This page outlines a set of recommendations for recording a meeting using composite video, with slide mixing. Similar pages for video-casting stations, roving cameras, and audio capture are under preparation.

SpeakerPresenter's LaptopVGA SplitterVGA->Composite Scan ConverterScan Converter Monitor+RecorderComposite Video Switcher/MixerAuxiliary A/V SourceCameraCamerapersonComposite A/V SplittterA/V Monitor+Recorder (Post-mixing)In-Room AudienceEncoder MachineInternet BroadcastIn-Room ProjectionNon-Ambient Lighting
Room setup, diagrammed (with slide mixing). Click on an object to learn more; the image is area-hyperlinked.

[edit] Speaker

  • Properly attired, light makeup if heavy lighting is used
  • Helpful to have the speaker tour the room beforehand and try a test run
  • Send notification of archival video publication
  • Recommendation: >200mW green laser pointer, carefully wielded

[edit] Presentation Laptop

  • Presenters' laptops are not generally available beforehand, but it is helpful to send instructions on signal output expectations.
  • Carry several different cable converters: Mini DisplayPort to VGA, DVI-to-VGA, miniDVI-to-VGA, etc.
  • Recommendation: Thinkpad-style laptops; stay away from HDMI
Special notes: In-room wireless bandwidth traffic spikes during presentations, so it is best to have on-podium Ethernet connections.

[edit] Splitters

[edit] VGA Splitters

[edit] Composite A/V Splitters

  • Powered via outlet power; signal-copy only
  • Also, carry plain RCA Y-cables and RCA female-to-female couplers
  • Recommendation: Distribution Amplifier or similar

[edit] Audio Splitters

  • Carry minijack Y-cables, XLR Y-cables, TRS connectors, and 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch headphone converters
  • Audio splitting is also possible from the soundboard

[edit] Scan Converters

  • Many scan converters do not support higher resolutions commonly used with high-end projectors; UXGA (1600x1200) support or higher recommended
  • Custom menu options available, such as border cropping, freeze-frame, zoom, etc.
  • Recommendation: Kramer VP-501xl (4:3 NTSC) or VP-701xl (4:3 or 16:9; not yet tested)
Special notes: these devices can warm with usage; be mindful not to tape over ventilation holes

[edit] Monitors

  • Can be used to check and configure scan converters; "monitor" is not used in the "computer monitor" sense
  • Often can be set to record audio/video input

Recommendation: Cowon A2 (records to WMV) or Cowon A3 (not tested)

Special note: A/V input cables must manufactured by Cowen

[edit] Mixers

[edit] Audio

  • Also known as a soundboard, hopefully already present and mic-tested

[edit] Video

  • Generally these are expensive, bulky devices. Technically optional, they offer clean video switching (read: transitions)
  • Aspect ratio switching and picture-in-picture may be possible
  • Recommendation: Edirol LVS-400 or similar

[edit] Auxiliary Video

  • Another video source can be mixed-in here (e.g., from a 2nd camera)

[edit] Cameras

  • Must have composite video-out
  • High-definition vs. standard
  • Tape vs. solid state; all-day recording
  • Backup recording
  • Audio-in
  • Time drift problem
  • Zoom range
  • Suitable tripod

[edit] Cameraperson

  • Present vs. non-present
  • Approachability

[edit] Audience

  • Mic'd vs. non (for audience questions)
  • Wireless connectivity, competition for outlet power (gaffers tape)
  • Reserved areas, tablecloths
  • Pan-ability

[edit] Online audience

  • Question/feedback submission mechanism and designated #hashtags
  • Back-channel communication ("move the camera that-a-way")
  • Use Herdict to report video loading problems:

[edit] Encoder

  • Needs to have a video capture mechanism: FireWire input or a composite video capture device
  • Dedicated internet bandwidth, firewall ports open to inbound traffic for Flumotion and SSH
  • Laptops (USB/FireWire video) vs. mini-machines (USB/FireWire/PCI capture cards)
  • Recommendations:
Shuttle SG31G2V2 running Linux with an Osprey 210 Capture Card (bttv insmod args set to 'card=89'; no audio support here)
>2.2GHz ThinkPad laptop with a USB video capture dongle (not tested)

[edit] Distribution

  • Plan on having 300-kbps-up dedicated bandwidth for each video stream
  • Mobile broadband can be used if necessary, but Ethernet connections are more reliable

[edit] VLC + Icecast

  • Documented at TheoraCookbook
  • Commercial Icecast hosting is available [evaluating best options now]

[edit] ffmpeg2theora + Icecast

  • Currently, ffmpeg2theora only accepts FireWire audio, so this is non-viable for streaming composite video

[edit] Flumotion

  • Not an easy DIY option due to software complexity, but a good custom option if working with Flumotion directly

[edit] Page embedding

  • Load balancing: client-side vs. server side

[edit] Projectors

  • Expensive
  • Recommendation: Proxima M6 or M9 may be good choices

[edit] Lighting

  • Fill lighting is easy to accomplish, but stage lighting is difficult
  • Heavy, fragile equipment: sandbags, tall stands often needed
  • Liability concerns with heavy equipment
  • Possible recommendations:
Arri 650 Watt Plus Tungsten Fresnel or similar
Phillips LED Lighting Solutions
Hire a professional lighting and stage crew

[edit] Power

  • Use a UPS

[edit] Reference Gearlists

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