DebConf 8 Video Team Gives Excellent Service

DebConf, the annual Debian Conference, is held this year in Mar del Plata, Argentina. One sometimes-overlooked part of this is the brilliant video streaming service, with each stream supported by an IRC feedback channel including announcement of talks and events as they approach, start and finish.

While I was watching Martin F. Krafft’s talk yesterday (which introduced the topgit patch manager to me, which I’ll look at and may suggest to the Koha project), I was blown away by the production quality of the video. It’s even better than last year, which was already good. The shots of the slides with the presenter in a little window on them are a particularly clever idea and much better than the “auto-refreshing slides webpage” method I’ve seen from other conferences. It does look like a little encoder tweaking might be possible to get the slides (which don’t change much) pixel-perfect while compressing the presenter window, but I’d be happy if all conferences were covered this well.

Read the debconf announcement for links to the streams and schedules. I was having a few problems watching this afternoon (packets getting lost between telecomplete and bytemark), but switching to a European video server helped it. Mplayer’s hardframedrop also seems to help in bad network conditions, but it takes multiple attempts to get a successful connection from mplayer, for reasons I don’t understand.

The conference continues until next weekend, which includes Debian’s 15th anniversary.

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