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Communications The Internet

A Video Studio Over Ethernet - Can it be done? 23

Posted by Cliff
from the why-continue-to-litter-the-airwaves dept.
mikejz84 asks: "I am working on a design for a college campus TV station. Right now I am trying to find a way to do live events on campus. The link at most would be about a mile and a half. I was thinking microwave, but want something easier. Our campus has a gigabit ethernet backbone, I am wondering if there are any solutions for remote-to-studio links that would work over ethernet and still have very hight quality video? Idealy, I would like to have it where I can send straight DV across Ethernet Live."
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A Video Studio Over Ethernet - Can it be done?

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    should be plenty of pipe. gigabit backbone. yea, plenty as long as your not a 100,000 student school.
  • by hords (619030)
    According to this Article on Cisco [cisco.com] they claim to be able to do up to 10km on a fiber gigabit link.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 16, 2004 @09:00PM (#8888195)
    "Right now I am trying to find a way to do live events on campus."

    Mobile or fixed points?

    "The link at most would be about a mile and a half. I was thinking microwave, but want something easier."

    If you're thinking microwave then I'm thinking mobile. A licensed frequency band may be needed.

    "Our campus has a gigabit ethernet backbone"

    Who else is on this backbone?

    "I am wondering if there are any solutions for remote-to-studio links that would work over ethernet and still have very hight quality video?"

    Yes you can send DV video over ethernet.

    "Idealy, I would like to have it where I can send straight DV across Ethernet Live."

    Encapsulated DV, yes.
  • Firewire over Tcpip? (Score:5, Informative)

    by bentfork (92199) on Friday April 16, 2004 @09:02PM (#8888207)
    I though a firewire over ip solution shouldn't be to hard to find. However when I did a google search I found a lot of dislexics out there really talking about "IP over Firewire". query [google.com]

    My guess is that this is what you are looking for DV Stream on IEEE1394 Encapsulated into IP [wide.ad.jp]

    You may also want to look at The Comet Project [comet-can.jp] if you are willing to buy some custom hardware [comet-can.jp] (non english)

    • by dissy (172727) on Friday April 16, 2004 @09:59PM (#8888618)
      Just a nitpick, but they are not dislexics at all.

      IP over firewire and firewire over IP are two very very different things that serve different purposes.
      IP over firewire fills the more common need (IP networking), and thus it is talked about more.

      While firewire is indeed more than just the hardware layer, it is a protocol, its generally easier to encode your video into ANY other format and then send over IP than to use firewire over IP. This is why you almost never see it mentioned.
      While this guy is indeed looking for this solution, do keep in mind that most common and lower end video hardware does not support firewire still, and even older but Very high end video hardware did not support it. When one spends $10k on a camera they arnt very quick to toss it for something new.

  • by jgaynor (205453) <jon@gaynorELIOT.org minus poet> on Friday April 16, 2004 @09:36PM (#8888465) Homepage
    Whatever solution you choose, the ONLY thing that will ensure good quality if you do run video over an IP network is QoS. While average load won't squash a tv-quality signal, little spikes here and there will. Quality of service standards will 'reserve' a portion of that backbone for your video. Low Latency Queuing (LLQ) QoS is probably your best bet if the video is time sensitive. Keep in mind, however, that even though you may have a gigabit backbone, your network edge probably hums to the tune of only 100Meg, with gigabit aggregation. Your video will be limited by this more than the backbone.

    On a seperate note, your school (most likely) has dark fiber. When an institution trenches MILES Of fiber, they don't just pull a single strand through and then call it a day. That would be like building a 4 car garage to house your bicycle. They pull multiple bundles, each bundle containing over a dozen pairs. SOME of these pairs HAD to be allocated for video usage - talk to your physical plant people and light up some of that unused fiber. Once you terminate an unused strand it can be used for any purpose later, so even if your project is only temporary the school does not 'lose' said strand. You get your studio, higher-ups get the satisfaction of a slightly higher return on investment and the school paper can write a cheesy story about it.
    • "When an institution trenches MILES Of fiber, they don't just pull a single strand through and then call it a day. That would be like building a 4 car garage to house your bicycle."

      Wouldn't that be more like building a one car garage, knowing that at some point you may buy an additional car, but say "ahhh, I'll build it when I buy it..."?? Or am I understanding you backwards 'cause I'm tired?
  • Vbrick (Score:2, Informative)

    by DA-MAN (17442)
    I could be wrong, but I think you're looking for VBricks. You can hook them up on each end and do video over ip. You can even get a few of them and set up a multicast.

    They are broadcast quality, used by many tv stations, IE NOT CHEAP for Mpeg2. However you could probably find them on eBay for a few hundred for the standard mpeg 1 feeds.

    http://www.vbrick.com/products/vb_3000.asp
  • I've installed the units from VBrick, they are in fact used by cable companies to do just what you are attempting. You might need to check with the network admins to look at QoS settings to make sure you get the best signal you can.
  • In cases like this, it pays to find a PROFESSIONAL who knows what they're talking about.

    This sort of thing has to be done quite often, and I'm sure a pro should be able to point you in the right direction. This isn't exactly the type of project you can just hack together and expect it to work -- not to discourage you, but this is not something you want to use in a real 'production' enviornment. Get it working on your own, then try to implement it in a real setting. Saturating your university's ethernet
  • I'll admit right off I'm not sure if this is really what you're looking for, and of course, it requires a Mac running OS X. QuickTime Broadcaster seems to be able to do a really good job streaming in high quality over ethernet. Granted, the only tests we've run so far are within a subnet, to the next room; however, I believe it would scale well to greater distances, both physically and logically.

    Check it out. [apple.com]

    Dan Aris

  • VideoLAN (Score:4, Informative)

    by brendan_orr (648182) <brendan@brendanorr.com> on Friday April 16, 2004 @11:07PM (#8888977) Homepage
    A possibility is VideoLAN [videolan.org] which, while not able to send raw data across the network, can stream mpeg-1, -2, and -4, as well as other formats/codecs [videolan.org]. For direct data streaming, netcat [atstake.com] is a possibility. However, like stated in a brother post, the traffic on the network is an important aspect to consider.

    These are "poor-man" methods, so the choice is up to you if you want to use these or a more professional method of streaming.
  • Yes, we've done it !

    The solution we used, in French (but there are pictures for you illiterates) :
    PDF document explaining our installation [unice.fr]

    NB : Most of what is at the end (previsions about future) was finally implemented and works fine. The document is a bit old and I have to update it.
    • I must add that we use Real for encoding, but we could (and will) use VideoLan or other solutions.

      Just don't send raw video over Ethernet, it's far better to move the codec in the audio/video acquisition room like we did.
  • depends (Score:3, Informative)

    by hak1du (761835) on Saturday April 17, 2004 @04:39AM (#8890388) Journal
    It depends on what you mean by "very high quality" and "solution".

    First of all, Gigabit Ethernet is plenty fast for even the highest quality video, so technically, there is no problem.

    You may be able to get some black box with video in on one end and Ethernet out on the other, but it's likely to be pretty expensive.

    The generic solution is to do it with computers. You need a real-time video capture card, a server computer, a streaming video server that accepts video from the card, a client computer, and a video decoder (that may be as simple as a regular graphics card with TV output). If we are talking about "high quality" at TV resolutions, there are lots and lots of solutions available for that.

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