Archive for the ‘MGB-36’ Category

Digitization of the SAVILLE analogue Conference interpreting recording facility: Lecture/Floor recording and CCTV streaming

The original conference interpreting lab setup had no provision for digital video recording of the lecture/floor. A workaround used on of the booth VCRs for analogue recording, with video form an ELMO dome cameras and audio from a lectern microphone – an audio installation which ran in parallel to the main DSI conference interpreting facility (and covered only the lectern, not the conference table).

A home-brew add-on was based on a consumer handheld digital camera for video. Experiments with different add-on microphones for audio from the lectern and floor were less than successful.

The DIS system however provides an audio out of the lectern an/or floor audio, as well as the capability for the conference administrator to open or mute floor microphones and for the technical administrator to set the maximum number of open microphones, and control their gain.

For the digitization of this system, I used

  1. an already retired standard university student lab computer
  2. to which I added an old spare ATI All-in-Wonder video card
  3. to which I connected a TEVION home TV switch as a poor man’s (~5£) video splitter into which I fed
  4. the (hitherto unused) DIS audio out balanced stereo, using an RCA adapter, as well as
  5. the ELMO video, using  a coax to RCA adapter (video signal was split into the ATI as well as back into the original SAVILLE Kramer AV switch).

While originally coming with its own digitization software, the ATI All-in-wonder also works well with Windows Media Encoder.

Two wme configuration files were created:

  1. this file on the computer connected to the central rack, then double-click it in order to start Windows Media Encoder, then click the Record button in the top menu – no custom GUI was deemed necessary for this non-student operated recording)  for recording to files that can be played with Windows media player, whether on Windows or on Mac OS X.
  2. (again, simply find this file on the central rack computer, then double-click it) for streaming CCTV live to the back office. An onsite admin office was one of the usual features of a teaching lab which was missing in this installation. CCTV allows to keep an eye on teaching activities in the conference interpreting lab, proactively spot support needs ands absorb feature requirements which instructors tend to have problems articulating (or even seeing the need for articulating). A (lower quality archived stream is created on the side and can be picked up, post-processed and archived at TBA).


Interpreting Lab Upgrade: Requirements and Vendors (Presentation 2009-07)

Screen-cast of my Slide Presentation: londonmet-interpreting-lab-upgrade-presentation1.wmv

Table of Contents:


Requirements For A Conference Interpreting Training Installation


Flowchart Digitization Of Learning


Vendor Solutions Categories


Vendor Solutions: Conference Interpreting Category


Vendor Solutions: Classroom Management Category


Vendor Solutions: Classroom Management Category: Face To Face Teaching Flowchart


Vendor Solutions: Classroom Management Category: Comparison


Vendor Solutions: Classroom Management Category: Synchroneyes


Vendor Solutions: Conference Interpreting Category: Braehler


Vendor Solutions: Language Lab Category


Vendor Solutions: Language Lab Category: Artec


Vendor Solutions: Language Lab Category: Sanako Lab 100 Sts


Vendor Solutions: Language Lab Category: Sanako Study 1200


Vendor Solutions: Language Lab Category: Sony Virtuoso


Summary & Question Period


Audience Feedback On Presentation

Shared Calendar for Interpreting Suite Bookings on Windows Live: How to get started

1.    We have set up a *shared online calendar*:


3.    Where do I find this calendar?

a.    It is on Windows Live.

b. will email you an invitation to share this calendar on line.

4.    What do I do when I receive the email?

a.    In the email, click ‘accept’.

                                                 i.      If the link does not work, copy /paste the text link from the bottom of the email, but first remove line breaks (paste the link into notepad and make sure that the entire link is on single line).

b.    If you do not have a Windows Live account, you will be given the option to sign up‘.

                                                 i.      If you are not asked to sign up, you may be logged in as somebody else: make sure to create your own account with your own password.

c.     For best results, open the calendar with a recent Web browser: Firefox 3 or Internet Explorer 7  (if you cannot upgrade, version 6 works also, with some limitations) or better.

5.    MGB36 is the coded room number for the interpreting suite. It is also the name of the online calendar.

6.    What do I do next?

a.    Simply add an appointment to the calendar by hovering over the time slot required and clicking on “ADD

                                                 i.      Under “Calendar”, select “MGB36” (if you add to your personal Calendar, other users won’t be able to see).

                                              ii.      Under “what”, include your e mail address so we can contact you in case of changes, as well as Module number

                                            iii.      Under “where” include if you do not need all booths (others may want to share)

                                            iv.      for additional options, like recurrence (= enter 1 appointment – recurring weekly, until end of it…, no wait: teaching period! – to book your weekly class meeting for the entire teaching period), click on “Add more details”.

b.    Don’t forget to update the calendar if you need to cancel a booking.

c.     If you want to see a demonstration, watch the live_calendar_shared_mgb36.wmv using Windows media player

7.    Who can view the information on line?

a.    Interpreting lecturers only.

b.    Students can currently not access the data. We may decide later to let them view it (i.e. make the calendar public).

Did you run into problems with the calendar not explained here? View the FAQ.


Shared Calendar for Interpreting Suite Bookings on Windows Live: Frequently asked questions

  1. Problem: How do I return to “Windows live”?
    1. Solution: AFTER you followed the “accept” button in the invitation e
      mail, you can return to the calendar by simply going to Or for easy access to other windows live services like groups, go through and the top menu “more”/ “calendar”.
  2. Problem: I seem to have lost access to the calendar?
    1. Solution: if you go to, make sure you are logged in with the windows live account that you gave us for calendar access (if you are logged in under a different name, log out from that account first) . Then go to you should have access now.
  3. Problem: My calendar time seems off?
    1. Solution: adjust your time zone: after going to, in the upper right hand side, click on options / more options / time zone: change this to “Greenwich mean time [….] LONDON” (do NOT choose GMT UNIVERSAL time”, this has no daylight savings time adjustment!). Then click “save”at the bottom Please let me know of any other issues (please provide OS and browser version and error message).
  4. Problem: Other users cannot see my calendar appointments.
    1. Solution: Make sure you added them to the right calendar, called “MGB-36” (an option when you add an appointment). There are now several calendars for other purposes, but booking of the suite is done in “MGB-36”. You can see something went wrong if your appointment stands out in a different colour (see legend), like here:
  5. Problem: I would like to book some space (booths) in the suite, but the entire suite seems already booked – what should I do?
    1. Solution: The original calendar instructions mentioned to start a booking with your email address under “what” and qualify under “where” if you require only parts of the interpreting suite for your class. If only the latter has been omitted, you can still email the colleague to inquire. If the former has been omitted also, we will have to try tracking down which the information which will take time.
  6. Problem: There is a (recurring) event which I can not delete (I get the error: “there’s a problem connecting to windows live calendar”).
    1. Solution: The error message is misleading. This seems a bug in the software. You can try to work around it like this

      : Move one occurrence of the event (drag it with your mouse to a different time). This breaks the recurrence. Now left-click on the moved event to edit it. From the popup, choose to “Edit every occurrence” instead of “Edit this one occurrence”. This should get you to the “Event details” page, where you can delete the entire event from the top menu.