Digital High Defination Camera
We have recently aquired a digital, high defination, pocket video camera ( the same size as a smartphone ). This can record over 2 hours of HD video and stereo sound which can then be replayed ( and edited ) via a computer. It can also link directly by HDMI cable to a HDTV. The camera comes equiped with a mini or medium sized tripod and an external microphone if necessary.
To borrow/use the camera please send an email to the servicedesk email@example.com or phone 41515.
For the technically minded.....HD 720p video (1280x720p), HD still picture capture, wide angled lens, 4Gb of video/photo storage capacity, up to 2hrs of battery life per charge, supports external microphone, headphones or AV output. Built in Vado Central software for simple video editing and uploading to Facebook, YouTube, PhotoBucket and others.
CLC Techno Cafe
New equipment has been installed in the Calman Techno Cafe. Six new NPCS pc's and seven new notebooks have replaced the old laptops.
Elvet Hill House
From 1st January 2012, rooms EH108 / EH110 / EH111 have been removed from the central teaching room pool. All AV/IT equipment from these three rooms has been removed .
Playing a DVD on a NPCS Windows 7 machine
Over the summer of 2011 all public area NPCS machines were converted to run Windows 7 operating system. This now enables CIS to enhance the ability for users to play a DVD on the machine.
To familiarise yourself with the concept of 'Region Players' and 'Region DVD' it is recommended you visit the following link www.dur.ac.uk/its/theatres/dvd.
In addition to 'hacks and fixes', advances in software also allow users to play a multi-region DVD on any equipment. The legal aspect of this is still a 'grey area' although it is rare -if not unheard of- for anyone to be prosecuted for playing a non-region 2 DVD on equipment within the UK. Matters are further complicated by the recent Government announcement that a review of media copyright law will take place so that they are 'brought in line with reality'. Thus legal matters will alter in due course.
NPCS Windows 7 machines have been configured so that a software package called 'VLC' will be the default software for playing a DVD.. VLC is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework that plays most multimedia files as well as DVD, Audio CD, VCD, and various streaming protocols.
Upon loading a DVD into the player unit, the software should 'automatically' load and start to play the disk. Any subsequent manipulation of menu items; chapters etc can be done via the mouse.
Once the disk starts to play there are standard icons which enable the user to control the playing of the disk e.g. fast forward; pause; control sound level etc.
Should the disk not start automatically, the software can be found via:
Start; All Programs; Accessories; Entertainment.
VHS/DVD Combi Units (End of Life)
In all central bookable teaching rooms CIS provides a VHS/DVD combi unit for playing of tape or disc media. The operation of such units is carried out either via an 'AMX Touch Panel' or 'AMX Button Unit'.
Facilities for playing a DVD is provided via the NPCS computer (see item above) thus the only function of this unit is to play VHS tapes. Unfortunately this is 'old technology' and NO manufacturer throughout the world now produces a stand alone VHS player. The combi units cost approx £250/300 to purchase and CIS can no longer justify the buying of such replacement units. Should an installed unit develop a fault, CIS will do their best to repair it but if that proves impossible then ultimately some rooms will no longer have the facilitiy to play a VHS tape.
Users will therefore have to consider alternatives should they really need to use the media in a teaching session. One method would be to purchase a DVD containing the same content -if that's possible? Or transfer the content onto DVD (subject to copyright law). CIS offers such a service in CM113 for details see:
To avoid problems of DVDs from different regions, to play a DVD in a teaching room, CIS recommends using the NPCS machine and the software package VLC (see item above).
Projector Suddenly Turns Off
Users are reminded that in all central teaching rooms, the data projector is configured to automatically switch itself off after a predetermined time. The reason for this being to conserve projector bulb life and electrical power.
In rooms with an AMX touch panel this period is 4hr 10mins; in rooms with an AMX Button unit the period is 3hrs 20mins (different hardware platforms give different times).
In all rooms the time period starts once a signal sourse is selected. When the same source or a different one is selected the built-in timer is re-set back to zero.
Upon entering a central teaching room, a user CANNOT assume the time period is zero. Thus as soon as the timer reaches the predetermined level the projector turns itself off -hence the unpredictability and apparent random nation of the projector shutdown.
CIS recommends that at the start of a teaching session a suitable source is selected, thus setting the time period to zero. Should a session last beyond the time period it will ne necessary to re-select the same signal source (or a different one) before the critical value is reached thus re-setting the timer and preventing the projector from switching off.