For some time I have been looking at ways to expand the use of high end video cameras with Adobe Connect. There are many reasons to consider higher end cameras not the least of which are optics, sensor size and quality, features, etc… If you need convincing the following should help.
I was recently given an opportunity to test the Matrox MX02 Mini and jumped at the chance.
What better way to test it than with my Canon 5D Mark III. I have really enjoyed using this camera for both stills as well as video.
The Matrox MX02 mini gave me the opportunity to see how the Canon camera and Adobe Connect would work together. The initial setup was fairly easy. I requested the model that came with a ExpressCard/34 adapter so that I could use my laptop. On a slightly humorous note my laptop only has a full size ExpressCard slot so a little adjustment was required.
It turns out that cardboard like duct tape has many uses. This was obviously not a short coming of the MX02 Mini but none the less easily overcome. I decided to use the HDMI input for the test. The Canon 5D Mark III requires a mini HDMI connector. I thought I had every adapter made but it turns out a mini HDMI was not one of them, a quick trip to Fry’s fixed that problem.
There is software to install for this setup to work. The installation was easy and included a number of applications. With that said in the end the only software I used was the Matrox USB Webcam Emulator utility. As you might expect this utility allows the MX02 Mini to appear to the PC as if it were a webcam, making it easy to use with Adobe Connect. There are five popup boxes in the USB Webcam Emulator: Video Input Format, Video Input Source, Audio Input Source, Video Frame Size and Video Frame Rate. The first three, as expected, have to do with the video device you have connected to the MX02 Mini and the last two have to do with the video output from the MX02 Mini.
I set the output on the Canon camera to 1920 @30 fps (frames per second) IPB. In the Matrox USB Webcam Emulator I set the Video Input Format to firstname.lastname@example.org fps. Since I used HDMI I set the Video Input Source to HDMI and the Audio Input Source to HDMI Channel 1-2. I did not test the RCA left and right for audio input source.
Adobe Connect supports six input resolutions, three for a 4:3 aspect ratio and three for 16:9 aspect ratio. The 4:3 resolutions are: 160×120, 320×240 and 640×480. The 16:9 resolutions are: 214×120, 427×240 and 854×480. Choose the Video Frame Size (video output resolution) that is closest to one of the supported Connect resolutions. For instance the MX02 Mini does not have 427×240 but it does have 424×240. The same is true for 854×480 but it does support 852×480. If you need to change the input or output parameters you may have to restart the Connect meeting/seminar room in order for the settings to take effect. Luckily this is a simple matter with Adobe Connect, simply refresh the browser tab that was used to launch the meeting/seminar room.
Make sure that you have the correct settings in Adobe Connect to match your settings in the Matrox USB Webcam Emulator. As stated previously Adobe Connect supports the following video input resolutions:
4:3 aspect ratio: 160×120, 320×240, 640×480
16:9 aspect ratio: 214×120, 427×240, 854×480
Notice that in the Connect video preference settings of your meeting room there is a slider with four steps (settings).
Each of the slider steps corresponds to a particular resolution, frame rate and compression amount. At this point we are only concerned about resolution. The following shows the resolution for both the 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratio for each setting on the slider from right to left (highest being on the far right of the slider).
|Quality||Resolution (4:3 )||Resolution (16:9 )|
As an example, if your output (Video Frame Size) on the Matrox USB Webcam Emulator was set to 852×480 you would want to use the following settings for the video preferences in the Adobe Connect meeting/seminar room.
I found the Matrox MX02 Mini, Canon 5D Mark III and Adobe Connect to be a great combination.