Upgrading for BoinxTV projects

I recorded about 20 to 25 conferences in the 14 months since buying BoinxTV. It has been a great way to bring Powerpoint slides into my videos, cutting out days of tedious editing.
How to “step things up” in 2012 though? Am still using a MacBook Pro, and if there are ever any comments it’s usually about the quality of the Firewire video. Should I be looking to using HD via Matrox or similar to record the output of my EX1R and Z-1 cameras?
Occasionally clients moan about the slide quality too. Should I upgrade my Epiphan VGA2USB to a more expensive option?

Wow! Great to hear that BoinxTV makes your life easier! It would be interesting to see any results. Do you have a platform where we can have a look?

From your description I read that you are running your devices on SD-resolution and probably the BoinxTV recording on a different one. Try to set up everything to the same pixel dimensions (e.g. 1280 x 720, use “progressive mode” if its possible with your devices). Then the images from each device don’t have to be scaled to fit the recording dimensions. A FireWire connection isn’t per-se a bad thing, the output resolution of your device is the thing that matters. Also: Don’t setup your laptop running PowerPoint to the highest output resolution possible, but set it to the resolution of the BoinxTV document too.

Let us know if this works for you.

Thanks for these tips Achim.
I will definitely try setting the 2 cameras and Powerpoint laptop to 1280 x 720 on my next recording.
I always output the file to FInal Cut (25fps) to tidy up the beginning and endings.
Have never output to ProRes. Would this result in higher quality?

Here’s a couple of examples:

The codec itself isn’t a quality insurance. Most video codecs have a quality parameter, where you can set up different qualities depending on your demand: File size vs. Quality. What I recognize looking at your examples are colored pixels around black characters on white background. Those color artifacts come from the digitizer in the VGA2USB device. If you want to get rid of those, you have to replace it by a different component. Also if you want to improve the frame rate of the slides. Btw: I am very impressed by your work!

Achim has some really good advice! I’ve been doing some similar setup. I was doing a screen capture via screen share of the presenter’s mac & then mixing with the live shot of the presenter. I set it to high quality display with little encryption (ad hoc, direct network connection via CAT6 between the 2 macs). it actually didn’t look too bad but it requires a 2nd screen to host the presentation (I later got around this by hooking up the projector to my mac & use that as the audience screen & my capture bed). the only issue I ran into on this is when we used keynote & they changed slides, their screen goes dark on screenshare for about 30 secs. not sure why it was doing that. the newest setup I have now is my matrox I had before with a new thunderbolt box (Intensity Extreme) to pull in the 2nd mac via HDMI.