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Archive for the ‘Institution-is-London-Metropolitan-University’ Category

No- and Low-cost Language Labs in a Tough Economy. Presentation EUROCALL 2009

Or digitizing the London Metropolitan University City-of-London Conference Interpreting center.
Or download a screencast of my presentation.

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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. capturetestaticomposite_pal-l_480x320works.wme(find 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. streamtest480x320_15fps_pal.wme (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:

00m:30s

Requirements For A Conference Interpreting Training Installation

07m:20s

Flowchart Digitization Of Learning

18m:00s

Vendor Solutions Categories

19m:00s

Vendor Solutions: Conference Interpreting Category

21m:50s

Vendor Solutions: Classroom Management Category

23m:55s

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

29m:25s

Vendor Solutions: Classroom Management Category: Comparison

30m:30s

Vendor Solutions: Classroom Management Category: Synchroneyes

32m:30s

Vendor Solutions: Conference Interpreting Category: Braehler

36m:00s

Vendor Solutions: Language Lab Category

37m:24s

Vendor Solutions: Language Lab Category: Artec

59m:10s

Vendor Solutions: Language Lab Category: Sanako Lab 100 Sts

73m:30s

Vendor Solutions: Language Lab Category: Sanako Study 1200

87m:20s

Vendor Solutions: Language Lab Category: Sony Virtuoso

102m:20s

Summary & Question Period

105m:25s

Audience Feedback On Presentation

Can’t play video?

It is unlikely that you may be missing Adobe-Flash. Not quite so unlikely: MS-Silverlight.

You may simply be missing a codec. Many of my videos use the H.264 codec.

Short of dealing with too many codecs or codec packs, try a better media player:

  1. VLC player or
  2. Windows Media Player Classic or
  3. Windows Media Player 12 (comes with Windows 7)).

 

Conference Interpreting Videos on Intranet

On campus, students can click , click , paste “\\lgu.ac.uk\lgu$\multimedia student\mmedia\mmedia1\language_services\teaching_materials\online_resources.xls”, click . Click a cell with a hyperlinked  video to play the video in Windows Media Player.

In Windows Media Player, you can access (right-click on top window frame if menus are hidden) the menu: “File”/”Save” to save the video on a flash memory drive and take if off campus. You can play back the videos on MS-Windows and MAC computers (you may first have to install the support for the Windows Media Video format on the MAC from Microsoft). More help.

Interpreting Suite: How to avoid audio feedback

  1. symptom: loud squealing noise over the classroom speakers
  2. context: left lectern microphone is turned on; Creston / main room /

    [Elmo room] camera is chose (e.g. to display the speaker on the projector; may also be chosen for background recording purposes only)

  3. resolution: Creston / room controls / speaker: up/own, on/off, to turn the classroom speaker volume down or off entirely
  4. explanation: the Elmo camera works with the sound from the left lectern microphone (not from the right or DIS microphone); if the Elmo camera is room source, its sound is displayed over the classroom speakers; from where it feeds back into the microphone; etc (infinite loop, feedback).