Support corner: Manual recordings

Hi there, Daniel Mee from SnapStream Enterprise Support here. We’re hoping to use these Support Corner posts as a place to bring up some tips, tricks and common questions we come across in the course of supporting our Enterprise clients. Some of these posts will contain usage hints, while others may explain features or offer suggested workflows that our software supports, but that may not be immediately obvious.

Let’s start with something simple, but important: scheduling manual recordings.

What is a manual recording, and why would I want to make one?

Our Enterprise software offers a powerful and intuitive program guide for scheduling recording jobs. But maybe you don’t care about the program guide data, and you just want to record based on time, as if you were setting a VCR- say you want to record a particular time on the same channel every day, regardless of what’s on. Maybe the program guide doesn’t have data for the channel you want to record, as is the case with public access, government and educational channels. Maybe you’re importing video from an A/V source- say, a VCR ;).

For these applications, you’ll want to use our Manual Recording feature, which allows you to control the specifics of when and where a recording will be dispatched.

Two different methods

There are two different methods for scheduling a manual recording. First, from Enterprise TV Link, go to Setup Recordings and select Set Up a Manual Recording. From this screen, you can set the name, recording schedule and channel for the manual recording.

Setting up a manual recording in Enterprise TV Link

Hints:

  • To change the name of the recording, highlight the Name field and hit Enter, or just click on the existing name.
  • The options that will appear on the screen will change depending on the type of Recording Frequency you select- for example, the Block Size option will only appear when 24 Hours a Day is selected. Try flipping between the different Frequency options to see this for yourself.
  • You can’t specify the tuner on which a recording will be dispatched using this method. If you need to, you can do so after the job is scheduled by going to Recording Settings and Priorities and selecting View and Edit Details for the job.

Second, you can use the Enterprise TV web admin. Select Setup Recordings and then Create a New Recording. You’ll be able to set many more options from this screen.

Setting up a manual recording in the web admin

Hints:

  • This page allows you to enter custom metadata for your recording jobs. Metadata are tags attached to the recording that describe it, but aren’t part of the video. Along with the Title, you can specify the Series Description and Genre. If you want to change the title of a specific episode of this recording, you’ll need to edit the recording of that episode after it’s complete.
  • The Start and Stop Recording options can be used to move the beginning or ending of the show. This is useful if the show may be delayed depending on another program that may run over, like a sporting event.
  • Some of the options on this page, like Video Source and ShowSqueeze, will cause the page to reload if changed. Don’t be alarmed if this happens.

So how do I decide whether to schedule a manual recording through Enteprise TV Link or through the web admin?

Enterprise TV Link is the fastest, easiest way to schedule a manual recording. If you have a lot of recordings to schedule, or if you just don’t need a lot of control over all the options for the recording, this may save you some time. Additionally, if you are an administrator, you might want to instruct your users to use this method if you want to limit their access to options- this basically limits them to time, title and channel.

The web admin, on the other hand, offers much greater control over how the recording happens. You’ll want to use this method if:

  • You have metadata that needs to be entered
  • You want to specify the tuner on which the recording will happen
  • You want to change the quality at which the shows will be recorded
  • You want to set custom ShowSqueeze options
  • You want the recording to expire based on age or a set number of episodes, or not to expire at all

After the recording job is saved, most of these options are available in Enterprise TV Link through Setup Recordings → Recording Settings and Priorities, but in order to set them when you’re scheduling the job, you have to use the web admin.