• Communications

Better Than TED: Online Presentations Get A Makeover

TED Talks are great examples of high production quality online presentations and events. When you watch a presentation on TED.com, you see HD video of the presenter, and from time to time, you get a detailed view of the slides or videos they’re showing on their screen.

But from an online viewing perspective, TED Talks could be even better.

Ideally, you wouldn’t have to wait for the camera operator to switch from the presenter to their screen and back. Like viewers in the live audience, you’d be able to see the speaker and a clear view of their screen throughout the video presentation.

The problem is that this would require TED to stream two tracks of video simultaneously – one of the presenter and one of their screen. It’s technically challenging and it eats up a lot of network bandwidth.

Delivering high-fidelity online events that conserve bandwidth is a challenge faced by corporate IT and AV teams as well. Today, most corporate events make effective use of network bandwidth, but they do so at the cost of a great viewing experience:

  • Audio + screen webcasting is often used for corporate town halls, earnings call webcasts, and online training. With this approach, viewers see on-screen content, but not the presenter.
  • Video + still image webcasting shows the presenter and a still image of their PowerPoint slide. This prevents viewers from seeing on-screen product demonstrations, videos shown on the presenter’s screen, and PowerPoint animations.


It’s Time To Update The TED Talk Experience

Panopto takes a different approach. In addition to supporting the basic webcasting scenarios above, our software can simultaneously stream two (or more) synchronized video tracks while also conserving network bandwidth. We accomplish this by optimizing each video track for what online viewers expect to see:

  • Video of the presenter is optimized for a high frame rate. This ensures that viewers see the smooth motion of the speaker on stage.
  • Video of the screen content is optimized for high resolution. This ensures that viewers can always see the fine details of on-screen text and graphics.

When combined with adaptive bitrate streaming and WAN caching, Panopto enables live streaming for businesses that includes 720p presenter video and 1080p screen video.


Panopto's multi-track video presentation model
Presenter and screen are streamed simultaneously, optimizing for frame rate and resolution, respectively.

What’s even better? You don’t need any specialized AV equipment. Panopto can record and live stream multiple tracks of HD video from any PC using your existing video cameras.

So if you’re in corporate IT or events and looking for a better way to stream your online events, drop us a line. And TED team, if you happen to be reading this, we’d love to chat with you about making your already awesome online video experience even awesomer.