Green screen and Zoom headsets for lawyers.
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This article will be divided into 2 sections:
1) Use of headsets and
2)Use of a green screen
Why you should use headsets when in Zoom.
You can hear better and you are heard better. You will notice most court reporters and the most experienced interpreters will always use a headset to hear better. But what you may not know is that if you use a headset too, you will be making our jobs a lot easier. Headsets with directional mics will focus on the sound coming from your mouth as opposed to background noise. Just this week I was in a mediation where the mediator’s audio was very bad and it caused me to miss several parts of his introductory statement to the parties. If you are unsure of how you sound to other people, run a test. Set up a Zoom meeting and test it with someone in your household so you can hear how the other side hears you. A headset will help ensure your audio quality is crisper.
Having said that, DO NOT use a headset if it will throw you off and make you lose concentration. Laptop audio quality is good, in general. I will let you know that background noise does take a toll on the interpreter’s and court reporter’s ears and we will love you if you decide to start wearing a headset.
Green screen and Zoom headsets are recommended, but what green screen should I get?
Green screens come in different colors. Yep, they come in blue as well. I know. Though green is preferred for most advanced graphics, I would recommend the blue one. When applying the virtual backgrounds you will notice that the picture is not perfect and may blur the edges of your face and clothing. If you decide you hate the virtual backgrounds, you can always revert to using plain blue as a background. It looks professional and blocks whatever is behind you from being seen on camera.
Also, very important. Get the largest one you can get. I made the mistake of getting one that seemed to be big enough for my needs but then realized the camera angle was wider. Most cameras nowadays have a 110 degree wide-angle. And unless you have a very large green screen or get your camera super close, the screen will not be able to cover everything and all the effort was for nothing. I have to place my camera less than 2 feet away from my body and even then I need to make adjustments to make sure the edges of the screen are not showing on camera.