[SATLUG] Re: 1984- now AccessGrid VIDEO conferencing

Jeremy Mann jeremymann at gmail.com
Sat Mar 22 18:38:41 CDT 2008

On Sat, Mar 22, 2008 at 6:28 PM, Borries Demeler
<demeler at biochem.uthscsa.edu> wrote:

>  I like the behind the wall installed stuff a bit better, but it is also
>  a lot more costly (that's what they have at TACC). You can probably put
>  together a basic mobile setup with echo cancelling, a couple mics, a
>  couple of cams for less than 2k. Jeremy would know more details on this.

I designed a system for a little under $2400 using off the shelf
parts. If you'd like I can send you the specifications of the system.
The things we weren't required to buy were PTZ cameras and microphones
since our AV department provided them. All this goes in a neat mobile
box with wheels. Setup time is 10-15 minutes, since basically all you
have to do is put the mics on the table, setup the cameras and start
the AG.

>  > >  Hey, maybe you could set up a demo for these guys with us, and we can
>  > >  demonstrate some of the really cool features (high-dev video streaming,
>  > >  VC recording of all audio and video streams, etc. and convince the
>  > >  guys to take a second look at this outstanding freeware package from
>  > >  Argonne National Labs (developed with NSF funding). This is how we
>  > >  got our IT people interested in it, just give them a bunch of demos.
>  >
>  > The SVP who suggested Adobe Connect is going to be at our staff
>  > meeting this next week, and I'll bring up the subject then.
>  Ask him if it can do multicast, if you can transmit HDTV signal over it,
>  ask him to list the codecs it support for both video and audio, and if it
>  can stream high-res desktop video at arbitrary resolution, and if it can
>  record all audio/video streams simultaneously. Last I checked AG supported
>  at least 10 different audio codecs and at least that many video codecs.
>  Ask him if his solution can smoothly interact with AccessGrid, the standard
>  for video conferencing.

AG 3.1 offers multiple video codecs now including H.264, H.323, MPEG4,
DV and HDV. Note the H.323 is not compatible with Polycom or Tandberg
systems, but I did do a test a few weeks ago using Ekiga (was
GnomeMeeting) to connect to a Polycom system in New Hampshire. I'm
still coming up with a way to combine it into a AG session.

I did offer to test out the SAC network for a future SATLUG
presentation, but never heard back from Steve. He's probably
preoccupied with the Open Source Fest they're hosting.

What we have done with AG is quite interesting actually. We
participated in the 4th Annual Virtual Genomics Conference sponsored
by SDSU, this was in 2003. Since then, we've hosted a conference with
the members of HiPCAT, where the developers of AG, notably Thomas Uram
from Argonne, officially announced version 3.0.

We hold monthly Ultracentrifugation workshops with participants from
all over the world, Texas, Oregon, Germany, Netherlands to name a few.
We were also hosting a virtual conference room for an Electronic
Education program sponsored by the University of Minnesota. They have
since started using their own Venue Server.

And most recently a Genetics research group consisting of main campus
HSC, the Edinburg valley campus, the downtown UT campus building,
Argentina and Chile. I might add that the Doctor in Chile gets the
best wireless signals at his local pub ;)

To see the mix of participants and schedules, please check out the AG scheduler:


Jeremy Mann
jeremy at biochem.uthscsa.edu

University of Texas Health Science Center
Bioinformatics Core Facility
Phone: (210) 567-2672

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