Lecture Capture | News

EchoSystem 4.0 Goes Social and Mobile

SafeCapture HD, expected in June 2011, supports 1080p/30 HD video and encodes audio in AAC format at bit rates up to 128 Kbps.
SafeCapture HD, expected in June 2011, supports 1080p/30 HD video and encodes audio in AAC format at bit rates up to 128 Kbps.

Echo360 has debuted a major update to its flagship lecture capture platform, EchoSystem, which is expected to be available in time for the 2011-2012 school year. The latest version, 4.0, will include new mobile capabilities, HD and dual display support, and social features designed to boost student engagement.

Echo360's EchoSystem captures lectures automatically and encodes them into a variety of formats for distribution across multiple media, including podcasts, rich media formats, and streaming video. It's compatible with classroom presentation tools, such as whiteboards, tablet PCs, and document cameras, and it supports learning management systems like Blackboard Learn. It also allows users to publish to a variety of outlets, including Apple's iTunes U. It runs on desktop computers or on a dedicated appliance.

The new version will include a player designed specifically for Apple's iPad, with display of "course visuals, scene-based navigation and watermarks for institutional branding." It also supports streaming on iOS and Android devices, "enabling mobile viewing in a secure environment and [preventing] the downloading of instructor intellectual property," according to the company.

Version 4.0 will also include new collaborative features to support online student groups, bookmarking, discussions, and note taking.

Other new features include:

  • Support for HD video;
  • Dual-display capture;
  • A new "EchoCenter" tool that can be embedded in learning management systems to provide playlists to users and tracking of usage and discussions; and
  • New support for "delegated administration" in which a central IT department can provide campus-wide support while individual departments or groups exercise control over various aspects of the lecture capture system.

Echo360 indicated EchoSystem 4.0 will be available by June 2011. Further information can be found here.

In related news, Echo360 also debuted a new EchoSystem lecture capture appliance, SafeCapture HD. As its name implies, it captures HD video, up to 1080p/30, with continued support for SD video sources. It also supports capture of visuals at resolutions up to 1,920 x 1,200.

The 1U rackmount (or desktop or podium-mount) system includes both HDMI and composite video inputs and dual stereo line-level audio inputs (RCA and bare wire). It encodes AAC audio with (constant) bit rates ranging from 32 Kbps to 128 Kbps and sample rates of either 44.1 kHz or 22.05 kHz. Video is encoded in H.264 at bit rates up to 3.2 Mbps and framerates up to 29.97 FPS.

SafeCapture HD will also be available by June 2011. Further information can be found here.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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