Virtual Lobby Control Room

The Control Room clearly separates your virtual events' on-stage and off-stage tasks, enabling you to manage speakers and viewers' settings in one control bar and choose different screen layouts. It also offers an optimized experience for all users; in particular mobile users.

Selecting the Control Room as the room video mode

Once you have activated your virtual room, you will be asked to choose your room video mode.

The Control Room is the default setting for all activities, auto-enabled on each activity you create.

To choose another room video mode, please refer to your plan for available alternatives. You can learn more about the different room video modes here.

Room video latency

Stream latency
Stream latency is the delay between your camera capturing an event and the event being displayed to viewers.

Even though the Control Room will allow speakers to interact with users, they will experience latency in the Live preview, as is standard with live streaming technology.

Under room video latency, you can choose from Standard and Low Latency.

Room video latency

If you are facing issues starting a live stream or if the live stream is buffering, you should use the Low Latency stream option. Its latency is from 3 to 5 seconds only.

You should not switch the room video latency during a live session. You must stop and restart the streaming.

Room host

Only one host is allowed per room. This person will be responsible for starting and stopping the streaming, for the recording of the session, and will also be able to choose the layout of the session.

To define the room host, select a name from the attendee's list or type to search.

Defining the room host

Click here to access the user guide for speakers and room hosts.

Live Preview

To view the activity like an attendee, you can select Live Preview.

When an attendee joins the activity and the host has not joined, they will see a message Nothing’s happening here, with the subtitle You will be notified about upcoming streams. Both of these messages can be changed in the Headings section, under Virtual Lobby Player- Idle title and/or Virtual Lobby Player- Idle subtitle.

Here, attendees will be able to interact prior to the stream starting, such as using the chat function and accessing polls and files.

The session name, along with any speakers and sponsors will be visible here for all attendees.

Once the hosts initiate the session, the video will be visible to all attendees.

Speaker Control bar

When entering an activity, all those speaking in the session will see the speaker control bar.

If you have purchased a plan that includes Video conferencing Pro, you will be able to have up to 17 presenters in a room. If your plan doesn't include Video conferencing Pro, you will be able to have up to 9 presenters in a room.

All speakers will see the device configuration settings and the Control Room view; the host will see two additional settings, the host control settings.

Speaker Control Bar

In the Control Room, your own video is not highlighted for you; all videos will be mixed together. The controls for your video are also visible below your video, creating much more space and easier to use controls.

Device Configuration

In this section, speakers can enable or disable their microphone and camera, begin screen sharing, and open their device configuration settings.

The start sharing option will only be available when other speakers are not sharing. If this button does not appear, please refer to the Virtual Lobby Troubleshooting Guide or to the Screen sharing in the Virtual Lobby article.

Host Control

The Room Host will see two additional settings in their Speaker Settings; the Start/Stop Stream button and the Layout Button

Start/Stop Stream

When the host determines that the stream is ready to start, they can select the green Start Stream button. When selected, a confirmation box will appear for the stream to start.

When it is time for the stream to end, the host will select the red Stop Stream button.

Similarly, a confirmation message will appear to end the stream, and then a notice will appear, counting from 5 to 1, stopping the stream.

How to stop the streaming

Changing Endpoints

The host has the ability to change the endpoints when the stream is occurring.

When using the Control Room as the room mode, you will be able to manually change endpoints when using Agora.io as your WebRTC provider. If you are using Tokbox, the endpoint change will happen automatically.

The host may wish to do this if there is an issue with playback during the session, to continue on an alternate stream.

Inside the Live Preview option, a green TV icon will appear in the top right corner. With your cursor, hover over this icon, and you will see the name of the Endpoint you are currently using. To change this, click on the edit button to the right of the Endpoint name.

How to change endpoints

Here, you can choose to change from one Endpoint to another.

Changing Endpoints will cause your stream to stop for a very brief time

Layout 

The layout can be controlled by the Room Host. To change the layout, select the Layout button to open the menu. You can choose from four options

Layouts options in the Control Room
  1. Automatic

This layout will switch between Space Between and Focus Mixed. If the speakers are not screen sharing, the layout displayed will be Space Between. If the speakers are screen sharing, the layout displayed will be Focus Mixed.

  1. Space Between

This layout stacks presenters evenly and equally in the frame. Up to 9 speakers will be shown here at any one time

  1. Focus Mixed

This layout is the default layout. It showcases the person who is speaking on the left side of the screen, with up to 8 other presenters tiled along the side in a smaller view.

This option is good for those who want to show all speakers together, but highlight one, or highlight slides while still showing other speakers.

You can pin any one speaker in the Control Room view, maintaining their position as the main focus.

  1. Focus Only

In this layout, only the person that is speaking will be showcased on the screen. The host can also choose who to focus on by clicking on the presenter, and pinning their video.

Backstage

You can control which speakers are visible on stage and which ones should be on the backstage.

You can add or remove speakers from the stage at any time.

Removing speakers from the live stream

To remove a speaker from the live stream, simply move the mouse over the speaker's image and click Remove from Live Stream to pull them off-screen.

Removing a speaker from stage

Both the room host and the speaker who has been removed will receive a yellow pop-up message letting them know about the removal. The host will be informed which speaker has been removed from the live stream and the speaker will be informed that they are now in the backstage.

Messages - removal
If a speaker on the backstage unmutes themselves to speak, they will receive a red pop-up message informing them that they are on the backstage and that no one can hear them.

If you try removing all speakers from the stage, when trying to remove the last speaker you will receive a message informing you that you can't remove the only stream visible on the live stream.

Warning when trying to remove all speakers
Adding speakers to the live stream

To add a speaker back to the live stream, simply move the mouse over the speaker's image and click Add to Live Stream.

Adding a speaker to stage

Both the room host and the speaker who has been added to the live stream will receive a green pop-up message letting them know about the change. The host will be informed which speaker has been added from the live stream and the speaker will be informed that they are now on stage.

Adding speakers back to stage

Control Room View

This section is visible to all speakers inside the room. The Control Room option will allow speakers to interact in real time. This is the recommended view for speakers, as they will experience latency in the live preview, as is standard with live steaming technology.

Layout changes are not visible in the control room view. Speakers must change to Live Preview to recognize changes.

The Live Preview option will allow speakers to see what attendees are seeing. Here, they will also be able to see changes to the layout that the Room Host has selected.

Speakers are free to toggle between both Control Room views without any impact to the stream or attendee experience.

User and mobile user experience

Using the Control Room, streaming is supported for attendees via desktop. laptops, tablets and even their mobile browser.

Attendees will be able to connect directly from the browser, or you can configure your app to hold the Virtual Lobby as a tab. From here, the attendee can simply select the activity and join the broadcast as a viewer.

Your event attendees can only be signed in to the Virtual Lobby from one location, so if they are accessing the Virtual Lobby via their app, they cannot be connected from another location.


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