Set up for video recording
Swan system 720p 30fps with cameras of 62 degrees view angle: http://www.swann.com/ca/swdvk-164408 16 channels 8 cameras.
Note that you would like to record a minimum of 4 animals at a time: 2 controls, 2 experimental.
Camera should be placed in front of the cage to include the entire cage in the field of view; all four corners must be visible.
Ensure that the cage goes into the exact same position in relation to the camera and ambient light every time throughout the experiment. We recommend manufacturing a three-walled box (white walls) to slide in the cage. Video camera should be attached to the box to ensure it does not move.
Mark the top of the cage with the exact information about the mouse and experiment (i.e. genotype, sex, staring date of recording, etc.). Keep this information visible for the video recording.
Cover the front metal piece of the feeding rack with a piece of colored paper (red or orange) to avoid reflection of IR light at night. Red or orange color is needed to define black and white status of the video in IR mode at night.
Allow access to one side of feeding area only by blocking the second side with a piece of sheet metal or other appropriate material. Place drinking spout and accessible feeding area on opposite sides if possible.
Always start recording at the same time of the day.
Put minimum amount of bedding and no nesting material or domes into the cages as it will abstract the field of view.
FILE ACQUISITION and TRANSFER:
Set up DVR to 720p resolution 30fps for constant acquisition in bins of 1 hour.
Transfer files from DVR to the external hard drive (you will need a computer screen).
Convert files to MP4 format using AVC free ware: suggested video size 480 x 320, bit rate 256, frame rate 25.
Combine videos from one day (24 hours) into a single file using Avidemux free ware.
Make sure that daily video recordings start and end at the same time throughout the experiment.
Note: DVR steals about 10ms from each second so total of 24hrs recording will amount to 20hr video file.
When combining files, you may find that short files (3 sec long) generated by DVR may interfere and crush Avidemux program. Delete these short files.
Save one day files incorporating in the name of the file: channel number and date. For example, Ch 1 30 01 2017 (Ch1 is camera one).