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Video Conferencing / Streaming in HD for large auditorium

Posted on 2010-09-07
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A client of mine, a large church wants to stream video live to a satellite campus in HD.  What type of equipment and bandwidth would be required at both ends?  There will be no feed going from the satellite campus to the originating site.  If you need any more information to answer or give any advice, just ask.  Thanks.
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Question by:257Roberts
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by:AClockworkTech
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That really depends on the encoding you use to stream it.  I would check with whatever you are using to stream it to find it's requirements.  The problem with video conferencing is that is is connectionless and very touchy when it encounters any delays.  Even with larger pipes at both sites, you cant guarrantee a bandwidth or latency across all the different hops it will take across the internet.  The best solution would be a point-to-point connection at each site.  At the very least, you might want to find something that can at least prioritize traffic coming from the vdieo conferencing equipment inside your network out to the internet, but thats about al lyou can do.  You don't want to do any packet shaping, just policing.  Most higher-end firewalls/routers should support this.
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by:257Roberts
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Clockwork, I'm not sure how they are going to encode it.  I'm guessing whatever equipment they buy will decide that.  I think they mentioned a recorder on the receiving end that would have a 10 second or so lag that would take care of any latency hiccups.  Does that sound right?  Do you know of any manufacturers that make equipment that is kind of plug and play for this application?  Thanks.
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by:golfwins
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Hello 257,

When we have remote video conferences, we bring in 3 bonded ISDN lines that are configured for video conferencing. You will need these at both locations. I would look to rent the video conference equipment becuase even the low end Polycom equipment is very expensive. Another option might be to go to a hotel that already has these lines in place and may even have the equipment. We always used our own Polycom equipment. The lag will be minimal with todays encoding. On rare occasions, we would bring in full/fractional T1s, but those take a lot of planning and expense. We had over 100 Polycom systems all over the world, and were very happy with the performance. I can't comment on other equipment since I don't have any experience with them. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.
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by:257Roberts
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Hi Golf,
Thanks for the reply, the church wants to purchase the equipment for permanent locations.  Would the three bonded ISDN's be less expensive than bonded T1's?  And would a 6mpbs DSL line work for the downstream location?  Which Polycom system would they need for large screen HD (720p)?  
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by:golfwins
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T1s would be ideal if it's going to be a permanent setup. You don't even need a full T1. You'll have to check on pricing becuase I'm not sure to be honest. I think any Polycom in the HDX series would do the trick for HD. I don't think you can use any type of DSL because it's not truly dedicated bandwidth.
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by:257Roberts
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So you are saying just a standard T1 dedicated to streaming will work?  And the T1 would work on the downstream end also?  I will check out the HDX Polycoms.  Will Polycom sell direct or would we have to go through a consultant/reseller?  Thanks again for your help!
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by:257Roberts
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We have a couple of T1's now but they are not dedicated just for the streaming.  They are about $500/mo
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ArneLovius earned 500 total points
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It sounds as if you want to do broadcast rather than conference. If you just want to stream video in one direction, Polycom Video Conferencing hardware is not the direction I'd go in.

I'd suggest that you looked at this type of hardware http://www.qvidium.com/QVAVC-HDCodec.html

If you ant to stream HD to N locations, for unicast traffic you are going to need enough bandwidth at the central site to cope with Nx the bandwidth for a single stream. For multicast you only need enough for a x, however running multicast over Internet DSL connections is going to be fraught with problems, you really need your own private network...

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by:257Roberts
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Arne, I checked with Polycom and the church cannot afford that equipment.  So I will check the equipment you suggested.  What about MPLS circuits between the two locations?  Thanks.
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by:golfwins
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Sorry 257, I just noticed I missed your last few posts. Polycom equipment is expensive. I purchased refurbished at my last company to save a ton of money. I bought a few systems from h323.tv. I'm not familiar with Arne's suggestion, so i can't comment. Do you have T1's at each location already? Here is a whitepaper, that will speak to the bandwidth a little more. Your original question mentioned HD video, but I think if you saw a h.264 call at 384k you would be pleasantly suprised. Also, you could get creative and buy a cheap polycom system and connect it to your existing autio and projection system.
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by:257Roberts
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Arne, the Qvidium equipment looks like what we need.  Do you know a reseller that we could work with? or do they sell directly to the end user?  

Golfwins,  The projected image will be on a 20' screen so I think HD is needed.  The video presently now being presented is being recorded at 1920x1080 and burned to a blu-ray disc and then hand delivered to the satellite location to be projected.  
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by:ArneLovius
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List of reseller here http://www.qvidium.com/sales.html
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