TV journalists weary of trying to gather acceptable audio from Skype, your time to celebrate is now: Microsoft is rolling out a high-quality service designed for the broadcast market. If it does what it says on the box, Skype TX (transmitter, geddit?) will stick Microsoft's elbows in the ribs of the expensive platforms that the …
But isn't the competition...
themselves. All the broadcasters have been using Skype and it sucks. So they are saying that you can pay them to get a less sucky version if you are a broadcaster?
This seems to be straying a long way from Microsoft's core competencies. One day a future Microsoft CEO - possibly after an aggressive takeover or shareholder revolt - will look at all these curious parts of the business and spin them off.
"C&M developed a Skype video/audio routing system called CatCall, which offered call quality optimisation, and took care of video resizing and adjustment without scan converters."
"Here love, nice pre-emptive buffering! I'd overscan you any day and I might even let you deinterlace me, phwoar!"
(with apologies to...just...everyone, really)
The Vole giveth, and the Vole taketh away
With the API now canned, and SkypeKit on a temporary death row reprieve, Skype needed to do something to allay the concerns of broadcasters who begrudgingly have to use it.
AIUI, CatCall Mk. 1 is little more than a slightly custom version of single-account Skype client on a PC-in-a-box with 'pro' breakout - but still analogue. There's still no pure digital throughput (something like multicast H.264/PCM output or even Livewire audio) so you still have to put up with D->A->D conversion into your workflow, and it can't support multiple concurrent sessions or more than one account simultaneously. Hardly ideal for anypne lwrger than a local radio or TV station.
Though of course you could buy one for each account, you hear the sales rep say... Only a couple of grand each, they say...
I believe they are working on an improved second iteration, but they'll probably want to flog a few more of these first.
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