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After seeing countless great presentations at SecKC, it was clear that a recording setup was needed to capture the wonderful content so it could be leveraged by others. I wanted to quickly document what we are using to record, in case it is helpful for others trying to record and distribute knowledge. Here is the setup I am now using to record SecKC video presentations.

Update: We are now using a regular standalone video camera instead of this setup. The setup below worked pretty well, but a few parts of it weren’t 100% reliable (you’ll notice IronGeek’s setup is also unreliable as many of his videos have significant issues). I would still recommend it for a budget setup where reliability isn’t a major factor. I’d recommend using a “professional” video capture solution (ideally standalone) if you want slide overlays.

It is surprisingly difficult to build a good presentation setup, at least for someone who isn’t an AV expert and doesn’t have an unlimited budget. IronGeek has documented some information, which he has used to record various conference presentations, although various pieces are out of date or in cases it’s unclear what exact part is needed and how it is hooked up. I tried to duplicate his general setup as closely as possible.

Note that all of the recording (this does the merging of signals) is done using Open Broadcaster (32-bit). Minimal post-processing (trimming and compression) is done using Windows Movie Maker.

 

 

Parts list

Projector – Supplied by our event space

$300
Video Camera – We use a Canon T3i

$160
ElGato Game Capture HD (B&H)
Elgato Game Capture HD (Amazon)

$30
Powered VGA Splitter (monoprice) – Don’t use a passive one unless you are okay with a dim output
Powered VGA Splitter (Amazon)

$60
Sewell Direct SW-30008 Manta VGA to HDMI with 1080p Scaler (amazon)
– Use one with a scaler or else ElGato will reject your input signals

$180
GTD Audio G-622H 200 Channel UHF Professional Wireless microphone Mic System (Amazon)

$15
Wired Microphone used for backup (MusiciansFriend)

$15
Podium Side-Mount Microphone Stand (MusiciansFriend) – Allows room for a laptop on podium

$80
Yamaha MG102C 10-Input Stereo Mixer with Compression (MusiciansFriend)

$40
USB, HDMI, VGA, RCA, 3.5mm converters and cables, XLR, and 1/4″ cables.

Total = $880 + projector & speakers

If you want to see the results from this setup, here is the YouTube channel for SecKC: https://www.youtube.com/user/SecKCVids Note that at the time of this writing, the audio capture was just using the laptop microphone, and the quality will improve once it’s actually a wired setup.

Please let me know if this helps you or if you end up building one. I’d love to hear some feedback or ways to improve the setup.

Alex Lauerman

Alex is a penetration tester based in Overland Park, Kansas, which is a suburb of Kansas City. Alex is thankful for being able to spend over 15 years of his life building and breaking applications.

2 Comments

  • JF says:

    Try using FFSplit. You will not need all those complicated converters and second laptop. It records everything on your presentation laptop and takes anything you throw at it (second/third/etc screen output, webcam, videocamera, mixer inputs, powerpoint, etc). It will also live stream the video to a large number of video streaming services like Youtube, Twitch and others (or your own).

    I’ve been using this setup for 3 years now. It works like a charm, the only thing is that it requires a Windows laptop that’s not bottom-of-the-line (intel i3 or better, preferably i5, Pentiums/Celerons tend to find be too weak).

    • Alex Lauerman says:

      Good suggestion. The problem for us with having it on the presenter’s laptop is that we can’t realistically and reliably have every presenter install and configure FFSplit on their laptop, so we need to use a second laptop and capture the video signal (most likely VGA) to record it. By doing that, the setup will look quite a bit like this, but it’ll replace OpenBroadcaster with FFSplit, which may be better here, i’m not sure.

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