[AG-TECH] What makes the AG different and that other H.323 world...

John I Quebedeaux Jr johnq at lsu.edu
Mon Aug 9 13:07:45 CDT 2004

Hi friendly AG folks! (again)

The existing video conference system in place is similar enough 
(compressed video and H.323 is what I hear over and over again) that 
they're saying "what's different about using the Access Grid instead." 
I think the AG is experience is overwelmingly different but it's not as 
polished as the H.323 systems I've been shown. The fact that the AG 
doesn't utilize MCU's is another and I can "spread out" the 
participants over many screens for a much better experience is another. 
I *believe* the audio experience is different, better? I haven't 
participated in one of their events just yet. I'm, unfortunately, not 
someone familiar with the other side of this technology - just the AG 
technology. They "call" people on this system (point to point and 
multipoint) and content where they can have a presentation and people 
on the screen. From what they described, they can have MANY sites on at 
once - (MCU's and the like). They're typically with two cameras (3 if a 
document camera) and already have the capability of sharing 
presentations, etc. In the AG's case, it seems that seeing is believing 
because trying to describe the system to someone who uses the other 
system doesn't "see" there is a difference in the AG.

Now, one immediate difference is that they are not "always on" - like 
we would have in the AG. There is no "virtual venue" that they all surf 
through to "go to" someone elses room. Bandwidth utilization is higher 
on the AG. They tell me the video quality is the same as H261. The one 
audio conference I heard had drop outs, etc, but was told that was NOT 
typical (it was an I1 connection, not via I2).

I'm bringing this up for discussion, I might have missed out on it 

What I'm being asked now is if our existing node can also be used in 
H.323 conferencing. The few times I've collaborated with someone on 
H.323 via VRVS was a mixed bag. One site knew what it was doing and we 
didn't have a problem from them (I had local network enforcement 
issues, but that's been long resolved now). The others all had issues 
or complained they could only pull up one video at a time, etc. The 
audio was lousy, etc.

If I were to run H.323 parallel (utilize my existing 
camaeras/audio/etc. for separate meetings at least) where should I look 
for the software involved? I would think I have already all the 
hardware I need. I know groups have been working on a bridge.... where 
are those along the way? I'm not totally sure what I would need to do 
to tie in.

Thanks for the ears,

John Q.

John I. Quebedeaux, Jr.
Louisiana State University
Computer Manager / LBRN & CCT / 131 Life Sciences Bldg. & 339 Johnston 
e-mail: johnq at lsu.edu or johnq at cct.lsu.edu / web: http://lbrn.lsu.edu & 
phone: 225-578-0062 / fax: 225-578-2597

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