The recorders on this site are based on high-end multi-thousand dollar units that have been field-proven and installed at prestigious universities and other academic institutions.
The NCast PR-MINI units featured here, however, are video recorders only and do not currently capture the Powerpoints or VGA graphics as some of the more expensive lecture capture systems do. They record and stream hi-def video (1080-p30) and audio which can be used in conjunction with the lecturer’s notes to provide a student with a reasonable capture and record of what happened during the class.
The low cost of these units open up a new set of possibilities to use these devices as lecture-creation stations (similar to the One-Button Studio offering from U. Penn) or as recorders for systems like the “Learning Glass”.
All the PR-MINI models have identical operating software and features and the only real differences are provision of an external higher quality optical lens and storage size. The lineup:
- PR-MINI-V-8-32 — A wide-angle 2.8-8.0 mm focal length lens with 32 GB of storage.
- PR-MINI-V-8-64 — A wide-angle 2.8-8.0 mm focal length lens with 64 GB of storage.
- PR-MINI-V-8-128 — A wide-angle 2.8-8.0 mm focal length lens with 128 GB of storage.
- PR-MINI-V-50-32 — A tele-photo 15-50 focal length lens with 32 GB of storage.
- PR-MINI-V-50-64 — A tele-photo 15-50 mm focal length lens with 64 GB of storage.
- PR-MINI-V-50-128 — A tele-photo 15-50 mm focal length lens with 128 GB of storage.
The external lens choice (wide-angle or telephoto) needs to be selected to frame the picture properly (shot of the podium, white-board, chalkboard or whatever). The 2.8-8.0 mm focal length lens is ideal for smaller venues (approximately 34 to 82 degrees field of view). The tele-photo 15-50 mm lens (approximately 5.5 to 18 degrees field of view) is appropriate for larger auditoriums and shots requiring greater distance.
All models are able to stream and record and then automatically upload the archived content to various distribution points such as YouTube or Kaltura. The complete automation of this process (scheduling, recording, upload) differentiates these units from simple camera recording or use of other network-IP cams.