Adventures in CaptureSpace: Creating Self-Service Video Spaces for Pennies

Building self-service video spaces

By Russ Lichterman

Russ Lichterman at Wilmington University joins us today to share his experience creating a simple self-service video studio. These studios could be used by students or faculty.

At Wilmington University we’ve had amazing success with adoption of the Kaltura platform by our students and faculty.  The KAF integration with our LMS allows for simple video integration in any content area. The tool we see used most frequently is CaptureSpace for screen capture, webcam recording, and presentation videos. Wilmington University self-serve video space

CaptureSpace is a fantastic desktop application for home or office use. But we wondered if we could leverage it into a more professional studio application. We felt inspired by the Penn State One-Button Studio project.  We created a prototype self-service studio last year that records videos onto SD cards that a student or faculty member takes to a computer to upload into Kaltura.  It was our hope to evolve that concept into something that would record directly into CaptureSpace. This would save the user the extra step of managing the MP4 file.

Designing a Self-Service Video Space

Wide view of self-service video studioWe designed a new space around that concept which features professional lighting, a 1080p camera, the option for a chroma green or curtain background, lavaliere and shotgun microphones. It records directly into the user’s My Media via CaptureSpace once they’re logged into the computer.  We were able to deploy a desktop computer from our IT department and add a capture card from Magewell that converts HDMI video to a directshow-compliant UVC video standard.  This lets the computer see any HDMI source in the same way it sees a webcam, which vastly opens up your options for video devices.  By adding an inexpensive camera, lights, and microphones a mini-studio like this can be created for around $1000.  (Not including the computer.)  The Magewell capture card can be added to any desktop PC, but similarly-priced external HDMI USB3 dongles are also available that can be used with Mac or PC laptops.

background options in self-serve video studioThe student or faculty member has the option to easily select the components that make sense for their use-case, like a curtain background or green screen (if they would like to chroma key a background later).  By adding a USB extender cable the computer can be controlled right from the “talent” desk by bringing over the keyboard and mouse.

Capturing Video and Storing It

guest on self-serve videoWith only a few clicks the user can be recording directly into My Media via CaptureSpace.  Recording onto the SD card is still an option, if the user desires, and we plan to retrofit our other spaces to record directly to CaptureSpace as well as all future studios.  The capture card, lighting, microphones, camera, XLR phantom power, A/B switch, and all other components are available from Amazon.

I hope this inspires you to create your own self-service video spaces!



Russ Lichterman spent nearly 15 years in broadcast television production before moving to higher education. He has a B.A. in Film and Media Arts from Temple University and an M.Ed. in Applied Educational Technology from Wilmington University. He is currently Director of Educational Technology and Multimedia at Wilmington University. Feel free to contact him with questions at    

Want to know how other schools are using CaptureSpace? Read the case study with Northern Essex Community College.

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