Configure Recording Devices for Personal Capture for Mac
What Does It Mean to "Configure Devices"?
There are two different parts to configuring devices for
Personal Capture (PCAP):
- Selecting which inputs to record (audio, display,
and/or video). This is done at the time you create
- Selecting which device will typically capture
each input and the output settings for each device.
This page is devoted to the second of these two, selecting and configuring
the devices and settings for each input.
Capture Specifications for information on input and output options
for PCAP recordings, and Supported
Devices for PCAP Mac for a list of suggested devices.
If your device does not appear in
the drop-down lists described below, exit Personal Capture,
re-attach the device, and restart Personal Capture. Devices not detected
by the operating system are not usable by Personal Capture.
Configuring audio and video settings
Configuring audio and video settings simply defines the
devices and settings you normally want to use. You can change these selections
any time you need to.
To configure audio/video settings
- From the Welcome Screen
or My Recordings screen, click Start Recording.
This opens the capture preview page.
- In the bottom panel of the capture preview
page, click Configure.
- The Audio/Video Settings page appears, containing
three sections, one for each input that can be captured. Review and
configure the selections as described in the next steps.
- In the Audio
section of the dialog box, use the Device
drop-down list to select the device you typically want to use to capture
audio input. All captures must have
- In the Video
(Left) section of the dialog box, use the Device drop-down list to select
the device where your Display input (PowerPoint or other computer-screen-based
presentation) will appear and from which will be captured. If you
typically plan to capture dual-video, select your Secondary Video
the following points about your Video (Left) selections:
- The preview for this selection appears
in the left panel of the preview pane.
- Video (Left) is used for Display capture
input selection. If you will normally capture Display input, you
must select a display device here (shown as Screen 1 above).
- Alternately, you can use this selection
for Secondary video if you are capturing A/V/V.
- IF YOU ARE USING A RETINA DISPLAY, select
Smaller Size. See Using
PCAP Mac on Retina Display Models for additional information.
- Under Video Quality, select the appropriate
choice as follows:
Size (Lower Framerate):
This is the default and is probably fine for your needs. It creates
the best capture but may require a large amount of storage and
processing time, particularly if you are capturing two video inputs.
Size (Higher Framerate):
Select this option if you are concerned about file size or processing
time. This may be more appropriate for one or both video inputs,
if high-resolution detail is not required for the capture.
- In the Video
(Right) section of the dialog box, use the Device drop-down list to select
the device to use for your primary Video input. This selection must
identify a video input device.
- Under Video
Quality, select the appropriate choice as described in the
- When finished, click Save.
Understand that you have simply identified the devices that will provide
the input for each type. You do not have to capture video or display all
the time (only audio is required for captures). You can select which inputs
are captured when you create
Addressing Audio Issues
In certain circumstances, audio recorded on a Macintosh
sounds unusually loud when the recording is played back within
Personal Capture but is too low when
students play the Echo.
This occurs because playback within Personal Capture artificially
raises the audio volume. When you hear this loud volume during playback,
you may attempt to compensate by adjusting the Sound system preferences.
If you encounter this and you are concerned about it, create
and publish a short test capture, then review it through the Echo360 Classroom.
Be sure to remove the test recording from the class it is published to,
to be sure students cannot view it accidentally. It will remain in your
library until you delete it.
If you do need to adjust the input volume:
- Open the Sound settings in Mac System Preferences
(System Preferences > Sound).
- Click the Input
tab to activate it.
The Sound Input tab appears, including the Input volume slider and
Input level indicator, identified in the below figure.
- If you are using audio input other than the
built-in microphone, be sure to select that device from the list.
- Speak for several seconds at the normal volume
you use for captures. Notice the Input level indicator changing. It
should register to at least 2/3 to 3/4 of the maximum volume level.
If, however, you find it "maxing
out" frequently, you may need to adjust the input level lower,
to avoid distortion that can happen during peaking.
- If necessary, adjust the Input volume slider
up or down as appropriate.
- Run a test capture and publish the recording.
Review the recording in the classroom to appraise volume level.
- Repeat the steps above if necessary.
Using Multiple or HD Cameras
Echo360 gives you the ability to capture multiple and High
Definition (HD) video inputs. However, using multiple cameras can introduce
significant computational and storage loads on personal computers
and laptops. Even with the increased power of newer hardware, dual
and HD camera captures can strain some machines.
When you use multiple and/or HD video cameras, please consider
- Insufficient processing power. The
sheer amount of data captured by newer video cameras, especially if
the cameras are capturing at high definition, can strain the processing
power and internal bandwidth (data transfer) of your computer.
- Mis-sychronization. Differences
in camera quality, initialization/start-up time, and configuration
can cause the multiple and/or HD videos to be slightly mis-sychronized.
Follow the below tips to minimize potential issues.
Perform Some Test Captures.
This is a good idea for any camera or any change in input devices
but especially important with newer, high definition cameras, which can
strain the processing power of your computer. Make sure the capture proceeds
well, editing and publishing are successful, and the output as viewed
in the classroom is what you expect.
Adjust Video Quality to
alleviate synchronization issues. On Macintosh systems, we
have found that adjusting the Video Quality settings to a Smaller
Size for both video channels (as shown below) alleviates
synchronization issues in an A/V/V capture. On the Macintosh, the Smaller
Size resolution is equivalent to TV/VCR quality and requires
less processing power from your computer.
When recording A/D/V captures, if you are having synchronization
issues, mix Actual Size and Smaller Size,
choosing Actual Size (Lower Framerate) for the Video
(Left)/Display input, and Smaller Size (Higher Framerate) for
the Video (Right)/Camera input. This mixed configuration (shown below)
provides high-quality display while optimizing the size of the video capture.