1) I spoke with the AV person for CommuniCon, Alfredo, who is absolutely delightful. He's happy to set up a day early FOR FREE to allow me to test everything out. He also kinda laughed at my budget of $400 (not a lot; he wasn't rude about it), but then again, I'm a volunteer and it's out of my pocket. I think he wants me to rent some fancy camera off Craigslist, like maybe this one?
Alfredo thinks the lens on the camera I'm thinking of purchasing, the GoPro Hero 3+, is too narrow to capture the panel. Problem is, if I go with a fancy camera, then I have to learn how to operate it. And now we're talking about all kinds of things that could go wrong on TOP of the stuff I'm already worrying about. I kinda REALLY REALLY want this GoPro camera. It looks like a hella lot of fun. I don't really give a rat's ass that it's a dinky thing in the aisle at CommuniCon. Since when did I care about appearances? As long as it's BETTER than what I had before, and a little more stable, that's all we should worry about. If I rent a camera, then I have nothing to show for it at the end, also. I'm still weighing it out and would LOVE any input from any A/V savvy Community fans out there!
He will provide a line out from the sound. He prefers to give me XLR (mic cable, which is grounded). I'll have to make it whatever will work with the camera. He said this, too which is all Greek to me: Beachtech: dxa6 (Dxa box?) I guess I'm running that into the camera, then out back to my laptop?
2) Then I look into external encoders, but all of them are associated with various livestream platforms. (Livestream, Ustream, we all stream for... oh forget that I just said that please). There are interesting reviews on Amazon. The Livestream one in particular is BATTERY operated, with no indicator for when the battery is running low. So that's an automatic no.
I know, ideally, I should be running TWO laptops, have TWO cameras and external encoders running, so if anything goes wrong, I can switch right out. That's just not in my budget, though, so I'll have to make do with one $400 widget of some sort, either a rental or purchase, and use the free programs I have on the laptop for encoding. Hate to say it, but I just can't spend more than that.
I've heard that Livestream is a more robust platform than youtube, but like I said earlier, their encoder is a little bit unreliable (battery powered, dies suddenly). I'd like to try to use Youtube if I can, just because the platform is so widespread and I think the chat function will be very nice to have for the fans. My goal is to get all of the panels captured straight onto Youtube live, so we have a permanent record of them. If all goes well, we'll be able to chat right there, too. I hope my dang laptop holds up under all the pressure! I spilled water on it a few weeks ago and every day it kinda sneezes on me (flickers off and on for 5 seconds). I hope it happens in the middle of the night, and not during the livestream! :P I'll write up a FAQ for the livestream when I have everything worked out and tested, and this little "flickering lights" thing will be in there just so you know it's not a repeat of NBC's "Revoluntion."
Hello, I know I've been away too long. Too much work, and now I'm in Texas with my grandparents, and I'm in the weeds with livestreaming and jazz.