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Recording and Converting multipoint conferences

Instruction for converting DFN-MCU video recordings into mp4 format



Preliminary remarks

The MCU of the service DFN Video Conference also offers a recording function for conferences. For this purpose, the recording is started in the upper right corner [Recorder] of the control surface. As a result, the wording 'This conference is being recorded.' will display within the conference. During the whole recording every participant can see a red point on its video conference window.

Please read carefully the terms of use before starting the recording.

The appearance of the video and the content stream is always influenced by the settings of the conference control surface and not by the conversion. This concerns especially the black frame which can be suppressed by the 'recording in fullscreen' (Click to open Screenshot) - mode. (But as a result, only the speaker can then be shown in the video stream.) Subsequent modifications of these MCU ordered contents are not possible after converting/transcoding.


Video recording download from the conference control surface

I)

After recording the conference the files can be found by clicking on 'Recordings' (at the top left between 'Controler' and 'Settings').

A1

II)

Please note that these files are not immediately available and that the supply may take some time. ('Converting' indicates that the MCU is still converting the file.)

A2

III)

In order to achieve the highest possible image quality, the file with the filetype .codian should be downloaded, as the MPEG-1-version is offering only a poor image quality.

A3

IV)

The file should be stored in a known location.

A4

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Use of the Codian Converter for layout designing and transcoding into .mpg for further processing

Download/Installation of the Codian Converter

I)

For further processing it is necessary to use the Codian Converter. This one is located in the second submenu under the section 'Converter Tools' (to the right of 'Recordings').

After clicking the corresponding link the packed file can be downloaded.

B1

B1b

II)

The packed file has to be unpacked now. In order to do this, it is necessary to have an (un)packing program (depending on the operating system) - 7Zip or comparable free software is sufficient.

B2

III)

After this proceeding the setup-file can be executed and the Codian Converter can be installed by following the predefined setup steps.

B3

Layout design and Transcoding

I)

After installing, the Codian Converter is accessible through links (varies depending on operating system) and can be started.

C1

II)

In order to integrate the downloaded Codian file, it is selected through the item 'File' → 'Add recording...'. Then the file is selected and integrated in the converter.

Note: If there are more recordings that have to be converted, they can also be integrated successively. (Although it must be borne in mind, that the settings are valid for all of these files then. If individual layouts are desired for each conference recording, each recording should be converted seperately.)

C2

III)

The desired settings can now be selected by following the 'Conversions' tab → 'Settings'.

The 'conversion settings' are devided in 3 sections.

General – Layout – Advanced

Section 'General':

All the general settings concerning the quality and the resolution are selected there.

First of all, the output location of the converted file should be set which can be done by clicking the button 'Browse' to the right of 'Directory'.

The format should be MPEG-1 (.mpg), as this one is much easier to convert into MP4 (.mp4) in a later stage.

The audio should be set as 'High (128bit)' and the maximal quality of the 'Video (kbps)' shouldn't go beyond the 4000, as it is the upper border of the recording of the DFN-MCU.

The essential settings of the transcoding quality are then completed. All further settings do only influence the layout and the arrangement of the streams (video and content stream).

C3

Voreinstellungen

C3b

optimierte Einstellungen

In the following the various layout designs and necessary settings are introduced.

Depending on the desired design, one of the following layouts can be chosen (see following layout overview).

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Layout overview

Only video stream (no content stream present or necessary)

nur Video


I)

If it is necessary to transcode the video stream only, the point 'Use a standard output size' can be selected in the 'General' tab, under the section 'Size' and concerning the dropdown menu the item '(1280x720)' can be chosen. (In doing so the maximum resolution of the target file is reached).

F1

II)

Under the 'Layout' tab the item 'Use a standard layout setting' is selected and adopted in the dropdown menu as 'Content stream disabled'.

F2

III)

After clicking 'OK' the conversion can be started using the button KButton. The file can be created in the set output position (see 'Layout design and Transcoding" Point III) after converting.

F4


One file for each, video stream and content stream

Video- und Contentstream getrennt


I)

If it is necessary to transcode the video stream and the content stream separately, it can be selected as in a) the item 'Use a standard output size' that can be found in the 'General' tab under the section 'Size' and in the dropdown menu the item 'HD (1280x720)'. (In doing so the maximum resolution for the destination files is achieved.)

F1

II)

On the 'Layout' tab the item 'Output content stream to separate video file' has to be selected.

 

F3

III)

After clicking the 'OK' button, the conversion can be started using the button KButton. The file can be created in the set output position (see 'Layout design and Transcoding" Point III) after converting. The Content file is provided with the suffix '_content'.

F5


Video and content stream in one file

With this configuration the video and content stream is going to be connected in one file. The choice of the stream configuration could be difficult.

Attention:

There are different layouts which define the order of the final file of both streams. These can be set in 'Layouts'. In doing so, the item 'Use a standard layout setting' is selected and in the layout dropdown menu the desired layout (like 'Contentstream on right') is chosen. However, these settings usually lead to a lower main quality or relatively big 'black bars' around the picture (and as a consequence a loss of quality).

For this reason 'optimised' arrangements are introduced, where a higher qualitiy is attainable.

The alternative to the here portrayed manual setting is attached in form of two configuration files where the respective settings are calculated.

Video and content stream next to each other

Video- und Contentstrean nebeneinander


I)

After selecting 'Size' in the 'General' tab, the item "Specify a custom size" has to be chosen and the figure 1152 has to be entered under the point 'Width' as well as the figure 384 under the point 'Height'.

G1

II)

Afterwards, the item 'Specify the custom layout' has to be selected in the 'Layout' tab. Furthermore, the item 'Enable' has to be chosen in Stream 1 (audio and video is then converted).

The 'Position' can stay on 0,0 but in the section 'Size' the 'Width' should be changed to 640 and the 'Height' to 360, as these values delivered the best results.

In order to make further modifications, the scroll bar has to be scrolled downright.

The subsection "Stream 2" should be set on "Disable".

The subsection "Content stream" should be set on "Enable". Furthermore, there should be entered the figures 640 in 'Left' and 0 in 'Top' in the section 'Position'. In the section 'Size' the figures 512 for the 'Width' and 384 for the 'Height' have to be entered. (See screenshot 'Content stream').

The subsections "Loudest stream" and "Quitest stream" should be both deactivated ('Disable'). (See screenshots 'Loudest stream' and 'Quietest stream').

G2

"Stream 1"

G2b

"Stream 2"

G2c

"Content stream"

G2d

"Loudest stream"

G2e

"Quietest stream"

III)

After clicking "OK" the conversion can be started using the button KButton.

G3
Video and content stream one upon the other

Video- und Contentstrean übereinander


I)

After selecting 'Size' in the 'General' tab, the item "Specify a custom size" has to be chosen and under the point 'Width' the figure 640 should be entered as well as the figure 840 under the point 'Height'.

H1

II)

Afterwards in the 'Layout' tab has to be selected the item 'Specify the custom layout'. Furthermore, the item 'Enable' has to be chosen in Stream 1 (audio and video is then converted).

The 'Position' can stay on 0,0 but in the section 'Size' the 'Width' should be changed to 640 and the 'Height' to 360, as these values delivered the best results.

In order to make further modifications, the scroll bar has to be scrolled downright.

The subsection "Stream 2" should be set on "Disable".

The subsection "Content stream" should be set on "Enable". Furthermore, there should be entered the figures 0 in 'Left' and 360 in 'Top' in the section 'Position'. In the section 'Size' the figures 640 for the 'Width' and 480 for the 'Height' have to be entered. (See screenshot 'Content stream').

The subsections "Loudest stream" and "Quitest stream" should be both deactivated ('Disable'). (See screenshots 'Loudest stream' and 'Quietest stream').

G2

"Stream 1"

G2b

"Stream 2"

G2f

"Content stream"

G2d

"Loudest stream"

G2e

"Quietest stream"

III)

After clicking "OK" the conversion can be started using the button KButton.

G3

 

Picture-in-picture

Bild im Bild


I)

In order to obtain a 'Picture-in-picture' layout, the item 'Use a standard output size' has to be selected in the 'General' tab as well as 'HD (1280x720)' in the dropdown menu. (Thereby the maximum resolution for the target file is achieved.)

F1

II)

Afterwards, the point 'Use a standard layout setting' has to be selected in the 'Layout' tab. Furthermore, the item 'Picture-in-picture' has to be chosen in the dropdown menu.

I1

III)

After clicking 'OK' the conversion can be started using the button KButton.

G3
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Use of the VLC media player for the conversion into .mp4

Since the mpg format is less common, an option is going to be presented in order to convert the mpg format into the more frequently used mp4 format.

This is achieved by applying the freely available VLC media player in the English version.

I)

After downloading and installing the VLC player this one will open.

J1

II)

Select 'Convert/Save' in the section 'Media'.

J2

III)

By clicking the button 'Add' the now converted mpg file is integrated. (It is also possible to paste the file by drag and drop it into the field.)

J3

IV)

Afterwards the item 'Convert/Save' has to be clicked.

J4

V)

In the following the item 'Convert' and the profile of the conversion has to be selected in the 'Preferences' tab .

Attention:

During the test, the given conversion profile for the mp4 format caused audio errors. Therefore a new profile with slightly modified values should be used. If this is already the case, it can be continued with Point XI.

J5

VI)

In order to create a conversion profile the button on the far right, next to the profile dropdown menu has to be clicked (see icon at the right or screenshot below).

J6

J7

VII)

When the new window is opening, the profile name should be entered into the field 'File name' (like CodianMCU).

Furthermore, MP4/MOV has to be selected in the 'Encapsulation' tab.

J8

VIII)

In the 'Video codec' tab should be selected 'H.264' as Codec, if not already done.

The bitrate is set on 4000 (~maximum sample rate of the DFN - MCU). The settings should look like the screenshots (see at the right), by the way.

J9

IX)

In the 'Audio codec' tab the item MP3 has to be selected as Codec and the bitrate should be set on 130. The channels have to be set on 2 and the sampling rate can be increased up to 44100 Hz. All the settings has to look like those on the screenshots, too.

The 'Subtitle' tab does not matter and should remain deactivated. In case of activated Subtitles, this function can be deactivated.

J10

X)

In order to save the profile, the 'Save' button in the lower right part of the window has to be clicked. Afterwards the profile can be used.

J11

XI)

The profile can be selected in the dropdown menu now (The profile 'Test' has been selected in the screenshot).

J12

XII)

After selecting the profile, the output location of the file has to be chosen in the field 'Destination'. This can be done by clicking the button 'Browse...' and by selecting the storage location as well as the file name for the file to be created (It should then be ensured that the item 'Container * .mp4' is selected in the section 'File type'). An alternative would be to paste in a link with the reference of the file to be created (like 'C:/Conv.mp4'). By clicking the 'Save' button the destination is automatically adopted.

J13

J14

XIII)

After clicking 'Start' the conversion process starts.

Attention:

The conversion may take some time (depending on the length of the source file). The progress bar of the VLC represents a rough indicator of the progress.

By clicking the 'Start' button the file is immediately created. However, the file is entirely 'filled' only after completing the transcoding which means that the file is only then complete, when the VLC has finished the conversion (which may take some time, depending on the hardware).

J15

XIV)

After converting, the file has been created in the selected destination.

J16

Advices:

This operation has been realised in the VCC on different computers with no performance problems during the transcoding, nevertheless it may take more time on weaker computers.

It is important to note that the operations have been realised with version 2.1.1 of the VLC player and that the latest versions may show differences.

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Annex:

It is possible to download two preformatted layout files in order to create a file with video and content stream which can then be integrated into the Codian Converter via the section 'Conversions' -> 'Open template...'. It should be taken into account that when using these preformatted layout settings the output location should be adapted in order to find the output file again.

Alternatively, the settings can be entered also manually (like described in corresponding chapter).

For downloading it is necessary to click on the corresponding link and to set the storage location (e.g. in Firefox has to be selected 'Save file'):

Layout 1 - Configuration file in order to create a layout according to the sample 'Video and content stream next to each other'

(manual setting in corresponding chapter)

 

Layout 2 - Configuration file in order to create a layout according to the sample 'Video and content stream one upon the other'

(manual setting in corresponding chapter)

 

Further Layouts:

By courtesy of Dr. Jörn Stock (German Heart Institute Berlin Services GmbH) [slightly modified by the VCC (Video bitrate)]

Layout 3 - Configuration file with speaker in the CIF format and content in the XGA format next to each other [Screenshot]

Layout 4 - Configuration file with half the resolution of Layout 3 (speaker and content next to each other; total resolution 688x384) [Screenshot]

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