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Capture Output from Projector. Some tips and some questions!

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Matías QuintanaCapture Output from Projector. Some tips and some questions!
by on Feb 27, 2014 at 3:45:15 am
Last Edited By Matías Quintana on Feb 27, 2014 at 8:09:23 pm

Hello, I´m a event videographer. Last year I had a job in some speaking meetings, about programmers. I had to shoot each conference in video, and also capture the projector output where each speaker showed their presentation. They were programmers so they used stills but some also started programming some lines. What I want to say is I couldn´t just take the presentation and later used in my NLE timeline because they did real time stuff.

I capture the projector output. I hadn´t much time in that moment so I buy a cheap video capture device like this:
And also a converter from the proyector output (VGA) to rca so I can use the video capture device:

So, it worked fine, I captured about 30 minutes speakings, 20 in 2 days.
The quality it wasn´t the best but it was better than just put a camera shooting the screen where it was projected.

This year I have the same job and I want an upgrade, improve the quality. May be some of you would apreciate this info, and may be others can help me in impoving it.
There aren´t many capture devices in the market, so it´s no easy.

This is one of the speakings I did, you can see the job done:

I would apreciatte any advice or tip in this matters.
Sorry for my english.


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Mark SuszkoRe: Capture Output from Projector. Some tips and some questions!
by on Feb 27, 2014 at 2:57:41 pm
Last Edited By Mark Suszko on Feb 27, 2014 at 2:58:49 pm

Matias, you're doing this about the same way I would: using a scan converter connected between the source computer and the VGA line to the projector, and then recording the output of that scan converter.

Another way to get that recording would be to use screen-capturing software, however, in your situation, where the speakers are also switching between a lot of apps and even doing some live code-writing, a screen-capture program in the computer might interfere with the work they are doing, it could slow down the processes going on, or create huge files in the on-board hard drive that rob performance and memory space. So I think the outboard scan converter solution is the better method in your particular situation.

That being said, you more or less get what you pay for when using scan converters, and a more expensive one can get you higher quality. We have had a nice Scan-Do Ultra in the office that was six thousand dollars when brand new, and it delivered great quality, but now we're shopping for one that is able to capture and output to a recorder in HD levels of resolution. It will probably cost around the same. It's okay for us because we'd use it almost every week, for years. That's too much for you to spend on one job, so what I would suggest is a rental or lease for just the week of the conference next time, from a place that specializes in such rentals.

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Matías QuintanaRe: Capture Output from Projector. Some tips and some questions!
by on Feb 27, 2014 at 8:12:47 pm

Thanks a lot for your reply, I will thinks about rent some equipment. Do you belive that the most important part is the scan converter not the capture device I used? I will buy the equipment with no problem but I don´t find mid-level solutions. About rent in my country It´s no so easy, sometimes the best solution is buying in the USA a deliver it by mail.
Thnak you a lot for your time and knowledge.

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Mark SuszkoRe: Capture Output from Projector. Some tips and some questions!
by on Feb 27, 2014 at 9:24:21 pm

I could not get the link to amazon to work, to see what you are using to record with. Certainly, you want to record with something of same or better resolution than the source. Until HD came along, i was happy recording to DVCPro25 or to a stand-alone DVD recorder without a TV tuner in it, which can be had for around $100 U.S.D. The MPEG2 files from the DVD I would then rip using MPEG Streamclip, a free utility program, and I'd then edit in Apple FCP7.

For a modern recording method, probably a hard-drive based system would be the way to go... a laptop running Adobe On Location, for example, might work. A lot depends on your budgeta nd what technical gear you alreadey have on hand or available.

As far as broadcast rentals in your country, i don't know anything, but if they are scarce where you are, what I typically suggest is, to find one or two others that do the same work as you, and do a cost-share arrangement to make the unit more affordable. once you have it, you could rent it out to others when you don't need it, and slowly make back some of the investment in the gear.

I have heard that there are numerous rental shops in Miami, Florida, that don't mind renting and leasing out to locations in the Carrribean for weeks or months at a time. There must also be some West Coast oputfits that do the same. I just don't know who they are. You might try contacting one of the really big rental companies like VER, to see if they can help.

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Martin CurtisRe: Capture Output from Projector. Some tips and some questions!
by on Mar 6, 2014 at 4:19:09 am

Last year I captured an event's presentations using a scan converter and a DVD recorder. Since they were playing back ultrasounds, the quality wasn't that great. This year I think I have convinced them to pay for the rental of a MediaSite box from Sonic Foundry for the weekend. It will take a VGA input and a camera input and create two streams plus the HTML to just drop it straight onto a web server. For a small cost, the rental company will handle that part of it as well.

It currently only captures the VGA as stills (it detects changes to the video stream) but the vendor assures me that a software update (currently in beta testing) will enable full motion video capture on both ports.

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Gerry CondezRe: Capture Output from Projector. Some tips and some questions!
by on Mar 12, 2014 at 10:51:25 pm

Would it be possible to get a video mixer for this? Mix the 2 source outputs coming to the mixer to a recorder. You can even wire the speakers directly to the mixer. From your camera and one from the projector Mix them in real time. You just probably need a title in the beginning. Unless you really need to edit the footage.

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