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Feedback & ideas for New Equipment

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sikkdaysFeedback & ideas for New Equipment
by on Dec 22, 2007 at 1:09:19 am

Okay, let me tell you what we do at work. I work as a VT for a consulting firm, taping participants in a speaking course. The firm uses the footage to teach. Thus, I will tape the participants as they speak in front of the group, then one of the consultants and the participant go into another room to watch and discuss. At the end of the day, which is a full 8 hours(no time for editing), the participants get to take their individual tape home.

In the past, I guess it was all done with VHS. A VCR in the other room and a camcorder did the trick. Recently, another VT convinced them to drop the VHS and use DVD Recorders. Now, we have two identical consumer DVD Recorders. One is hooked up to the old VHS camera for recording and the other is in the other room for playback. When it comes to the end of the day, we have to Finalize the DVDs so the participants can take them home which takes 6-10 minutes for each DVD.

I would love to work with miniDV, it's what I know and a trustworthy format, however, we don't have time to capture & burn all those discs.

We have been having some issues with the DVD recorders of late, the DVDs give errors during finalization. I was thinking that maybe a straight to DVD camera would be better, it could take the beatings of travel better than the consumer DVD recorders. Yet, I had no idea that they don't make straight to DVD cameras. I see there are the 3" DVDs but not the regular size. Crazy.

The 3" DVD cameras have a 30 min recording time. This may be a problem, as the participants are recorded at multiple times throughout the day. I read that some of them can record 60min at LP, but I have no experience with the 3" DVDs, so I am unsure.

They are looking to replace the old VHS cameras, but they don't know what to buy. Basically, we need to be able to do taping and playback throughout the day, sometimes simultaneously. At the end of the day, the participants need to leave with their footage.

Any suggestions? Ideas?

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Mark SuszkoRe: Feedback & ideas for New Equipment
by on Dec 22, 2007 at 11:33:45 pm

Get an early model TIVO unit off Ebay for like $50 and use it for the hard-disk-based time-shifting features, while still recording to a second DVD Recorder.

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sikkdaysRe: Feedback & ideas for New Equipment
by on Dec 27, 2007 at 6:34:00 pm

Interesting idea; that would be a great backup system since the DVRs are misbehaving. The consulting firm wants to go back to VHS because it fits perfectly for how their program works. However, I keep arguing that nobody has VCRs any more.

The DVDs are a good idea, they've just become unreliable of late. Of course, the need to record 2 minutes or so, take it into another room and watch it, bring it back and record on it some more is imperative. I guess I'll just suggest that they get some consumer grade cameras to replace the old VHS cameras and tell them to keep using the DVRs, maybe get another brand to see if they are more reliable.

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