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Installation and Configuration
Vista with UAC: Prior to version 1.4.2, the setup MSI has the Windows Media Format SDK redistributable setup chained to the end. This method of setup is apparently not supported when running Vista with UAC enabled. To work around this problem, temporarily disable UAC before running setup, or use a later version.
Versions 1.4.2 and later assume that the system already has installed support for the Windows Media Format APIs. This appears to be the case with Windows XP SP3 and Windows Vista SP1. If using an older version of the OS, you have difficulty encoding, you may try manually installing the Windows Media Format support by running the included redistributable file wmfdist.exe in the application directory.
Note: You must have at least Windows Media Player version 10 on the transcoder system. The latest version of the application works with both WMP versions 10 and 11.
To install ArchiveTranscoder, simply download and run the msi. The Windows Media Format redistributable installation is chained to the end of the install.
The application communicates with the SQL Server hosting the Archive Service database, not with the Archive Service itself. By default, the application uses Windows "integrated" security. In order to connect successfully with this security model, you will need to be running under a Windows account which has access to the SQL Server system, and at least "select" permission on the Archive Service database tables. If you need to use SQL Server security you may do this by editing the connection string in ArchiveTranscoder.exe.config. The config file is found in the application directory.
After the initial launch, the first thing to do is to configure the application with the host name of your SQL Server system. Do this from the 'Config' menu.
Basic ArchiveTranscoder Concepts
An ArchiveTranscoder Job Segment is a simple abstraction to provide support for certain video editing scenarios. By definition a segment consists of a single CXP video source, one or more CXP audio sources, and optionally a presentation source, and a segment spans one continuous time period.
An Archive Transcoder Job contains one or more segments. Multiple segments in a job will be joined together one after another to make one continuous Windows Media output. Among other things, this provides support for removing an undesired period of time (such as a break) from the archive of an event, and for scenarios where different video sources are desired at different times during the archive.
An Archive Transcoder Output Target may be 'stream' or 'download'. One or both targets must be specified in a job. A Stream target is designed for a scenario where you will stream the archive to remote clients. In this scenairo a Windows Media Server may be used to distribute the audio and video, and a separate web server would be used to deliver slide images and presentation data. The major assumption for the stream target is that all clients have reasonably good network connectivity at all times during archive viewing. The download target is designed to be packaged in a zip archive for download, or placed on removable media, and used by off-line clients. The download target is entirely self-contained and requires no network services during archive viewing.
A Windows Media Profile defines the details of the audio and video compression. ArchiveTranscoder provides a few standard profiles by default. Custom profiles may be created with the Windows Media Profile Editor. The resulting PRX files should be placed in the Archive Transcoder application directory, and they will be parsed at launch time, and provided for selection in the UI. The Windows Media Profile Editor is available from the Windows Media site.
The No Recompression selection in the Windows Media Profile combo-box will use the native compression found in the CXP archive. Processing using no recompression will be much faster than other profiles using recompression, however there are certain limitations. For example, 'no recompression' will not work in the case where there are media type changes from one segment to the next, and where slide images are to be used in place of video.
Creating a Basic Archive
The following are the steps to post-process an archive:
Which CXP Capabilities Are Supported?
The following CXP stream sources and capabilities can be handled by Archive Transcoder:
Audio Mixing Limitations
All CXP audio sources are believed to work with the ArchiveTranscoder mixer, however some audio streams sourced from Windows Media Playback Capability may not mix with CXP streams. In these cases a workaround may be to use multiple Archive Transcoder segments and to remove offending audio streams from the segments where they are not essential to the archive. If multiple segments are used and they have differing audio (or video) media types, you will most likely need to use a target with recompression.
Transcoding Screen Streaming Video
The CXP Screen Streaming capability can produce high resolution, low frame rate video consisting of screen snapshots taken from the local system. Though the low frame rate causes the motion to be jumpy, the high resolution and the codec, which is optimized for screen capture, will allow medium and even small fonts to be legible to remote viewers. When transcoding screen streaming video, for best results you should retain the original video format and codec. To do this, select the 'norecompression' option in the Windows Media Profile combo-box. The use of 'norecompression' implies that segments using screen streaming cannot be combined in a single job with segments using other video formats and codecs. If it is an absolute priority to combine the screen streaming portion with other video segments, then you will have no option but to choose a Windows Media profile to encode the job, but in this case the legibility of the screen streaming segment will suffer.
Using Presentation Slide Images and Ink to Produce a Video Stream
ArchiveTranscoder segments can use a presentation source to produce the video stream. This option is targeted for users of mobile devices such as the SmartPhone. To use this option, configure the segment with a presentation source, then tick the checkbox labeled 'Create Video from Presentation' in the segment editor dialog. Note that using this option together with the 'norecompression' option is not supported.
The University of Washington has archived a number of courses which have been post-processed with ArchiveTranscoder. Some examples include:
To view the lectures with slides and TabletPC ink annotations, first install CXP Webviewer.
The most recent source is available from the SVN repository: https://assab.cs.washington.edu/cct/ArchiveTranscoder/trunk
Source is also available on Codeplex: http://www.codeplex.com/CXPArchiveTranscoder
You may stream and archive a live CXP/Classroom Presenter event using Windows Media Gateway.
Questions/comments welcome. Please email me at or use the 'e-mail page owner' link below.
Computer Science & Engineering
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-2350
(206) 543-1695 voice, (206) 543-2969 FAX
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