An Inexpensive System for Recording and Placing Television Programming Online (live-blogging from IALLT 2007)

(Subtitled: who will remember to put the tape in the VCR when they’re all watching Youtube?)
Harold H. Hendricks, BYU

There are lots of ways to get capure television and put it online. But there are a bunch of problems. For example: what about daily broadcasts? You don’t want to watch them a week late. So it needs to be digitized and made available quickly. Need an automatic way of scheduling, a dedicated system to record, transcode, and distribute with a simple interface that everyone can use.

They had to buy a box – a linux box with a dual input tv tuner (Hauppage, so they could record two video streams at one). Use MythTV (OSS – look for a live CD), and XMLTV, as well as Zap2It (a zipcode searchable TV listing guide – it’s being cancelled as of 1 Sept).

They created a tool called HumTV, with delivery through HLRC Online (a password-protected site that already has other a/v materials), through automatic transfer via the HLRC iPod “filling station,” or through a web page that allows fullscreen playback. It’s a private server, with campus-only access. Created a webform with simple, easy to use options concerning scheduling and format conversion. It’s not fuly automated, though, because they want to be able to keep track of what’s going on and make sure it’s not illegal.

Transcoding using ffmpeg (it’s part of the MythTV install). What about copyright issues? Well, standard fair use regulations apply, and libraries are actually -encouraged- to archive news broadcasts for an unlimited period of time.

Other suggestions: OnlineDVR, OnlineRecorder

Ryan has been proudly maintaining and contributing to Language Lab Unleashed since 2005, and is the current President of SWALLT. Since the summer of 2013 he's been causing trouble with his all-star colleagues in the UMW DTLT; when not wrangling websites Ryan can be found doing strange things with heavy objects.

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