Installing, setting up and using Lecture Capture (Panopto)
There are two types of Panopto software available for lecture capture: the manual recorder and the remote recorder. Each can record audio, video and slides/screen, but with different additional functionality. The following will explain how to install and setup each of the recorders and what each one is used for.
The latest versions of the manual rand remote recorder, which have been pre-configured to Oxford's servers, are available from the Downloads page.
The manual recorder, as the name implies, is designed to allow the manual start/stop of recordings on the presentation computer. The manual recorder is available for Windows 7 and above, and macOS 10.12 and above.
To install, double-click on the downloaded package and follow the on-screen instructions. The Panopto Web Server field should be pre-filled but if not, use: ox.cloud.panopto.eu
Once installed, to sign into the manual recorder, visit any Panopto-enabled WebLearn site or Canvas Course, click the LTI menu link (usually labelled "Recorded Lectures" in Weblearn or 'Panopto Recordings" in Canvas) and in the Panopto portal, click "Create > Record a new session".
When prompted, select "Launch Panopto". This will launch the Panopto manual recorder will be automatially sign you in.
Note - it is not possible to sign in directly on the manual recorder, you must always go through Weblearn or Canvas.
Manual Recorder User Interface
The process of setting a recording up differs from the manual recorder to the remote recorder. The following image is taken from a Windows PC of the manual recorder interface. The numbers represent the different sections of the interface and what configurations you should use when configuring a recording.
- This is the Record button. Once the configurations have been made to the recorder, this button starts and stops the recording.
- Session Settings. This section allows you to select the Folder you wish the recording to be uploaded to. It has a drop down box that will show you what folders are available. These correspond to the WebLearn sites you have access to and what module you are recording. You can then Name the recording. Ticking the Webcast button on the right will give a URL that can be shared with other members of the university providing they have an SSO. They can click on the link, sign in and then watch the recording from another room. There is usually a thirty second to one minute delay.
- The Primary Source displays the settings for your video and audio inputs. The video inputs can vary from a built in or external webcam, to a high quality production camera. The audio is an essential part of lecture capture. You can not record without selecting an audio input. Replay recommend a USB microphone that can be found on the Equipment page. Replay recommends the Ultra quality setting for best looking results. The 'Enable Computer Audio' setting records any sound used internally on the computer in either a video or audio track. Eg: YouTube, Vimeo.
- Below the Primary Source is the Secondary Source section. Here you can select Capture PowerPoint and the Capture Main Screen. The PowerPoint will automatically capture the slides straight from the presentation when the user is on MS PowerPoint for Windows. The Main Screen is anything that is displayed on the computer screen. If the presenter users a PDF document instead of a PowerPoint presentation then the screen capture will be advantageous as it will be recorded as a whole. Within this section will also be able to add another camera source to the production. You will need to source a separate adaptor to complete the process.
- The large screen in this section is a preview of the screen capture. You can toggle this on and off. Below the preview you will see settings for the resolution of the video. Replay recommends that you raise the resolution to highest allowed. Here it is 1920 x 1080 which is High Definition. The fps stands for how many frames per second is captured. When displaying a PowerPoint presentation 12fps should be ample. This will give you a decent fluid transition of slides or mouse cursor movement. Place the kbps (kilobites per second) as high as you can so that the recording can be captured efficiently - be sure to click 'Apply' on the right.
The remote recorder is only available on Windows. It allows administrators to remotely schedule and configure recordings without the need to be present at the presenting PC. It is used for lecture theatres and teaching spaces, rather than personal machines.
To begin using the remote recorder:
- Download the Remote Recorder for Windows 7 or higher. Once the download has finished, navigate to your downloads directory and open panoptoremoterecorder.exe to begin the installation. Click "Run" on the pop-up panel.
- This will begin the installation prompt and load the next window. Fill in the Panopto Web Server address the same as the manual recorder: ox.cloud.panopto.eu.
When filling in the Description for the Remote Recorder you must use Replay's naming convention: Department Name - Building Name - Lecture Room Name eg: Engineering - Thom Building - Lecture Room 1.
You can also define where the software will be installed to.
- Once this has been completed click on the Next button to move on to the Ready to install page.
- Clicking Install will begin the installation process. Click Finish on the following window. It will also create an icon in your system tray located within the taskbar.
There are several different icons that will show you the current status of the remote recorder on your computer. Please check them below to find out what each one means:
- Once the remote recorder has successfully installed, you will need to contact the Replay service informing them which staff users need access. You can do this by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information: name, email address, SSO, remote recorder name you have added and the user's responsibility, Scheduler or Manager.
- Schedulers create a timetables for lectures taking place. This includes configuring the times, dates and which PC is presenting the lecture.
- Managers have control of the recording configuration such as audio and video inputs, as well as scheduling a timetable for the lectures. In most instances, the IT Officer of a department would take on the role of a Manager whilst the administration team would take on the role of Scheduler.
You will need to email Replay everytime you add a new remote recorder instance. Please make sure that users have logged into Replay through the WebLearn or Canvas at least once so that an automatic user name is created for them.
- Once the Replay service has completed the back end procedures, they will notify you to confirm the users are ready to use the remote recorder. Please allow 24 hours for this process to complete.
How to schedule a recording
Scheduling recordings allows a user to setup a series of recordings in advanced for a particular period of time.
To schedule a recording you will firstly need to log into your WebLearn site or Canvas course using your SSO. From here, click on the Recorded Lectures / Panopto Recordings tab on the left-hand side. This will take you directly to the Panopto portal. From here, click on the Create button at the top of the page. This will provide you with the below drop down menu:
Click on the Scheduled Recording tab. A form will then open up on top of your current window. You will then need to complete the form by filling in the blank fields with the schedule of your lectures.
1. Session Information
The Name field can be the module or the lecture title. This name will be seen by the students and staff or anyone who can access it once the recording is published.
The Folder drop down will give you a list of folders that you have created within Replay. You can create sub folders inside Replay. All of these can sit under a parent folder that corresponds with the course title (which is often the name of the WebLearn site). You can also select Assignment Folders. These are folders that are hidden to the students before they are published. It means you can place the videos in a private area so that they can be edited after the recording. Once edited and finalised, the video can then be moved into the parent folder where it can be published and seen by the students.
Please leave the Sharing tab unticked. This would allow external individuals to see the recordings using the URL that is created with each recording. Replay has a limited number of viewing hours per year. We do not share the videos publicly as these viewing hours are then depleted at a significant rate. Replay is intended for internal use only. To share the videos publicly or to embed a video on an external site we ask you export the recording out of Panopto first.
When selecting a source you can choose to use either 1 or 2 remote recorders. The primary recorder and the secondary recorder.
Most lecture theatres or seminar rooms have Replay installed on one machine - usually the PC that the lecturer is presenting from. In other, more complex situations, a remote recorder can be installed on the presenting PC as well as another PC. There are several reasons for this but this is covered in a section below, entitled Dual Recorders. The Replay remote recorder would therefore, be installed on two machines in the same lecture theatre. The primary remote recorder will need to be the one that has an audio input. If a USB microphone has been plugged into the machine that is being recorded from then this is your primary. You will need to make sure that both machines are identified by their unique names that are given in the installation process.
The remote recorder allows the user to schedule a series of lectures over a long period of time. If a lecture takes place on a particular day of the week and is repeated each week throughout the rest of term, then you can tick the Repeat Recording box.
Times can be auto generated or added manually for more fine-grained control of start and end times. Please be aware that it is not possible to schedule overlapping recordings on a single machine.
If there is no lecture following the current lecture then you can add a later finish time for the lecture such as 13:08. This gives you extra lead time at the end without the recording finishing too early. Be aware, if there is a following lecture, creating a later finish time will interrupt the next lecture recording. Always check the room timetable.
4. Quality Settings
Quality settings is dependent on your PC specification. Below is the settings toggle:
In most instances, we recommend leaving these settings at their defaults. Secondary video should be optimised for Resolution.
Once the form is complete, click Create. This will then schedule all of the recordings you have made into your folder.
What is dual recording?
Dual recording allows the use of two remote recorder instances (each installed on a different PC) to record and/or stream to a single Panopto session.
Why would you use dual recorders?
A dual recorder setup is often used in large teaching spaces where the projector, camera and audio matrix/receivers are situated in an AV booth, perhaps at the back of the room. In these situations, it is often difficult to run cables from the devices in the booth to the presentation machine at the front, which may be a laptop with limited inputs.
Instead, a dedicated Panopto PC (usually a desktop PC) can be situated in the AV booth, and the primary audio (microphone) and video (camera) sources can be connected to it. Often, a projector feed is also connected to this PC (via a VGA or HDMI capture card) as an additional secondary input. This PC is known as the primary remote recorder.
The presentation PC, usually located on the lectern, also has the remote recorder installed, and during scheduling, can be chosen as a secondary remote recorder to capture the slides. No audio will be captured from the secondary remote recorder.
Even when capturing a direct projector feed on the primary PC, it is still sometimes useful to capture slides on the secondary recorder, since Panopto will upload the PPTX file in order to index all text for searching, as well as to automatically generate chapter markers based on slide transitions.
Webcasting and Livestreaming
Terms used interchangeably, these are Panopto recordings that are also broadcast live over the internet, with a typical delay of between 30s-90s. Live streaming is a useful tool for engaging with a wider audience, and is appreciated by those who cannot attend the event in person. Live streaming is also used by departments for overspill purposes, allowing lectures to be broadcast live to another room in the same building if the main teaching space is full. To set up a live stream, simply check the Webcast Session option when scheduling the recording. It's located in the 'Schedule' section in the 'Schedule a Recording' section.
Once scheduled, you will be provided with a URL that can be shared with users. This sharing method is typically used when streaming to the public (outside of Oxford University). You will need to change the Share settings of the scheudled session to be "Anyone with the link" when doing this, so that users who are not logged in can watch the event. If viewers are Oxford University staff or students, they can instead access the session via the appropriate Canvas course or WebLearn site.
You can also edit the scheduled session to add additional metadata, including an image, to create a branded "waiting area" page whilst users are waiting for the stream to begin.
Please bear in mind that Panopto is designed primarily as a lecture capture tool, so the webcasting functionality is limited compared to professional streaming solutions such as Livestream.com. Users who are not logged in will not be able to post questions during the livestream. Live statistics can be viewed during the session. We strongly advise that you do not use Panopto live streaming for widely-advertised VIP events, since the University has a limited number of "viewing hours" included in its Panopto licence.