6 AV Tips for Lecture Capture Setup

Uptime is king.

Is that an exaggeration? Even so, we all want our campus lecture capture systems to consistently record content in all kinds of scenarios and environments.

To help with the audiovisual aspects of your lecture capture implementation, our support team compiled a list of troubleshooting tips that have solved crucial issues for Cattura users.


Audio Connector Types are Incorrect

You’ve rolled out a lecture capture solution for your campus, and the first 10 classrooms are up and running, without a hitch. But classroom #11 has a different type of audio output than the previous rooms.

While lecture recording devices support most audio connector types (XLR, TRS, RCA etc.), you’ll occasionally run across the odd microphone that doesn’t align with your lecture capture hardware.

For these anomalies, it’s best to keep some adapters or mixers on hand when integrating lecture recording for a classroom.


Video Input and Output Ports are Mismatched

As simple as it is, confirming that your input sources are plugged into your input ports and output destinations are plugged into your output ports should be a reflexive troubleshooting step.

Particularly if a single recorder is failing to capture lectures, a simple mismatch of cables and ports is an all-too-frequent source of capture failure.


Lecture Capture Hardware Doesn’t Receive a Signal from Inputs

 If your lecture capture solution includes a video distribution device (like the switchers offered by Crestron, AMX, and Extron), it’s wise to regularly test the signal coming from that device.

 Generally, switchers have an option for activating HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection). If this anti-piracy feature has been activated unintentionally, it won’t be possible for your lecture capture hardware to record the content being streamed to it.

 In other cases, the length of cable may be a decisive factor in the quality of the signal that your recording device is receiving.

Best practices dictate that you’ll want to keep less than 50 feet of HDMI cable between your inputs and recording device, or less than 300 feet of SDI cable. Keep in mind that these distances can be extended by using higher-quality cable or signal relays.


Capture Cards are Incompatible

 Capture cards play an essential role in converting video signals into digital data that can be processed by your lecture capture appliance. This data format enables easy storage, encoding, segmenting functionality, and myriad other features in your capture software.

Choosing the right capture card is essential for successfully getting your video footage into the capture hardware. Magewell’s Pro series offers a broad range of inputs and outputs (HDMI, SDI, AIO, and DVI) to connect almost any hardware that you might have.


AV Hardware is Stored Too Close Together

 The Tetris-like process of orienting your rackspace layout presents plenty of challenges for fitting all of the devices you need for each classroom. However, many sophisticated hardware pieces require adequate space and ventilation to prevent overheating.

Structuring your rackspace to account for heat release is essential to maintaining system uptime.


Power is Insufficient

 Most sophisticated hardware devices are prone to suffer some level of corruption when subjected to an inadequate or inconsistent source of power.

First, test the local power of every classroom against the power consumption of your lecture capture system. Powerful recording systems need an adequate level of power to perform optimally.

To address power inconsistencies, installing a UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) provides a buffer for your IT team to conduct a clean shutdown in the event of an outage. The UPS can also sustain your recording units through brief drops due to power variability.


Get a trial for CaptureCast hardware to have dedicated support personnel walk through the AV planning and implementation for your lecture capture solution.

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