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BRK2025: Transform your large-scale meetings with Skype Meeting Broadcast

I really like Skype Meeting Broadcast for scenarios where you have a message that you want to reach a lot of people with where they can consume it on any device live or on-demand. By using the QA module people can ask questions anonymously and get answers privately or in public. Skype for Business Meeting Broadcast is available in most Office 365 SKU’s and works well for small organizations that wants to create webinars or large corporations that wants to do internal training, presentations or stream live events.

 

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In this session Delanda Coleman and Sonu Arora walks you through Broadcast meeting lifecycle with Microsoft 365. Skype for Business Meeting Broadcast scales to over 10 000 attendees using dynamic streaming video that can be consumed on any client. You can stream from your computer or use studio grade equipment to get a good result. The stream is generated by Azure Media Services

 

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Make sure you have the necessary pre-requisites; the base requirement is Skype for Business Plan 2.

 

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Note: If you have a hybrid environment, you need to have a fully published ADFS setup to be able to get the producer controls.  An authentication is done from Office 365 to your on-premises environment in the producer sign-in process, which requires a publicly available ADFS. I have customers that have ADFS published only internally where this fails. The workaround is to crate onmicrosoft.com users where you do the production of Skype Meeting Broadcast, or make sure ADFS is available externally

 

The lifecycle is a good way to make sure you catch all aspects of planning, producing, publishing and analyzing your broadcast.

 

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Skype for Business Meeting is enabled for all bydefault, you can enable and disable the service in the Skype for Business admin portal. You can also assign policies using powershell to give individual users access to creating meetings

  • Get-CsMeetingBroadcastPolicy to see which plocies are available 
  • Grant-CsBroadcastPolicy <upn> to give users the correct policy 

 

Sonu walked us through the planning stage of the lifecycle and touched on important aspects of plannig

  • Getting started, what is your message, who is the audience, does it need to be live
  • Team, it is important that you have clearly defined roles during a broadcast like organizer, producer, contributor and presenter
  • Audience engagement, you can use QA module for enable attendees to ask questions and you can use Pulse to get see how many is attending live and create polls and surveys.
  • Hardware, what hardware do you need to get best result? Is a laptop and Skype headset enough or do you have bigger ambitions for your meeting. Maybe you want to have multiple cameras?
  • Bandwidth, make sure you have a good connection, preferably wired connection, test before you stream
  • Start scheduling your meetings at https://broadcast.skype.com
    • Watch the demo to see how to schedule a meeting and the options you can set and what the join experience looks like
  • Use real time transcription that is currently in public preview and translation to increase reach
    • Spoken Languages: 8 – English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese (Mandarin), Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian
    • Translation available in over 60 languages

 

The basic setup of Skype for Business Broadcast is to use you own laptop and Skype for Business certified device

 

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They then went through the setup they had set up for the session, where they were able to stream video using a video capture device.

 

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When producing the session they highlighted the following topics

  • Sign in with a supported client to get the
  • Producer experience
    • When producing you have about 30-40 second delay between the production client and the stream
    • You can choose between content only, video only, content and video and
    • You can not do desktop sharing, if you want to stream content from a computer, use a hdmi capture device like Magewell

 

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  • They shared some great insights on streaming for basic, expanded, multiple camera sources, studio quality presentations and auditorium style scenarios

 

Example of studio setup

 

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If you are using an audiotorium setup you can use a regkey to improve audio. It effectively suppresses noise cancellation, since audience applause, laughing, and so on, is often picked up as noise.  Setting: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\RTC\DeviceSettings, "AudioUsageMode"=dword:00000002 will enable Broadcast Audio mode. Example of audiotorium setup

 

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Post production is where you can

  • Share the video on demand via Office 365 Videos
  • Download a recording of the broadcast for offline viewing, editing or social posting
  • Download the Q & A and attendee report

 

For larger organizations that expect a lot of internal streaming of broadcasts there are partners that can optimize the media streams that are already available from the Azure media services. These are Kollective and Hive Streaming. A stream can come up to 1700 mbps and that can have disastrous consequences for your internet connection. What these eCDN’s do is to reduce the constraint on your internet connection and use a peering technology where clients will distribute the stream internally. This will reduce the stream from the internet to one or two per site.

 

To close off Delanda and Sonu shared a roadmap where Meeting Broadcast production will be available in Microsoft Teams. I look forward to seeing how the experience will be in Microsoft Teams when it comes available

 

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The Skype for Business Broadcast series is being renamed to Teams On Air, and the October 27 episode is going to show how Microsoft does Skype Meeting Broadcast. It is going to air bi-weekly and you can experience yourself how it is to be an attendee since the they are using the meeting broadcast platform. Check it out at http://aka.ms/TeamsOnAir

 

The closing note was use skype meeting broadcast to empower employees, engage customers, it is all about democratizing broadcasting. I think organization will do more with this service moving forward, especially since it is being made available in Microsoft Teams. Many of the customers I talk to are not aware of this service, but many are impressed by the power of being able to stream a message easily using known technology without further investments.

 

It was a good session and I recommend watching the recording when it comes available to get the full scope of the demos.

 

1 Comment
Frequent Contributor

Is that registry key for Broadcast Audio mode in production? I went to go enable it, but the RTC key didn't exist. I created it manually and restarted SfB, but I don't think it did anything.

 

Edit: Well, I feel dumb now. The mic was configured in audio properties with the check box for "listen to this device" selected. Unchecking that and music and audience noises now seem to be coming through, as well as Skype audio working in general. Oy vey.