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- This topic has 18 replies, 13 voices, and was last updated 3 weeks, 6 days ago by Malcolm Porter.
18 April 2023 at 9:53 am #616876Pauline PhillipsParticipant
Paul Abel and Pete Lawrence present their observing challenges for 2023 at another succesful Winchester Weekend held at Sparsholt College
Attachments:18 April 2023 at 11:50 am #616878DawsonParticipant
What a great weekend it was Pauline.18 April 2023 at 4:58 pm #616890Alan DowdellParticipant
It was a great weekend that ran very well. It was good to see not only old friends but new members to Winchester having a good time.
Long may it last.It would be good to see a younger member keen to carry some of the work in the future years. Any one keen to help just let us know
Attachments:18 April 2023 at 6:33 pm #616898Dr Paul LeylandParticipant
Sounds good. Often thought I should attend.
The event is always fully booked before I receive my supply of round tuits and generally before I know whether I will be in the country at the time it is held.18 April 2023 at 10:22 pm #616909Paul G. AbelParticipant
It was a splendid weekend- one of the best Winchester weekends I can remember (but I think I say that every year!)20 April 2023 at 5:47 pm #616929Honor WheelerParticipant
Indeed a thoroughly enjoyable weekend, thanks to all involved and excellent lectures all.21 April 2023 at 7:21 pm #616950Nick HewittParticipant
Every presentation was a winner. The whole weekend was just marvellous.22 April 2023 at 11:37 am #616969Mike HarlowParticipant
Are there videos of the talks so we can all enjoy them???22 April 2023 at 3:51 pm #616974
Sorry but there are no videos of the Winchester talks as it is not straightforward to get them recorded. The year we had videos was when we held a webinar instead due to the lockdown.
Andy23 April 2023 at 2:29 pm #616991Mike HarlowParticipant
So I can watch a video from 1972 but not 2023?!23 April 2023 at 7:26 pm #616998DawsonParticipant
Mike, it is a massive undertaking to record one meeting, let alone three days’ worth of meetings. And that is just the recording of audio and video, putting microphones on speakers, along with capturing the slides, let alone the subsequent editing, matching of sound and video, labeling, electronically adjusting lighting and sound, and then uploading, plus checking nothing infringes copyright and seeking speaker permissions. It really is a massive job, and not an enjoyable one for a volunteer.24 April 2023 at 9:59 am #617003
James has hit the proverbial nail on the head.
The BAA is lacking volunteers. With some venues we are fortunate enough that they already have the IT equipment and staff available to make the recordings, but this is not the case at Winchester. Even then it requires a BAA volunteer or paid staff to edit the videos and put them online. It could be argued that the BAA should pay contractors to record meetings around the country. That would need to be paid out of the reserves as our annual outgoings are about twice the subscription income.
This is a good opportunity to point out that we don’t yet have a volunteer to become the Meetings Secretary after Hazel Collett stands down a the end of this year. Noting Ann Davies rather than Hazel Collett organises the Winchester Weekend, with help from other BAA volunteers.
The 1972 recording is 3 minutes of people walking around the venue without sound. Interesting to see that for 50 years ago but the expectations for current meeting recordings are much higher.
Andy24 April 2023 at 2:05 pm #617013Dominic FordKeymaster
Having made many of the BAA’s meeting videos in the past, I would re-iterate what James and Andy have already said. It can be pretty time consuming.
In theory, it’s simple enough to wire the speaker up with a microphone, and insert an HDMI recorder between the laptop and the projector.
But that’s just the beginning.
When you get home, you’ve got a hundred GB of raw video. That needs sending (by post?) to somebody with access to (inevitably, very expensive) video editing software. First, the audio needs synchronising with the video. Inevitably, if the footage was shot by a novice, there will be problems with it (e.g. the speaker was breathing into the microphone, the microphone wasn’t turned on, etc, etc) which need to be identified and worked around. Eventually, once you’ve spent a couple of days fixing everything, you do an export to compressed web-ready video. That takes many hours of CPU time in itself.
Then, you circulate the video, and discover somebody showed copyright material on one of their slides, and you get asked to cut something out. So you have to re-export the video – which is another overnight job.
I’m as supportive as anybody of the BAA filming talks, but it’s a lot of work to expect anybody to do on a voluntary basis. And for the same reason, companies that do this professionally are also not cheap.24 April 2023 at 7:31 pm #617021Alan DowdellParticipant
Thanks for information on the problems of providing recordings of meetings.
Although recording the event may be of value to some, the fundamental reason for running the weekend is to create a social environment for members. At this weekend ofcourse we have a range of speakers, but it’s the availability to talk to those with like minds and have a good time aswell is just as important.
Alan24 April 2023 at 8:04 pm #617022Dominic FordKeymaster
Very well said, Alan!25 April 2023 at 10:00 am #617023Dr Richard John McKimParticipant
I think that Dominic has given an excellent and very clear explanation, and to add that as a speaker I am also sensitive to the fact that one’s slides might contain copyrighted images or other matter. And in any event, not all speakers give permission to have their talks recorded. I sometimes don’t permit it, perhaps for that reason, or perhaps because the talk was hastily prepared. When I look at the splendid PowerPoints put together by other people I always regret that I do not spend so much time preparing my folder of JPEGs which I simply show as a slideshow! We should be very grateful to Dominic and James and all those who have edited and uploaded video presentations.
…..And above all I just wanted to add my thanks to all those who organised and made this very enjoyable Winchester meeting possible.26 April 2023 at 5:05 pm #617032David ArdittiParticipant
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.27 April 2023 at 8:59 am #617037
This has somewhat hi-jacked the Winchester thread, but it is good to discuss these matters.
I suspect there may now be easier ways we can record meetings. For example, since Windows 10 an inbuilt screen recorder comes as standard. I also expect that more venues will gain the ability to record meetings for us. At Elgin the university staff kindly recorded the meeting for us without charging us extra. However, they had to work this out on the fly and we did not know if the meeting would be successfully recorded until the actual day.
There are also occasions where the organisers as well as the presenters do not want the meeting recorded, to encourage in-person attendance.
Whatever we do, I think finding more volunteers would help to increase the number of meetings we record.30 April 2023 at 10:12 am #617068Malcolm PorterParticipant
Great Weekend! Big Thanks to everyone involved in organization and presenting!
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