Moderate your Hangouts On Air with the new Control Room

When hosting a Hangout On Air, it’s important that you have the tools to create the best experience possible. This includes having the controls to adjust the audio and video levels of your participants so viewers can simply enjoy the show.

Today we’re rolling out the Control Room. Control Room allows the host to manage participants by adjusting their audio levels and hiding or revealing their video. You’ll find it in the sidebar of Hangouts On Air when it comes to your account in the next few days.

We hope this helps you deliver an even more professional broadcast to your audience. Give the Control Room app a try and let us know what you think!

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40 comments
 
+Christopher Franko Sounds great.  Can't wait to try it out.  With the exception of the broken Hangouts Toolbox and me getting dumped a couple of times yesterday, I'm very very pleased with G+ Hangouts.  and with the Q&A feature, I really do feel like we're doing television of the future where everyone can get involved. 

The next feature I'd like to see is Call In shows.  A queue of callers that we could moderate (keeping out the dicks) and then welcome onto the show and hang up on as well....  Heck, if a caller was excellent, we could just keep them on, like the classic tonight shows with their huge couch... (another great idea, maybe bring on guests one at a time, and then have them chat together.  dunno. possibilities seem endless..  very exciting.)
 
VERY COOL!!! This should be a fun set of goodies to use on the Irreverent Skeptics Hanout!
 
Very nice. Top of my wishlist for added features is to be able to be able to add lower-third graphics from the host/moderator side. It would be great if it were built into this Control Room app so we don't need to ask hangout participants (who are often experts on a given subject but not experts on G+) to first add the Toolbox, then create their own lower-thirds, and then turn the display on. (While I'm at it, if the goal of Control Room is to make hangouts look more professional, it would also be great for the host/moderator to control lower thirds so we don't have to leave them up for the entire duration of the hangout.)
 
+Mike Sussman Very true.  At the beginning of each of my shows I have to ask my guests to turn on their lower thirds (and sometimes it doesn't work, no reason given).  It'd be great if it remembered the info from last time, turned them on automatically and gave that power to the host as well.  Great comment!
 
Anything to be able to talk to room based video systems at all ? Assuming it just basic functionality for audio and video. 
 
 Free digital tools allowing us to create our own broadcast stations... Woot!  ;- ) Would love to see an IFB system for the producer to talk to the talent . Or some other kind of back channel.  Wow.... this is so great!
 
+Sarah Hill we tell all hangout participants to keep the chat window open whenever they're not using the screenshare app, and we use the chat to text messages to one another and the public never sees those conversations.
 
I knew this feature was coming and can't wait to get using it. Hey +Sarah Hill how about a greenroom that is in the background?

+Ronnie Bincer I was wondering the same thing but why he wouldn't want reshares I don't know. :-)
 
This could not have come at a better time for me. Thanks! 
Don Key
 
+Ronnie Bincer re: the reshare ... with all the buttons seeming to change (evolve!) at random times I thought it was just something I'd done to not be allowed to reshare!  LOL   ... This control panel is exactly what I'm glad I no longer have to procrastinate developing via direct API voodoo !! (btw quick ques: in YouTube "Live Events" the HangoutOnAir doesn't seem to have "hide from broadcast" like plain HOA does -- am I just crazy (see above!) or is that the way it is?  THX! 
Presumably this control room will do all we want in Live evnts OR plain HOAs!  
 
Ping +Norma Doiron This might help with your volume question. It could also be an audio setting on your computer or microphone.
 
This seems like a really nice set of tools.

However, I am worried about the effectiveness of using Google+ On Air since I don't feel like worrying whether on not the sounds in my videos bear some passing resemblance to random copyright claims on sound effects.  I have no actual way of voicing these complaints to anyone related to youtube, and my emails have never been answered, even with some automated response.

I am really confused by your efforts to help content creators with great tools like these, but then turning around and stabbing them in the back a minute later with these frivolous claims.
 
Note this complaint isnt directed at you specifically, I just can't seem to manage any form of communication with anyone remotely associated with Youtube and it is immensely unhelpful set up for complaints of false reports.  
 
+MadBitcoins, sounds to me like that'd add a whole 'nuther level of complexity. I'm not saying it's the least bit infeasible, just it sounds like a LOT of work, so I wouldn't expect it any time soon.  Basically, what you're talking about is call screening.  That might involve associating another person with the Hangout whose job is call screening, who's not necessarily an "on air" participant in the Hangout.  As +Sarah Hill mentions, would there be some sort of IFB to give messages to the hosts or ask questions about the people in queue?  Would there be a call screening list somewhere in the app, like the kind that allows the host to say "Hello, Jill in Cheektowaga, you're on."?  Would there be an indication to the participants of their queue position?  Would there be a way for the call screener to put people on hold and pick them up again arbitrarily, so that they can do something like verify presence/alertness of the caller seconds before air?  And then there is the question of how long the hosts or cohosts want the queue to be, and how long Google will allow it to be.  Will the queue be dynamically sized, so that for example the hosts/producers can shut down call-ins, sort of like "taking the phone off the hook" because it's anticipated that there are enough callers to fill remaining time?  Which participants count or don't count towards Hangout limitations (like 10 participants)?

All I'm saying is, a call-in show is a wonderful thing, but it presents a lot of challenges, especially technical ones of how to route media and messages all around.
 
This is good.

Now, having controls to limit certain apps, especially to prevent guests playing with the silly effects, etc, would be better.
 
I agree Joe, that a call-in show adds more complexity, but I'd like to see them go for it.  

Even the control room really leads to what Sarah is saying as well, the Control Room idea should lead to an off screen producer who can even control the camera angles, maybe freeing us from the current problem whenever a guest coughs or touches their microphone the camera cuts to the them.  

Additionally the Control Room sounds neat, but adjusting it in real time, while running a show sounds like a distraction that would be better run by a producer.  

Especially neat because the producer wouldn't have to be geographically close to me.  He/she could just be on the internet somewhere.... magic.  :)
 
This is great for live and I will be using it.   I would love to be able to remix and edit the hangout afterward.
 
+Mike Sussman
Hey really like those ideas you shared!  I'm working with small businesses that don't usually do any more than login - - a lower third is another world for them! 

As part of your business package, lower thirds and custom overlays could then be part of your package and you won't have to be waiting on anyone to get you the information you need - as far as the toolbox goes! 
 
I'm going to guess that one, some people may not like losing control of their lower third, so two, there may need to be another "I agree" checkbox for the participant to enter the Hangout (like there is for a HoA) so that the participant understands his or her lower third may be overridden.  And I would hope the host only gets to override the lower third if the participant doesn't have one.
 
I just used this app two days ago. Awesomeness!
 
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Wow! This is really great. I really want to join to use this app.
 
any idea why I couldn't mute 2/10 people using control room but could mute the other 8?
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