Monday, February 8, 2010

Ask Dad: Debut is a Simple Solution

My dad works for a major computer manufacturer as an electrical engineer, and even in that large corporate environment there are times when getting a simple software solution from outside the company is preferable to reinventing the wheel and creating something in house.

debut video screen recorder software When I was using a little vacation time to visit my dad, he happened to mention not being really happy with the video capture program that he had been using for an experiment. He had been using a product called FreezeScreen that he said didn't seem as stable as he might like, and the recorded video wasn't always as clear as the original. Naturally, I recommended he try our program, Debut Video Capture Software, to see if he had better results with NCH's solution.

For a little bit of background I asked him if he could tell me more about what he was using the screen recording software for. He is using a collection of extremely high speed strobe lights and high magnification optics to image the operation of MEMS devices in motion with near nanosecond time resolution. There are no off-the-shelf systems that can do this type of analysis, so he put together the equipment himself. And, since there isn't a software front end, the only results he gets are on the on-screen display. So, if he wants to save any of the images to send to a colleague or to analyze further later, he needs a screen recording software like Debut.

I am happy to report that he has been very pleased with results that he has been able to get using Debut. To quote him, "The Debut software does exactly what I need. I even use the sound capture to annotate my observations in real time so I do not forget any of the things I changed during each test. When I play the video back I get a video recording of what happened, along with any measurements that were being taken, and my annotation is all synchronized in time in one video."

This is just one example of how a simple software solution like Debut can be a useful tool for research and industrial testing. Someone like my dad can put together a custom test environment with a number of individual software packages such as a digital camera interface, a timer program, a program that reads and displays the voltage, temperature, or some other information that is relevant to the test. By positioning the windows from each of the separate programs on screen before recording, Debut can capture a video record of all of the pieces in a single video. So even a piecemeal custom test can produce results that look like they were generated by a single, highly integrated system.

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