The Audio Visual (AV) component is one of the key aspects of the conference. This not only includes the recording of talks, that will be published on Linux Australia's mirror, but also making sure that all of the speaker's presentations work correctly. The recorded talks will be made available within one month of the conference finishing. During breaks in the presentations we will have slides shows displayed within the rooms. This will provide information about what is on next in all of the rooms, any changes to the schedule for both talk and other events, such as BOF's, Dinners, etc. These slides can also be used by sponsors to advertise their presence at the conference.

LCA is more than just talks, it is the experience itself. Professional networks get made at the conference and the its fun hanging out with 500+ people that share the same interests and goals, this is what makes an LCA great. Recording the talks provides a resource for members of the greater Linux community and it shows what people are missing out by not attending. Hopefully this will increase attendance in the future, but it also lets people who are unable to attend learn about what happened during the conference.

AV is more than just recording the talks, we need to ensure that the system is seamless as far as the speakers are concerned. Speakers should be concentrating on their talk rather than fixing microphone problems and getting their slides to work. To achieve this we will have a team of two people in each room. One will act as an MC for the room and will be responsible for working with the speakers to ensure that everything is working for them. The other person will be responsible for recording the talks and ensuring that we achieve a good result.

The core team will be lead by Matthew Franklin and in his absence the IT Team is responsible for AV. The AV Team will be drawing on volunteers from within the Brisbane Open Source, Linux and Unix communities. Ideally they should have had a hand in developing the AV systems so that they can then train conference volunteers in its use. The main roles of the AV team leader will be making sure that the team works and that issues are resolved before they become problems.

To this end we will use the hardware already available withing the rooms by using a Linux workstation to display the intermission slides. We will use professional grade cameras as previous LCAs have done. We will not only be filming to tape but we will also be saving the raw DV stream to a local computer. By doing this we will have quick access to the footage at the editing workstations via a network link to all of the rooms. The camera should only focus on the speaker and not on the slides as these will be captured via a USB frame grabber connected to the projector feed. We will also get a copy of the original slides from each presenter before they start their talk. The audio and two video streams will then be combined into two different versions for each talk, one with integrated slides and one without.

The Audio Visual side of the conference is one thing that is very hard to get right. As a result of this we are planning well in advance to resolve issues prior to the conference even beginning. To this end we have given ourselves one year to develop the systems and to understand any limitations of those systems.




Problems with the AV System

Spend time developing and testing the system

We will be developing the systems at our Humbug meetings where we are currently recording talks. By doing this we hope to iron out all of the bugs from the system well before the conference even begins.

Simplify the Setup

By making the system either work or not work the operator then knows that something is wrong without question. They can then go through trouble shooting routine and by having a simple system it will have less risk of going wrong.

Backup Equipment

For every piece of equipment we will have a backup for it. It may not be pretty but it will work

Use what is there

It is stupid not to make use of of systems that are already in place and have proven themselves to work so where possible we will integrate our system to work within each room. A case is the audio. Since most of the rooms have audio cables connections and wireless mics we can simply tape into those to get our audio feeds

Problems with the System Environment

Know the working environment

We will have a complete plan of how we will implemented the system in each room. Our system will be bench tested and then put in situ into the rooms during the development phase. As soon as we gain access to the rooms the AV equipment will be put into place and tested.

Problems with Recording media

Have tape and DVD Backups

Failure is always an option. To that end we will be relying on tape and DVD backups as well making sure that we have a copy of the slide presentations. This is sure to take extra time editing which will also be taken into account.

Problems within the team

Treat My Team with Respect

People should be able to come to me with any issue. They should feel that they can do this no matter how stupid the problem appears to be. So to this end by making sure that I or another core team member doesn't berate our volunteers for "stupid question" we hope to be able to deal with issues before they become major dramas.

Have good documentation and a failure plan

Simplifying the system should make the system less likely to fail. However the biggest cause of failure is human error. We will reduce this by having a step by step guide that has clear instructions. Also we will include documentation that shows all of the settings that is easy to read. This will greatly reduce this risk due to human error. There will also be a failure plan. A simple guide that shows what to do when things go wrong. Like the setup by step guide it needs to be clear cut and easy to read.


All of the volunteers will need to spend time learning the equipment. Combine that with being teamed up with a member of the core group who will know the systems inside and out this should greatly reduce the risks. Once they have learned enough to be on their own the core group will then float between rooms so that they will then always be around to help.