Broadcasting from abroad:

Broadcasting using a webcam (Skype):

Using Skype from a macbook or mobile device is an easy way to get your news presenter onto air quickly. There are a number of internet based video and audio based, BBC use mainly Skype but the following principles can apply to other applications too. They will make our broadcast look and sound better too.

To ensure our video connection is professional and strong, Skype will need a high quality internet connection to a broadband router or alternatively a strong wifi signal. The Skype application automatically adjusts its photo quality in order to cope with the slower internet connections. To make your signal stronger, it is better to close and turn off any programs or applications that may be taking a large percentage of your internet. It would also be better if you ensured nobody else was using the same connection as you.

An issue with using a hostel, hotel or conference centre’s internet is that they often block video and audio streaming networks whether it is for business or entertainment. It is important you chose this location carefully, not just for the internet speed but also to avoid any unwanted background noise and echo. This will improve the quality of your broadcast hugely! To avoid this, you can find an area with soft furnishings, quiet and private.

Skype > Skype Preferences > Audio/Video settings > Preview the settings 

A simple, static and darker background will improve the quality of the picture and will be more likely to avoid problems on air. The webcam will pick up the light on your face, if possible, position yourself in good lighting by a window or lamp.

Ensure you have your mic available on your macbook or electronic device, if you feel the sound isn’t good enough, plug in an external mic or you can use an microphone headset.

Always look directly at the webcam, do not look at other places on the screen and ensure you raise your laptop head up so it is at eye level. You may need to emphasis to achieve this but it will be flattering for you. You also need to leave space at the bottom of the screen for a title.

While agreeing what time you will call, you need to ensure you have the timings correct for each different location i.e. Holland (one hour ahead) and England (one hour behind). Try not to have the calls longer than 20 minutes as this timing is known to cause problems and freeze during air. Give yourself ten minutes before air time to sort out all connections, communications and to sort out any technical issues that may arise.  Make sure you and your guest know the name of your Skype call, it might not be obvious the it is you.

Radio producers select radio only calls for better quality before passing them onto the studio, they check the levels before hand.


BBC Academy (2016) Broadcasting Using A Webcam [online] <> Accessed on 6th April, 2016