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Standalone recordings with the Sony camcorder

Setup and caveats

To configure the camera for standalone recording:

  • From the menus, select REC/OUT SET -> REC SET -> FILE FORMAT -> AVCHD.
  • Then select REC/OUT SET -> REC SET -> FILE FORMAT -> 1080/60P PS.
  • Select AUDIO SET -> MIC SELECT -> AUTO so the camcorder will use an external microphone if one is connected and otherwise fall back to its internal microphone. There is one exception: when the handle is attached to the camcorder, the internal microphone will not work unless it is specifically selected.
  • It is best to use an external microphone when recording from across a room. Plug it into the Mic socket (near front of camera, opposite side to screen).
  • Recording slides with a camcorder does not produce a very clear image and I would advise asking for a copy of the presentation.

Sennheiser radio microphone

  • The Sennheiser radio microphone is stored in the camera's box.
  • It consists of a transmitter, a receiver and a clip-on microphone which should be connected to the transmitter. The transmitter and receiver each require two AA batteries.
  • The on/off switches are hidden under the battery covers. Hold them down for a few seconds.
  • The lecturer wears the transmitter (usually clipped to their belt) and clip-on microphone (near their mouth, usually clipped to their collar).
  • The receiver is connected to the camera's microphone socket by screwing the plug in.

Creating and saving recordings

Press the red button on the back to start or stop a recording.

The easiest way to test a recording is to play it back on the camera itself. Press the Thumbnail button on the panel revealed by opening the screen to see a list of recordings, then tap one recording to play it.

To copy recordings off the camera's SD card, connect it to your PC via its Multi socket and micro-USB to USB cable. Alternatively if you have a suitable card reader, you can remove the card from the camera by opening the screen and the flat cover labelled SD/XC and pressing gently on the card. Reinsert it with the notched corner pointing down and into the camera.

The camcorder's SD card has a rather convoluted file structure and its recordings are in an unusual format. Assuming that FILE FORMAT has been set to AVCHD, the recordings will be in PRIVATE/AVCHD/BDMV/STREAM and will be in MTS format. Trying to view these files in a media player such as VLC will not always work properly, however the SMS can transcode them into more standard formats.

After making copies of your recordings please reformat the SD card. Go through the menus OTHERS -> MEDIA FORMAT -> MEMORY CARD A and then press OK on the touchscreen.

Uploading recordings

To the University Streaming Media Service

Before uploading videos to the SMS for the first time:

  • You need a working Raven account. Email help@maths or speak to a CO if you do not have one.
  • If you do not already have an SMS upload account then apply for one here.
  • Inform help@maths. They need to add you to the lookup group damtp-sms and to ensure that you will be authorised to assign the video to the correct institution (DAMTP, DPMMS or MATHS).

How to publish your video:

  • Go to and log in.
  • If you need to, create a new collection. The Editors' Group should be "DAMTP media uploads for SMS service". Don't add media at this stage (that box is for linking to media in other collections, not uploading new media).
  • Click on Create Media and follow the instructions. Read the form carefully and see whether the lecturer has provided any information which you can use for the description and abstract.
  • On the second page headed "Upload a media file" change the aspect ratio to 16:9 (widescreen).
  • It's fine to upload mp4 or mts files although they are not mentioned on the list of allowable video formats.
  • Your video will be automatically converted into multiple formats for viewing and downloading. You will receive an automatic email when this has been done.
  • Repeat the process for each video (no need to wait for one video to be transcoded before uploading the next).

To YouTube

  • First make sure you have access to the CMS Live Streaming "Google Brand Account". Ask Mick Young to add you if necessary.
  • Go to
  • Ensure that you are using the "CMS Live Streaming" account (check that your account icon in the top right is a capital C). You may need to log into your personal Google account then switch accounts to this brand account.
  • Click the video camera icon near the top right of the screen and follow the instructions.