Video Broadcasting

(Updated 10 August 2022)

The Director can make audio/video broadcasts to people who are logged into the session. There are two types of broadcasts:

  • Video announcement is a simple mechanism for the director to broadcast audio and video either to everyone who is logged in or just to people in the lobby. This is intended for short announcements by a single person.
  • Group broadcast allows several people to broadcast audio and video simultaneously. Other features enable directors to share their screen and talk with up to 3 more players during the broadcast. This feature is especially useful for teaching, long announcements with several broadcasters, group discussions of hands, presentations, prize ceremonies, etc.

In the explanations below, we use these terms: 

  • Broadcaster: The person who started the broadcast, who controls what is being broadcast. The broadcaster is seen and heard by everyone. 
  • Video participant: Someone who has been added to the video broadcast by the broadcaster. A video participant is seen and heard by everyone. 
  • Viewer: Anyone else who is logged into the session. A viewer can see and hear the broadcaster and the video participants. 

Video Announcement

To make a video broadcast to everyone logged into a session, go to Advanced, then navigate to the second page. From here, there are options to broadcast to all players (both at tables and in the lobby), or only those in the lobby.

During this time, all video and audio between players stop, and card play is paused. As a broadcaster, it is important to wait until the Please Wait message disappears before speaking, otherwise some players will not receive your full message.

 

 

 

Group Broadcast

Group broadcasts allow multi-user audio-video broadcasts and screen-sharing. It can be used for teaching, announcements, introducing sponsors, presenting winners, discussions of interesting hands, etc. 

When a Group Broadcast starts, the video of the teacher/director is broadcast to everyone in the session (at the tables or in the lobby). 

During the call, the broadcaster can: 

  • Share content. Any window, screen, or browser tab can be shared (including PowerPoint presentations and PDF files). 
  • Add other people to the broadcast, so that their conversation is broadcast to everyone else. People can be added and removed throughout the call. Up to four videos can be broadcast at any time. 

The viewers can: 

  • Send public text chat to everyone. 
  • Send a private chat to the broadcaster. 
  • Raise their hand, for example, to say that they want to ask a question, or for voting. 

This is the first of a series of major new features that we are putting in place. Expect to see more in the next few months. 

Initiating a Group Broadcast

Click Advanced, then the > button, then under Broadcast video click Group 

 

 

What the broadcaster sees 

The broadcaster sees this, with their own video at the top right: 

 

They also see a notification of the total number of people connected to the call (viewers and video participants), and the last person to have joined it. 

 

 

What the viewers see 

The viewers initially see this message: 

 

A few seconds later they will see a new screen, with the broadcaster at the top right. There are Additional buttons in the bottom right corner and a redial button under Scores. 

Adding/removing video participants

To add videos of up to 3 people to the broadcast, choose their name, and click Add video.

The list lets you select any viewer who has enabled their camera and microphone.

The video participants appear in the top right of the screen, next to the broadcaster.

To remove someone’s video, click this symbol in the corner of their video:

They now revert to being a viewer.

Sharing windows and desktop

The broadcaster can share what they have on their screen, in the same way as in a video conferencing system. Note that this functionality varies slightly based on which web browser you are using. The screenshots below are for Chrome and Edge. Mac users should click here for information on how to ensure your computer is ready to share screen.

To start sharing, click Share at the top of the window.

You can share an entire screen, a window, or a tab from your web browser.

Chrome Edge

This feature can be used to share any application that is running on your computer or any web page. The main use is for teaching or group discussions of hands. It may also be used by clubs and TDs to explain something to the players using pre-prepared images and text.

You can use screen-sharing in conjunction with video participants. This allows you to broadcast a group discussion of the content that you are sharing, or to invite a viewer to ask a question that will be broadcast to everyone.

Here, the broadcaster has shared a PowerPoint presentation.

Note: When you start sharing, you will see a dialog like this:

We recommend that you keep this open – don’t press the Hide button. You can move it away from the content that you are sharing.

When you start a screen share, the (RealBridge) Share button becomes a Share (“Stop share”) button. There are three ways to stop sharing:

(1) Click the Stop sharing button provided by the web browser. (in this case, the white text on blue background)

(2) Use the Share  button in RealBridge

(3) If you shared a window or a browser tab, you can also stop the sharing by closing the window or tab.

Reminder: the Stop button is to stop the entire Group Broadcast.

Group Broadcast: showing the play of the hand

This feature allows you to share a board and step through the play as it occurred. It can be used either with a deal that was played in the current session, to show how it was played in this session; or with a deal that has been imported in a PBN file, to show how it was played by someone else, or to show the recommended play. You can diverge from the original play to explore alternative lines of play. If the board was played multiple times, you can switch to showing the play at a different table.

This feature is useful for teachers, either using prepared hands with a recommended line, or simply to discuss how the board was played by the students. The feature can also be used in a group discussion after any bridge session.

Step by step:

  1. Start with a session that has some played results. This can be either a session where your students have just been playing, or a session where you loaded deals with bidding and play from a PBN file. For how to import results in a PBN file, see below.
  2. Start a Group Broadcast. (Click On the General tab, under Broadcast video, click Group.)
  3. Click Scores
  4. Find the board and result in the normal way – via the traveller, or via a personal scorecard.
  5. Click the contract or result to bring up the bidding and play at this particular
  6. Click the small TV icon. The viewers can now see the deal, bidding and play.  Note that the viewers other than the teacher/director see a simpler version of the screenshot below. They do not see the director utilities. 
         
  7. Show how the play went, using the next trick and previous trick buttons (  < and >) or the or using the trick slider (progress bar) at the bottom.
  8. When you want to end sharing this result, click the small X to the left of the TV.
  9. If you want to show how another table played the same board, click on their result, then click the TV icon as above.

Notes

  • You do not have to click the Share button to do this. The Share button is for sharing your screen, a PowerPoint, or a web page.
  • You can do both, for example start by sharing as a PowerPoint, then demonstrate a board.
  • Only the director sees the TV icon. The players to do not see it.
  • The players can choose to see played cards, or not. Each player makes their own selection via the “62” button
  • The players cannot see:
    • next trick and previous trick buttons
    • trick slider (progress bar) at the bottom
  • Each player can choose the view that they like. If you, the teacher, prefer to see all the cards, then you can do so without affecting what the viewers see.

Demonstrating alternative lines of play

You can show an alternative line of play, at any point from the opening lead onwards.

Instead of using the buttons to step through the original play, simply click on the cards that you want to play.

The trick slider changes to show the point at which you diverged from the original line of play:

 

The horizontal line is for the tricks that were from the original play. The part after that is for tricks that you played yourself. In the image above, the first trick was from the original play; the second trick was played by clicking cards.

To return to the original play, move the slider backwards to the point where you started playing. You can also use the previous trick button to move back one trick at a time.

Using Other Browsers

Firefox

If you are using Firefox, you can share a window or a screen in the same way as with Chrome or Edge.

You can’t share a Firefox tab from the same window as your RealBridge session. To share a Firefox tab, drag it away to create a new Firefox window. You can then share that window from your RealBridge session.

Safari

If you are using Safari on a Mac, at present you can share your desktop, but you can’t share an application window or a browser tab. Because of this, we recommend using Chrome rather than Safari.

Communicating as a viewer

Each viewer has buttons to:

  • Send chat (everyone will see it).
  • Send a Private chat to the broadcaster.

Raise their hand, via the Raise hand button (for example to vote for a bid or lead, or to ask to become a video participant). When they click Raise hand, a message appears in the chat: