You may not have heard of Skype TX before, but you’ve almost certainly seen it used somewhere. Announced back in 2014, it’s a dedicated system for broadcast networks to directly plug in studio-grade Skype feeds into their footage – think long distance calls with reporters and such.
Now Microsoft is releasing its successor, the simply named Skype TX 4. The important update is in the name; the TX 4 can handle four Skype calls with one unit. Previously each unit could only handle one stream at a time.
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That might sound odd. After all, even cellphones can handle multiple Skype streams at once nowadays, so why wouldn’t dedicated Skype hardware be able to? But speaking to Simon Lucas, Direct for Business Development for Skype TX, the reason is fairly simple: Skype TX is about optimizing video feeds to perfection.
Simply put, broadcast networks have much more stringent video demands, so it took a while before the company could optimize feeds enough to run four simultaneously from one device at broadcast quality.