Multimedia Video Task Analysis (MVTA)


Multimedia Video Task Analysis™ (MVTA™) was developed by Professor Robert G. Radwin and Dr. Thomas Y. Yen in the Ergonomics Analysis and Design Consortium at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to help automate time studies of visually discerned activities through an innovative interactive computer system. The MVTA video analysis software helps automate time and motion analyses of visually discerned activities through an innovative interactive graphical user interface. MVTA uses custom multi-media software and digital video files (AVI or MPEG) or a computer-controlled VCR to facilitate interactive study of video recorded activities. Video activities can  be analyzed using standard digital video files obtained from a video capture board or digital video recorder.

Arbitrary events are discerned by interactively identifying terminal break points in the timed activity. Break points are characteristic occurrences that define the start and end of an event. The video record may be reviewed at any speed and in any sequence (real-time, slow motion, fast motion, or frame-by-frame in either forward or reverse direction). Analysts can replay any event as much as desired in a continuous loop or direct the video to display an arbitrary event or point in time in stop-action. MVTA produces  time study reports and it computes the frequency of occurrence for each event.

The data acquisition  component of MVTA™ is the Synchronized Video and Data Acquisiton™ (SVDA). The SVDA software and supported hardware synchronize multi-channel sampled analog data with the video using MVTA™ for extracting data segments corresponding to selected video segments. Data may be recorded and extracted for specific events or for the entire amount of sampled data and video. Video can be digitized simultaneously with the data or recorded using a conventional video tape recorder or camcorder.

MVTA is a versatile instrument with numerous applications in many fields. Some of the analyses that the system can be used for include:

bullet Activity sampling
bullet Checklists
bullet Behavior observation
bullet Detailed job analysis
bullet Elemental Analysis
bullet Event Analysis
bullet Left-hand/Right-hand Analysis
bullet Micro-motion Analysis
bullet Posture Analysis
bullet RULA or OWAS
bullet Task Analysis
bullet Time and Motion Study
bullet Work sampling

Typical fields of application include:

bullet Industrial Engineering
bullet Biomechanics and Kinesiology
bullet Work physiology
bullet Ergonomics
bullet Psychology
bullet Zoology
bullet Human Factors Engineering
bullet Training
bullet Sleep Labs
bullet Sports and Athletics
bullet Rehabilitation
bullet Human-Computer Interaction

Hardware Requirements

Computer System

bullet Minimum of Pentium compatible PC with Microsoft Windows™  98/2000/ME/NT 4.0/XP with Media Player 7.0 or higher (DirectX 8.0 or higher).  A Pentium™ II or higher based PC is recommended
bullet CD-ROM drive
bullet SVGA (1024 x 786) color monitor (minimum)
bullet SVGA (1024 x 786 in 16 colors) graphics adapter (minimum)
bullet 64MB RAM memory (128MB recommended), 128MB for NT/2000/XP
bullet 10MB hard drive space for programs and sample data files.  Additional space requirements dependent on the size and number of data files (approx. 5KB per analysis file (350 events))
bullet Slot available for Video Card (optional)
bullet Video/Television Tuner Board or video capture card for Computer (such as the Hauppauge WinTV™ PVR, Dazzle®Digital Video Creator, or any Windows compatible overlay/TV tuner card),
Video Monitor

The video can be captured in common video file formats using any codec (compression/decompression module) supported by Windows (such as MPEG1, MPEG2, DV, DivX). Analog data is captured using a National Intrument data acquisition card and stored in the MVTA™ Data file format (BDF) that can be read by MVTA™ version 2.90 or later.

For more information on acquiring MVTA™:

bullet Ergonomics Analysis and Design Consortium
bullet Nexgen Ergonomics
bullet Downloads (Demos and updates)

If more information is required, please email

Last Updated: 9/19/2005