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Old November 21st, 2015, 06:19 PM   #1
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Capturing video feed of slides from conferences

Hi folks. The majority of my camerawork nowadays is tech content out of Silicon Valley. As such, I film a lot of conferences every year. Overall my setup and gear is pretty new school compared to a lot of the AV crews at hotels and conferences and such. However there's one thing we don't have to costs me infinite more time in the editing room after filming.

Right now, when I'm hired to film general sessions I have 1 or 2 cameras on the speaker and then a seperate camera filming the projector screen so I can have a sense of the timing of the presenters slides. In post production I take images from the speakers slide deck and match them up to the shitty video of the projector screen. I've always been jealous of the AV crew that's able to capture the video directly as an H264 or ProRes format or whatever and the slides are already timed. Then you just need to snyc the video once and there's no going through 70 images and snycing each one. Is there a cheap option for hardware that can capture this feed or is it still super expensive? The prohibitive cost has always been why I never bought the hardware.

Ideally I'd like to have 3 since it's fairly common to have 3 "tracks" in 3 seperate rooms at a lot of the conferences I film. A piece of hardware I can hand to the AV crew I liason with and at the end of the day I have a drive full of the slide images?

I'm sort of out of my element on capture devices and don't know much about the area so apologize if the question is a little rudimentary.
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Old November 21st, 2015, 07:42 PM   #2
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Re: Capturing video feed of slides from conferences

If you used a VGA splitter, you could record on one of these gizmos:

Amazon.com: StarTech.com USB3HDCAP USB 3.0 Video Capture Device - HDMI/DVI/VGA/Component HD Video Recorder: Computers & Accessories

But you'd need a laptop, too, which is kind of a lot of links in a chain for me.

Look for one that records audio also, as it'd be easier to sync with an audio reference.

It seems like something that should be available as a standalone device, but I couldn't find one.
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Old November 22nd, 2015, 02:24 PM   #3
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Re: Capturing video feed of slides from conferences

That's an awesome suggestion. I've never heard of this device and it's affordable. I agree it would be nice to remove from the chain the laptop, because It means I'd need 3 different laptops in 3 different rooms in the semi-standard 3 track system, but that's still doable. The other camera ops on my team of course have laptops as well. I guess that upside of that is hopefully you could monitor the feed coming in. Good point on audio, though it's easy to sink visually by a slide change as well. But that would add one minor step.

Anybody else have an option that's better than this device for some reason?
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Old November 22nd, 2015, 02:28 PM   #4
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Re: Capturing video feed of slides from conferences

Mike: Check this out. They have a device that records without the need for a computer. Downside to this one is it's 2.0. Once I saw your link and looked at similar items it looks like it's a thing because people like to record video off of their gaming devices (though I can't imagine why really), so there's quite a few options. I was surprised.

http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Last edited by Josh Hayes; November 22nd, 2015 at 02:35 PM. Reason: typo
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Old April 30th, 2016, 01:32 PM   #5
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Re: Capturing video feed of slides from conferences

I wanted to follow up on this for anyone else who was in a similar situation, since I hadn't found much other data on it in The Forums. I found two total game changers for me. And I did a good amount of research and wanting to save someone else the time. Or rather there's data, for example discussion about recorders like Atomos Shogun, Ninja, Flame, etc..., but I didn't know any of it and thought connecting the dots might help. And since people usually get those kind of recorders to bypass the camera's internal compression and get the highest quality video already captured, it's a little different then just trying to take a monitored HDMI and/or SDI signal in from an AV feed.

Also for Atomos the first option of capture device where you can see on the device what you're capturing is at $500. That's the Blade series and then the Flame series and despite increasing in price dramatically none of those devices in that series over HDMI AND SDI inputs. It's one or the other. You have to go to the $2000 inferno to have this functionality. I found a Black Magic device for $130 that does it (more on that in a second). So for me it makes more sense to buy something like a Blade if I want to get a badass video signal direct from my camera, and then have the BlackMagic for taking video feeds in from AV Crews at live events of slides, presenter videos, etc...

This may not be new to many people but for me it's a total game changer. Imagine the amount of time it used to take my company at the end of a 2 day conference to take 12 or so hours of footage, since the video and audio, and then look at a B cam video reference shot of the the conference presenters screen and use that as a timing track for when to individually each slide image from a presenters Keynote or Powerpoint presentation. The only options I was ever given to capture this data were WAY more expensive.

1. I looked at the majority of the cheap video game capture devices mileage varies a lot on them with respect to quality, video format and resolution outputted, etc... but the main problem with these more inexpensive options is they don't have screen where you can see what you're recording and monitoring. The thought of not knowing until the end of a conference day recording 6-8 hours of speakers slides if it worked is terrifying. Plus there usually is not a professional input option for SDI on a lot of these so if the house AV crew doesn't want to send you the signal over HDMI (especially if you're 50 feet or 100 feet away) you're potentially shit out of luck.

2. Short of buying one of Atomos video capture devices which don't have HDMI and SDI until you get into the more expensive options the solution actually unexpectedly came from a piece of equipment I had inherited from a job, never used, but had already (that's a first). The Black Magic ULTRASTUDIO Mini Recorder. It's $137, it's tiny and easy to use. It takes SDI or HDMI (not simultaneously) and outputs Thunderboldt. You can download an application for it called Black Magic Media Express for free and monitor what you're capturing right there in a ton of different formats and options. I was delighted. Because having a laptop setup on a small table near my camera setup at a conference (because you stay stationary all day if you're filming the General Sessions as opposed to a promo video of the whole event) is totally doable. Same thing for shooting in a studio. And if you want to go full screen and turn your Macbook you already own into a badass fullscreen large HD field monitor you can purchase a piece of software called Scopebox. There's a rad video by MrCheesy Cam that shows how to do that (although he does it with a Black Magic Intensity device and not the Micro but same principle). And the software does a bunch of other really useful things as well. That was gamechanger number 2 for sure.

Hope this helps folks!

p.s. I have no affiliation financially with Black Magic or Scopebox or any of that. I was just stoked to find out these solutions and wanted to share after what felt like a lot of research.
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Old April 30th, 2016, 09:12 PM   #6
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Re: Capturing video feed of slides from conferences

God bless you for posting a thread with a problem, solving it yourself, and then posting the solution. So many times I search for a problem I'm having, find someone with the identical problem, then there's no follow up as to what actually happened!

Great writeup.
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Old May 1st, 2016, 03:09 AM   #7
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Re: Capturing video feed of slides from conferences

@Mike and Josh

Mike: Iíd give your post a +1 because itís right on target. Youíre correct in that so often one never reads about the outcome.

And Josh, that was a great job solving your problem and an Excellent writeup. I almost bypassed reading this thread because I had no need but Iím glad I did and who knows. As an aside, a recorder is on my list and with the longer daylight hours the new Atomos is at the top of it.

Since Iím using Macs the solution was especially interesting.
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Old September 30th, 2016, 12:19 AM   #8
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Re: Capturing video feed of slides from conferences

1st, thanks Mike and John!

2nd. Yeah I'm buying a recorder too. I ended up going with the Black Magic since it had SDI and HDMI (though you can just use a convertor on the Samurai Blade/Ninja Blade if you need the other), but the main reason was that while it's not there yet I think the SD cards The Black Magic recorder records too will lap the SSD drives that Atomos uses. Plus I won't have a whole lot of other needs for those SSDs (other than one laptop drive maybe) but SD cards I use constantly. I could pop a 256 GB SD card into Black Magic card and use that. Then when the next sizes up get cheap, buy those, use the SD card for my GH and wholla no loss. That was the main reason which isn't a big one but just worked for me.
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Old September 30th, 2016, 12:21 AM   #9
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Re: Capturing video feed of slides from conferences

Btw, I purchased one of those cheap gaming devices (mentioned earlier in this thread) off Amazon but it was broken so I'm re-ordering. If i can get it to work I'm going to purchase several for an upcoming conference. A DVInfoer on another thread gave me the idea.

He's like just plug it into the laptop of the presentor. Laptop's HDMI out goes to the box signal passes through and goes to the project the AV crew is running. For the box, I have a harddrive attached to it, I hit record and wholla. Even if only half the slides of an 8 hour day got recorded it would save so much time in post production syncing the slides! He just made a good point, always have the extra camera running and pointed at projector in case the box fails!
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Old September 30th, 2016, 12:32 AM   #10
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Re: Capturing video feed of slides from conferences

I bought two Elgato HD 60's. Only problem I can only get one to run at a time. I am sure it's a driver problem only recognising only one. My advice would be buy two are three different makes.
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Old October 3rd, 2016, 02:07 PM   #11
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Re: Capturing video feed of slides from conferences

Two running at the same time plugged into the same computer? What for, redundancy?
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Old October 4th, 2016, 02:33 AM   #12
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Re: Capturing video feed of slides from conferences

I was trying to run two cameras into laptop. Using the two Elgatos. But could not get them both to capture at the same time. I was thinking for you have one streaming the camera and the other streaming PowerPoint slides from laptop with hdmi splitter one to projector and the other to the usb convertor. But using a different make so there is no conflict. PS I have been experimenting with Xsplit broadcast to stream to YouTube.
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