University of Bath: Audio Visual Unit

News and developments in AV

Watching Panopto

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📥  Design Build Advise, Equipment, Systems

We've had a few reports recently that some of our academic colleagues have forgotten to wear their microphones during lecture capture sessions.
As a consequence, some recordings can be a little quiet.

In this instance you can select a little known feature that is available on some PC's running Windows, called Loudness Equalisation, to improve the volume of recordings when they are played back.

To enable this, go to Control Panel and Select the Sound option - select the Playback tab and double click the default device (likely to be Speakers or Headphones)

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In the following window, select the "Enhancements" tab and tick the box marked "Loudness Equalization" - note not all PC's may have this option.

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Now when you playback quiet recordings they will playback much louder than before.

To disable this feature untick the "Loudness Equalization" box.


Room Update - 2E3.1


📥  Design Build Advise, Spaces

We've been looking at a problem in 2E3.1 last night, and we've discovered that there is an issue with interference on the signal pathway to the projector.

This seems to be being caused by the dimmer contols on some of the lights, which we've currently disabled.

The AV kit is currently working correctly in the room.

We are currently working with Estates to resolve the issue.



Re:View Panopto Recorder

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📥  Lecture Capture, Systems

Today Panopto have told us that there is a potential problem with anyone using the newest version of the Desktop Recorder for Panopto and the newest version of Mac OS (El Capitan).

They have highlighted four problems, three of which are related:

We wanted to let you know about a few Panopto issues with the latest releases of OSX, Keynote and PowerPoint.

Problem #1: On OSX 10.11 (El Capitan), some users may experience a false positive error message of “Problem with video capture. No video is being recorded. Check your camera.”

Problem #2: On all versions of OSX, some PowerPoint 2016 users may receive an “Additional permissions are required to access the following file” prompt. This prompts the user to change the file level permissions to allow access to the .pptx file.

Problem #3: On all versions of OSX, all Mac recordings that capture Keynote 6.6 files will fail to upload.

They have suggested how users can deal with these problems:

Workaround/Resolution for problems #1, #2, and #3: For existing Mac Recorder installations, upgrade to the latest version of the Mac Recorder. If you want to force an upgrade of your Mac clients, go to System - Settings - Client Versions & Identification - Mac Recorder Whitelist - remove 4.9.0 and click save. Then go to Mac Recorder Version and set the value to 4.9.1.

New Mac Recorder installations of version 4.9.0 will contain the above fixes.
With these fixes, OSX 10.11 (El Capitan) is now fully supported. 
For problem #3, a server side update is required for slide content to display slide text correctly. This server update will be available in our next major version update in early January).

The fourth problem is this:

Problem #4: PowerPoint 2016 15.14 and the trial versions are not compatible with the Panopto Mac Recorder.

The remedy is:

Workaround/Resolution: Users must use a non-trial version of PowerPoint 2016. If users have version 15.14, they must upgrade to 15.15 (or higher) which can be downloaded here.

Obviously if anyone does have any problems then please contact us on and we will endeavour to assist!


Looking Back - Intel

📥  History, Interesting, Technology

Yesterday saw the 44th anniversary (15 Nov 1971) of the Intel 4004 microprocessor.

This marked the first time a user-programmable microprocessor was available on the general market.
These were snapped up, both by Universities to use in research and teaching; and by manufacturers in equipment. They were used in all sorts of products - from calculators, to computers; to gaming machines:

Interestingly, you could get the processor to interface to a centralised computer system to display the output from the processor.

Luckily, we haven't got to do anything like as complicated these days to be able to programme a microcontroller, or to get a displayed output.
Indeed, most mobile 'phones are far more powerful than these microprocessors. Progress has been startling in 44 years!

To find out more:
Story of Intel 4004



Microphones in teaching rooms

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📥  Equipment, Spaces, Systems

We provide microphones in every teaching room on campus to be able to capture at least the PC Screen and Voice.
The microphones in the small rooms are on the lectern top - and look like this:

In most of the larger rooms, we provide microphones that can be worn (or they need to be to capture speech!).


Over the last few weeks, we've had a few recordings fail on Re:View due to microphones not being worn.

Can we please remind everyone that wants to capture their content to wear a microphone in the room, if there is one there to wear.

More information is here:

If the microphone is a RevoLabs (left picture above):

If the microphone is a Sennheiser (right picture above):


This should ensure your students never miss a word!




UNESCO - World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

📥  History

October 27 marks UNESCO's World Day for Audiovisual Heritage.

"Archives at Risk: Protecting the World's Identities" is the slogan of this year's celebration.

The world’s audiovisual heritage of sound recordings and moving images are extremely vulnerable as a result of factors ranging from neglect, natural decay to technological obsolescence, as well as deliberate destruction. Consequently, UNESCO has made it part of its mission to raise public consciousness of the importance of preservation of these recordings through the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage.

All of the world's audiovisual heritage is endangered. Therefore the key action for UNESCO is to honour preservation professionals that help to safeguard this heritage for future generations despite the many technical, political, social, financial and other factors that threaten its survival.

UNESCO has encouraged everyone to showcase some of their precious collections, so that present and future generations can enjoy the treasures in the achives.

To join in with this process, we've got a version of the oldest film made at the University - approximately 50 years ago. It was originally made on 16mm film, which we've had digitised.

We hope you enjoy it!


Charter Ceremony

Click here: Charter Film


If you would like to know more about the UNESCO project the link is here:

The Proclamation is here:


New Product - Digital Paper from Sony

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📥  Equipment, Interesting, Systems

This morning we had a demonstration from Sony for a new product: Digital Paper.

Digital Paper is a platform to manage documents. The device is not meant for reading books on - like a Kindle. It is a purpose built paper replacement for PDF reading - Onto which you can annotate, and note-take. Sony appears not to be going after the book reading market, but rather legal documents, scripts, contracts and text books or articles for education. It is fairly unique in the tech universe. It's a device that comes in a tablet form factor, but it's decidedly unlike any tablet on the market.

It is a very useful device that can read solely PDFs, and copes with you being able to annotate them, or with writing on it...very well. We saw that this device can display share (through a cable). Battery life is expected to be in excess of 2 weeks of frequent daily use.

It doesn't run games. It doesn't run apps. It can't connect to an online bookstore or even read e-books in common formats like epub.  It's just for reading documents — specifically PDFs — and taking notes.

This display output means that we could capture the device live for RE:view, offering some compatibility for capturing writing.

There is a roadmap of developments, and they have asked if we would like to be in the pilot test group - which we will gladly do. There are issues that need to be addressed..... It is not the fastest of devices (like a Kindle), and there would need to be some engineering work  to make it work with the present classroom infrastructure....

However....our overall conclusion is that Sony is on to something with this product.

If anyone would like to be part of the trial - please contact Rob in AV (

More information about the product is here:



BoB (Box of Broadcasts) for Students

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📥  Service, Systems

Featured Service: Box of Broadcasts (BoB)

What is BoB?


BoB is an off-air recording service with a massive archive of over 1 million television programmes, radio programmes, and films that have been aired on 60+ UK terrestrial channels since 2007.

You can schedule future recordings, or identify programmes that have been aired in the last 30 days that they would like to record. Essentially, BoB is a very big recorder that allows you to have a recording of something - even if you missed it...... You have 30 days to catch it before it will not be available.

Unlike some individual TV streaming services, BoB will keep these recording indefinitely and you can search across all channels at once. You can also fast-forward past adverts and many programmes have subtitles and searchable transcripts. The material will be available for you for as long as you're at the University.

The user-friendly system allows you to record and catch-up on missed programmes on and off-campus, schedule recordings in advance, edit programmes into clips, create playlists, embed clips into Moodle, share what you are watching with others, search a growing archive of material, plus more..... Plus you can even link it to social media....

Key features and functions:

Watch programmes from the archive
Record programmes
Create clips to use in lectures and assignments
Create & share playlists
One-click citations
Embed videos into presentations
Over 10 foreign language channels, including French, German and Italian
30 day recording buffer to record missed programmes
Apple iOS compatibility – watch BoB on handheld devices
Searchable programme transcripts
Links to social media to share what you’re watching online

BoB (Box of Broadcasts) Upgraded

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📥  Service, Systems

Over the last week BoB has been upgraded. BoB is a large video and radio recorder that you can use - in a similar way to iPlayer - except the recordings never expire!

Last week's post showed how we can use BoB to source materials from the TV and Radio for use in teaching.

New Features to be aware of are:

1. A faster, more responsive website. A lot of work has been done behind the scenes to ensure  iOS device users have a much improved interface. The desktop experience is better too.

2. Run Workflow. A new feature available with administrator approval that allows users to create an iOS friendly version of programmes that previously would not play on mobile devices.

3.  Customise MyBoB. Users can arrange Programmes, Clips and Playlist areas in their preferred order

4.  Old “My programmes”. If you used BoB National before January 2014, you will now have a playlist called Old My Programmes. This contains the historical content of my MyBoB from the previous incarnation of BoB National. Now, the My Programmes area will only contain programmes that you have recorded since the move to Imagen Web 3.2 in January 2014. Please inform your users of the change.

5. Share your playlists: MyBoB includes multiple options to share your playlist.

6. Related records feature. Each programme record will contain information and links to other episodes available in the archive

It's possible to use BoB to embed clips into moodle:

From the programme's page - select - "Embed as Code"-  This will give you the code you should use for embedding the player in a VLE or webpage. It is compatible with both Blackboard and Moodle. You can also tweet the universal url using the "tweet" button which is also located beneath the player.

The full channel list of the channels that can be recorded are here:

For further information on the BoB service, please click the link below: