This article will show you how to setup a Google+ Hangout Video Call (HVC) which is also known as a Video Hangout.
To recap, there are three types of Google+ Hangouts:
- Chat Hangouts
- Hangout Video Calls
- Hangouts On Air [streamed live on Google+, YouTube, or website, and recorded onto YouTube]
Simply put, a Hangout Video Call is like video conferencing with up to 10 people in different locations.
Google+ Hangout Video Call
You can use a Hangout Video Call on Google+ to have face-to-face video calls with up to nine other people. That means that there can be a total of 10 people in the Video Call at any one time.
These Hangouts are private between the people in the Video Call and are not recorded.
As people leave, others can be invited into the Hangout.
Following from the article Google+ Chat Hangouts, you can “Start a video Hangout” by clicking on the video icon at the bottom of the Hangouts section.
However, the preferred method is to go to the Left side drop down Menu that says “Home” and click on the drop down arrow.
Then click on “Hangouts”.
Clicking on “Hangouts” will load a screen that has in the top tool bar “Home”, “Hangouts On Air”, and “Video Hangouts”.
Click on “Video Hangouts” and the following page will load.
Click on “Start a video Hangout”
A Hangout Interface screen will load and you’ll see the following:
The fields you can see are self-explanatory:
- Link to share – a URL for the Hangout.
- Send an invite – this is the message you want to send with your invitation.
- To invite people, you can add their names, circles, email addresses or even make it Public (shared to Public can’t be undone and anyone can view).
- 18+ check box if you require guests to be 18+ to join this video call.
- Quiet invitation – Quiet invites won’t ring and interrupt those logged in. Everyone you invite will be sent a notification and stream post in Google+. Invites with more than 25 people are always quiet.
- Option to add a telephone number to invite them.
Once the fields are completed you can then press the green “Invite” button and the invitations are sent.
After you press the green “Invite” button you are then inside the Video Call Interface of the Hangout.
Hangout Main Menu
You can find the Hangout Main Menu by moving your mouse over to the left hand side of the screen.
There are three default icons. The first icon is “Chat”
And this is for Chat which remains within the Hangout Video Call (it is not for external Group chat used for Chat Hangouts). You can bring up extra Commands by “forward slash question mark” [/?]
This allows you to text chat with people in the side bar without speaking over them in the main Video Hangout.
The Second icon is for “Screen share”
This allows you to share images (slides) that you’ve pre-prepared.
The third icon is for “Capture”
This allows you to take pictures going on within the Hangout so you can save the images for later.
The next is the apps icon to “Discover more apps for your video call”
By clicking on the “apps icon” a number of very useful apps can be added.
Some important starting apps to add for your Hangouts include:
- Hangout Toolbox – an app for creating your Lower Third to brand your name at the bottom of the Hangout.
- YouTube – to watch YouTube videos together and search YouTube videos.
- Google Drive – access and edit your Google Drive documents together.
At the bottom of the Main Menu is a “?” icon for Help.
By clicking the Help icon a menu appears.
The Hangouts Help menu shows Help, Keyboard shortcuts & Send feedback.
Hangout Top Menu
The Top Menu of the Hangout screen has:
- Invite People
- Mute microphone
- Turn camera on/off
- Adjust bandwidth usage
- Settings [to choose video camera, microphone, speakers]
- Leave call
Your Video can be “Enhanced”
To give a give a variety of different screen effects depending on what mood or theme you want.
The profiles at the bottom right hand side of the screen show the people in the Hangout and it’s referred to as being in the “filmstrip”.
Elongated Profile in Filmstrip
Within the Hangout, you’ll see your own profile as elongated. Everyone else within the filmstrip will have a thumbnail or cropped profile.
For anyone viewing the Hangout, they will just see the normal filmstrip showing the participants in the Hangout.
The benefit of an elongated profile within the Hangout Interface is that you can see the full width of what your video camera is showing those viewers watching.
With people inside the Hangout you can visit their Profile; Mute them; or Ignore them which means they can’t interact with you for that video call (this is not blocking them).
Within the Hangout Interface, the person that’s on the main screen will have a white box around them. This is known as “Pinning”.
The host of the Hangout controls who to Pin and that person will appear on the screen that the viewers see.
If you’re the person that’s been Pinned, then you’ll see an elongated white box around your profile as in the image above.
When other participant in the filmstrip are Pinned, they will be on the main screen and you will see a white box around their thumbnail profile.
It’s only the people within the Hangout Interface that will see the white box of the person who is Pinned.
When the host has Pinned someone and they are on the screen, the host can still talk but won’t be seen.
If the host of the Hangout turns “off” the Pin toggle, then the screen will automatically show the person that’s talking (making a sound) and there will not be a white box around their profile.
Therefore, if the host has turned “on” Pinning, the person on the screen will be white boxed. If the host has turned “off” Pinning, then there is no white box and whoever is talking will be shown on the screen.
Finally, other participants in the filmstrip can use the Pin on their profile to see what they look like (elongated profile) on the screen. This is not seen by anyone else.
This completes the setup procedure to conduct a Hangout Video Call.
The next article in the series is “How to Setup a Google+ Hangout On Air”, which is the third type of Google Hangout. A Hangout On Air, often referred to as a “HOA”, offers many benefits which include live streaming on Google+, YouTube, or website, and recorded onto YouTube.
This third article has shown you how to Setup a Google+ Hangout Video Call.
The final article in the series will explain and show you: