[Linux-aus] Request for creation of "Video Recording and Streaming" subcommittee

Euan de Kock euan at dekock.net
Tue Mar 26 02:21:55 EST 2013

I've been watching the discussion around video and streaming for a while 
now... I know the conversation has strayed beyond the original topic - 
that of setting up a subcommittee to manage all of this - but if we are 
questioning the whole value proposition of video recording and streaming 
it does impact on the subcommittees viability, so here's my tuppence worth:

It appears that we have a common agreement on the value of recording the 
conference for later download. From this perspective alone it is 
worthwhile having a well tested and repeatable process for setup and 
processing - we do spend far too much time reinventing parts of the 
system for each conference as well as locally amongst the various LUGs. 
But apart from just having a repeatable process, we do also need to keep 
moving with technology. Most (all) of our recording is still done using 
standard def format video, and our audio chain is still very chaotic and 

Ideally we should start incubating and developing some newer 
technologies to get to HD video and audio levels. Tim has some 
interesting projects in the pipeline on this front, at PLUG we are also 
trying out some new ideas, and some commercial products are starting to 
gain momentum with Linux support. There really is a perfect storm of 
opportunities brewing on this front.

As regards streaming, I agree with James (Bromberger) that the cost 
(technically) to do this is minimal, and it can be offloaded to 
sponsors. In terms of personnel, we could start small and scale as we 
get better at it - why not just stream one channel at our next conf 
(2014), coupled with some interviews and filler excerpts from other 
areas? This could easily be setup with just a few people rotating with 
other volunteers, and gives us huge scope to build out an extra channel 
of communication on what's coming up and public notices etc - 
effectively a TV channel during LCA. This will not tax the network 
infrastructure much - we ran streaming successfully during the TBL talk 
during LCA2013, and PLUG regularly stream their talks using very little 
resources. There will always be an element of effort involved in doing 
this - every aspect of LCA (or any conference) has a human cost - it's 
just how we budget our team based on what we are trying to deliver 
during the conference.

As to whether streaming will detract from real attendance, I seriously 
doubt anyone would compare the experience of being at a conference and 
all the added value you gain from being there with that of sitting at 
home watching a youtube quality stream. However my opinion on this is 
just an opinion much as anyone else's is - I think we'd have to measure  
the impact from a real conference to gain any true insights.

We'd probably need to instill some basic codes of conduct to discourage 
people from sitting in a presentation watching other talks via streaming 
on their laptop, but this is part of a process of experimenting and 
finding the right balance.


Euan de Kock,
President - Perth Linux User Group (PLUG)
Organising Committee Member - LCA2014

On 03/25/2013 09:37 PM, Steve Walsh wrote:
> On 03/25/2013 07:33 PM, James Bromberger wrote:
>> The cost of streaming (versus recording) is almost nothing (indeed,
>> its easy to get this sponsored).
> The monetary cost of streaming externally is almost nothing.
> The cost of streaming to the conference itself is (from a people side)
> quite high. This is unavoidable, but needs to be remembered and
> considered. Even with a committee taking it away from the conference
> team, streaming will still impact other parts of the conference team to
> varying degrees (ie - the network team, the rego area, the organisers
> themselves, etc).
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