Technical implementation documents and device recommendations

In this section you will find information about suitable devices and tested setups for combining devices.

Consulting options: On a small scale, technical implementation can also be commissioned from the ZML (axel fischer does-not-exist.kit edu) for a fee.

The lecture halls mentioned on the other pages will be temporarily upgraded with additional self-recording and streaming capabilities. This does not affect the previous installation, which can be used independently as usual.

The installation picks up the Visualizer signal via HDMI grabber and converts it into USB data which is available on a computer like a webcam. Also, as far as possible, the audio signal of the microphones in the lecture hall is provided via USB audio card. In addition, a USB web camera with a more suitable field of view than the camera permanently installed in the laptop is provided for more freedom of movement. All signals are bundled via USB hub and connected to the own end device via a USB cable (Type-A 2.0). The hardware uses standard drivers that are usually part of the operating systems, so no special drivers need to be installed. Nevertheless, it may be necessary to confirm this with administrator rights during commissioning.

Use HDMI devices in Zoom & Co

HDMI signals up to 4k with max. 30 FPS, such as those from visualizers, can be used via Video Capture Card HDMI to USB in Zoom or MS-Teams. These devices are now available for 10-20 € from computer retailers or online from various suppliers. We have tested e.g. this capture card successfully.

In Zoom, the HDMI device is then shared in the screen sharing under "Expand" as "Content from 2nd camera" in large resolution. Not to be confused with "Start Video" to start your own video image.

Microphone for lecture halls without microphones suitable for Zoom

In some lecture halls, the audio signal of the microphones on site could unfortunately not be provided for use in Zoom at short notice. In these, unfortunately, you will need to bring your own microphone and connect it to your laptop for use in Zoom. Simple wireless microphones are suitable for this, so you won't be stuck with cables. If you have already used a Bluetooth headset (e.g. Apple AirPods, Samsung or Microsoft Earbuds) with Zoom, this can also be used in this situation. Please check if these are uncomfortable for you to use in the lecture theatre situation. Less obtrusive is a radio-only microphone. For example, we have had good experiences with the small Rhode Wireless Go (approx. 200€). Transmitter and receiver are small and light and have an operating time of several hours. The transmitter has a built-in clip, with which it can be easily attached to clothing. The receiver attaches to the laptop via a jack. If the laptop has a combined headphone and microphone jack with 4 rings on the plug, a Y-splitter adapter cable (<10€) is necessary that separates the headphone and microphone jack.

Video conferencing systems for seminar rooms

The requirement here is, on the one hand, to make all those present as audible as possible and visible in the video stream, and on the other hand, to make online participants on site audible to all. For such scenarios, a simple conference system via USB connection can be used. These systems integrate a room microphone, a loudspeaker and a camera via a USB connection. As a rule, in small and medium-sized seminar rooms, contributions can be heard from all seats if there is sufficient speech discipline. The systems have built-in echo cancellation and work directly with Zoom and MS teams.

For about 1000 € you can use the Logitech Group System or the Meeting Owl from Owl-Labs. The Logitech Group System has a motorized camera with zoom function. The camera can be controlled via the remote control and up to four camera settings can be easily saved for different seminar situations.

The Meeting Owl, on the other hand, has an omnidirectional camera and is placed in the middle of a meeting table. It automatically detects faces and combines these sections into one enlarged camera image. I.e. for this an appropriate seating arrangement is necessary.