Boston Linux & Unix (BLU) Home | Calendar | Mail Lists | List Archives | Desktop SIG | Hardware Hacking SIG
Wiki | Flickr | PicasaWeb | Video | Maps & Directions | Installfests | Keysignings
Linux Cafe | Meeting Notes | Blog | Linux Links | Bling | About BLU

BLU Discuss list archive

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

online simulcast of BLU meetings

I was wondering if it would be possible to provide an online simulcast 
of BLU meetings.

I'm thinking something simple, that would concentrate on broadcasting 
the audio portion of the talk, with possibly some low-res video from a 
wide-angle web cam.

Ideally, if there was some sort of pass-though VGA capture device that 
could be placed between the presenter's laptop and the projector, you 
could capture the presentation slides in high-res and broadcast them at 
a very low frame rate.

(This could be done in software on the presenter's laptop - for example, 
using VNC in read-only, multiple client mode, but any solution that 
doesn't require installation on the presenter's laptop is better.

A VGA to NTSC converter might be a possibility, such as:

though it'll need to be paired up with a video capture device, and all 
the conversions will reduce the quality and could make text on slides 
hard to read. (That particular model incorporates a wireless link, so 
one portion plugs into the presenter's laptop, and the other portion 
could be at the back of the room, plugged into a capture laptop that 
also has the wide-angle web cam.))

The other challenge to deal with is bandwidth. Whatever audio and video 
gets captured at the talk can't be directly broadcast from MIT over 
their WiFi. It'll need to be bounced off a server somewhere for 
redistribution. The bandwidth required to do that might be more than the 
BLU hosting donors are willing to provide. And while there are tons of 
sites now willing to host recorded video content for free, I'm not aware 
of any that will provide bandwidth for live content for free.

The minimum requirements, as I see it, include:
  -permission of the speaker to be broadcast;
  -a wireless microphone;
  -a volunteered laptop to act as the capture device;
  -a web cam;
  -IM client to accept audience questions;
  -a rebroadcasting server with adequate bandwidth;
  -one or more volunteers to setup the system and run the capture;

If you forgo the video (web cam), most of this could probably be pulled 
off using a cell phone. The presenter gets a Bluetooth headset linked to 
the phone. Then the phone, with free evening minutes, gets dialed-in to 
some VoIP conference call service in listen-only mode. (We can probably 
find a free VoIP conference call service somewhere, or setup an Asterisk 
server on a BLU machine.)

The video capture device (for the slides) is an optional add-on, and 
could be approximated by having the presenter provide their slides in 


Tom Metro
Venture Logic, Newton, MA, USA
"Enterprise solutions through open source."
Professional Profile:

This message has been scanned for viruses and
dangerous content by MailScanner, and is
believed to be clean.

BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
We also thank MIT for the use of their facilities.

Valid HTML 4.01! Valid CSS!

Boston Linux & Unix /