Skype first introduced video conference technology in 2005 and followed up with screen sharing in 2009. Apple did not roll out FaceTime until 2010. On top of being first to market, Skype is also known for its user-friendly interface, free audio calls, screen sharing, and widespread availability. Needless to say, the brand has built a lot of loyalty over the years.
When COVID-19 forced the entertainment industry to trade in dark screening rooms and edit bays for virtual rooms, Skype became a go-to tool. Unfortunately, it is not always smooth sailing when a consumer product like Skype meets a high-grade professional editing system like Adobe Premiere Pro.
There is nothing more frustrating than video or audio lag preventing you from hitting a deadline or ending your workday in time for dinner with the family. Luckily, we’re here to discuss a few workarounds to make sure your energy is going where it is supposed to go, on making the best product possible.
What’s The Problem With Streaming Premiere Pro Over Slack?
Skype is a great tool for virtual collaboration under most circumstances but it was simply not built for post-production workflow. Its “drag and drop” file share feature prioritizes voice over file transfer speed, so you may have to choose between discussing notes and getting the next file over in time. Also, it can only accommodate file sizes up to 300 MB, which is equal to less than 8 seconds of 4K footage shot on a Red Ranger.
Skype does offer screen sharing but think of it like the cherry on top of a sundae -- media creators need it to be the actual sundae. On Skype’s website under “Discover More Features,” screen sharing is the second to last feature listed. Maybe it would be more apt to call screen sharing an afterthought of sprinkles, as this tech does not seem to be a selling point or a priority for Skype. Meaning do not expect lag or inconsistent stream quality to go away any time soon.
However, when you think about it, a stutter during a screen share isn't a big deal for most users. Who cares if a PowerPoint slide shows up on a slight delay? This feature was not created for niche needs like streaming high-resolution cinematic files and collaborating via editing software like Premiere where a slight delay can severely impact the work.
Regardless, Skype is a staple in consumer video conferencing and a tool many productions need workarounds for.
So what are your options if you’re trying to stream Premiere Pro video over Skype and need something with extremely low delay so you can collaborate with others?
Here Are a Few Things You Can Try:
- Do the following to make sure you’re getting the most bandwidth possible:
- Use an ethernet cable instead of Wi-Fi.
- Lower the media screen resolution.
- Close all applications that may be slowing down your internet speed, think internet browsers and music streamers.
- If you don’t need to see the other person, turn off the participant’s video.
- If seeing the other person is important make sure you are using the app. Skype for Web on Chrome only allows one output at a time, so once screen sharing begins the video call will become an audio call.
- Mix and match software, where you use Skype for chatting and software specifically made for screen sharing like TeamViewer. But be aware that lag has been reported using this software as well.
Stephen Moramarco wrote about using OBS and NDI in his article about “How to Stream Premiere Pro Video Over Zoom.” OBS is what many influencers and gamers use to stream their videos over Facebook, Twitch or YouTube. (OBS can be found here.)
NDI on the other hand streams high-resolution video over a local area network (LAN). The NDI acts as a camera to stream what you want to a second computer, which you can then send to Skype. You can go here for more details.
- Use a 3rd device, whether it be an iPhone, computer or tablet, to stream the Premiere Pro timeline. This will spread out the computing burden across another device and may help with the lag but the quality will still be a generation away from what it should be.
- Use Evercast, a remote collaboration tool specifically built for creative professionals. It is made for every stage of production from pre-to-post. You can even configure it to live stream cameras directly from set.
None of the above workarounds are guaranteed fixes for resolution loss or lag. It is asking a lot of consumer software to flawlessly stream high resolution video from professional software while simultaneously handling video chat capabilities.
Skype is great for what it was built to do, but if you need a program that allows seamless and secure collaboration on creative media workflows, then your best bet is to use one that was built to do so, like Evercast.
Evercast was made to accommodates teams of all sizes at every stage of production in multiple creative mediums, including:
- Gaming & Animation
Made with an intuitive interface and 24/7 support, your time will be spent discovering endless features to help make your project better instead of wasting time stumbling to get to the starting line. Some of these features include:
- Flawlessly stream anything you want through industry approved secure encryption. Meaning Premiere, Avid, DaVinci Resolve, Pro Tools, After Effects or even live cameras from the set are all at your disposal.
- Real time video and audio chat, allowing for frame by frame notes.
- Real-time collaboration with latency under 150ms.
- No waiting for uploads or downloads.
- No specialized hardware, all you need is a computer.
- Time-stamped notes to keep track of changes and feedback.
- Record and review key session moments.
- Stream from MAC or PC.
- Attend a live session on MAC, PC, Linux or iPad.
And much more. If you want to learn more about Evercast’s platform that combines the best of video conferencing and live workflow streaming, watch a 2-minute video demo here.