Nuvixa StagePresence Review
Aug 14, 2012 11:36 AM, Reviewer: Jan Ozer
A new computer platform seeks to simplify and enhance remote presentations.
When you’re ready to capture, you click the record button. If you’re recording in the stage, you work in that interface, and there’s a “teleprompter” area you can paste text into. If you’re capturing the desktop, a StagePresence control widget hovers over the interface, which you can use to resize the overlay and start and stop recording.
Once you stop the recording, it loads in the StagePresence software, where simple controls let you trim frames from the start or end of the video. Then you upload it to the Nuvixa site for final processing. After processing, you can download the presentation in MP4 format, with free accounts limited to 360p resolution and paid accounts limited to 720p. Or, you can create “Feeds” on the Nuvixa site, which allow you to invite members on the site to watch your videos.
If you produced the video in Stage mode, viewers on the Nuvixa site have slide-by-slide access to the presentation, as you can see in the figure. Click a thumbnail in the storyboard beneath the video and the video starts playing when that slide appears in the presentation. If you record in desktop mode, or download any videos, the video is presented longitudinally, from start to finish, so the different topics discussed in the video are much less accessible.
WHAT ABOUT QUALITY?
In my tests, I found myself constricting my head motion to limit the flickering around my face. In the release after the last that I used, Nuvixa included a control to let users adjust edge sensitivity, but I have a "three version test and you're out" policy where I'll only test three versions of any particular piece of software during a review. Otherwise, some reviews would never end.
Beyond the flickering, overall frame quality was good, particularly when I moved to the Asus camera. However, my videos were marred by a consistent loss of audio synchronization that was profound in the first version that I tested, though barely noticeable when I tested my third version. The company expects these sync issues to disappear within the next couple of releases. To gauge optimum quality, you can view multiple demo videos on the Nuvixa site. Like the videos that I produced during my testing, all showed some flicker around the edges, which Nuvixa said should minimize over time as device quality and the software improves.
The company also plans to add editing features to the website that would make it easier to record over or swap out segments of individual presentations, and improve the sharing options. They may also enable premium versions of the software to produce MP4 files without uploading to the Nuvixa site.
At this point, companies who produce lots of online presentations or software demonstration should check out StagePresence as a technique to improve viewer retention and establish better connections between your presenters and their viewers. While not perfect at this point, it does add a unique component to these presentations that could enhance their effectiveness. If you want to try without investing in camera hardware, wait until your kids are gone for school one day, grab their Kinect device off the XBOX, and download the free software. By the time you read this review, I'm sure the software will have settled down to nice, stable, highly functional release.
PROS: Easy to use, easy to set up, performs a unique function
CONS: Quality could be better
PRICE: Free (Basic); $19/month (Plus); $49/month (Pro); Varies (Enterprise)
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