Recording techniques

How many signals (camera, VGA, etc.) can be recorded and synchronized?
Basically there is no limit of the number of signals that can be recorded and synchronized. If you want to record a lot of signals you maybe need an additional Media Recorder but there is no limit in the Spectator software. Thus the system can easily be scaled, even if you start with a small solution in the beginning.

What kind of cameras can be connected?
All different types of cameras can be connected and recorded (analog, digital, composite, FireWire, USB, S-Video and IP network cameras). We also support high resolution cameras.

Can the computer screen be captured?
Of course our solution captures the VGA signal. With our Media Recorder you can record the VGA or DVI signal in its original spatial resolution. No software installation on the test computer is required.

How many audio channels can be recorded?
Audio can be recorded either through the camera(s) or as separated signals. Up to 8 different audio signals can be recorded.

How long can be recorded?
That only depends on the available hard disk space. We have systems running that record 6 video, audio and VGA signals for 6-8 hours perfectly synchronized.

What kind of video compression codec is used?
In most cases, we use the very common DivX codec, in some cases we use lossless MJPEG (e.g. radar). All video files can be watched with standard video player software. We are flexible concerning the compression codec. Thus we can implement other codecs on request.

Is it possible to manage different recording scenarios?
Yes, you can easily configure different recording setups. They are saved and loaded like configuration files. Simply select the currently required setup from a pull-down menu. For example, if you use only one camera in the first observation but two cameras and three audio channels in the second, you can configure the different setups and switch between them in the software.

Can additional signals (eye tracking, physiological data, etc.) be recorded?
Yes, additional analog and digital signals can be integrated and synchronized. See Eye Tracking and Physiological data acquisition.

Observational Data Acquisition and Coding

Is live coding during the recording possible?
Of course you can code behaviors and events during the recording. After the recording you can edit all your codings and/or do a recoding of the session. Learn more…

Can several observers code simultaneously?
Yes. Several observers can code independently from each other. In the analysis you can compare their codings with several filters and do a reliability check automatically.

Is the coding procedure optimized for keyboard usage (shortcuts/hot keys)?
Yes, for each behavior or event you want to code you can assign a shortcut on the keyboard you want to use. Of course you can also use the mouse and push buttons on the screen to code.

Can I add new behaviors and events during an acquisition?
If you ever forgot to plan a behavior or encounter events you couldn’t anticipate but want to log, it is no problem to define them in the ongoing test session.

Are the codings assigned to the video recording?
Yes. Each coding you do creates a bookmark in the video and you can use the codings to jump to the appropriate scenes in no time.

Can the codings be assigned to a certain task?

Can behaviors be categorized and are the categories shown during the recording?

Is it possible to enter comments and other text in addition to the coding?
Yes and these will also be assigned to the video recording.

Can comments and text be assigned to a certain behavior?

How many tasks, behaviors and events can be coded?

Can tasks be repeated during the recording?

Can the tasks be rated?
Yes, you can define up to six levels to rate the task (e.g. success, time out, failure, …). In the data analysis you can use these ratings to filter the tasks.

Is it possible to edit the codings after the recording?
Yes, all your codings can be modified offline (delete codings, change timing, add codings).

Can codings of several observers be merged?

Data Analysis

Is a list with all codings of all persons available?

Is it possible to search for certain codings?
Yes. All entries and codings you made can be searched.

Is it possible to filter the data for codings and categories?

What is included in the automated analysis?
The Spectator software autmatically analyzes the following parameters: How often a behavior occurred, duration of behaviors, duration for tasks, task ratings, behaviors per task, occurrence of categories. For all parameters you get Min., Max., Mean, Sum values, standard error, standard deviation, probability of occurrence
The user can pool results from participants at will.

Is pattern analysis available?
Yes, and it is much more sophisticated than in competitive products.

Are diagrams presented for all the analyzed parameters?

Can the diagrams be exported?
Yes, all figures can be saved in various formats. The system supports also vector based formats so you can edit the figures in other programs (e.g. resize).

Is it possible to create videos of the test highlights?
Yes. Videos can be cut manually or automatically, based on user-defined rules. In addition to a simple picture-in-picture video you can also create a presentation with the different synchronized video and data streams. You can adapt this presentation to your corporate identity.

How can other people watch the synchronized videos without having the Spectator software?
We provide a free player software to watch the synchronized videos in order to provide everybody the experience of the great recording quality. Learn more…

How is the reporting supported by the system?
The software contains a user-definable report generator that produces reports according to your individual needs. It also can adapt the reports to your corporate identity. This tool generates a pdf report file based an your template with information, data, diagrams and text automatically. Learn more…

General issues

Can I access data without the Spectator software?
Yes. The back-end of the software is a SQL database that can be accessed with other programs as well. Learn more…

Can I access the same data pool with installations on different computers?
Yes. The software is network capable. If you have several installations running on different computers, they can all access the same data either on one of the computers or on a network server. Learn more…

Is a backup tool integrated in the software?
Yes, you can define a directory (e.g. on a server) where the data are stored as a backup.

Is it possible that different persons use the system with their own settings and can only access their files and data?
Yes, the software supports the Windows User Access Control (UAC). When people log in with different accounts, they can only access data and recordings they created. We have systems in universities, where 130 students have access to one system with their own login data. Each student can only see the recordings he or she produced. Learn more…