This week has been activities week at Wildern. We have Y10/11 out so collapsed the timetable to run activities around a central theme. It is finished off with a sharing assembly that everyone takes part in. This year we decided to trial something new- the assembly would be a mix of live and pre-recorded content, mixed together in one of our auditorium spaces and broadcast out to the whole school to watch in their own rooms.
I can see this model for delivering assemblies to become increasingly common, so this is how we achieved it.
– A camera set up in the auditorium to film the live parts of the event, connected directly to a Panasonic MX-50 video mixer
– An iMac set up to playback pre-recorded content (presentations, videos, etc) also connected to the mixer
– Output of the video mixer into another iMac running Quicktime Broadcaster
– The broadcast is directed to a Mac Server where QTSS pushes the feed out to the network
– Staff and students connect to the live feed by clicking a link on the VLE
A noticeable delay was present on the feed when connected wirelessly, but this doesn’t matter as the film stays in sync and as nobody is watching the broadcast in the auditorium itself a delay of a second or two makes no difference. The most important piece of advise for others looking to try this is getting all the correct cables/convertors to link everything together. We had the support of Saville Audio, a company based in Guildford who helped us decide what we needed to achieve this and loaned us the mixer for the day. Thanks guys…
Ideally we would like to be able to achieve the video mixing all within software (hardware video mixers are somewhat beyond budget), so the development we look to next is software to achieve this. The technique could work beyond assembly use as well, staff could easily broadcast other content too. It is also worth mentioning that a simpler version of what we did could be achieved for nothing as Quicktime Broadcaster and server are free of charge if you own a Mac. Connect this up to a camera and you have a broadcast setup. Good stuff.