Real time digital compositing – Am I crazy?

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      I’m setting up a mobile usability lab and have sketched out an ideal hardware configuration, but I haven’t worked with video much in recent years and could use some advice and a reality check on what I have in mind:
      During each 90 minute test, I need to composite a live DV shot of the test participant in a picture-in-picture window, with a live image of what the participant is doing on their computer screen in the background. Because there are multiple sessions per day, and multiple tests to run in multiple countries, (!!), I would really like to avoid going back and compositing all the video after the fact.
      I was hoping to avoid carrying a large analog video mixer (with a bunch of controls that I don’t really need), and instead just pipe both video signals as DV into a really swanky laptop, simultaneously, and use a software tool to do the PIP compositing and then run the whole thing off to a firewire disk… in real time, (or with a slight delay), while displaying the composited single video on the observation room monitor.

      Am I crazy, or can this be done?

      If I am crazy, does anyone know of an analog video mixer that is TINY? (So far the Sima SFX-9 seems like the smallest affordable unit, but it’s still kind of big.)

      If I’m NOT crazy, can you provide the name of the software that I should be using to do this? And what should the spec be for the laptop that I’ll buy to handle all the processing? Mac? Windows?


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