[AG-TECH] Access Grid Installation

Michael Gay gay at purdue.edu
Fri Mar 22 06:55:28 CST 2002

Here at purdue we have installed what I call an EXTREME Access 
Grid Node (Paper forthcoming).  This system combines the 
capability to combine facilities for H.323, H.320 and Access Grid 
as well as satellite reception, Uplinking and streaming of content 
produced or received in the room.

If I read Bob's specification correctly, the 4th computer is a control 
computer for the Gentner AP or XAP boxes.  In our installation we 
used the ASPI Vortex 2280 (now owned by Polycom) instead of 
the Gentner.  We had more experience with the ASPIs and felt 
they gave better performance than the Gentner. (However I am still 
a big Gentner fan and have used them since they were primarily a 
broadcast industry supplier. [Editorial mode ON]  I think their 
corporate name change caps off a period of moving away from the 
broadcast industry and everything Russ Gentner created in 1981.  I 
am guessing they will not keep the Gentner name around much 
longer.  [Editorial mode off])

Anyway, we do not use the 4th computer for control and keep it 
around as a backup system.  We have integrated a Crestron 
automation system into our facility to give us complet control over 
all AV systems including video routing, VCR control, projector 
control, videoconference control and also automatic camera 
tracking based on open mic gating.  All this control with a few 
simple touches oif a screen sure beats dedicating a computer and 
mouse to control the audio.

With this system we can bring in H.323 video to the Access grid 
conference and with scan conversion, send them back one of our 
display screens (obviously their immersion experience is reduced 
compared to a local Access Grid Audience but it is a good way to 
get an important speaker to present to the Access Grid 
Community).  We could also Uplink the video from an Access grid 
Conference using our Ku Band Uplink to uplink standard Analog 
Video or broadcast quality MPEG-2 Uplinking at over 15Mb.  
Streaming capabilities and connections to our Public Access 
Channel on our local Cable TV system is also included.

In short, to answer your questions:
1.  Yes, there are people combining systems.
2.  Not using the AG in a box but I think there are other people 
working on solutions who might chime in on the list.

I may have rambled on more than you required, but since the list-
server does not charge by the word... I figured what the heck.


On 22 Mar 2002, at 10:48, Goss-Walter Torsten wrote:

> 1. Is anyone of you already using a combined video conferencing system, e.g.
> Access Grid and VCON, on the same hardware plattform?
> 2. Does anybody have any experiences with using less than four servers for
> Access Grid? Is it possible to combine some of the functions, e.g. video
> capture + audio capture on one machine by using a faster server?
> Thanks for your answers in advance,

Michael Gay
Purdue University
Manager, Engineering Services
Division of Instructional Services
1092 Stewart Center
W. Lafayette, IN 47907
765 494 5100
"I am always doing that which I can not do, 
in order that I may learn how to do it." 
                            - Pablo Picasso

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