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Tony Vincent: Educator. Techie. Dad. ScreenFlow-er.

May 2, 2016 in Interviews, Meet the ScreenFlow-er, ScreenFlow, ScreenFlow, Tips and Tricks by Andrew Haley

Tony Vincent Learninginhand screenflow

An Interview with Tony Vincent

Tony Vincent is a well-known technology guru and teacher of teachers in the K-12 environment. He travels around the country and runs workshops on how educators can better use technology in their classrooms to supplement, extend or support core lessons. ScreenFlow has become a big part of his instructional toolset. He uses it to help him with his presentations and instructional videos, which he often posts at (a veritable treasure trove of resources for teachers and screencasters).

We recently had a chance to talk with Tony about his process is and how he uses ScreenFlow to help him create amazing videos and high quality teaching tools.

SF Team: Hi Tony, let’s start by sharing a bit about your background. Who are you and where can people learn more about you?

Tony: I’m Tony Vincent. I used to teach fifth grade and now I’m self-employed. I make a living helping teachers leverage technology in their classrooms. I spend a lot of time traveling to schools and conferences to lead workshops and make presentations. My website is at

Tony has been screencasting since 2008

Tony has been screencasting since 2008

SF Team: How long have you been screen casting and approximately how many screencasts have you made (or how often do you screencast)?

Tony: I began screencasting in 2008. I’ve used screencasts to record demonstrations of technology that teachers can use for teaching and learning. I fire up ScreenFlow at least once a week to record or animate at least one thing for a presentation or post.

SF Team: How did you get started screen casting?  What made you transition from a teacher to a full-time technology trainer and screen caster?

Tony: I got into screencasting at about the same time I became more involved in training other teachers. As an elementary teacher, my summers and breaks were filled with presentation and travel opportunities. After a few years of working what was essentially two jobs, I made myself focus on one. That’s when I became self-employed and had more time to create instructional materials, including screencasts.

SF Team: What does screen casting help you achieve?

Tony: Screencasting helps me with two important things. First, I love that I can screencast a demo and include it in my presentation slideshows. While I prefer to do live demonstrations, sometimes there’s just not time to leave my slideshow and demo an app, website, or technique. With a screencast, I can embed a video that I can talk through as the screencast plays. With ScreenFlow, I can zoom and annotate to make what I am showing absolutely clear.

Tony's ScreenFlow Timeline

Tony’s ScreenFlow Timeline

I also produce a series of videos as a podcast and on YouTube. Screencasting helps me show my audience exactly what I want them to see. Back before I began using screencasting software, I would point a video camera at my computer screen. Reflections, glare, and resolution kept those videos from being awesome.

SF Team: How do you find/choose new topics or videos to post?  Do you have more ideas than you could ever do, or are you finding it a struggle to keep making relevant content?

Tony: I have many more ideas than I could possibility produce. I use the Wunderlist app to keep a list of topics. Some have remained on that list a very long time and will probably never get made into videos. I choose topics to make into full videos based, first, on what I am most excited about. I pick topics that get somewhat technical, so that teachers in my audience can refer to the videos in the future.

SF Team: What ’s the process you use for creating screencasts (how do you go from a blank slate to a completed video)?  For example, do you write a script first?  Do you record audio/video at the same time or different times? Etc.?  Has your process changed over time?

Tony: For my instructional video series, I write a complete script before I begin work on the video. I then record myself reading the script in front of a green screen. Then I bring that video into ScreenFlow, where I replace the background. Finally, I layer video and images behind and on top of my video.

SF Team: What kind of studio or setup do you have?

Tony has a great post on setting up and using green screens.

Tony: I have a blog post about my filming setup, complete with a 360° photo at I also have worked with ScreenFlow live on Periscope so that others can see how I use it. Here’s an archived Periscope broadcast.

SF Team: What are the essential tools that any ScreenFlow-er/screencaster needs? (software or hardware)

Tony: You don’t need anything beyond a computer and software to get started. Though, I would suggest a microphone. An external microphone really makes a difference in sound quality.

SF Team: What do you like about ScreenFlow in particular, as a screen casting software?

Tony: I like that ScreenFlow has built in chromakey effect. With this effect I can insert images behind me, cut to full screen demos, and come back to my video. I can layer descriptions on top. ScreenFlow’s timeline is easy to work with. In fact, I often use ScreenFlow for movie editing, as it is less confusing to me than iMovie. Furthermore, I can quickly animate a video or image. I just love how I can set the starting and ending positions, sizes, and orientations and ScreenFlow creates a very smooth animation between the starting and ending points. With a simple click and drag, and I can make the animation go more quickly or slowly. And one more thing I love–the audio effects! I can adjust the settings to reduce background noise. Chromakey, animations, effects, and audio enhancements make my videos look very professional. I’m often asked, “How did you do that?!”

SF Team: What are the most challenging parts of creating a video for you?

Tony: For me getting the script just right is challenging. After I film my video, I do not want to have to reshoot. There’s usually something I discover or want to change after I begin editing in ScreenFlow.

SF Team: Do you have any hard-earned advice for new screen casters, or new ScreenFlow users?

Tony: Save often! My videos tend to have multiple images, audio effects, and videos layered upon each other. I know I’m stressing my computer out when I have so much going on at once. Sometimes the app will unexpectedly quit and I will have lost my work since I last did a Save.

SF Team: What’s the silliest/most foolish thing you’ve done while screen casting (or any other fun anecdote you can share)?

Tony: I created some infomercials for teachers about some specific tech tools they could use. I cut from a black and white video of myself being frustrated in front of a computer to a colorful screencast of how that tool could solve that frustration. For example, this video is about using Doodle to schedule meetings and this one is about shortening long URLs with TinyURL.

SF Team: Do you have any screen casters or content makers you like to watch?

Tony: I like the screencasts Richard Byrne at publishes. He often includes one he has made specifically for teachers about the the topic of his daily blog post.

SF Team: When I took your workshop, if I’m remembering correctly, your cat featured quite prominently in some of the tutorials. Just how big a feline fan are you?

Tony: I do have two cats, Dewey and Kitti. They have taken a backseat to my three year old twins, Connor and Ellie. Like me, they enjoy filming in front of a green screen. Thanks to ScreenFlow’s Chromakey effect, Connor and Ellie have been inserted into fun places, like a space ships and music videos. The cats, however, have shown no interest in posing in front of a green screen.

Star Wars Twins Connor & Ellie

Star Wars Twins Connor & Ellie

How RaiderTV Streams Daily Live News Program with Telestream Wirecast

May 23, 2016 in Interviews, Product, Wirecast, Wirecast Rockstars by Lauren Runte


It’s 7:55am and RaiderTV, a student produced live news program at Cleveland Middle School, is streaming live to their school’s students and staff.

RaiderTV is part of a holistic curriculum at Cleveland Middle School in Cleveland, TN, under the umbrella of communications that focuses on oral, print, web, and video communication delivery systems. RaiderTV is a class, offered to 8th grade students at Cleveland Middle School, which provides students with real-life experiences in media, communications, and leadership.

The show airs every school morning and reaches 1,300 students and staff and then additionally reaches about 75-100 families after school hours. The broadcast includes the latest news and events at CMS, and it highlights varying aspects of school life. Students produce a special feature segment for each school day. On-demand videos are available for shows from the last two weeks for the convenience of students, parents, and faculty.

There are fourteen total staffed positions, and a student-producer oversees the production. RaiderTV has been recognized both locally and nationally for its high production value and professionalism in its broadcasts.



In the beginning, Cleveland Middle School needed a way to produce their daily news show and tried using various streaming solutions. Unfortunately, the programs were unreliable, used too many system resources, and struggled to maintain audio and video sync. In addition, the pixilation on high motion video was too great and lowered the production quality.


In the end, they implemented Telestream Wirecast live streaming production software. In addition to providing excellent streaming stability, Wirecast allowed them
to use complex graphics during the production of the show without expensive or complex graphics systems with alpha channels. And it was easy to use.

“We consistently produce high quality broadcasts with Wirecast and the best part is that it’s so easy to use that the students just click a button to start the stream,” says Cody Raper, Communications Instructor at Cleveland Middle School.



Their set up:


By implementing Wirecast to produce RaiderTV, Cleveland Middle School has seen an increase in student engagement. Students now have an enhanced awareness of special events and extracurricular activities through the special features on the show. Additionally, RaiderTV is used for trivia questions and content refresher segments, which helps prepare students for standardized testing. In a nutshell, the daily live stream has unified the school, enhanced school pride, and provided an avenue to effectively communicate information.

For more information about how others are using Telestream Wirecast, or to download a free trial of the software, go to Visit Telestream’s ISTE booth #3425 to see Wirecast in action.

2016 NAB Photo Diary

April 18, 2016 in Uncategorized by Alexis Patton

2016 NAB reseller webinar_header_thankyou

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Uninstall QuickTime for Windows and switch to Switch

April 15, 2016 in Industry, News, Product, Switch by Lynn Elliott

U.S. agency advises Windows PC users remove Apple’s QuickTime

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Stream to Facebook Live directly from Wirecast!

April 12, 2016 in Company, Industry, News, Product, Wirecast, Wirecast by Alexis Patton

Wirecast Now Enables Professional Quality Live Video Streaming to Facebook

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Telestream Announces Hand-Powered Live Streaming

April 1, 2016 in Wirecast by Lynn Elliott

New Release Makes the Production of Live Streams Easier, Allowing Streamers More Hands On Control of Their Production

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Overview of the Interoperable Master Format (IMF)

February 12, 2016 in Video Formats by Alan Repech

IMF PackageInteroperable Master Format (IMF) is a SMPTE standard for providing a single, interchangeable master file format and structure for the distribution of content between businesses around the world. IMF provides a framework for creating a true file-based final master.

Description of IMF Components:

IMF is an evolution of the Digital Cinema Package (DCP) architecture, providing a complete file interchange unit to the distribution channel. While DCP is about theatrical content distribution, IMF is about providing businesses with a master format for creating multiple tailored versions of the same piece of content for different audiences. It allows distribution of unique versions from content owners to service providers, or distributors—and multiple final destinations such as Airlines, Broadcaster, OTT (e.g. Netflix), DVD authoring, and more.

For example, a widely distributed major motion picture may require dozens of different versions in order to support multiple market segments such as airlines, VOD providers, promo spots, or an edit for cable television. IMF eliminates the need to create a dozen plus master copies by separating each market requirement into individual ‘component formulas’ (Composition Play Lists or CPL) that reference the available essence components (namely MXF media files) included in an IMF package. Individual CPLs are used to create versions based on the master essence components for each of the differing market audiences.

IMF is not made up as a single file. It is a standard specifying individual components which together create a complete IMF package. An IMF package includes the following:

Essence wrapped into MXF track files

  • Video essence (J2K up to UHD)
  • Audio essence (24bit uncompressed, any number of channels)
  • Data essence (subtitles & captioning using IMSC Timed Text)1
  • Dynamic metadata (metadata changes over time)

Composition playlist (CPL) – human readable XML

  • Similar to an Edit Decision List (EDL)
  • References track files via UUID instead of directory paths

Packaging data XML (asset map, packing list and volume index)

IMF essences are defined by Application specifications that allow for different codec types, frame rates and resolution. Two application specifications, Application #2 and #2 Extended, are applicable to the broadcast media market. Application #2 supports SD/HD with JPEG-2000 Broadcast Profile; #2 Extended supports UHD (up to 4K) with JPEG-2000 Broadcast Profile media up to 10bit.

Telestream Vantage Support for IMF:

Vantage from Telestream can take an IMF CPL as a master source input to create all appropriate outputs, and can create single segment IMF Master Packages as an output. Vantage currently supports ingesting and outputting IMF Application #2, and Application #2 Extended IMF packages.

More information on IMF can be found at the SMPTE website, SMPTE Standards Development Update: IMF.

Truth and Hype on HDR

January 15, 2016 in Improve Video Quality by Paul Turner

HDR MountainsIn our last blog about Ultra High Definition (UHD), we covered the spacial resolution of the human visual system, and how (horizontally) the highest frequency the average human with 20/20 vision can detect subtends an angle of approximately 1 arc minute (1/60th of a degree) at the retina. There’s another aspect we need to consider, though, and that’s the sensitivity of the eye to variations in brightness The human eye can resolve the wide range of colors and brightness found in the natural world, but our existing TV systems limit the amount of light that the display can produce to the range of 0.117 nits (a nit is a measurement of brightness) to 100 nits for full white. In comparison, the natural world can produce high brightness colors in excess of 1400 nits. So Cinematographers and Directors of Photography have to adjust aperture on their cameras to allow those bright colors to still fit within the available range of TV transmission. The same is true for the range of colors that can be reproduced (“color gamut”), which is again limited to what is referred to as “rec 709 colors”. This results in what is now termed “Standard Dynamic Range” (or SDR) images. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best we’ve had so far (and it was largely determined by the available CRT technology at the time the specs were written).

Technology advances, and we now have display technologies that can produce a significantly wider black-to-white range, along with being able to reproduce a much wider set of colors. The result of both of these is displays that are capable of producing images which are much more vivid and true-to-life (assuming they were shot with this display technology in mind, of course) – this is what is now referred to as “High Dynamic Range” (HDR) images. The displays themselves are only part of the story, however. Cinematographers/DPs must now set up their cameras to capture a much wider dynamic range, and the transmission and processing (not too much of a problem there!). The colorists need to work their magic in HDR color space (not too much of a problem there, either). But the processing equipment needs to be able to work on signals of 12 bits or larger, in order to process these images. Generally speaking, this means that these processing devices must have an internal video pipeline of 16 bits. If not, the resultant processing will “crush” the dynamic range of the image, which goes against the whole point of HDR – in the worst case, they may throw away bits, which will result in significant contouring.

But there’s a bigger problem than that: whilst you can already find TV sets which are labeled as being HDR capable, there are no standards as yet for the format to be used for delivery of HDR material – in fact, the CEA has only just announced the industry definition for HDR compatible displays themselves. We have to consider legacy support as part of the process– how should an SDR set display an HDR signal? There are several approaches, some of which separate the signal into SDR images with a sidecar transmission that provides the additional information needed to recreate the HDR signal in an HDR display. Others use metadata to tell the SDR set what to do with an HDR signal. HDR is unlikely to achieve widespread adoption until this standardization issue is resolved.

One thing that is certain, though, is that HDR is very much at the forefront of everybody’s mind when considering new television technologies. You only have to see the images produced by a properly sourced HDR display to understand the impact this technology is going to have on TV viewing. In fact, a well set up 1080p HDR image will blow away an SDR 4K image in almost every respect – we just need to standardize on the delivery format and EOTF/PQ (the HDR equivalent of Gamma) so manufacturers know what to design to.

At Telestream, we are always watching developments such as this, to ensure our customers have access to all the latest technologies. Vantage was engineered with a 16 bit (award-winning) video processing system and pipeline, so is perfectly poised to process HDR material – in fact, for certain input/output configurations, we already can!

CaptionMaker and MacCaption 6.4 now available

January 11, 2016 in Company, Industry, Product by Alexis Patton


Telestream is pleased to announce that MacCaption and CaptionMaker versions 6.4 are now available, with major advancements for both captioning and subtitling workflows. This is a free update for MacCaption & CaptionMaker owners with current support contracts.

Mac Users
For MacCaption 6.4, our priorities were providing additional internet captioning support, updating to Auto Time Stamp (ATS), and adding an option to export the new IMSC timed text format that will provide captioning for the new IMF (Interoperable Master Format) package standard. (Learn more about IMF.) Having the ability to convert standard caption files such as .SCC to the IMSC timed text format helps customers who are currently looking to test compatibility with their existing file based workflow.

New in Auto Time Stamp
The update to Auto Time Stamp includes better support and accuracy for auto timing text to media with fast paced audio dialogue. Auto Time Stamp is a time saver for customers who are creating captioning from scratch using a plain text transcript. The ATS module processes the audio and provides automatic synchronization of English text for closed captioning. This update helps customers who have video content that is fast-paced, such as news and sports material. The ATS update is available in both MacCaption and CaptionMaker 6.4. (Learn more about Auto Time Stamp).

Windows Users
On the Windows side, the release of CaptionMaker 6.4 marks a milestone for Telestream captioning products with the addition of OP-47 Teletext support and UHD subtitling. Up to now, development was focused on CEA-608/708 support for North American broadcasters who have accessibility requirements. With OP-47 Teletext read and write capabilities, the software becomes more versatile to international customers looking for a simple solution to meet accessibility requirements in Teletext subtitle and closed captioning workflows

Conversions between standard caption files to OP-47 Teletext are possible. When repurposing North American content for foreign markets, converting closed caption CEA-608 data to OP-47 Teletext had been a challenge. This is because North American video content typically has caption data set to 29.97 frames per second, while Teletext broadcast is 25 fps. CaptionMaker 6.4 has the ability to recalculate the 29.97 fps caption data and provide the proper timing for OP-47 Teletext media. The same is true going from Teletext back to CEA-608. MXF files containing SDP (subtitle distribution packets) with OP-47 Teletext are supported on import to verify the data, do edits, and conversions.

Burn-in Subtitles
Once the data is extracted CaptionMaker 6.4 can also create a subtitle overlay file for burn-in subtitles from the OP-47 data. This is critical for customers who need to create open subtitles for the video content for foreign markets. The subtitle overlay can be set to a specified output resolution up to Ultra HD to match the delivery specification.

Margin Adjustment
For Enterprise edition owners, automation in CaptionMaker 6.4 now provides a new subtitle margin adjustment parameter. This solves the problem of using generic subtitle files that don’t have correct positioning to create subtitles for letterboxed HD media. By default, subtitles that have bottom or top positioning may appear in the black bars of a letterboxed image. With the subtitle margins parameter, users can automatically create subtitle overlay files that will appear within the margins of the letterboxed picture.

Supporting Nexidia QC
Finally, CaptionMaker 6.4 can now import Nexidia QC reports that contain notes and markers showing where corrections need to be made in a caption project or .SCC file. This new feature is very helpful for video professionals who need to manually correct timing and text errors reported by the automated Nexidia QC module in Nexidia Illuminate within Telestream Vantage. Learn more about Vantage and Nexidia integration.

Product owners with current support contracts can download the update now.
Product owners without current support: speak to our sales team about getting the update.
Want to try MacCaption or CaptionMaker 6.4? Download the free trial.

TV Captioning Mandates: A (very) Brief History

January 4, 2016 in Captioning, Industry, News by Will Brown

MandatesIn a previous post we looked at impending captioning mandates for broadcast video clips distributed over the Internet. In this article, we’ll review the origin of US captioning requirements and current broadcast captioning mandates, and we’ll briefly discuss exemptions to closed captioning requirements. This article is meant to serve as a summary of captioning requirements and is not intended as legal advice regarding FCC mandates. More details are available on the website of the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) .

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