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openSUSE:Dvswitch cheatsheet

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Basics and tips.

Items at the recording desk

  • Video Mixer Laptop (runs dvswitch, dvsource*, dvsink* commands)
  • Audio Console (hands off. Adjust main volume occasionally)
  • USB-Harddrive (mounted on /mnt, dvsink-files records there)
  • Main camera on tripod (follows speaker, or whatever is most entertaining)
  • Space for your own laptop (use wlan, join irc #opesuse-video @ freenode)
  • A walkie-talkie (to call for help. Always muted or with headset!)

Starting DVswitch

  • DVsitch should start automatically. If not type 'dvswitch' to a terminal tab.
  • A terminal with several tabs should also be open. If not call for help. Each tab holds one component of the dvswitch system. Usually you have 2 to 3 dvsource-* commands, a dvswitch, and two dvsink-commands. If something needs restart, check the commandline history.
  • Press R to begin recording to disk. Start recording early; we have plenty of disk space. Check that the Record button is pressed. If grayed out, dvsink-files is not running.
  • When a talks starts or ends press T to cut the recording into files.

Cutting the stream several times before the talk starts is good practice. Never cut after the talk started. At the end, wait until you are certain.

  • The main display shows what will be recorded. The numbered displays beneath show the sources. Press a number key 1, 2, 3, 4 to select a source.

Picture in Picture

  • Press P to begin (a gray preview is shown, but not recorded)
  • redraw the gray pip frame with the mouse or drag it around.
  • The source in the background has 'A' clicked, the source inside the PiP has 'B' clicked.
  • Press Enter to confirm the PiP setting.
  • Press ESC to end PiP.


  • Keep an eye on the audio levels when someone speaks. The higher the better, but they should never reach the top red area.
  • When nothing is seen, you must interrupt the speaker. Often his microphone is simply muted.
  • Audio comes with the camera. The Speaker symbol on the camera source should be clicked.

Choice of video source

Show what is most interesting

If the speaker turns to reads his slides, show what he sees: the slides. If he faces the audience show the camera image.


Mixer operator and camera operator can use helpful gestures. The camera operator may want to get 'off' to adjust something. The mixer operator may want to ask for for more wideangle or tele. Before adjusting his camera, the camera operator checks if he is 'on' or 'off'. When off, he can make fast or radical changes. When on, he should use smooth and careful movements. The mixer operator should hesitate to switch from slides to camera, if the camera operator is about to adjust something.

Camera Framing

The speaker should never walk out of the camera frame, while the camera is on the mix (PiP or full frame). If it happens: relax, pull some wideangle first, then follow. Don't hurry.

  • If he walks a lot, give him room to walk from one edge of the frame to the other and back. -- Or you can follow him closely in a portrait shot for a while, keeping his mouth exactly centered.
  • With PiP, framing is usually closer than with full screen. It works best, when the speaker stands still.
  • If there is a discussion in the audience, we often cannot see peoples faces. Keep a wideangle shot in this case.