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My prep for Berlin: struggling with technics

On this German holiday, remembering the re-union of both parts of Germany back in 1990, I struggle with some technics. Yes the event is called TechEd, but I intended not to learn such things on the trial & error track.

Together with Frauke I’m in preparation for about 4 to 6 industry tracks on Tuesday and Wednesday. Because of the Berlin attendees we expect with our sessions a larger audience onsite as this was with our sessions in Las Vegas. So we need better quality of facilitation. This means video and audio.

Anyway, we at SAP use Adobe Connect Professional (enterprise edition) to support virtual conferencing. This tool uses normally webcams to feed-in the video signal. So I suggested to take a camcorder (Sony DCR HC17E). Typical in our job: good proposals are to be executed first by the persons which make that proposal. I tried it first with USB and later with firewire cable. The last configuration functioned. That means, MS Vista recognizes my camcorder. I can store movies directly from the cam to the laptop its hard drive. So that is done.

But Adobe Connect isn’t processing on the video signals of my camcorder although the camera is recognized. Strange but true. We all know the resolution will be simple, but I spend already a couple of hours (down in my basement home office while the rest of the family celebrates this holiday).

The audio part of this scenario is even more tricky. It’s outside of my control. We intend to have some mics with a panel to mix. This to enable multiple dialogues. This part of technics is outsourced, so not with me.

In 10 days we know more.

If you have some recommendations what I’ve to install, configure, etc. please feel free.

I’ll keep you updated.

Kind regards Paul

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  • From a forum at I got first indications that my intented scenario can work. It mentioned also (non trivial) configuration, but no directions are give. I contacted the author, but didn’t get a response yet. Paul

    Text from adobe forum:

    I use Sony camcorders and tripods and a 1394/Firewire connection to a portable. Video looks great, especially in low light, but it’s more work to set up than a little clip-on web cam. For audio I use wireless handheld or lavalier mikes, a shotgun mike on the camcorder, or a feed from the room’s PA system, depending on the type of interactions and the room situation. I’ve found that the lunchtime presentations I record are best with a handheld mike, so I can pan the camera as the mike changes hands.

    • This issue went across all help desks (SAP, Adobe, Sony). The benefits of our virtual web 2.0 world. Finally I received the comment: there is no appropriate webcam driver for the combination Sony Camcorder@Vista. Now we need another laptop with XP. We have still till Tuesday. Fall-back scenario is a simple webcam instead of camcorder.