Selecting Videoconferencing Equipment for HEP Applications

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Selecting Videoconferencing Equipment for HEP Applications

  1. 1. Selecting Videoconferencing Equipment for HEP Applications Geoff. Fayers [email_address]
  2. 2. Current Narrowband VC “Standards”
  3. 3. Standards & VRVS <ul><li>VRVS uses Hybrid (MBONE) “standards” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Experimental - not IETF or ITU </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Need > 1GMip for 30fps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited use of MMX </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Insufficient parallelisation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Common s/ware components are vic, rat, wbd, (sdr) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Beginning to support H.323 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For quality, need hardware DSPs </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Recommendation 1 <ul><li>Limit investment in A/V Capture cards for ‘old’ VRVS and MBONE </li></ul><ul><li>Decide how scalable you want H.323 </li></ul><ul><li>Decide whether ISDN important </li></ul><ul><li>Decide whether investment incremental or strategic </li></ul>
  5. 5. The ITU Standards: H.320 <ul><li>H.320 - < 2MBits/sec, ISDN </li></ul><ul><li>Each ISDN channel is 64KBits/sec </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ISDN-2 = 128 KBits/sec </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ISDN-6 = 384 Kbits/sec </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can also use ISDN-4 @ 256 KBits/sec </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimum is one channel @64KBits/sec </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(a good test of standards’ compliance) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For channels beyond 2, need BONDING </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mode 1 prevails for this application </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. The ITU Standards: H.323 <ul><li>Packet-based </li></ul><ul><li>Up to 2 Mbits/sec, adaptive </li></ul><ul><li>Transmission technology undefined </li></ul><ul><li>FR sometimes used </li></ul><ul><li>Consider only IP networks here </li></ul>
  7. 7. Other Standards <ul><li>Mbone IETF tools: sdr, vic, rat, wbd,….. </li></ul><ul><li>H.310 & H.321 for B-ISDN (ATM) </li></ul><ul><li>H.324 for low bit rate videotelephones </li></ul><ul><li>……… .others </li></ul><ul><li>T.120 - T.140 - data sharing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>…… MS NetMeeting commonest implementation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Others platform-specific </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SIP (RFC2543, Mar. ‘99) </li></ul>
  8. 8. T.120 <ul><li>The “missing component” of VC systems </li></ul><ul><li>Includes whiteboarding, ftp and application sharing </li></ul><ul><li>DataBeam’s FarSite most successful interim product ….. But now swallowed up (Lotus) </li></ul><ul><li>Intel’s ProShare Premier a strong alternative </li></ul><ul><li>PictureTel had LiveShare Plus.…but no more </li></ul>
  9. 9. More T.120 <ul><li>Also-rans are MediaRing (Mediacom), TALKShow (FutureLabs) </li></ul><ul><li>Most DTVC suppliers have moved to MS NetMeeting </li></ul><ul><li>NetMeeting dominates at present : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>DC-Share (DataConnection) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Netopia Virtual Office (Farallon Comms.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Timbuktu Pro (Farallon Comms.) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>PictureTel (Q4/97), VCON, VTEL, Sony, Zydacron, Vis à Vis, GPT and MMT all offer NetMeeting BUT ………. </li></ul>
  10. 10. What about MS NetMeeting? <ul><li>Implements modified T.120 stack for data sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Designed to prevent interoperability with strict T.120 implementations </li></ul><ul><li>Security risk </li></ul>
  11. 11. More about MS NetMeeting….. <ul><li>Also implements H.323……. </li></ul><ul><li>Example of a software-based codec </li></ul><ul><li>Intel ProShare is another </li></ul><ul><li>Suggestion: Do NOT use for a/v </li></ul><ul><li>Users will ignore one-to-one restrictions </li></ul><ul><li>Problems in UK VIP and Megaconf. </li></ul><ul><li>Probably banned next this year </li></ul><ul><li>Development?? </li></ul>
  12. 12. MBONE Answers to T.120 <ul><li>wb </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shared whiteboard, text and postscript drawings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>nt </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shared text editing tool for ASCII </li></ul></ul><ul><li>qb </li></ul><ul><ul><li>20% increase in remote audience participation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>More tools under development…. </li></ul>
  13. 13. SIP vs H.323 <ul><li>SIP is IP exclusively </li></ul><ul><li>SIP less complex - cheaper to implement </li></ul><ul><li>SIP easier debug - text messages/commands </li></ul><ul><li>SIP Client/Server arch. - security, mg’mnt </li></ul><ul><li>SIP easier Firewall handling </li></ul><ul><li>SIP more scalable </li></ul>
  14. 14. Future of H.323 <ul><li>Originally intended for LAN </li></ul><ul><li>Has come a long way for Internet use </li></ul><ul><li>Despite slow take-up….. </li></ul><ul><li>H.323 will persist for ~5 years or more </li></ul><ul><li>Will bridge with ISDN, ATM and PSTN </li></ul><ul><li>Will integrate e/mail, voice mail, fax, call centres, VC </li></ul><ul><li>GSM integration underway…. </li></ul><ul><li>Too much investment to abandon </li></ul><ul><li>Still developing…... </li></ul>
  15. 15. More on Future of H.323 <ul><li>2 Revisions of standard </li></ul><ul><li>More may be expected….. </li></ul><ul><li>Several Annexes </li></ul><ul><li>Annexe D important for HEP….. </li></ul><ul><li>Limited implementations </li></ul>
  16. 16. H.320, H.323 and T.12* Implementations <ul><li>H.320 in hardware, firmware and software - </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Desktop hosts include Win98, Win2000, WinNT </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No linux hosts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>H.323 in hardware, firmware and software - </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Desktop hosts include Win98, Win2000, WinNT </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No linux yet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some Mac - fast changing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>T.12* in software </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MS NetMeeting prevails, but others exist for UNIX and esp. for WinXX </li></ul></ul>
  17. 18. Range of VC Systems 0 2 4 6 10 12 14 16 8 ISDN-6 ISDN-2 H.323? Line Speed/ Quality ATM POTS Capture Cards/Videophones PC DTVC H/wired DTVC Rollabout Room - based Room - based PC DTVC £ K
  18. 19. Conclusion for Desktops…. <ul><li>For data sharing , use NetMeeting </li></ul><ul><li>===> Win98, WinNT, maybe Win2000 </li></ul><ul><li>But there are problems even then……. </li></ul>
  19. 20. H.323 and Firewalls <ul><li>Must have Rev. 2 compliance </li></ul><ul><li>S’ton have tested two </li></ul><ul><li>Axent’s Raptor looks good </li></ul><ul><li>CheckPoint’s Firewall-1 appears to be OK now </li></ul><ul><li>Edu prices comparable, tho’ Raptor not in CHEST </li></ul><ul><li>Cisco PIX may now be alright….. </li></ul><ul><li>No linux recommendations </li></ul><ul><li>Problems with NetMeeting V2.* </li></ul>
  20. 21. Conclusions for Firewalls <ul><li>If you are behind one on campus, check its H.323 rev. 2 capability </li></ul>
  21. 22. H.323 Protocol Stack H.323 Endpoints H.323 Gatekeeper H.323 VIU H.323 Gateway H.323 MCU
  22. 23. MCU Facilities <ul><li>At UCL (Pete Clarke) </li></ul><ul><li>At Edinburgh </li></ul><ul><ul><li>G.J.Fayers@ic.ac.uk or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Both Experimental </li></ul><ul><li>No Direct Booking! </li></ul>
  23. 24. Entry Level Recommendations 2 <ul><li>Use a PC with Win98 or WinNT </li></ul><ul><li>Zydacron Z353 at £995.0 + VAT </li></ul><ul><li>Augment with Polyspan SoundPoint PC at about £80 + VAT </li></ul><ul><li>Get additional headset from supplier of Z353 </li></ul><ul><li>Make supplier responsible for integrating the extras </li></ul><ul><li>Use NetMeeting V3.1 </li></ul><ul><li>Recognise the limitations </li></ul>
  24. 25. A Cheaper Entry Level Option <ul><li>For laptops, Win98 Polyspan ViaVideo at about £400 + VAT </li></ul><ul><li>but…. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Changing IP address…. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple IP addresses….. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Win2000 + X-Active + NetMeeting + ViaVideo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Camera </li></ul></ul>
  25. 26. Polyspan ViaVideo
  26. 28. An Alternative - VCON ViGO
  27. 29. Z353 vs ViaVideo <ul><li>Z353 </li></ul><ul><li>Single PCI half-length board </li></ul><ul><li>ISDN-2 and IP </li></ul><ul><li>S-Video aux input </li></ul><ul><li>Headset, camera mics </li></ul><ul><li>Aux. Line out </li></ul><ul><li>Win98, WinNT, Win2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Suitable for rollabout PC </li></ul><ul><li>£995 + VAT </li></ul><ul><li>ViaVideo </li></ul><ul><li>External USB connection </li></ul><ul><li>IP only </li></ul><ul><li>No auxiliary inputs </li></ul><ul><li>Built-in mic only </li></ul><ul><li>Uses audio out in PC </li></ul><ul><li>No WinNT support </li></ul><ul><li>Portable to e.g. ‘plane </li></ul><ul><li>£~400 + VAT </li></ul>
  28. 30. A Scalable Alternative <ul><li>Zydacron Z360 costs ~ £1,500 </li></ul><ul><li>Single full length PCI board </li></ul><ul><li>For ISDN, also need ZC206 @ £1,750 </li></ul><ul><li>Buy together for £2,995 + VAT </li></ul><ul><li>Capable of TV output, SVideo aux. Input </li></ul><ul><ul><li>So two cameras or document camera </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Auxiliary mic. Input too </li></ul><ul><li>Aux. Line output too </li></ul><ul><li>Built-in echo cancellation </li></ul>
  29. 31. Echo Cancellation - A Superb Multiway Solution?
  30. 32. Queries? <ul><li>Next edition of “Recommendations” late Spring </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Will include mid-range and some high-end recommendations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Information on cameras, doc. Cameras, other add-ons </li></ul><ul><li>Queries to G.J.Fayers@ic.ac.uk </li></ul>

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