Essential Info

This page provides important advice to help you produce the best quality podcasts for your students.

 

Dual delivery teaching and Podcasting

A large number of central teaching rooms have been equipped with additional webcams and microphones to allow staff to use Zoom/Teams during their sessions.

This setup is not integrated with the Podcasting system, which will continue to work as it did before – capturing what is displayed on the correct projector screen and recording audio from either the desk, wireless or USB microphones in the room (as detailed in the relevant sections on this page).

For staff who are planning on using the dual delivery setup and having their lectures recorded by the Podcasting system, we advise that you ensure you have used the wireless microphone (if available) and ensure you display whatever you want displayed within the podcast on the relevant projector screen.

Note that it is also possible to record sessions in Teams/Zoom – so you may wish to do this in addition to having the podcast recording, as it may prove useful as a backup.

For more information, see the dual delivery teaching website.

What is recorded?

By default the Podcasting Service only schedules lectures from the timetable which have staff members associated with them. Any other event type is not automatically recorded and needs to be manually scheduled (see the Scheduler page for more info).

In terms of video signal, the system records the output of the projector by default, which might include Powerpoint presentations, document cameras, PCs, tablets, mobiles and other media (depending upon what is sent to the projector).

Some larger lecture theatres are also equipped with video cameras which can record in addition to, or instead of, the projector output. The use of cameras is voluntary and must be opted-in by teaching staff on their Recording Preferences web page. See the camera page for more details.

For general copyright information, see copyright guidance on the Library website

Microphones

In most lecture theatres there are wireless (also known as lapel or radio) microphones which are always recommended to be used in order to provide the best quality audio for the podcasts, if used correctly. Before the lecture begins you should ensure that the microphone is not muted or switched off –  there is usually a mute button/switch located on the control panel on the desk and on the wireless microphone unit itself.

Some of the rooms in the new Engineering Buildings have microphones suspended from the ceiling; these have been chosen to ensure that audio coming from all angles can be recorded.

In smaller theatres we have provided additional microphones on the lectern which connect directly to the podcast system. In the recently refurbished lecture theatres, there is a switch on the LCD control panel to turn the microphone on – please ensure that it is on before you begin your class.

The pictures below show the different types of microphones and an example of mute switch on a control panel.

Projector Screens

Some teaching spaces are equipped with more than one projector. In these locations, the Podcast system will record whatever is displayed on the right-hand projector screen (as you face towards them from the students point of view) when there are two screens available, and in rooms where there are three projector screens, it is the central screen which will be recorded, as highlighted by the green boxes in the images below. Please note that regardless of disabling a projector any content displayed on the theatre monitor may still be recorded.

Schuster Building Theatres – due to the older equipment in these theatres, the Podcast system will record whichever input is last selected. This means that you need to ensure that, if you are displaying two different inputs on the projector screens (for example the visualiser on the left screen, and the PC on the right screen) – then you must ensure you select to display the PC on the right screen after you have displayed the visualiser, otherwise the visualiser will be recorded on the Podcast instead (even though it is showing on the left screen).

 

Visualisers

If you wish to record output from the visualiser you will need to ensure that you switch between the relevant inputs – i.e. what is being shown on the screen that is being recorded, is what the system will capture – as only one input signal is recorded.

Using the Pause QR code to pause/resume recordings

Pause QR Code - displayed to pause live recordings

The podcasting system can detect a specific QR code which, if correctly displayed, allows the recording to be paused. Click on the image to the right to download the QR code (if the image displays in the browser rather than downloads, right-click on it and choose “save as”).

We recommend you display the Pause QR code at the beginning and end of your lectures, and during any breaks, in order to ensure that only teaching content is recorded. Using the QR code in this way can also prevent the need to further edit the podcasts.

In non-video camera locations – when the QR code is used, the system automatically pauses the recording for as long as the QR code is displayed and resumes once it is no longer shown. Note that using the QR code to pause recordings will also remove content for any DASS students on the course and should only be used when appropriate, for example when there is a break during a lecture, or before the lecture begins.

In video camera locations – only if the video camera is used – rather than pausing the actual recording in real-time, when the QR code is displayed its timings are stored in an edit file, which is then used to remove those sections when the recording is being processed. The original, unedited recording is stored by the system so if it is recalled for editing – the full, unedited version will be available to edit.

Further details on the Pause QR code can be found on the Pause QR Code FAQ page.

Apple devices and screen recording problems

If you are using an Apple device to connect to the projector in the room via HDMI, the video signal will is likely not to record due to High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) being enabled. HDCP is specifically designed to prevent the recording of screen content, so although the projector in the room will display as expected, the resultant podcast will have only either a green screen, or distorted static (as shown in the images below).

Using VGA where possible

Connecting your Apple device via VGA (with an adaptor, and in rooms where VGA is still available) will prevent HDCP from being enabled, and ensure the video can be recorded in the podcast.

If there is no VGA connection in the room, there may be a wireless option called Solstice (sometimes shown as “wireless display”) which can be used to display your Mac wirelessly. Details for this are found in the section below.

No Solstice available?

If there is no VGA connection and no Solstice/wireless display option available, it is advised that you use the teaching PC in the room to show your content to ensure it is recorded by the Podcasting system.

Which adaptor should you use?

Some adaptors have been found to overcome the HDCP issue, but we cannot guarantee which adaptors will work, or in which rooms as there is a wide configuration of A/V systems across campus.

Solstice Pods

In some locations technology called Solstice has been installed and this allows you to connect and project your device wirelessly. If a location has a solstice pod installed, it is recommended that macbooks are connected using this to prevent HDCP issues.

Details of the system can be found on the following site: http://www.solstice.manchester.ac.uk/ which contains a list of locations where Solstice is available, and guides to using it.

External/guest speakers

If a guest/external speaker will be delivering lectures as part of a taught course unit – you need to ensure that they are provided, and complete, a consent form – which you should then store for your records.

Click here to download the consent form.