Live streaming our meetings

Live streaming our meetings

Here at Cuvva, stand ups, roundtables and all-hands are all part of regular office life. From deciding the next big feature to ensuring that all of the bugs are squashed in the app, meetings play an incredibly big part of what we do here. But not everyone can attend every meeting. So how do we make sure everyone stays in the loop? 

The initial problem:

The problem we faced was that nearly 18% of our team work remotely, meaning it’s often the case that people miss out on exciting announcements or important decisions. Also, transparency is an important part of the way we do things at Cuvva. We encourage all conversations to be had in open channels on Slack, so anyone in the company can find out what is going on elsewhere with ease. If we take this approach to our internal communications, why not take the same approach to meetings?  

We decided live streaming and recording meetings would be the way forward. 📹

Attempt one:

I joined the COps team (Customer Operations) in September. I’m quite into tech so when we decided to start recording meetings, I wanted to get involved to help find the best solution.

The first few weeks were far from seamless. 😂 We used an iPhone XS Max on a tripod and recorded with the in-built camera app. We quickly learned that the iPhone microphone wasn’t up to scratch when it came to recording meetings, as it struggled to cut out background noise. The iOS camera app also started running into trouble when recording for long periods of time.

We soon realised we could use the YouTube app to live stream. This way the team could watch live – a great option for someone working from home who wants to contribute their ideas via slack in real time. Additionally, a copy would automatically upload to Youtube for anyone who wanted to watch it back later.

An issue that we had however was the maximum resolution we ever uploaded in was 720p. When watching the videos back, they just weren’t clear enough. For example, if something is being presented on the projector, the camera struggles to pick it up. It wasn’t great but definitely workable.

The current set up:

Sticking with the iPhone for the video works well enough for what we need. We started to investigate audio solutions as well as ways to increase the output resolution.

We settled on using a Jabra conference microphone for audio because it was allowed for much better sound quality by connecting it to the iPhone with an Apple USB Camera dongle (must be the powered one 🔌). We also decided to use a 3rd party encoder called Streamlabs which allowed YouTube streaming to output at a higher resolution of 1080p 60fps. This fixed both the audio and the playback quality, and also allowed us to have much more control over the stream (e.g. overlaying text/images).

 

The benefit for the team:

Since starting the recording and live streaming of meetings, we’ve had incredibly positive feedback from members of the team, especially from our COps team. Nearly half of the COps team regularly work remotely so it’s incredibly important to make sure they can catch up or watch what is going on as it happens. It also means that everyone has something to refer back to, and demonstrates our commitment to transparency! 🎉