacBook air no longer runs Premiere**. So I do that on my work PC laptop. In lockdown mode, I’ve found myself in the position where I would like to be able to demo Premiere, maybe some iOS apps and also do the usual slides. So it was a good excuse to experiment.
So, I have an online class and
- my MacBook air as my host,
- a laptop running premiere to demo some editing
- an iPhone running iMovie, Adobe Rush and Kinemaster to show the alternatives.
What could go wrong!
Here’s the basic process
- Set up a Zoom meeting and start as a host. Copy the invite to your other devices.
- Join the meeting with your demo device- laptop(s) and/or phone(s). I find it useful to use the name of the device or app when you join the meeting.
- On your demo device, once you’ve joined, mute the microphone and turn off the video.
- Select the option to Share your screen and
On a Laptop or PC
- select the app you want to demo
- Make sure you check the Share Computer Sound option
- Share the screen
On a phone
- Select the Share screen option
- Make sure the mic is muted and the camera is turned off.
- Share the screen
In both cases, you should get the sound and screen from the app but not the mic.
Finally, when you come to demo, turn off the floating video screen from the demo device by selecting View options > Hide Video panel
The solution isn’t perfect. The audio levels from devices may be a little shakey and there’s some delay (not that much but expect a little frustration if you’re teaching frame-by-frame editing! )
You may also get audio feedback from the devices you are using if they are close to the host machine, especially if you are using onboard mics rather than a headset. This is less obvious on laptops and PC’s. I usually turn the volume down on the devices and rely on audio relayed back through the host.
Hope that’s helpful and let me know if you try it.
** I’ve switched to Blackmagic’s Davinci Resolve which is excellent.