MBone at TRIUMF

New OpenScience broadcast

TRIUMF is now connected to the global MBone (Multicast Backbone) via a tunnel to UBC.

What this means is that using freely available software you can view video and whiteboard from global conferences, listen to audio at audio-equipped workstations, and possibly participate by using the tools to send to a conference.
The session directory tool sdr lists current broadcasts and automatically launches appropriate viewers.

There is an interesting report by Andrew S. Patrick on The Human Factors of MBone Videoconferences.

Platforms

The MBone tunnel is made to the multicast-capable system sitka1.triumf.ca, which generates multicast datagrams on the TRIUMF net. Any multicast-capable system at TRIUMF can then receive these datagrams with no increase in bandwidth. This includes the Alphas, Silicon Graphics, Win95, and Linux with multicast enabled. Patches are available for SunOS and Ultrix. Some vendor's Windows 3.1 TCP/IP stacks also support multicast.

The video and whiteboard tools are standard X11 programs, and will run on any X-terminal. Since the X-terminals do not support multicast directly, the net load increases for each X-terminal in use. Workstations with integral displays do not impose any extra net load.

The audio tools are available for workstations with integral sound systems. At this time the SGI system indi01, the Sun SPARCstation sundae, Win95 PC's with soundcards and the Linux PC andrew are known to support sound.
There is some NCDAudio software available for Alphas, but it lacks features compared to the workstation-based tools, has lower-quality audio, and consumes more local bandwidth.

The Sun SPARCstation sundae is equipped with a video frame grabber, with NTSC/PAL video and S-VHS inputs, so that it may be used to send video.


Older documents:

UBC transmits talks from the CICSR the last Thursday of each month at 4pm. See UBC CS Invited Speaker Series 1995/96


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