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Where Videoconferencing And Streaming Technologies Intersect - Part 2

Assuming that the delivery of the stream has been previously assured as part of a routine streaming media deployment or by a service provider, the functionality of a complete capture, ingestion and delivery system should be considered from two perspectives: that of the person directing activities at the recording site (this could be the subject matter expert or a staff person) and that of the content manager during and after the event.

Site-based Functionality
Initiating a session may be as simple as pressing "record" in the user interface of a local device connected to a videoconferencing system via standard video and audio cables, and proceeding with activities as usual.

If, however, the recording/streaming ingestion system is remote, then a call must be established between devices. In some systems the videoconferencing system must initiate the call; other designs support the server calling out to one or more remote locations. Either way, there may be a password-based protection system in place. Although it may deter and frustrate the user who does not have the password handy, this step is important to authenticate the source of the media and to track the content during and after the recording.

It is also desirable, at this step or separately via an e-mail, for the remote encoding system to provide the speaker’s site a code number or file name by which to retrieve the results. Once the recording or streaming processes are active, the remote systems should acknowledge their status in the user interface in the form of a word or other visual indicator (flashing or green light).

PC-based videoconferencing systems can run presentations and frequently a speaker is speaking to slides so the visuals need to be visible locally when delivering the spoken thoughts. Advancing slides on the screen for all the audience concurrently using the local application is desirable from a speaker convenience point of view.

Some systems permit or require the PowerPoint file to be uploaded prior to the beginning of recording in order for their delivery to be synchronized. Once on the server, the control of the advancement of the slides may or may not be in the subject matter’s hands.

Another problem may be with timeliness of the slides. Some subject matter experts do not have their slides ready in advance and this can be a handicap to the timely production of an event. Videoconferencing appliances generally support a connection with a laptop or desktop computer for viewing slides. In these cases, the recording system should be able to capture all activity on the connected PC or laptop, and a document camera, if one is available.

Whatever the technology configuration, in a presentation-style event, the speaker expects to see and control the advancement of slides. In a discussion or interview style production, slides are less critical.

Next Page: Latency

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