Application Case Studies

Datapath capture cards help record high quality Rich Media presentations

Vision series capture cards from Datapath are being used by France-based UbiCast in the company's innovative Ubiccast recorders – a range of products that facilitates automated Rich Media presentation capture for multi-room set-ups and large scale deployments.

UbiCast empowers people to record and share their presentations autonomously in Rich Media video format. Founded in 2007, the company already has more than 150 clients worldwide – ranging from universities to leading companies and health institutions – that use UbiCast solutions to power their distant learning, eLearning and video communications strategies.

Ubicast Campus is a solution dedicated to recording presentations and lectures taking place simultaneously in multiple rooms. Its key strengths are process automation and remote management. Essentially it comprises two main elements: recorders placed in each room that are dedicated to capturing lectures and automatically synchronising audio, video and computer data sources; and a central editing and computing unit in charge of analysis, basic editing and encoding. The latter is complemented by a web interface, Campus Manager, which offers remote control capability.

To help automate the capture process without compromising professional quality, UbiCast opts to use Datapath Vision capture cards, namely VisionAV-SDI, VisionAV/F and VisionAV-HD, depending on the application. UbiCast assembles the capture cards into a 'suitcase' type PC with built-in screen for mobile installations, or into an industrial standard rack unit for fixed locations.

So, how does it work? Well, each room is equipped with a camera, a microphone and an EasyCast Campus recorder. Recordings can be scheduled in advance (started remotely via Campus Manager), or initiated by the presenter using an Ubicast touchscreen interface (or room control device). Ubicast captures the presenter's PC screen for content, creates chapters and automates camera framing and metadata extraction such as keywords and slide titles.

Once a recording is finished, media is automatically pushed to the central unit through the network. Recordings can then be cropped, enriched with supplementary metadata and converted to multiple formats for multiple devices. The final media is published to Ubicast MediaServer or other existing infrastructures and shared as Rich Media or podcasts.

Applications for UbiCast Campus include internal training, video-conference sessions, e-learning and knowledge management, and distance teaching and training. With this in mind, higher education establishments such as universities and colleges are among the main sales targets. Recent customers in the UK include Cambridge University and Warwick University. UbiCast solutions are however also used in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and in France.

Within Ubicast Campus, content published from video capture is SD (synchronised jpg slides) or HD (dynamic composition, up to 1080p). Presentation material is recorded at 30 images per second in full quality (up to 1920 x 1200p) – whatever is shown on the video projector, screens or interactive whiteboard, will be captured perfectly.

There are also numerous assisted post-production features. For instance, recorded media can be trimmed and merged without erasing originals, while optical character recognition (OCR) is applied to all slides for keyword search and chapter titling.

The Datapath VisionAV-SDI provides a single flexible card solution designed purposely for applications such as lecture capture, web casting and video conferencing. Essentially, it's a four-lane PCI Express card with three video capture inputs – two supporting HD capture and a third supporting SD composite video (these three independent video channels can be captured simultaneously).

Download the Ubicast case study

Learn more about the Datapath products involved in this application:

VisionAV-SDI Video Capture Card
VisionAV Video Capture Card
VisionAV-HD Video Capture Card

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