Removing or hiding a webcam stream

For presenters who do not wish to be seen, the best option is to disable the primary video input on the Panopto recorder before the start of the recording. There is no built-in option to remove or hide the primary video from a session after it has been recorded. Audio and camera video input sources are combined into a single primary stream, and it is not possible to separate them in the editor (Fig. 1). Instead, a workaround must be used.

Screenshot of the combined Primary audio and video stream

FIG. 1 - Combined audio and video P1 stream in editor


Make a backup copy of the session

As this guide involves making potentially destructive changes to the recording, it is always recommended to make a backup copy of your recording first.


This technique works best with unedited sessions

It is strongly recommended that you do not make any edits to your session until after the primary video replacement technique has been completed, otherwise there may be synchronisation issues.

If the session has already been edited, it is recommended to revert these edits. If it represents too much work to recreate the edits later, it is recommended to instead revert changes on the copied session (backup) instead to provide a clean, unedited session to work with.

1. Download an audio-only MP4 version of the session

The first step is to download an audio-only MP4 version of the unedited session.

  • In the folder view, hover over the session and click the cog/gear (Settings) icon, then click on the 'Outputs' tab
  • If you have just recorded the session, or if you have recently edited or reverted it, you may need to wait for the MP4 file to finish processing on the server before you are able to download it
  • Scroll to the bottom of the modal window and click 'Download Audio Podcast' (Fig. 2). This will download an MP4 file containing only the audio stream to your computer
    • If the session has been edited, download an audio-only MP4 version of the unedited/reverted copied (backup) session instead
Screenshot of the highlighted 'Download Audio Podcast' button

FIG. 2 - Modal window of session settings > Outputs > Audio Podcast > Download Audio Podcast

NB. It is recommended that you rename this MP4 file to something obvious, such as '[SESSION-NAME]-audio-only.mp4'

2. Upload the MP4 file

  • Click on the cross in the top-right of the modal window to close the 'Settings' menu
  • In the folder view, hover over your original session (not the copied session) and click 'Edit' to enter the Panopto web editor
  • In the editor, ensure the playhead (red line) is at the beginning of the timeline
Screenshot of the playhead at the beginning of the timeline
  • Now, click the 'Streams' tab on the left-hand side, then click '+ Add Stream'
  • Drag the downloaded MP4 file into the web browser and into the Primary audio/video drop-zone  or click the area to locate the file on your computer (Fig. 3)
Screenshot of the highlighted '+Add Stream' button

FIG. 3

You may need to wait a few minutes for the file to upload and process. Once complete, a new audio-only primary stream (P2) will appear on the edit timeline, beneath the original P1 combined webcam and audio stream (Fig. 4).

Screenshot of the highlighted P2 primary audio only stream

FIG. 4

4. Use the focus tool to choose the primary stream

The focus tool is complementary to the scissors tool in the Panopto web editor. It allows you to quickly edit multiple primary or secondary streams.

When viewing a session, it is only possible for one primary stream to be visible and audible at any one moment. To change which primary stream will be made available to the viewer.

In the editor, click on the focus tool (next to the scissors tool) above the edit timeline, and click-drag on one of the primary streams to focus on it (Fig. 5). Any other primary streams will be greyed out and hidden from viewers. You can use this technique to hide the P1 (webcam + audio) stream for the full duration of the session, or just part of it if, for example, you want viewers to be able to see your webcam for a few minutes in the middle of a session.

Screenshot showing the Panopto editor 'focus' tool

FIG. 5

You can then use the scissors tool to continue editing the session as normal. When you have finished, click the 'Apply' button at the top of the page.

5. Deleting the webcam stream (optional)

Optionally, you may wish to permanently delete the entire P1 stream so that it cannot be recovered or viewed even in the edit interface. To do this, follow the steps below:

  • In the folder view, hover over the session, click the three vertical dots and click 'Edit'
  • In the editor, select the 'Streams' tab from the left-hand side menu
  • Hover over the stream you wish to delete, click the three vertical dots and then 'Delete'(Fig. 6)
  • Click 'Confirm' in the pop-up window
  • Click 'Apply' above the video window
  • The session will now process the changes
Screenshot of the highlighted 'Delete' stream button

Check which stream you are deleting

When you delete a stream in this way, it cannot be recovered, so make sure you are deleting the correct one. Choosing a sensible name for the MP4 file before you upload it will help here.



Last updated 08/08/2023

Get support

Local IT and administration staff provide your first line of Replay support

Local Replay support


For more complex queries, contact the central Replay team

Contact Replay team