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New Pro broadcast features for Hangouts On Air

Since we launched Hangouts On Air in May, we've seen some amazing live broadcasts like Everest climbers live from Base Camp (, and The New York Times Healthcare Reform discussion ( To help you create even more professional broadcasts, we’re launching a new app called Cameraman. This app lets you control when specific guests appear to your viewers, so you can introduce someone before they appear in your live broadcast, or hide someone after you've interviewed them.

To use the Cameraman app, start a Hangout On Air and invite up to 10 people to join your hangout.
- To hide someone from your viewers, click the video mute icon below the person's video feed. Folks who are grayed out won't be seen by the public.
- To show someone in your broadcast, simply click the video mute icon again.
- You can also select that new guests who join your hangout are hidden by default. To change the default settings click the Cameraman app in in the toolbar.

So next time you broadcast a Hangout On Air, remember to try out the Cameraman app. We would love to hear your feedback.
Derek Mohr's profile photoEvan Kopelson's profile photoRonnie Bincer's profile photoChristine Donalies's profile photo
Won't clicking on their thumbnail make them stay in the main view?
+Matthew Leske 
I would love to try testing your app with some On-Air Hangouts I am planning to try.  How can I get a copy of the app to try out?
Haven't see it yet.  I was in a hangout just this morning too.  I'm going to go back in and take another look.  Thanks +Jeff Smith-Thrasher. 
... assuming you are the host of the HOA.
Nope, still not there.
I didn't see this a couple of hours ago.
We actually used Hangouts on Air to broadcast our high school graduation this year and next year we are looking at expanding to multiple cameras so this will help out.  Hope to get students actually broadcasting their views while they are watching and this will allow us to see the video before it goes live.

Remember: Cameraman works only in Hangouts on Air, not on regular hangouts.

Question: When a hangout participant is hidden, does the empty thumbnail still show in the hangout?
+Al Navas yes but the thumbnail won't be empty, just faded out. In the live stream though, the participant won't show up at all.. afaik
+Gene Auyeung - Thanks! I will have a chance to try it out at 9pm CDT, in an interview with a PBS show personality ;-)
Nice +Matthew Leske Can we use them in addition to other apps? I discovered that hangouts only allow one app to work, excluding others.
+Fons Tuinstra - Cameraman is already embedded. It allows full use of Lower Third, for example, without losing the capability of keeping Lower Third on-screen. Just tried it out. 

Next step: Try on-Air, to confirm that the thumbnail of the hidden participant does not show at all.

Thanks, +Matthew Leske! This will be awesome!
+Al Navas oh cool, let us know if there's problems (hope there's none :)

+Fons Tuinstra I think the Hangouts API has 2 types of apps, one is a main app kinda thing, the other is an extension. One of each type can be running at the same time. Cameraman is an extension(?)
Good idea +Al Navas I'll try it as a On-Air Hangout.  Thanks.

The thumbnail disappears, and the large upper image goes white.

Also, when recording stops, the hangout remains live!

Request: Please incorporate the capability to re-start recording, as there is the possibility of recording Part 1, Part 2, Part .... of a series, all in one shot.

cc: +Matthew Leske , +Gene Auyeung , +David Bennett , +chee chew 
I still don't see it +Al Navas.  Maybe I am doing something wrong.  I just began a on-air hangout and all I saw was a mic icon by my name below my small image.  I didn't see controls for Cameraman.
I will start one, and will share the screen. Go!
+Dan Weil +Al Navas I think Cameraman is still being rolled out gradually, like most/all things Google the announcement comes first before all users get it
:-)  Correct, +Gene Auyeung. Great feature!

But it would be GREAT if we could re-start the recording after stopping it.

I am greedy.  :)
Thanks +Gene Auyeung 
+Al Navas and I just discussed that in a brief Hangout.  That's exactly what he said.  I just need to be a bit more patient.
That's the prerogative of the cameraman. ;-))
Mat Lee
question, is there a reason the lower third doesn't seem to work for the person who starts the hangout? Or is my computer just messed up? IT's like whenever i start a public hangout for our podcasts everyone but me can use the lower third. It tries to load then disappears.
Great now if only Hangout On Air was available in my country.
Thanks for doing this +Matthew Leske !  While you're in there, can you create a way to remove previously installed Hangout apps (including 3rd party ones)?
+Matthew Leske So it appears that we access the 'Camerman' App only to adjust the settings as it is built-in otherwise. This means we can run 1 more Hangout App at the same time, yes?

It appears that we also access the App to 'turn it on' so we have the mute options available to us... apparently only the Originator of the HOA has access to the App.

What if we want to pass off the control to our 'moderator'? I'll assume that they need to be the 'originator' of the HOA.

And from what I see when someone is 'video muted' then they go white and their filmstrip thumbnail goes away from the 'view' of the audience (not the HOA originator). The HOA originator can still see each participant but they will be grayed out IF they have been 'video muted'...

Can you verify if when they are 'un-video muted' that they will need to manually un-audio-mute themselves? If so, can you please tell us why (is it a privacy issue)?

Thanks for all your work here, cool stuff!
Thanks +James Fierce!!
I didn't see the post before you tagged me.

My question for everyone - when and why will you use this?

The option I thought of first (not a great one) is when you have a Jerry Springer show and you reveal people to validate or attack another guest. 
How about if you have a surprise guest that you don't want to reveal right away. 
Great feature.  Can't wait to try it out.
Video is still a mirror image, at least on my own screen so when I use an app like "Bottom Third" to overlay a nameplate and logo on the video its backwards. I believe that its only backwards to me but still, I would like this rectified as its obnoxious. Other than that Hangouts are a great service, keep up the good work!
I saw the Everest broadcast, the feature works well. It looks like it gives the moderator a lot of leaway in terms of management of who's on the stage at any one time.
+fran moimoi Why can't you just hook your laptop / pc to your tv with an HDMI cable?
is this internet glory hole? if so how does it work?
super cool... you can telecast a local match with multiple camera setup with this ;)
brilliant! is that also working to moderate time allotted for speaking for example in a discussion? maybe adding a visible timer etc.
Yeah, this is pretty sweet +Thorben Groth I hope I have time to play with it some today. I have to do the intro though. That is very time consuming.
Handouts on air keep adding amazing features. Great idea. 
I have some great ideas for Google hangouts for Broadcast I would like to chat with you about.  I am a broadcast engineer, and presently work with H.264 SVC with a company you may know very well.  May we chat? 
I find Hangouts quite frustrating, they are a good place to listen to others egos, but my experience and knowledge seems undervalued when ten people are talking and there are flashers popping in that everyone has to collaborate to block, and the side-bar txt chat devalues the conversation like people in a group cleaving off in resistance to the dominant group members.
This is OK, but is there a way to boot someone yet?
Can Android mobile app users join Hangouts On Air yet? I've been in a lot less Hangouts since I went Post PC :-(
Is the CameraMan limited to Hangout on Air only? 
We used it a few times already and love it.  We need to start working with captions a little . Would be great if you could display the name of the person under them in their portion of the video.
Thanks +Matthew Leske I'd really like to find one where I can add that myself to all the participants. Let me know if you run across one, I will do the same for you.
Why not ask the application developer to add it in as a new feature? I'm pretty sure we aren't the only ones who want it. 
Ok, so... I guess the thumbnails are ok for participants, but do they appear in the live stream as well? Because that's a deal-breaker for me.

This app at least moves Hangouts in the right direction, but the thumbnails make it unusable for me for live streaming.
Hey, I'm trying to setup an on air hangout with some friends who use apple iphones & IPad2's (using IOS6).  They're using hangout ver. 3.2 & are over 18 (I had them confirm they had their age setup right) They get my hangout request when we just hang out but never receive it when I try to do an "on air" hangout.  When I copy and send them a link (while I'm "on air" and in the hangout) they click on it and it says "hangout" closed.  They can hang out using a linux or windows PC and go "on air" but not when they're on their IPad, or phone.  Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated ;)
Setting the On Air feature, can the mirrored image on the bottom, being the same as the main window (with cameraman app blocking other participants view) be blocked? Video would look alot better without the same image as the main screen replicated in the bottom!
Hi. I was trying out Hangouts On Air with only one other attendee as a test, but had hoped to use the Cameraman app. However the app refused to start and erroered out without a detailed warning (tried in Chrome on a Mac/Hack and as a doulbe take separately on a Win 8 PC). Is there a min number of attendee to enable to app to function or might there be another reason for it to hang?
+MC Carter I think you can play youtube videos in hangout. I don't see why you wouldn't be able to do that for OnAir hangouts. I guess try it out?
Hangouts shouldn't have to be an actual webcam right? I've got a video camera hooked up to my computer with HDMI cords, but it won't detect any cameras. I'm not nuts, right?
I've tested 2 google hangouts on air so far (already deleted one from youtube but the one i just did is still up there) and the youtube video is not showing the bottom strip. i know i must have something setup wrong. the cameraman settings are the default settings. nobody is muted or excluded from my end. yet when i broadcast the hangout and review the video all i can see is myself, or whoever is in the big window at the time. Here's the link to the hangout we just tried. Does anyone know why the bottom strip is NOT showing up? How to Get Your Audios Transcribed for Free
Is the Cameraman app available for download in the regular app settings when using HOA? I have a MacBookPro and want to make sure it's available when I go to use it.

I realize it's not used for regular hangouts.

Thank you in advance +Matthew Leske 
+Christine Donalies The Cameraman App is AUTO INSTALLED for you when you are the host of a HOA. No download needed. It shows on the left sidebar inside the HOA interface... look for the Wrench icon.
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