Open Source, Portable Usability Testing Lab: Part 2 – The Parts

The last time I posted on Fedora’s portable usability testing lab, I talked about the video files it outputs and how Ray Strode helped me write a gstreamer pipeline to construct the videos into a quad-screen video. (Ray has sinced worked out a much more efficient pipeline, and created a git repository on GNOME.org to make it available.) Well, in this post I’d like to review the equipment that’s in this lab. I’ve started to put together some documentation on how to assemble, use, and process the data out of the usability lab. This is really just an excerpt of the Assembly Instructions document I started writing in the Fedora wiki: Carrying case – it’s an Opteka equipment case, with foam padding on the inside, cut out to create various fitted components for the parts. Here’s a photo showing all the parts in the case. Microphone and microphone plate – it’s a crown omnidirectional mic. The pickup really isn’t that great, so I’m going to be looking to either get some phantom power for it or maybe replace it with a better one at some point. D-SUB connector video cable (for scan converter) – this connects the input of the …

Open Source, Portable Usability Testing Lab: Part 1

Note: The pipeline in this post is horribly inefficient and lacks audio. Please see Ray Strode’s blogpost on usability video pipelines to obtain a much improved version of the pipeline in this blog post. Thanks to all the folks who responded so quickly to help out on my last blog post! Because of your help, a bug got filed and fixed upstream in gstreamer, and a new build of gstreamer containing the fix for Fedora is on the way. So I bet you were wondering why I was so interested in getting AVF videos into gstreamer, right? Well, I’m going to tell you anyway. I’m in the process of putting together a portable usability testing lab. The key component to this usability testing lab is a quad-video-input video mixer / DVR unit. It can be hooked up to 3 cameras and one scan converter so you can have 3 panels of the user / testing environment and one panel showing the screen of the system they’re using. The particular unit I decided to get is the AVer Media AVerDiGi EB1304NET SATA+. Now, there are a couple quirks to the EB1304. The first I noticed was that its audio input/output jacks …