Reply To: Winchester Weekend

Forums BAA Events and News Winchester Weekend Reply To: Winchester Weekend

David Arditti

The easiest type of recording of talks to make is an HDMI interception of the projector display, coupled with a recording of the speaker. We have a ‘black box’ that does this, and I am thinking of using it at the forthcoming Cardiff meeting. This does not give a video showing the speakers, but it shows their talks content. The trouble is…it’s still not so simple. The achilles heel is the sound. The integrated sound recorder in the box does not give good quality if the speaker is somewhat away from it, or wandering around. The solution to this is to use a digital sound recorder with a lapel mic. We have this equipment as well. This, however, will not capture the speaking of the meeting chair, nor of questioners. And it gives someone a big job later to marry up the video with the sound. Since none of these small gadgets have a very clear display of what they are doing, it is easy to make mistakes and fail to record one or the other of the video or sound. It is not a job the chair of the meeting (i.e. me) should be doing, as the chair has multiple other things to think about. It needs a volunteer dedicated to the task. For last year’s meeting in Elgin, a member of the local society (or possibly they were university staff) succeeded in making such a recording of most of the talks, using university equipment, for which we are very grateful. Generally, however, it does not happen. I feel the only way we could ensure videos made of each meeting outside London would be to pay contractors. When you look at the numbers of people who watch our videos, they are, by YouTube global standards, very, very low. Therefore it is a decision we have to weigh up as to whether it is worth it. The arrangement we have with the Institute of Physics in London is fantastic, because their technician, at no cost to us, records the sound, the view in the hall, the faces of the speakers, and the slides. We still have to pay our staff to edit and upload the video, but in this case it seems justifiable.