Ask the Audience: How can I record the video from our TechNet on the Road tour?

Help! I'm trying to work out the most (cost) effective way to record the video from our TechNet on the Road tour. My aim is to publish the content from the show so that anyone on the Internet can follow the content after the event itself.

We taking the show to Falkirk in Scotland tomorrow and I'd love to be able to record both the audio and video for the entire day. The final show in this series will be in London next week so that's my last chance to capture the video. I'd like to try a prototype solution tomorrow.

We're using four machines to build infrastructure from bare metal. The video (VGA) output from each machine goes into a video switcher and then onto the big screen for the audience to view. I considered running Camtasia (or Windows Media Encoder) on one machine (to record everything) and then using terminal services to "switch" between the hosts - this approach is not ideal as it will not be able to capture the build demonstrations. Another problem with this "single box" approach is that it will load the CPU of the machine such that we'd need a dedicated machine rather than one that's used to host part of the infrastructure.

Using Live Meeting to record the content would be predicated on the same "single box" configuration hence doesn't solve the problem.

I wonder whether there is a way to take the output from a male VGA connector (coming from the video switch) and converting it to composite video to feed into an analog TV tuner card on a machine to record the show? Does the VGA pin-out include native composite video or would I need a piece of hardware to convert the signal?

Is there an easier way?

Worst case I'll just record the audio from tomorrow's show as I have bought a 4Gb SDcard for the Podcast recording device.

Note: You may wonder why I'm trying to do this myself rather than having some professional A/V expert deal with the problem - well on this tour we've cut right back on the costs to be able to visit all five cities again before the end of the (calendar) year.

Any constructive help would be much appreciated.



Comments (1)

  1. Craig Murphy says:

    I have an interest in doing exactly the same thing.

    Cost being important, I’m currently considering the use of two HDD camcorders – on recording the projector’s screen, the other recording the speaker.  I’ve not tried this, but I know it can be done: then merge the two streams such that the screen content and the speaker are sync’d up – the speaker is a thumbnail in comparison to the main screen.

    Heck, even one HDD camcorder and some podcasting kit to capture the speaker would probably be a start.  Cost is smallish…£300 for a 30-40GB HDD unit.

    I once considered asking TechSmith to offer us sponsored copies of Camtasia for use at DDD – one or two speakers said it might slow their machines down, so I let that one go…

    I spoke to a chap at MIX07 who was recording the sessions there – I’ll drop you a message with his details – he has some good ideas to offer too.

    Keen to hear more about any solutions that you try.

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