Why We Champion the Open Capture Standard

Rebecca Rozakis
Updated September 17 2019
why use the open capture standard
Rebecca Rozakis
Updated September 17 2019

For years now, we have been working with the IMS Global Learning Consortium to promote the Open Capture Standard. A true open standard, unlike some “standards” that try to push proprietary file formats, this standard makes it “simple and easy for educational institutions to centrally manage all of their captured content, in a way that is agnostic to what software/hardware they used to capture it.”

The XML interface supports multiple streams, background uploading, offline recording, metadata extraction from presentations, and editing. The key is that the interface is available for anyone to use, whether for software or hardware. The point is to build an ecosystem in which organizations have control of their own intellectual property; no more losing recordings to outdated file formats or being locked in with a vendor because leaving requires sacrificing years of data.

What Did Old-Style Lecture Capture Look Like?

The first generations of lecture capture were amazing for the time. Now, they’re starting to look a little less exciting. Lecture Capture through a particular company required buying specific hardware from them. Expensive hardware. Content was recorded into specific, often proprietary, formats. This had a couple big drawbacks:

  • It restricted the kind of hardware you could buy.
  • It didn’t give much leverage for finding bargains.
  • It made it hard to get all your video in one place. Lecture capture recordings would be a different file format and stored in a different place from educational videos, or marketing materials, interviews, or anything else.
  • It made it hard to do anything with the recordings – editing, broadcasting, or embedding the videos might get tricky because the file format did not necessarily play nicely with other systems.

What Does Open Capture Help You Do?

The Open Capture Standard, on the other hand, gives organizations a lot more flexibility to configure solutions that work for you.

  • You can buy the hardware that you want, including different configurations for different rooms and circumstances. You can choose low-end deployments to cover every classroom on campus with basic capture, and then invest in medium or high-end configurations for key learning spaces.
  • You can buy that hardware at commodity prices. Pick whatever reseller or vendor you prefer. Choose different vendors for different schools or classrooms, depending on the specific need.
  • Manage all of your media in a single platform. Whether it’s the daily recordings from a precept or the once-in-a-lifetime lecture from a special guest, it’s simple to manage and edit content in one place.
  • Use and re-use your media however you see fit. Publish and share, edit, make clips or playlists, broadcast – it’s your media. It’s up to you. Decide to change vendors? No problem – with the open capture standard, you can change and upgrade without making your older materials obsolete or inaccessible.

Opening Up a World of Capture

Once you can use the same capture standard on anything from high-end productions to desktop cameras, capture can work in any circumstance. Any learning space or environment becomes easy to capture. You can even use capture of administrative tasks, such as classroom monitoring or test proctoring.

It’s up to you. That’s the point.