[AG-TECH] Access grid Hardware , expensive !

Osland, CD (Chris) C.D.Osland at rl.ac.uk
Fri Oct 1 06:15:05 CDT 2004


Access Grids can be expensive, but don't be put off by the
spec you have found: that is YEARS out of date.

1.  You shouldn't be getting sticky windows with 5 or 6 participants,
unless you mean 5 or 6 nodes each with 4 feeds.  Our old 3-computer
system got a bit sticky at 20 - 25 windows (maybe 10 nodes) but 
that is a single processor 1.4 GHz Athlon and a G200 display card.
With the same processor and a G650 card, we can do more.

2.  I built two successful full room nodes with: Windows XP on a
dual 2.8 GHz Xeon processor single machine; Matrox G650 display card
(console + 2 AG displays), onboard audio and ethernet,
single Videum 440 capture card for 4 video inputs.  The expensive
item (but well worth it) is the echo canceller (XAP 400 in our case)
which is about twice the cost of the computer with its cards.

3.  The only reason I would prefer to add a second computer is that
it would allow me to run the ClearOne (Gentner) software in that,
(without that software causing the CPU utilization to be 100% in the AG
and also use it for DPPT / IgPix / VNC etc.  All the 'mainstream'
AG applications happily run in a single machine as long as it has
enough power - 2x2.6, 2x2.8, 2x3.06 or whatever.

[If you're running APware under Windows, make sure that it is
running at LOWEST priority, or you will get sticky windows
at stupidly low window counts.]

Our complete systems (I built two of them) with a 42" plasma and
19" LCD for one room, and 2 19" LCDs for the other (neither room
had space for projection), two Sony D-100 cameras, mics, cables,
etc.. cost about £9000 ($16,000?) and £7000 ($12,000?) for the
plasma- and LCD-based systems respectively.  That compares pretty
well with a standard video conference system such as a Polycom
VSX 7000 or 8000, and has much greater interactive capability
(seeing everyone all the time).

Just my 0.02$ worth.


Chris Osland                         Office tel: +44 (0) 1235 446565
Digital Media and Access Grid      Medialab tel: +44 (0) 1235 446459
BIT Department             Access Grid room tel: +44 (0) 1235 445666
e-mail:   C.D.Osland at rl.ac.uk               Fax: +44 (0) 1235 445597

CCLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (Bldg. R18)
Chilton, DIDCOT, Oxon OX11 0QX, UK

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov [mailto:owner-ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov]On
> Behalf Of Marie-Noelle Dauphin
> Sent: 01 October 2004 10:03
> To: ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov
> Cc: dauphin at idris.fr
> Subject: [AG-TECH] Access grid Hardware , expensive !
> hello ,
> We used to Access grid on a single machine node (PIG  on  
> windows XP ) with agtk 
> 2.1 ....
> Now we are thinking that perhaps Two or three PC will be better ...  
> with atk 2.3 because  when there is more than  6 participants 
> with vic  , it's difficult to move the vic windows ..
> I  read the "tutorial  : how to build an install an access 
> grid node " .
> I have two questions :
> why do they  recommand  4 pc  :  Display windows 2000 ,video 
> linux, audio 
> linux, control windows XP and not for example
>  4 pc (control,display,vido,audio) all with linux
>  or 4 pc (control,display,vido,audio)all  with windows XP .....
> because  linux better for video capture and audio ?  I don't 
> understand ..
> Does the tutorial "how to build an install an access grid node" is up 
> to date with atk 2.3 .....
> For example with fedora core 2 do you still recommend    
> Hauppauge video 
> capture  and Creative Ensoniq Audio pci ?
> computing equipment + media equipment  + projection equipment is too 
> much expensive ...... hum hum !!  :-(
> at first time , Is it possible  to used only 2 pc  ?  
> audio+control on 
> 1pc with an only audio card ? and video+display on another pc with an 
> only video capture card ? wich with windows ? wich with fedora ?
> does atk 2.3 run with only 2 pc ? 
> thank's for your response !!!!
> best regards
> Marie-Noëlle

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