A couple months ago we did our first remote talk with Richard Saunders all the way from Australia. It went very well and since then we’ve also had Tim Farley. Now that the word is getting out there people have been asking me about our setup. It’s not very complicated and as long as your venue has good wifi you can do it too.
First a quick pic of our setup:
As you can see, it’s nothing fancy. I of course hope to replace the bucket with a more proper stand. So the laptop to the left of the bucket (in this pic it’s my wife’s MacBook Pro, for Tim Farley’s talk it was my work PC Laptop) runs the presentation. The video for that is jacked into the flat panel TV above. I’m able to control it via wifi using my iPod Touch with either Keynote Remote or Airmouse. The laptop on the bucket has the presenter, full screen, via Skype. They can see us and hear us, and the audio is plugged into the TV above.
Originally I was going to have a microphone, but due to technical problems the first night I couldn’t but Richard ended up being able to hear questions just fine and it gave him the ability to hear anything going on in the room and he even ended up talking to our waitress for a bit.
So if you have speakers a few states away or on the other side of the planet that you want to give a talk at your local SitP, but can’t afford to have them travel this is a good alternative. Nothing would replace having the speaker there live of course, but this is a workable alternative.