The actual application built by the OpenCast community is called 'Matterhorn'. In the text below, read OpenCast as synonymous with Matterhorn.
1 OpenCast requirements for use in less resources institutions (such as higher education institutions in the developing world)
- Installation of entire system should be possible on a single computer. (That is to say, capture, processing, and delivery.)
- Ideally, the capture and presentation computer could be the same also, i.e. internal VGA / internal webcam capture.
- The system must be resilient to network interruptions.
- The system should not require physical network connections between components.
- Capture agents would be able to capture slides + audio (to be delivered as discrete slides, rather than as a screen recording).
- There should be a simple capture client (see below), i.e. the capture client should be able to use a usb webcam and stills camera for slides capture.
- The system must be easy to install, ideally available as Ubuntu package via the Ubuntu package manager.
- The system should be pre-configured as best as possible.
Some explanatory notes follow.
1.1 Installation of entire system should be possible on a single computer.
It's an entirely reasonable scenario that one might want to install a low-throughput version of the system on a single computer. This might just capture an audio lecture once a week, and would do all the capture, encoding, dissemination from the same box. (Perhaps automatically turning off transcoding when capture is happening.)
It's also reasonable that once might want to do a single server installation to demonstrate the system, and build the case for funding.
Capture on the same box may be an additional requirement, because it would be nice to have the option for vga to be captured internally. Most standard installations of OpenCast would use a dedicated capture client with vga grabber. (Similarly, it should be able to capture from an internal web cam if there is one.)
(I.e. the computer that has the OpenCast system installed, should also be able to be the presentation computer.)
1.2 Resilience to network interruptions
Reliable networking is a major issue for many less resourced institutions. The system must therefore be resilient to network failure.
It should also allow for manual transfer of assets between different locations: I may want to capture in a lecture theatre that's not connected to the network. Or I may want to send my capture to a centre for excellence (perhaps even in a different country or continent) for further processing.
(I should thus be able to adjust the capture settings, so that the result can fit onto a single data DVD, or so that the packages can be easily split across several data DVDs.)
1.3 Slides + audio capture
Being able to deliver just slides and audio is Important for delivery over low bandwidth.
The system must be easy to install, via point+click in the Ubuntu package manager. Because OpenCast is entirely ECL, it should be possible to get it packaged in the main Ubuntu repository. There should be clear instructions what to do after installation.