VBrick Systems VB5000, VB6000, VB4000, VBRICK APPLIANCE VB6000 User Manual

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VB4000-5000-6000 Series

Network Video Appliances

VBrick v4.2 WM Appliance

Admin Guide

March 18, 2008 4410-0151-0004

Copyright

© 2008 VBrick Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. 12 Beaumont Road

Wallingford, Connecticut 06492, USA www.VBrick.com

This publication contains confidential, proprietary, and trade secret information. No part of this document may be copied, photocopied, reproduced, translated, or reduced to any machine-readable or electronic format without prior written permission from VBrick. Information in this document is subject to change without notice and VBrick Systems assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or inaccuracies. VBrick, VBrick Systems, the VBrick logo, StreamPlayer, and StreamPlayer Plus are trademarks or registered trademarks in the United States and other countries. Windows Media is a trademarked name of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other products or services mentioned in this document are identified by the trademarks, service marks, or product names as designated by the companies who market those products. Inquiries should be made directly to those companies. This document may also have links to third-party web pages that are beyond the control of VBrick. Use these links at your own risk. The presence of such links does not imply that VBrick endorses or recommends the content of any third-party web pages. VBrick acknowledges the use of third-party open source software and licenses in some VBrick products. This freely available source code is posted at http:// www.vbrick.com/opensource.

FCC Notice

This equipment carries the CE mark and is UL listed in the U.S. and Canada. This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the limits for Class A digital device, pursuant to Part 15 of the FCC rules, Class A for OC3C Interface, Class A for the SDI Interface. These limits are designed to provide reasonable protection against harmful interference when the equipment is operated in a commercial environment. This equipment generates, uses, and can radiate radio frequency energy and, if not installed and used in accordance with the instruction manual, may cause harmful interference to radio communications. Operation of this equipment in a residential area is likely to cause harmful interference in which case the user will be required to correct the interference at their own expense. This Class A digital apparatus meets all requirements of the Canadian Interference-Causing Equipment Regulations. Cet appareil numerique de la Classe A respecte toutes les exigences do reglement dur le materiel brouilleur du Canada.

About VBrick Systems

Founded in 1997, VBrick Systems, an ISO 9001 certified vendor, is a privately held company that has enjoyed rapid growth by helping our customers successfully introduce mission critical video applications across their enterprise networks. Since our founding, VBrick has been setting the standard for quality, performance and innovation in the delivery of live and stored video over IP networks—LANs, WANs and the Internet. With thousands of video appliances installed world-wide, VBrick is the recognized leader in reliable, high-performance, easy-to-use networked video solutions.

VBrick is an active participant in the development of industry standards and continues to play an influential role in the Internet Streaming Media Alliance (ISMA), the MPEG Industry Forum, and Internet2. In 1998 VBrick invented and shipped the world's first MPEG Video Network Appliance designed to provide affordable DVDquality video across the network. Since then, VBrick's video solutions have grown to include Video on Demand, Management, Security and Access Control, Scheduling, and Rich Media Integration. VBrick solutions are successfully supporting a broad variety of applications including distance learning and training, conferencing and remote office communications, security, process monitoring, traffic monitoring, business and news feeds to the desktop, webcasting, corporate communications, collaboration, command and control, and telemedicine. VBrick serves customers in education, government, healthcare, and financial services markets among others.

Contents

WM Admin Guide

Organization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii Getting Help . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . viii Getting the Best Video . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . viii Font Conventions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix Printer-Friendly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix

1. Introduction

Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

System Requirements for Windows Media Player . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Standard Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Typical VBrick Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Multicasting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Unicasting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Reflecting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

VBrick Reflecting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Reflecting from VBrick Appliances. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Push Reflecting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Pull Reflecting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Using Multiple Bit Rate Streams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

MBR Output Settings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

MBR Groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

MBR Troubleshooting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Using On Demand Playback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Optimizing System Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Mixed Model Appliances . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Archiver and Recorder Functionality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

2. WM Configuration

Configuration: Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Configuration: Network > Ethernet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Configuration: Network > Routing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Configuration: Network > Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Configuration: Encoder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Configuration: Encoder > Template . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Configuration: Encoder > Video . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Configuration: Encoder > Audio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Configuration: Encoder > Multicast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Multicast Playback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Configuration: Encoder > Announce (SAP). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Configuration: Encoder > Server . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

Unicast Playback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

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ASX Rollover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Creating Publishing Points . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

Configuration: Encoder > Archiver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Progressive Download . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

Configuration: Encoder > Push . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

Configuration: Reflector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

Configuration: Reflector > Source . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

Configuration: Reflector > Multicast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

Configuration: Reflector > Announce (SAP) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

Configuration: Reflector > Server. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63

Configuration: Reflector > Archiver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64

Configuration: Reflector > Push. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

Configuration: JPEG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

JPEG Capture Constraints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

Configuration: FTP File Transfer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69

Configuration: FTP File Transfer > Servers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69

Configuration: FTP File Transfer > Transfers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

Hard Drive Status . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72

Configuration: Passthrough . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72

Configuration: Passthrough > COM1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73

Configuration: Passthrough > COM2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

Configuration: System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

Configuration: System > General . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

Configuration: System > SNMP Traps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77

Configuration: System > Security . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80

Configuration: System > Logging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82

Configuration: Script Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83

Configuration: Script Management > Event Triggering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83

Configuration: Script Management > Auto Configuration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86

3. SDI Configuration

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89

SDI Configuration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89

Configuration: Encoder > Video . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90

Configuration: Encoder > Audio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90

SDI Limitations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91

4. Status

Status: System Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93

Status: Network Status . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94

Status: Network Status > Codec . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94

Status: Network Status > Routing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95

Status: Network Status > Network Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96

Status: Encoder Status . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96

Status: Reflector Status . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99

Status: Reflector Status > General . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99

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Contents

Status: JPEG Status . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100

Status: Hard Drive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102

Status: Hard Drive > General . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102

Status: Hard Drive > Archiver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102

Status: Server Status . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104

Status: Server Status > General. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104

Status: Server Status > Encoder Details . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104

Status: Server Status > Reflector Details . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105

Status: Push Status . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105

Status: FTP Server Status. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107

Status: System Log . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107

Status: System Log > Config. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107

Status: System Log > System Event . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108

Status: System Log > Traps. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109

Status: System Log > System Info . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109

Status: User Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110

Status: User Information > Main Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110

Status: User Information > Slot1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111

5. Diagnostics

Diagnostics: Network Tests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113

Diagnostics: Network Tests > Ping Test. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113

Diagnostics: Network Tests > Trace Route Test . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114

Diagnostics: Device Test . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115

Diagnostics: Hard Drive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117

6. Maintenance

Maintenance: Device Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119 Maintenance: Default All Configuration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120 Maintenance: Read/Write Configuration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120 Maintenance: Read/Write > Read From Device. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120 Maintenance: Read/Write > Write To Device . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122 Maintenance: Usernames & Passwords . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123 Maintenance: Usernames & Passwords > Change Usernames & Passwords . . . . . . . . 123 Maintenance: Usernames & Passwords > Change SNMPv3 Passwords . . . . . . . . . . . . 125

7. Maintenance Mode

Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127

Maintenance Mode Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128

Maintenance Mode Indicators. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128

Maintenance Mode CLI Operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129

8. WM Templates

Best Quality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132

LAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133

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Cable/DSL-300K, High Motion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133

Cable/DSL-300K, Low Motion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134

Cable/DSL-128K, High Motion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134

Cable/DSL-128K, Low Motion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134

Modem 56K . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135

Security & Surveillance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135

9. Stream Prioritization

Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137 Stream Prioritization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137 Non Bitrate Constrained . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138 Bitrate Constrained . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138 How the WM Appliance Creates Priority Lists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139 For Group Serving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139 For Archiving, and Pushing to or Pulling from a WM Server. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139 Configuring Groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140 Safe Group Configurations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140

Index

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Contents

WM Admin Guide

This VBrick WM Admin Guide is written for anyone who will be using or configuring a VB6000 Series WM appliance. This includes system administrators, network technicians, and anyone who will be using or configuring a VBrick network video appliance. The VBrick WM Appliance is compatible with Microsoft Windows Media and converts analog video and audio from any source into digital Windows Media streams. It attaches to your network and delivers the streaming video and audio directly to any Windows Media-compatible player or server. The VBrick can deliver the streams via multicast to any number of players on the network and it can serve the stream via unicast to up to 200 players or servers. The WM Appliance is part of VBrick's award winning VB6000 series of products with a proven track record of quality, reliability and flexibility.

VBrick's WM Appliance is an industrial strength, versatile, and reliable video appliance for one-way communication over low and medium bandwidth IP networks using the widely deployed Windows Media

format. The WM Appliance can be deployed in a variety of ways and integrates seamlessly into existing Windows Media deployments. This powerful, yet inexpensive product can reach thousands of people on your enterprise network, VPN, or the Internet. The Windows Media appliance provides both Windows Media encoder functionality and Windows Media server functionality for live video. A key benefit is its compatibility with the Windows Media Player, thus eliminating the need for a desktop player installation.

Organization

Introduction

provides an overview of the WM Appliance and typical VBrick

 

applications. It explains how to optimize performance and how

 

to deliver multiple bit rate streams.

 

 

WM Configuration

explains all configuration windows for the encoder. These

 

include encoder audio and video settings as well as passthrough,

 

SNMP traps, script management, etc.

 

 

Status

explains the status screens that provide information about the

 

system, the encoder, the server. It also explains how to view the

 

system and event logs and traps.

 

 

Diagnostics

explains how to run various diagnostic tests. These include ping,

 

traceroute, and loopback.

 

 

Maintenance

explains how to manage device information and reset all

 

configuration parameters to the defaults. It also explains how to

 

save configuration data and/or rewrite it back to the encoder.

 

 

Maintenance Mode

explains how to use a limited subset of the IWS interface to

 

manage appliance configuration parameters when there is a

 

firmware download failure.

 

 

WM Templates

shows each setting on the pre-configured audio and video

 

templates that are provided for common encoder configurations.

 

 

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Stream Prioritization

describes the Windows Media Player logic that determines what

 

stream the player will select and play when multiple bit rates are

 

configured.

 

 

Getting Help

If you need help, or more information about any topic, use the online help system. The online help is cross-referenced and searchable and can usually find the information in a few seconds. Use the tree controls in the left pane to open documents and the up and down arrows to page through them. Use the Search box to find specific information. Simply enter one or more words in the box and press Enter. The search results will return pages that have all of the words you entered—highlighted in yellow (Internet Explorer only). The Search box is not case-sensitive and does not recognize articles (a, an, the), operators (+ and – ), or quotation marks. You can narrow the search by adding words.

If you can't find the information you need from the online help, or from your certified VBrick reseller, you can contact VBrick Support Services on the web. Support Services can usually answer your technical questions in 24 business hours or less. Also note that our publications team is committed to accurate and reliable documentation and we appreciate your feedback. If you find errors or omissions in any of our documents, please send e-mail to documentation@vbrick.com and let us know. For more information about any VBrick products, all of our product documentation is available on the web. Go to www.vbrick.com/ documentation to search or download VBrick product documentation.

Getting the Best Video

Video quality is a subjective concept that depends on a variety of factors. VBrick's philosophy is to make our network appliances as flexible as possible so they can be used effectively in different applications on a wide variety of networks. This means you can configure an appliance for maximum performance but you can also configure it in such a way that it will only work well in a very limited environment. Video quality is also relative. What is acceptable quality for a surveillance application on a low-bandwidth network is most likely unacceptable for a corporate presentation or a two-way video conference on a high-speed LAN. Much depends on your network, the bandwidth you have available, and the audience you are trying to reach.

VBrick tries to anticipate as many obstacles and limitations as possible and provides customdesigned MPEG-4 and WM (Windows Media) templates for a variety of applications. These templates are designed to provide the highest quality audio and video—using bit rate, frame rate and resolution settings that are tailored for a variety of common network environments. We encourage you to override specific template settings in order to meet the unique requirements of your own site, but in doing so, be aware that you can also degrade the quality and/or performance of the audio and video you are trying to deliver.

For best results, start with a pre-built template and then adjust the bit rate, frame rate, resolution, and other parameters with care. Experiment with different settings to see the trade-offs in quality and performance. You can track your changes by periodically saving the configuration file using the Read/Write option on the Maintenance page in IWS. If the audio and video quality is still less than you would expect, re-apply one of the standard templates and try again. Keep in mind that the VBrick is stable, reliable and flexible. In most cases a small amount of experimentation will help you find the configuration settings that will deliver the best audio and video your network can support. For more information, or help configuring your appliance, contact VBrick Support Services.

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Preface

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x

Preface

Chapter 1

Introduction

Topics in this chapter

Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Typical VBrick Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

VBrick Reflecting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Using Multiple Bit Rate Streams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Using On Demand Playback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Optimizing System Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Mixed Model Appliances . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Overview

Live and stored video-on-demand are among the most compelling and efficient forms of human communication and removes the barriers of time and distance. Microsoft Windows Media is a ubiquitous technology that makes it easier for VBrick customers to deploy video for one-way video delivery to millions of PCs and multimedia-equipped devices worldwide. "Windows Media" describes Microsoft's multimedia product technologies for Windows. It includes (1) Windows Media Format tools for encoding and decoding audio and video, (2) Window Media Services for publishing streaming audio and video on a server, and (3) Windows Media Player, which is the client program that plays Windows Media and other multimedia formats. The Windows Media Player is typically installed with the operating system on most desktop PCs so no player-side installation is necessary, eliminating a common IT concern when deploying a streaming audio/video solution. VBrick has licensed Windows Media encoding and server technology from Microsoft and created the VBrick WM Appliance to interoperate with other Windows Media compatible products including all versions of Windows Media Player and all versions of Windows Media Server.

System Requirements for Windows Media Player

Ethernet LAN.

Multicast IGMP Version 2.

Windows 98, 2000, XP (Windows XP Service Pack 1 or above (Service Pack 2 recommended).

500 MHz Pentium III processor for Windows Media streams (750 MHz recommended).

128 MB RAM.

SVGA video card 640x480, 256 colors (video card acceleration recommended).

Windows-compatible sound device.

Minimum 15 MB hard disk space for installation.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher.

Microsoft DirectX Media 8.1 or higher (9.0 recommended).

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Microsoft Windows Media Player 7.1 (Windows 98 or 2000 only); Media Player 9, 10, or 11 (Windows XP only).

Standard Features

The VB6000 WM Appliance supports approximately 40 Mbits/sec total throughput via the Ethernet/IP connection. This bandwidth can be used for any of the standard features shown in Table 1 but the overall performance of any one of these features can be affected by the sum total. For example, you can download more content from the hard drive when the encoder(s) are not streaming, pushing, and/or multicasting. In a typical scenario, the hard drive will support the progressive download of a video file to a maximum of 20 simultaneous viewers, or 20 MBits/sec—whichever comes first.

Table 1. Encoder and Reflector Features

Standard Feature

Encoder

Reflector

 

 

 

Accepts composite or S-Video input.

X

 

 

 

 

Available as single or dual channel.

X

 

 

 

 

Multiple bit rate support.

X

 

 

 

 

Windows Media Audio 8 encoding (5 Kbps–192 Kbps).

X

 

 

 

 

Windows Media Video 9 encoding (20 Kbps–4 Mbps).

X

 

 

 

 

Optional 60 GB hard drive for local archiving.

X

X

 

 

 

8-bit 4:2:0 color format.

X

 

 

 

 

Up to 640x480 resolution.

X

 

 

 

 

Initiate HTTP Pull from a WM appliance or a WM server/encoder.

 

X

 

 

 

Receive HTTP Push from a WM appliance or Microsoft encoder.

 

X

 

 

 

Progressive download (20 simultaneous viewers).

X

X

 

 

 

Multicast streaming (UDP).

X

X

 

 

 

† Any combination of up to 200 clients including:

X

X

• Unicast RTSP Streaming (UDP).

 

 

• Unicast HTTP Streaming (TCP).

 

 

• Stream Push (25 maximum) to a VBrick Reflector, a Microsoft

 

 

Windows Media Server, or RealNetworks Helix Server via

 

 

HTTP (TCP).

 

 

• Stream Pull from Microsoft Windows Media Server or

 

 

RealNetworks Helix Server via HTTP.

 

 

 

 

 

The total number of supported clients will be reduced if you are using the JPEG capture feature. See JPEG Capture Constraints on page 68 for details.

Typical VBrick Applications

The following scenarios describe typical applications for the VBrick WM Appliance. These applications can be LAN-based, WAN-based, or a combination of both LAN and WAN network topologies. Note that the VBrick WM Appliance can support all of these

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applications at the same time. One of the major benefits of the VBrick WM Appliance is it's compatibility with the Microsoft ecosystem; this makes it easy to integrate with existing Windows Media installations.

Table 2. Typical VBrick Applications

Application

Description

 

 

Standalone Multicast

Streaming video and audio can be multicasted from the VBrick

 

WM Appliance directly to Microsoft's Windows Media Player on

 

an unlimited number of PCs.

 

 

Standalone Unicast

Streaming video and audio can be unicasted from the VBrick WM

 

Appliance via HTTP or RTSP (UDP) directly to Microsoft's

 

Windows Media Player on up to 200 PCs depending on bit rate.

 

 

Pull Reflection via

Streaming video and audio can be pulled from the VBrick WM

Microsoft Windows

Appliance by a publishing point on a Microsoft Windows Media or

Media or RealNetworks

RealNetworks Helix server. The stream is then reflected by the

Helix Servers

server to players and other servers using any protocol supported

 

by the server.

 

 

Push Reflection via

Streaming video and audio can be pushed from the VBrick WM

Microsoft Windows

Appliance to a publishing point on up to 25 Microsoft Windows

Media or RealNetworks

Media or RealNetworks Helix servers. The stream is then reflected

Helix Servers

by the servers to players and other servers using any protocol

 

supported by the server.

 

 

HTTP Push to a VBrick

Streaming video and audio can be pushed via HTTP from a local

Reflector

WM VBrick to up to 25 reflectors on remote WM VBricks. From

 

each reflector, the stream can then be multicast over the remote

 

LAN, unicast to a maximum of 200 PCs, or be pushed again to

 

other reflectors.

 

 

HTTP Pull to a VBrick

Streaming video and audio can be pulled via HTTP from a local

Reflector

VBrick WM Appliance to a remote VBrick Reflector. From the

 

Reflector, the stream can be then multicast over the remote LAN,

 

unicast to a maximum of 200 PCs, or be pushed or pulled again to

 

other server or VBrick reflectors.

 

 

Figure 1. VBrick's Streaming Ecosystem

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The Microsoft Windows Media 9 product suite divides transport functionality between two distinct products—the encoder and the server. In some applications the VBrick WM Appliance provides the same functionality as the Microsoft encoder in that it can encode live video and audio and provide a unicast stream to a Microsoft Windows Media server which then may relay the stream to the many players using various transport protocols. In other applications, the VBrick WM Appliance replaces both the Microsoft encoder and the server. It can directly support a large number of players connected via unicast (maximum 200) and it can multicast to an unlimited number of players. The VBrick WM Appliance supports direct player unicast connections, server unicast connections, and direct player multicast connections—all at the same time.

Multicasting

The VBrick WM Appliance can multicast to any number of players directly after using the Configuration: Encoder > Multicast settings to enter a multicast address and port for the session. There are many ways for a Windows Media player to access the multicast stream from a VBrick WM Appliance but here are some of the most common. (For more detailed information, see Multicast Playback on page 37.)

TTo access a Windows Media multicast:

Distribute the Windows Media .asx file. You can get an "announcement file" (*.asx) from the VBrick by right-clicking on the playback hyperlinks in IWS. Once moved to a Windows computer, the user can double-click the .asx file to launch the Windows Media Player and view the multicast. (A standard Windows system associates the .asx extension with the Windows Media Player.)

Use an HTTP URL to access the .asx file on the VBrick. You can create a web page that contains an HTTP link to the multicast asx file on the VBrick or you can open the multicast asx URL using Windows Media Player or a web browser.

Use VBrick StreamPlayer Program Guide. VBrick's StreamPlayer product adds an automatic program guide to Windows Media Player. Each WM Appliance on your network is automatically listed in the program guide on the player. You simply click on the entry in the program guide to play the stream.

Use VBrick's EtherneTV Portal Server (v3.2 or later). The Portal Server is a fully integrated video solution with automatic program guides and an integrated player for live streams from all types of VBrick appliances as well as on-demand streams from video servers. EtherneTV offers many advanced features such as scheduling, recording, and access control.

Unicasting

The WM Appliance can support up to 200 simultaneous unicast destinations depending on bit rate and other configuration options. There are many ways for a Windows Media player to access the unicast stream from a VBrick WM Appliance but here are some of the most common. (For more detailed information, see Unicast Playback on page 44.)

TTo access a Windows Media unicast:

Distribute a Windows Media .asx file. You can get an "announcement file" (*.asx) from the VBrick by right-clicking on the playback hyperlinks in IWS. Once moved to a Windows computer, the user can double-click the .asx file to launch the Windows Media Player and view the unicast. (A standard Windows system associates the .asx extension with the Windows Media Player.)

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Use an HTTP or RTSPU URL to get the unicast stream. You can create a web page that links to the HTTP or RTSPU stream directly or you can open the HTTP URL or RTSPU URL using Windows Media Player or a web browser.

Use an HTTP URL to access the .asx file on the VBrick. You can create a web page that contains an HTTP link to the HTTP or RTSPU asx file on the VBrick or you can open the asx URL using Windows Media Player or a web browser.

Use VBrick StreamPlayer Program Guide. VBrick's StreamPlayer product adds an automatic program guide to Windows Media Player. Each WM Appliance on your network is automatically listed in the program guide on the player. You simply click on the entry in the program guide to play the stream.

Use VBrick's EtherneTV Portal Server (v3.2 or later). The Portal Server is a fully integrated video solution with automatic program guides and an integrated player for live streams from all types of VBrick appliances as well as on-demand streams from video servers. EtherneTV offers many advanced features such as scheduling, recording, and access control.

Reflecting

VBrick supports the concept of reflecting wherein a WM stream is redistributed to other network devices. Reflecting is supported by two models: (1) a single channel WM Encoder device, and (2) a standalone reflector model. A variant of the models can have hard drives. Streams are acquired either via push or pull. The reflector can be configured to receive a stream pushed from another WM appliance or a Reflector, or pushed from a Microsoft Windows Media Encoder. The Reflector can also be configured to pull a stream from another VBrick WM Appliance, a Microsoft WM server, or a Microsoft WM Encoder.

VBrick Reflecting

Reflecting involves an "encoder" which creates a video stream and sends it over the network and a "reflector" which receives the network stream from the encoder and retransmits the stream to players or other reflectors. In many applications, VBrick appliances are used both as the encoders and as the reflectors, but since VBricks are compatible with other devices in the Microsoft Windows Media ecosystem so you can just as easily use a VBrick as the encoder and a Microsoft or Real Helix Server as the reflector, or you can use a Microsoft Encoder or Microsoft Server as the source of a stream for a VBrick Reflector.

There are two types of VBrick Appliances that can do reflecting. One type is the Single Channel WM Encoder Appliances (part numbers 9190-4200-xxxx) which have both encoder and reflector features in the same unit. The other type is the VBrick WM Reflector Appliances (part numbers 9190-0200-xxxx) which contain only reflector features. Both types of reflectors can optionally include an internal hard drive for archiving.

Regardless of the mix of VBrick or Microsoft products for encoding and reflecting, the transmission of the stream over the network from the encoder to the reflector can be done either by "push" or by "pull." Although they accomplish essentially the same thing, there are various reasons to choose one or the other but the most important factor is what kind of firewalls exist between the devices. For example, if an encoder behind a firewall needs to distribute its stream through a public reflector, then pushing from the encoder to the reflector works well. Conversely, if a reflector behind a firewall needs to acquire a stream from a public encoder or server, then pulling from the source to the reflector works better.

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Reflecting from VBrick Appliances

This section provides more information about how to use VBrick appliances in reflecting applications. For more about the specific configuration settings on the VBrick, see Configuration: Encoder on page 23 and Configuration: Reflector on page 57.

A VBrick Reflector can reflect an HTTP Push from a VBrick Encoder, a VBrick Reflector, or Microsoft Encoder or it can pull an HTTP stream from a Microsoft Server, a Microsoft Encoder, a VBrick Encoder, or a VBrick Reflector. The VBrick Reflector supports a variety of destinations including multicast, Served HTTP, Served RTSP, and HTTP Push—all at the same time. Each VBrick Reflector supports a single pull or push source for the Windows Media stream. Note that only one source can be active at a time for a given Reflector and the same source stream is reflected to each of the enabled destinations. The reflector source option is currently available on single encoder and standalone VBrick reflector models. In all cases the reflector source connects to the Slot2 destinations and the Slot1 encoder features are not affected. For example, in the VBrick Encoder/Reflector model, the Slot1 multicast can be sending an encoded stream at the same time the Slot2 multicast is sending a reflected stream. Note that the reflector always sends exactly what is received. For this reason, there are no video or audio configuration fields on the reflector configuration pages nor do the destination pages let you select different video and audio rates.

Figure 2. WM Appliance Encoder/Reflector

Push Reflecting

For push reflecting, there are basically two steps to starting a reflection. First you configure a reflector to receive the push and then you configure an encoder to initiate a push to the reflector. VBrick Appliances support up to 25 concurrent pushes, so many destinations (any mixture of VBrick Reflectors and Microsoft or Real Helix Servers) can receive the push at the same time and each of the servers or VBrick Reflectors can then reflect the stream using any or all of their supported protocols. This multiple push feature is unique to VBrick and is useful for stream distribution from a single encoder in a central office to many remote offices over WANs because you can push a stream over the low bandwidth WAN links to a reflector at each of the remote offices, and the reflector can then multicast or unicast to many viewers on the remote LAN.

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Push Reflecting from a Windows Media Server

The VBrick WM Appliance can push its Windows Media stream to a Microsoft Windows Media Server or to a RealNetworks Helix Server which can then reflect the stream to players or other servers using any of the protocols supported by the server.

TTo reflect a pushed stream through a Windows Media or Helix server:

Create a broadcast publishing point on the Windows Media or Helix Server and configure it for a "Push" source. In the WM Appliance Configuration: Encoder > Push options configure the VBrick to push the stream to the publishing point on the server or to a copy of the publishing point on the server. When the appliance push is active, the server makes the stream available to players or other servers via unicast and/or multicast, based on the configured publishing point options on the server. The Push feature is useful in cases where it is advantageous to have the VBrick send to the server instead of having the server request from the VBrick (for example when the encoder is behind a firewall and the server is not). For more information, see Creating Publishing Points on page 48.

Pull Reflecting

For pull reflecting, the reflector is simply configured to act as a client that pulls the stream from the source. A VBrick Reflector—either in the dedicated reflector model (9190-0200- xxxx) or in the encoder/reflector model (9190-4200)—can pull from a VBrick Encoder, a Microsoft Encoder, or it can pull live or stored content from a Microsoft Server.

Table 3. Typical Pull Reflecting URLs

Pull Reflector Type

URL

 

 

VBrick Reflector pull URL for pulling an

http://vbrick_ipaddress:8080/vbrickvideo1

HTTP stream from another VBrick:

 

 

 

Pull from an .asx file served from a

http://ipaddress/vbs1http.asx

VBrick or any HTTP server:

 

 

 

Pull from a Microsoft Encoder:

http://microsoft_encoder_Ipaddress:port

 

 

Pull from a broadcast publishing point on

http://microsoft_server_Ipaddress/LiveStream

a Microsoft Server:

 

 

 

Pull from an on-demand publishing point

http://microsoft_server_Ipaddress/videofolder/

on a Microsoft Server:

storedvideo.wmv

 

 

 

Pull from a dynamically-generated or

http://myserver.com/findURL.dll?myplaylist

load-distributed publishing point that

 

redirects the client to an .asx file or a WM

 

HTTP stream:

 

 

 

TTo reflect a pulled stream through a Windows Media or Helix server:

Create a broadcast publishing point on the Windows Media or Helix Server and use the

VBrick HTTP URL (i.e. http://172.22.113.9:8080/vbrickvideo1) as the source of the

publishing point. The server requests the stream from the VBrick via HTTP and makes the stream available to players or other servers via unicast and/or multicast based on the configured publishing point options on the server. For more information, see Creating Publishing Points.

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Other Considerations

Keep in mind these additional details. The VBrick Pull Reflector:

Supports up to five redirects.

Supports the first (or only) HREF entry in an .asx file. Additional entries in the file are ignored.

Only pulls streams via HTTP. It will accept an MMS URL but will use HTTP for streaming from that URL.

Cannot pull multicast.

Cannot pull from a server-side playlist.

Using Multiple Bit Rate Streams

A VBrick WM Appliance (v4.0 or higher) has three internal video encoders and three internal audio encoders that each produce a separate output stream as shown in Figure 3. These streams can have different rates and characterizations and consequently can be used for different applications. This feature allows these multiple applications to be served in a costefficient manner. Some sample applications are listed below. All of these applications can be simultaneously supported by a single WM Appliance.

Note System performance, particularly when using multiple bit rate streams, is directly affected by configuration selections. See Optimizing System Performance on page 14 for guidelines and suggestions.

Multicast – Typically a multicast stream is high bandwidth since multicast is normally supported only on high-bandwidth networks.

Unicast – Often unicast clients, who may be located on the Internet, are offered lower bandwidth streams.

Archive – It may be useful to archive content containing multiple data rates. This archived stream can be transferred to an appropriate VOD system such as VBrick's EtherneTV Portal Server for serving at different data rates to different clients.

Reflection – For an organization that has a distributed infrastructure with multicast-capable offices connected by lower bandwidth non-multicast enabled links, it may be useful to push/pull a unicast stream to a reflector for redistribution and/or archiving at the remote site. The reflector can be provided by a Windows Media Server or by the reflecting capability of VBrick's WM appliance.

Multiple Bit Rate – These differently formatted video and audio streams can be served simultaneously and the Windows Media Player will select and play the best stream— based on bandwidth and other factors—from among the multiple streams that are available. In the Microsoft world, this concept is generally called multiple bit rate. With multiple bit rate, the player automatically selects the highest quality version of the stream that fits the limitations of the network, and end users receive a continuous flow of content that matches their specific connection speeds.

MBR Output Streams

The VBrick WM Appliance implementation of MBR lets you optionally enable and independently configure up to three video encoders (Video Rates 1, 2, and 3) and up to three audio encoders (Audio Rates 1, 2, and 3). They all run different encoding algorithms at the same time on a single WM appliance. Various configuration options let you select different

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combinations of audio and video rates for multicasting, HTTP and RTSPU serving, HTTP Push, and Archiving. See the Configuration: Encoder pages for more information.

The following drawing shows the selectable output streams from a WM appliance. (Note that the Archive output on the right is actually a .wmv file rather than a stream.) Depending on your requirements and what you select, the VBrick will produce any or all of these outputs. Each output can be configured with different audio and video rates. A multicast stream, for example, can be substantially different from the served, pushed, or archived streams.

Figure 3. Configurable Input/Output Stream Rates

Table 4. WM Output Streams

Output

Description

 

 

Archive

An archive .wmv file is automatically created if the Archiver is running on the

 

Configuration: Encoder > Archiver page. There are no restrictions on the

 

"includes". This means you can select Video Rates 1, 2, and 3, and Audio

 

Rates 1, 2, and 3. All included streams are multiplexed into a single archive

 

file. A WM Appliance configured with a VBStar hard drive lets you create and

 

save a .wmv file archive of the streams directly from the encoder. The file can

 

be FTPed to a Windows Media Server or moved to a Windows system and

 

played locally by a Media Player. (It can also be accessed locally via Using On

 

Demand Playback.) In a mixed VBStar model with an MPEG-2 encoder and

 

a WM encoder, the MPEG-2 encoder can archive the MPEG-2 stream and

 

the WM encoder can archive the WM stream. In a mixed model with an

 

MPEG-2 decoder and a WM encoder, only the WM encoder stream can be

 

archived to disk.

 

 

Multicast

A multicast stream is typically used on a local intranet. It has only one video

 

rate and one audio rate and is produced when Transmit is enabled on the

 

Configuration: Encoder > Multicast page.

 

 

HTTP Push

An HTTP Push is a unicast stream that can be pushed to a maximum of 25

 

different destinations. These destinations are typically VBrick Reflector

 

Appliances or Microsoft Windows Media Servers. There is one set of

 

configuration parameters to set address, publishing point name, user name,

 

password, etc. for each destination. There are no restrictions on the

 

"includes." This means you can select Video Rates 1, 2, and 3, and Audio

 

Rates 1, 2, and 3. All included streams are multiplexed into one stream, and all

 

destinations receive the same stream (with the same MBR combination).

 

 

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Output Description

HTTP/RTSP Unicast streams are provided via the VBrick internal server. In order to use Unicast this feature, you first create up to three groups, each of which consists of an

audio stream at a selected rate and video stream at a selected rate, and optionally closed captioning and metadata. Some or all of these groups are Enabled on the Configuration: Encoder > Server page. The end-user client then determines whether to pull a specific group from the server or to negotiate with the server in order to pull the best quality stream based on available network bandwidth. To allow the player/server negotiation, you can open a Windows Media Player and enter the HTTP URL shown on the Server

page, for example http://172.22.173.10:8080/vbrickvideo1. Alternately,

you can request a specific group by appending a known group number, for

example http://172.22.173.10:8080/vbrickvideo1/group1.

Note The WM appliance reflector feature does not currently support multiple bit rates. If the source of a push/pull to a reflector contains multiple video and/or audio streams, the reflector will reflect the entire stream with all video and audio included. This is only useful if there is a Microsoft Windows Media Server downstream from the reflector.

MBR Output Settings

The three concurrent video encoders all use the same video input. The following table shows the configuration output settings that are shared between all video encoders, and the output settings that can be configured independently for each one. See Configuration: Encoder > Video on page 24 for more details.

Table 5. Video Rate Settings

Shared Video Settings

Independent Video Settings

 

 

 

 

Video Format

Resolution

Video Input Type

Rate Control Method

Video Source

Target Bit Rate

Closed Caption

Target Frame Rate

• Inserted CC Update Rate

Key Frame Interval

Inserted CC text

Smoothness

Inserted CC Row

• Picture Center Quality Difference

Luminance

Buffer size

Contrast

Saturation

Hue

Meta Data Enable

Metadata String

The following table shows configuration output settings that are shared between all audio encoders, and the output settings that can be configured independently for each one. See Configuration: Encoder > Audio on page 32 for more details.

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Introduction

Table 6. Audio Rate Settings

Shared Audio Settings

Independent Audio Settings

 

 

 

 

Audio Input Level

L+R Bit Rate

Audio Gain

Audio Channels

Sample Frequency

 

 

 

 

 

 

MBR Groups

VBrick's implementation of multiple bit rate supports the concept of groups. Groups are used in a unicast environment where the VBrick WM appliance is being used as a server. The appliance provides the option of serving one, two, or three groups of streams. A group is one set of parameters for video, audio, and script data (script data includes Closed Caption and/or Meta Data). One group must always be enabled; the other groups are optional and are enabled only when you want to serve multiple bit rates. For example, you can create three separate groups with different combinations of audio, video, and closed caption settings. The primary (or default) group is always available. The following screenshot shows how you can enable and configure different audio and video settings for MBR Group2.

Figure 4. Configuring MBR Groups

When serving multiple bit rate streams, it is the player that determines which group to request and play based on the bandwidth available or on the measured network performance between the player and the appliance. In this case, the appliance sends a stream to the player containing only the requested group. When using groups, you can also use a special URL in the player or server to request a specific group from a WM appliance that is configured with multiple bit rates. For example,

TTo instruct the appliance to make available and send only MBR Group2 use this URL:

http://172.22.113.9/vbrickvideo1/Group2

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This feature is useful when you want to configure MBR on the appliance with a high bit rate group for LAN HTTP access and at the same time have a server pull a low bit rate group for reflecting. You can also use it to test playback for a particular group. MBR groups are configured on the Configuration: Encoder > Server pages. When configuring audio and video MBR groups on the Configuration: Encoder > Server page (Figure 4), keep the following group configuration rules in mind.

Table 7. Group Configuration Rules

The first video encoder (Video Rate1) is always enabled and available for selection; the first audio encoder (Audio Rate1) is always enabled and available for selection.

Different enabled audio encoders must have different audio rates. Different enabled video encoders must have different video rates.

An enabled group must have at least one stream selected.

All enabled groups must have the same combination of audio and video. For example, if one group is configured for video and no audio, they must all be configured for video and no audio. There are three ways to configure the groups:

audio and video

audio, no video

video, no audio

A particular video or audio rate may appear in more than one group but two groups cannot have the same audio, video, and closed caption selections.

Closed Caption and Meta Data can be selectively turned on or off for each group but a

group cannot contain only Closed Caption and Meta Data.

Group1 is the default group which will be played by older versions of the Windows Media Player that do not support MBR serving.

Note The Windows Media Player determines which bit rate stream to use and communicates this information back to the appliance or the server in a negotiation process that is transparent to end users. With MBR intelligent streaming enabled, the Windows Media Player generally responds to insufficient bandwidth by requesting a lower bit rate from the server. Window Media Player Version 7.1 or higher is required to play MBR streams or files. Older versions of the player may not support MBR but will be generally able to play the default group from an MBR stream or an archived

.wmv file.

MBR Troubleshooting

The Windows Media Player does not support ASF Group Exclusion or Mutual Exclusion mechanisms so the VBrick Appliance cannot guarantee that the player will always make stream selections that match up with the configured groups. To work around this player issue, the VBrick uses a "closest match" approach to avoid playback problems whenever possible. For example, if the VBrick is configured with Groups that are all video+audio and the player requests video-only, the VBrick will send the lowest rate group that contains the video rate the player requested. When this happens, the player will accept and play the closest match stream, even though the rate of the stream is higher than the player expected and the viewer will hear audio along with the video. This closest match approach is used by the VBrick anytime the player requests video-only, audio-only, or CC/metadata-only and there is no

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Introduction

Group to match the request exactly. This closest match approach is also used when the player requests a "thinned" video stream, because the VBrick does not support video thinning.

Unfortunately, there may also be situations when the selection algorithm in the player causes it to request a pair of audio and video streams that are not available in any MBR group. This only happens when you use an "unqualified" URL such as http://172.22.173.10:8080/ vbrickvideo1 that does not specify a particular Group. When this type of mismatch happens, no stream will play, the player will display an error window, and a message similar to the following will be written to the Status: System Log > System Event page on the VBrick appliance.

SYSEVENT:12/07/2006 17:52:05LOC WM MBR Client Rejected, Buffer containing :Audio1:Video2:not found

Use the following recommendations to reduce the possibility that a stream will not play. Note that closed captions and metadata have no effect and are not relevant in this context.

TTo reduce the possibility that an MBR stream may fail to play:

1.Use groups that are collectively video-only.

2.Use groups that are collectively audio-only.

3.Configure the groups so that they share either one common audio stream or one common video stream.

4.Use two audio encoders and two video encoders and configure three MBR groups as follows:

a.One group is the low-rate audio stream and the low-rate video stream.

b.One group is the low-rate audio stream and the high-rate video stream.

c.One group is the high-rate audio stream and the high-rate video stream.

If none of these options are possible, configure the group with the lowest rate audio stream to also have the lowest rate video stream; and configure the group with the highest rate audio stream to have the highest rate video stream. By carefully selecting audio and video rates, you can reduce the likelihood that the Media Player will ask for unavailable audio and video rate pairs. For more about the stream selection algorithm, see Stream Prioritization on page 137.

Using On Demand Playback

On Demand Playback, sometimes called timeshifting, is a feature that lets remote viewers access previously-recorded streams using a combination of FTP and progressive download.

This feature is only available when the saved content is stored on WM appliances with a VBStar hard drive. In a typical scenario, a video presentation from a central location is streamed to a VBrick reflector at a remote site over a low-bandwidth T-1 connection. It is also archived as a

.wmv file on the VBStar hard drive at the remote site. Remote viewers can then watch the stream live via multicast, or if there is a shift in time zones that makes the live broadcast inconvenient, they can view the archived .wmv file locally during normal business hours. This same scenario applies at the central location, or at any other networked locations, where the stream can be multicast and archived in the same manner.

On Demand Playback can also be used to deliver high-quality video to a remote site, even if there is a low bandwidth connection to that site, by using a "store and forward" strategy. In this scenario, the WM encoder appliance is configured to archive the video to its internal hard drive locally and then automatically FTP the file to a remote WM Appliance hard drive so that it is available for high-quality on demand viewing at the remote location.

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Figure 5. On Demand Playback

It is important to note that on demand playback uses FTP and progressive download for playback, and the viewing experience is sub-optimal compared with content from a dedicated VOD server. See Progressive Download on page 54 explains how to create and view these files.

Optimizing System Performance

VBrick appliances are designed to accommodate a variety of configurations. VBrick configuration choices enable the widest range of features and capabilities and are designed to provide the user with a high degree of flexibility. In some extreme cases, users can create configurations that exceed the normal processing capacity of the unit causing it to not perform optimally. VBrick units provide statistical counters and status variables indicating current device utilization and can even be configured to report SNMP trap alarm conditions when these situations occur. Corrective action usually involves reducing a video rate or disabling a channel. In general, video quality improves when video rate is increased toward the maximum of 4 Mbps. In short, video quality is subjective and relates to other components such as the response of the human eye, the quality of the original content and signal, and the quality of the decoder and monitor. As a general rule, use the lowest video rate that best suits the application.

When configuring VBrick units, pay close attention to the total bit rate of all streams exiting the unit. The sum of all streaming traffic should be closely monitored and kept to a minimum whenever possible. Once you have selected and applied a configuration to the unit, you can check the status of the processor and device load via the IWS or CLI. The CPU utilization and overloaded status variables are an excellent indication on the unit's overall health. If the CPU utilization is high or an overloaded condition is occurring, you can simply reduce bit rates, reduce the number of clients, and re-run the test. As a part of regular maintenance, you should periodically check the CPU utilization and the overloaded and "buffer full" count status variables to ensure the unit remains within normal operating limits.

Mixed Model Appliances

In addition to dual devices (for example two encoders, or an MPEG-2 encoder and MPEG-2 decoder), VBrick supports mixed model appliances (for example a WM encoder and an MPEG-4 encoder). VBrick appliance v4.1 software supports almost any combination of VBrick devices in Slots 1 and 2 so you can mix and match as necessary. For example, you can have a WM encoder in Slot1 and an MPEG-4 encoder in Slot2, or you can have an MPEG-2 encoder in Slot1 and MPEG-4 decoder in Slot2. The only exception is that you cannot have a

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Introduction

WM encoder and an MPEG-4 decoder in the same appliance. In general, encoders are installed in Slot1; decoders are installed in Slot2. WM encoders, if present, are always installed in Slot1.

Note VBrick WM, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4 appliances all run the same codebase. The configurable options and user interface vary according to the type of appliance (e.g. MPEG-2, MPEG-4, etc.) on which the code is installed.

Archiver and Recorder Functionality

Archiver/Recorder functionality may be different in mixed model appliances depending on how the slots are populated. In other words, the behavior of the device in a given slot may change depending on what combination of appliances are installed. See Figure 6 below and note the following distinctions:

An archiver only records from an associated encoder. For example, a WM Archiver is associated with a specific WM encoder.

A recorder is not associated with any encoder. It independently records one stream at a time from an encoder, a decoder, or from the network.

On MPEG-4 appliances, there is no archiving or recording.

Figure 6. Archiver/Recorder Functionality

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Chapter 2

WM Configuration

WM Appliances may be configured differently, for example with a single encoder or with dual encoders and a hard drive. As a result, the screens you see in IWS will vary depending on the configuration of your specific device. The images in this document show an encoder configured with one slot and the parameters apply to Slot1; in appliances with two slots you may need to scroll down in IWS to see the values for Slot2. The second slot may also have a different device, for example MPEG-2 encoder, in which case you will need to refer to the VBrick MPEG-2 Appliance Admin Guide. For a detailed introduction to IWS (VBrick's Integrated Web Server), see the VBrick Appliance Getting Started Guide.

Topics in this chapter

Configuration: Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Configuration: Encoder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Configuration: Reflector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

Configuration: JPEG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

Configuration: FTP File Transfer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69

Configuration: Passthrough . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72

Configuration: System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

Configuration: Script Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83

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Configuration: Network

Configuration: Network > Ethernet

Network DHCP

Default - Enabled. Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol –

 

(Enable, Disable). On Ethernet models, if DHCP is enabled, the

 

VBrick gets its IP Address and Subnet Mask from the DHCP

 

server. If the DHCP server supplies the Gateway Address or DNS

 

server address, these parameters will replace the user entered

 

Gateway and DNS settings. If DHCP is enabled and the VBrick

 

cannot obtain an IP address from the server, the VBrick will start

 

in limited run mode after two minutes, using its default IP Address

 

of 172.17.5.5. After 15 minutes, it will automatically reset and

 

again attempt to acquire an address. The LCD screen on the front

 

of the VBrick will indicate a DHCP failed message. Note: The

 

VBrick appliance requires a minimum DHCP lease length of 8

 

minutes to work, however it is recommended to extend the lease

 

time to what is maximally available via the network to avoid

 

disruptions.

 

 

IP address

IP Address of the VBrick.

 

 

Subnet Mask

Subnet mask for the VBrick address.

 

 

Gateway IP Address

Gateway IP Address for communicating across distinct network

 

segments.

 

 

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WM Configuration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VBrick Host Name

The Host Name defaults to the Media Access Control (MAC)

 

 

address, a hardware address that uniquely identifies each node of a

 

 

network. The VBrick's Host Name acts to identify the VBrick to

 

 

various network applications including DHCP, SNMP and VBrick

 

 

application tools. The Host Name syntax can be a maximum of 18

 

 

characters, the first character must be a letter and the rest can be letters,

 

 

numbers or hyphens.

 

 

 

 

Network Interface

The settings for Interface Speed and Interface Type are

 

Speed

interdependent. They must both be set to Automatic or they must

 

 

both be set manually. Manual settings should be used only in the

 

 

rare case when the VBrick is attached to network equipment that

 

 

does not support auto negotiation. The VBrick's capabilities may

 

 

be limited when its Ethernet link is at 10 Mbps and/or Half

 

 

Duplex. If auto negotiation fails, the VBrick defaults to 10Mbit,

 

 

half duplex and attempts "parallel detection," an alternative way to

 

 

sense speed. Status parameters are available on the network status

 

 

screen to indicate the state of the link and the current

 

 

configuration of the Ethernet hardware. In auto mode, they reflect

 

 

the results of the negotiation and in manual mode they follow the

 

 

configuration options.

 

 

(10Mb, 100Mb, Automatic). This allows the Ethernet interface of

 

 

the VBrick to be manually forced to 100 Mbps or 10 Mbps. The

 

 

default setting is "Automatic" which enables auto negotiation in

 

 

the VBrick so it will automatically match its speed setting to the

 

 

speed of the switch or hub to which it is attached. "Automatic" is

 

 

the default and recommended setting.

 

 

 

Network Interface Type Half-Duplex, Full-Duplex, or Automatic. This allows the Ethernet

 

 

interface of the VBrick to be manually forced to Full Duplex or

 

 

Half Duplex. The default setting is Automatic which enables auto

 

 

negotiation in the VBrick so it will automatically match its duplex

 

 

setting to that of the switch or hub that it is attached to. Automatic

 

 

is the default and recommended setting.

Maximum Transmission Range 1024–1500 (default = 1500). The MTU is used for all Unit Size network traffic from the VBrick and defines the largest network

packet size that will be transmitted. A higher MTU brings higher bandwidth efficiency and VBrick recommends using the default. However you may wish to reduce MTU size to meet the requirements of some networks with VPN or other security tunnels that cannot tolerate 1500-byte packets. Note that WM video playback on Vista PCs may be suboptimal with small MTU settings.

Domain Name Server

Primary Server IP

This is the primary server used for DNS.

Address

 

 

 

Secondary Server IP

This is the secondary server used for DNS.

address

 

 

 

Default Domain

This is the domain name used for DNS. Note: You can keep the default

Extension

(blank) values.

 

 

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Network Time Synchronization

These fields are used to synchronize network time using the host name or IP address of a known server to provide a synchronized time for all appliances in the network. To enable Network Time Synchronization after these parameters are set, go to Configuration: System > General on page 76 and check the box.

Note Network Administrators please note. DHCP Option 4 is used by the DHCP server to return SNTP server addresses. This option must be enabled in the DHCP server for these addresses to be returned to the VBrick. If the DHCP server configuration is unknown, it is recommended that the address(es) be manually entered since the DHCP server-supplied address will always override a manually-entered address.

Primary Server IP

Primary host name (VBrick Host Name or DNS Host Name) or IP

Address or Host Name

address of valid SNTP server providing time synchronization. A

 

blank field indicates the server address will be acquired via the

 

DHCP server only if the Network DHCP field above is checked.

 

 

Secondary Server IP

Secondary host name (VBrick Host Name or DNS Host Name) or

Address or Host Name

IP address of valid SNTP server providing time synchronization. A

 

blank field indicates the server address will be acquired via the

 

DHCP server only if the Network DHCP field above is checked.

 

 

Configuration: Network > Routing

The WM Appliance requires no routing configuration for the vast majority of network uses. Use these settings only in those rare cases when your network requires advanced routing features in the appliance.

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WM Configuration

Routing Method

This selects which routing method will be used: Changes made to the

 

Routing Method will require a reset of the box.

 

• Static – Allows routes entered in the static routing table to be

 

automatically applied to the internal routing tables, after a power-

 

up.

 

• RIP Version 1 – Configures the VBrick to listen to RIP

 

announcements. Routes are dynamically added per RIP

 

specification.

 

• RIP Version 2 Broadcast – Configures the VBrick to listen to RIP

 

version 2 announcements. In this mode, RIP will perform classless

 

routing based upon subnet mask.

 

• RIP Version 2 Multicast – Configures the VBrick to listen to RIP

 

version 2 announcements that are sent in multicast mode. Both

 

broadcast and multicast announcements are processed.

Static Routing Table This table provides for user defined routing entries.

Destination Network – Enter the destination address to be manually routed.

Local Gateway IP – Enter the Gateway to be used, when the forwarding destination address is as specified.

Network Mask – Sets the network mask to be associated with the destination address.

Error – This read-only field is used to report field entry error related to the route.

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Configuration: Network > Management

These parameters define information used in the SAPs emitted by the VBrick, which are received by the VBDirectory management tool and other VBrick applications. See the

VBDirectory User Guide for more information.

Group Name

Optional. This parameter defines the Group Name. It is included in

 

the Management SAPs used by VBDirectory. It is used for organizing

 

VBricks into groups to simplify use of VBDirectory.

 

 

Unit Number

Optional. The appliance unit number (range 0–2147483647) is used to

 

identify each VBrick in a group.

 

 

Management SAP

Used by VBDirectory or ETV Portal Server to detect the unit for the

 

purpose of remote management. The following parameters apply.

 

 

Transmit Enable

Controls the transmission of the Management SAPs (Enable or

 

Disable).

 

 

Retransmit Time

Defines the Management SAP Retransmit Time.

 

 

Time To Live

The number of hops (between routers) for which a Management SAP

 

is valid on the network.

 

 

Type Of Service

The TOS (Type of Service) can be configured in the IP header to

 

establish packet priority in the network.

 

 

IP Address

Defines the Destination IP Address for Management SAPs.

 

 

Port

Defines the Destination Port for Management SAPs.

 

 

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WM Configuration

Configuration: Encoder

Configuration: Encoder > Template

Seven selectable templates have been preconfigured for many common applications. There are always trade-offs when selecting encoder settings. In general, finer resolution detail and smoother motion will require more resources and more network bandwidth. The optimum is to display the finest detail and smoothest motion possible given the network resources available to both the WM Appliance sender and to the viewer who is receiving the WM Appliance video streams. The Cable/DSL 128K High Motion template is the default template for the WM Appliance. The appliance is configured and shipped with this template installed and the values you initially see in IWS are those defined by this template. The templates are briefly described in Table 8 below; they are described in detail in WM Templates on

page 131.

Templates apply to Video and Audio settings only. If, after applying a template, you override any audio or video settings, the note Parameters do not match template will be displayed on the Template page. A change on the template page also causes an interruption in the video and audio output of all video and audio encoders and all transmissions including multicast, HTTP, RTSPU, and Push. If an archive is in process, a template change causes the current archive to be closed.

Note You cannot select and use a template when configuring multiple bit rate streams. In order to select a template, Video Rate2, Video Rate3, and Audio Rate2, Audio Rate3 must be disabled on the Configuration: Encoder > Video and Audio pages.

Table 8. Preconfigured WM Appliance Templates

Template Name

Description

 

 

Best Quality

Approximately 4.2 Mbps with highest rate stereo audio

 

and highest resolution video at 30 frames per second.

 

 

LAN

Approximately 1.2 Mbps with high rate stereo audio and

 

high resolution video at 30 frames per second.

 

 

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Template Name

Description

 

 

Cable/DSL 300K High Motion

Approximately 300 Kbps with medium rate mono audio

 

and medium resolution video at 30 frames per second.

 

 

Cable/DSL 300K Low Motion

Approximately 300 Kbps with medium rate mono audio

 

and high resolution video at 15 frames per second.

 

 

Cable/DSL 128K High Motion †

Approximately 128 Kbps with medium rate mono audio

 

and lower resolution video at 15 frames per second.

 

 

Cable/DSL 128K Low Motion

Approximately 128 Kbps with medium rate mono audio

 

and medium resolution video at 10 frames per second.

 

 

Modem 56K

Approximately 56 Kbps with low rate mono audio and

 

low resolution video at 7.5 frames per second.

 

 

Security & Surveillance

Approximately 170 Kbps with very low rate mono audio

 

and high resolution video at 1 frame per second.

 

 

Default template. The appliance is configured and shipped with this template installed and the values you initially see in IWS are those defined by this template.

Configuration: Encoder > Video

The WM appliance supports multiple bit rate (MBR) whereby several streams are encoded at different bit rates. In this encoding strategy, the Windows Media Player negotiates with the appliance (or with a Windows Media Server) to select and play the stream that is most appropriate for current bandwidth conditions. Many of the configuration settings in this section are MBR-specific. For more about MBR, see Using Multiple Bit Rate Streams on page 8. Note that you can over subscribe the WM appliance by configuring multiple video rates using resolutions and frame rates and/or bit rates that are too high. The exact combinations that are too high will vary depending on the video content you are encoding. Monitor the Status: Encoder Status page for Unexpected Frames Dropped which indicates the encoder is over subscribed.

Note Any change in the configuration settings for any of the video encoders will cause a brief interruption of video and audio for all three encoders. All streams being sent from the unit (including multicast and push) are interrupted. Any active HTTP or RSTP clients will be dropped and any archive file in progress will be closed.

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WM Configuration

Figure 7. Configuration: Encoder > Video – Part 1

Note In Edit mode, the parameters affected by template settings (set in the Configuration: Encoder > Template) are shown at the bottom of the screen. These settings override the template; they do not change the template.

Windows Media Encoder Video -- Slot1

Video Format

The format can be configured as NTSC (30 fps) or PAL (25 fps).

 

 

Video Aspect Ratio

The WM appliance will offer different choices for resolutions and

 

frame rates depending on the selected Video Aspect Ratio. Aspect

 

ratio is the ratio of the width of the image to the height of the image.

 

Standard TV images generally use an aspect ratio of 4:3; DVD players

 

and some camera can produce 16:9. Set this value to match the video

 

input source, either 4:3 or 16:9. Use Zoom to 16:9 to have standard 4:3

 

cameras produce streaming video that fits on 16:9 monitors. Zoom to

 

16:9 is selectable for NTSC only at resolutions of 640x360 and

 

640x180. When using multiple bit rates,

 

• if Video Rate1 is 640x480 then Video Rate2 and Video Rate3 must

 

be 320x240.

 

• If Video Rate1 is 320x480 then Video Rate2 and Video Rate3

 

cannot be encoded.

 

• If Video Rate1 is 640x360 then Video Rate2 and Video Rate3 must

 

be 320x180.

 

 

Video Input Type

The input can be changed to accept either Composite or S-Video

 

(SVID).

 

 

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Video Source

Enables the user to select the bandwidth for tracking the video input.

Normal – Select for stable sources such as cable, DVD, or camera.

High Jitter (VCR) – Select for unstable sources such as VCR or VTR.

Closed Caption

Use to enable closed captions and select embedded or user-defined

 

text. (To view closed captions in the Windows Media player, be sure

 

you have Captions and Subtitles enabled on the Play menu.) See note

 

below regarding closed captions in Full Screen mode on the Windows

 

Media Player.

 

• Disabled – Default. Related Closed Caption fields not shown.

 

• Video CC Enabled – Reads the embedded video closed caption

 

text from the video source.

 

• Inserted CC Enabled – Inserts the user-defined text set in the

 

closed caption text field.

 

 

Inserted CC Update

Sets the rate at which the closed captioning field is updated (default =

Rate

Medium) when you select Inserted CC Enabled (see above).

 

• Slow – The inserted closed caption field is updated every 60

 

seconds.

 

• Medium – The inserted closed caption field is updated every 20

 

seconds.

 

• Fast – The inserted closed captioning field is updated every 5

 

seconds.

 

 

Inserted CC Text

Defines the text inserted into the closed caption field of the encoded

 

stream (default is \h \d \t. ) when Inserted CC Enabled is selected for

 

Closed Caption above. Enter any string up to a maximum of 32

 

characters (including the Host Name, Date, and Time). No double

 

quotes, less than <, or greater than > symbols are allowed. Special

 

codes can be substituted for the text as follows:

 

• \h or \H – Host Name.

 

• \d or \D – Current Date.

 

• \t or \T – Current Time.

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WM Configuration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Closed Caption

Available when you select Video CC Enabled for Closed Caption.

 

Max BitRate

Defines the maximum bit rate at which closed captions are displayed.

 

 

A higher bit rate is smoother because a smaller number of new

 

 

characters are displayed each time the captions are refreshed—but the

 

 

entire field is refreshed more often. This provides a better user

 

 

experience but requires more bandwidth. The recommended default

 

 

value of 13 kbps generally provides a good compromise between high

 

 

quality closed caption display and bandwidth. Use a lower setting

 

 

where bandwidth is an issue, keeping in mind that data will be lost if

 

 

you exceed available bandwidth; use the highest setting for the best

 

 

user experience if bandwidth is not an issue. All scrolling settings

 

 

display a maximum of four lines at a time.

No Scroll – only one line is displayed at a time. Difficult to read but recommended for use with third-party indexing applications.

2.5 kbps.

3.7 kbps.

5.6 kbps.

13 kbps (default).

50 kbps.

Luminance

0–255. Default = 128. The luminance is the information about the

 

varying light intensity of an image, which is best described as

 

brightness.

 

 

Contrast

0–127. Default = 64. The contrast is the range of light-to-dark values

 

of an image that are proportional to the voltage differences between

 

the black and white levels of the signal.

 

 

Saturation

0–127. Default = 64. The saturation is the spectral purity or intensity

 

of a color.

 

 

Hue

-128–127. Default = 0. The hue is the attribute by which a color may

 

be identified within the visible spectrum. Hue refers to the spectral

 

colors of red, orange, yellow, green blue and violet. Note: Adding hue

 

reduces the saturation.

 

 

Bottom Blackout

Some files include additional information that results in undesirable

Area

artifacts at the bottom of the video frame. This option blacks out an

 

area at the bottom of the player window—not a certain number of

 

lines. Be sure to test your results when using this option.

 

 

Meta Data Enable

When metadata is enabled a new field will appear on the screen

 

allowing the operator to insert metadata strings into the video as Script

 

commands. The normal use of metadata is to allow accompanying

 

synchronized URL references to be displayed in rich media

 

applications. The Microsoft Windows Media player has the capability

 

of extracting the metadata references and presenting them to an

 

appropriate application. See the Meta Data String examples below.

 

Meta Data must be enabled if you are using your WM Appliance with

 

VBrick's VBPresenter application. See the VBPresenter User Guide for

 

more information.

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27

Meta Data String

Shown if Meta Data is enabled. Maximum 250 characters. Click Insert

 

Now to insert the meta data string into stream. The player supports the

 

following commands that are entered at the beginning of the metadata

 

string. Note that you must type Text, URL, or Filename and a space

 

before the meta data string.

 

• Text – used to have the Windows Media player show a text caption

 

under the video. Be sure you have captions enabled in the player

 

(Play > Captions and Subtitles) and then insert metadata at the

 

encoder with a string like this: Text This is a caption

 

• URL – used to have the player launch Internet Explorer and

 

display a web page. Be sure you configure your player security

 

settings to allow this (Tools > Options > Security > Run Script

 

Commands when present). Insert metadata at the encoder with a

 

string like this: URL http://www.vbrick.com

 

• Filename – used to have the player stop playing your stream and

 

play a file instead. (You may also need to enable Run Script

 

Commands when present.) Insert metadata at the encoder with a

 

string like this: Filename c:\video\Myvideo.wmv

Note Windows Media Player. Depending on your computer's operating system (Windows 2000 or Windows XP) and on the Media Player version, Windows Media closed captions may not be displayed at all (for example with Media Player 9 on Windows 2000) or may be displayed at the bottom of the screen where they replace a certain portion of the video. This is only an issue in Full Screen mode and happens because Windows Media closed captions are not superimposed on the stream but are displayed at the bottom of the window in a separate area that occupies approximately 15 per cent of the space normally used by the video. This is a known issue with the Microsoft Windows Media Player.

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WM Configuration

Figure 8. Configuration: Encoder > Video – Part 2

Video Template Settings -- Slot1 (Video Rate1)

The video settings can be changed on this page or by modifying a template setting on the Configuration: Encoder > Template page of IWS. Any changes you make on this page override the template; they do not change it. If you are using only one video rate you can choose any resolution from the complete list of supported resolutions (with minor exceptions). However when you enable Video Rate2 or Video Rate3 the selections are restricted. Tables 9 and 10 below show the resolution combinations that are allowed. For example, 640x480 can be configured on one video encoder and 320x240 can be configured on another video encoder, but 320x240 and 240x180 are not allowed together. Once Video Rate2 and/or Video Rate3 are enabled they will be available for selection on the Multicast, Server, and Archiver pages. If they have been selected for inclusion on the those pages an error will appear on this page if you attempt to disable them. The resolutions available for NTSC and PAL are basically identical. The only difference is in 16:9 mode (Table 10) where NTSC has 384x216 and PAL has 512x288.

Table 9. Supported 4:3 Video Encoding Resolutions (in pixels)

Video Rate1

Video Rate2

Video Rate3

 

 

 

160x120

160x120

160x120

 

 

 

240x180

240x180

240x180

 

 

 

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29

Video Rate1

Video Rate2

Video Rate3

 

 

 

320x240

320x240

320x240

 

 

 

320x480

 

 

 

400x300

320x240

320x240

 

 

 

512x384

256x192

256x192

 

 

 

640x240

640x240

640x240

 

 

 

640x480

320x240

320x240

 

 

 

† Cannot be encoded.

Table 10. Supported 16:9 Video Encoding Resolutions (in pixels)

Video Rate1

Video Rate2

Video Rate3

 

 

 

640x360

320x180 †

320x180

 

 

 

640x180

640x180

640x180

 

 

 

384x216

384x216

384x216

 

 

 

256x144

256x144

256x144

 

 

 

128x72

128x72

128x72

 

 

 

320x180 is only allowed for Video Rate2 and Video Rate3 and only when Video Rate1 is 640x360.

Resolution

Sets the video encoding resolution. The values differ depending on the

 

Video Aspect Ratio. When Video Aspect Ratio = 4:3, the values

 

available for Resolution are shown in Table 9. The Resolution for

 

Video Rate2 and Rate3 are automatically set equal to Video Rate1

 

except when the height (the number of lines of resolution) is 480. (If

 

the height equals 480, the corresponding values for Video Rate2 and

 

Video Rate3 are set to 1/4 of the Video Rate1 resolution). When

 

Video Aspect Ratio = 16x9, the values available for Resolution are

 

shown in Table 10.

 

 

Rate Control

The selections are CBR-CFR or CBR-VFR. Default = CBR-CFR. The

Method

abbreviations refer to:

 

• CBR – Constant Bit Rate specifies a fixed bit rate so that data is

 

sent in a steady stream.

 

• CFR – Constant Frame Rate specifies a fixed frame rate for the

 

stream.

 

• VFR – Variable Frame Rate means the encoder may drop frames in

 

order to maintain better quality.

 

 

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WM Configuration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Target Bit Rate (bits

This number represents how much data the VBrick will send out each

 

 

per second)

second to carry video to a player. The word target is used because the

 

 

 

appliance can vary its bit rate slightly in response to the amount of

 

 

 

detail in the movie or camera output. Bit rate determines how much

 

 

 

data the appliance sends in one second to contain one second of the

 

 

 

video or camera output. The more data the VBrick sends in one

 

 

 

second, the more clearly the details of the video will be seen on a

 

 

 

player. It is not always possible to send the most possible data, since

 

 

 

that requires a large network "pipe" (connection). The trade-off is the

 

 

 

level of detail in the video with the use of smaller network

 

 

 

connections. The encoder tries to encode the video at a quality that

 

 

 

will (on average) match the Target Bit Rate. The larger the number, the

 

 

 

better the quality but this can potentially limit the number of clients that can

 

 

 

connect to the encoder. Note that Video Rates1, 2, and 3 must have

 

 

 

different Target Bit Rates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Target Frame Rate

Sets the video target frame rate in frames per second, for a VBrick

 

 

 

WM Appliance. For a WM Appliance in NTSC mode the supported

 

 

 

values are 30, 15, 10, 7.5, and 1. For a WM Appliance in PAL mode the

 

 

 

supported values are 25, 12.5, 10, 5, and 1. This number represents

 

 

 

how many frames the VBrick will send out each second to carry the

 

 

 

video to a player. The word target is used because in VFR mode the

 

 

 

VBrick can vary its frame rate slightly in response to the amount of

 

 

 

motion in the movie or camera output.

 

 

 

Frame rate is the number of "frames" the VBrick sends in a second for

 

 

 

a Windows Media player to display. Moving pictures are made up of a

 

 

 

rapid series of "still" pictures that move so fast that the "illusion" of

 

 

 

motion is produced. A frame is one such "still" picture. Regular TV

 

 

 

programs in the U.S. run at about 30 frames in a second; and the more

 

 

 

frames presented in a second; the smoother the motion contained

 

 

 

within the video will appear. Encoding and transmitting a frame

 

 

 

requires the use of data, so that, when considering a particular bit rate,

 

 

 

sending more frames demands that each frame contain fewer fine

 

 

 

details. Similar to bit rate, the difference between "constant" and

 

 

 

"variable" frame rate is that if "constant" is chosen, then the VBrick

 

 

 

will ensure that the chosen frame rate is maintained by reducing the

 

 

 

quality of the frames if necessary. The "variable frame rate" setting

 

 

 

allows the VBrick to change how many frames it uses in a second

 

 

 

(within limits), so that frame quality is maintained.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key Frame Interval

A key frame is guaranteed to be sent at this interval although it may be

 

 

(in seconds)

sent more frequently depending on the content being encoded. This

 

 

 

interval allows a player to "sync up" with a video stream already in

 

 

 

progress by providing basic anchoring and orienting data. If "key

 

 

 

frames" are sent less frequently, it will take longer for the video to

 

 

 

begin playing after a player is started on a PC. Key Frames create

 

 

 

overhead, lowering the amount of data available to carry the details of

 

 

 

the video. As a result, VBrick appliances are often set to send key

 

 

 

frames at infrequent intervals. You can set the Key Frame Interval to

 

 

 

zero which will provide all key frames but for most content this will

 

 

 

result in an actual bit rate far above the target.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smoothness

Range 0–100. Default = zero. Use the default except as directed.

 

 

 

 

 

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31

Picture Center

Sets the quality difference between the center of the image and the

Quality Difference

edges. By reducing quality on the edges the encoder may be able to

 

improve the quality of the center of the image at a given bit rate.

 

 

Buffer Size

Sets the rate control buffer depth in milliseconds. Larger buffer sizes

 

may improve video quality and make the encoder's rate control more

 

consistent. This value is also used as the .wmv pre-roll for the stream

 

header so the player generally buffers at least this amount of data and

 

as a result larger buffer size values will increase end-to-end latency.

 

 

Video Rate2

Use to configure multiple bit rates. Check Enabled to display the

 

configuration settings for Video Rate2. Once enabled, VideoRate2 and

 

VideoRate3 are available for selection on the Multicast, Server, and

 

Archiver pages. If selected on those pages, an error will display if you

 

attempt to disable them on this page. Video Rates1, 2, and 3 must have

 

different Target Bit Rates.

 

 

Video Rate3

Use to configure multiple bit rates. Check Enabled to display the

 

configuration settings for Video Rate3. Video Rates1, 2, and 3 must

 

have different Target Bit Rates.

 

 

Configuration: Encoder > Audio

If configuring audio for multiple bit rate, you can specify separate encoder settings for up to three audio encoders. When Audio Rate2 or 3 is enabled, the Sample Frequency must be 44.1 KHz and only bit rates compatible with 44.1 KHz can be selected. As with video, any change in the settings for any of the audio encoders will cause a brief interruption of video and audio for all three encoders. All streams being sent from the unit (including multicast and push) are interrupted. Any active HTTP or RSTP clients will be dropped and any archive file in progress will be closed.

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WM Configuration

Audio Input

Audio Jack – Input from standard audio source. like a DVD player.

 

Microphone DIN – Input from VBrick's AudioMate microphone.

Note: When you select Microphone DIN as the encoder Audio Input, the left audio jack input is switched off but the right audio jack input remains connected. This means that if there is an audio source connected to the right audio jack input, you can mix this input with the Microphone DIN input by setting the encoder Audio Channels value

to either Stereo or Mono (L+R).

Audio Input Level

Normal or Alternate. Default = Normal. Sets the audio level for the

 

encoder audio jack or microphone input. When set to normal, the

 

audio inputs accept a 4-volt peak-to-peak maximum signal. When set

 

to alternate, the audio inputs accept an 8-volt peak-to-peak maximum

 

signal.

 

 

Audio Gain

This setting controls the audio level of the encoder:

 

• When the Audio Input Level is set to Normal, the settings are from

 

49 to -53 dB and mute. Default = 0 dB. A setting of 7 is full volume

 

and -53 effectively mutes the encoder. Use the high gain settings

 

labeled (mic) when using a standard microphone through the Audio

 

Jack inputs.

 

• When the Audio Input Level is set to Alternate, the settings are

 

from 12 to -48 dB and mute. Default = 0 dB. A setting of 12 is full

 

volume and -48 effectively mutes the encoder.

Audio Template Settings

Note In Edit mode, the parameters affected by template settings (set in the Configuration: Encoder > Template) are shown at the bottom of the screen. These settings override the template; they do not change the template.

The following audio settings can be changed by modifying a template setting in the Configuration: Encoder > Template section of IWS. Any changes you make on this window override the template; they do not change it. See Table 11, Audio Channels: Stereo/Mono † for Bit Rate and Sample Frequency matrix.

Audio Channels

Audio Channels – The audio output mode can be configured to one of

 

three possible settings:

Stereo – Stereo directs the input left channel to the left channel in the audio stream and the input right channel to the right channel in the audio stream.

Mono (L+R) – A combination of both the left and right channel is encoded to a single channel. The Media Player will play the audio through both speakers.

Mono (left only) – Only the left input channel is carried in the stream. The Media Player will play the audio through both speakers.

L+R Bit Rate

See Bit Rate and Sample Frequency for all settings. The value can be

 

5000–192000 bits/sec. Default = 128000. This is the audio encoding

 

bit rate of the audio stream.

VBrick WM Appliance Admin Guide

33

Sample Frequency

See Bit Rate and Sample Frequency for all settings. Frequency at which

 

the audio is sampled at the encoder. Range 8–48 KHz. Shown for

 

Audio Rate1 only. Audio Rates2 and 3 share this common value. If

 

Audio Rate2 or Audio Rate3 s enabled, the Sample Frequency is

 

automatically set to 44.1 KHz.

 

 

Audio Rate2

Use to configure multiple bit rates. Check Enabled to display

 

configuration settings for Audio Rate2. Once enabled, AudioRate2 and

 

AudioRate3 are available for selection on the Multicast, Server, and

 

Archiver pages. If selected on those pages, an error will display if you

 

attempt to disable them on this page.

 

 

Audio Rate3

Use to configure multiple bit rates. Check Enabled to display

 

configuration settings for Audio Rate3.

 

 

Bit Rate and Sample Frequency

The following are the allowed combinations of Bit Rate and Sample Frequency when Audio

Channels is Stereo or Mono (left only) or Mono (L+R).

Table 11. Audio Channels: Stereo/Mono †

Stereo

 

Mono

 

 

 

 

 

Bit Rate (bits/sec)

Sample Frequency (KHz)

Bit Rate (bits/sec)

Sample Frequency (KHz)

 

 

 

 

192000

48

48000

44.1

 

 

 

 

192000

44.1

32000

44.1

 

 

 

 

160000

48

20000

32

 

 

 

 

160000

44.1

20000

22.05

 

 

 

 

128000

48

16000

22.05

 

 

 

 

128000

44.1

16000

16

 

 

 

 

96000

44.1

12000

16

 

 

 

 

80000

44.1

10000

16

 

 

 

 

64000

44.1

10000

11.025

 

 

 

 

48000

44.1

8000

11.025

 

 

 

 

48000

32

8000

8

 

 

 

 

40000

32

6000

8

 

 

 

 

32000

44.1

5000

8

 

 

 

 

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WM Configuration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stereo

 

Mono

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bit Rate (bits/sec)

Sample Frequency (KHz)

Bit Rate (bits/sec)

Sample Frequency (KHz)

 

 

 

 

 

32000

32

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

32000

22.05

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22000

22.05

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20000

22.05

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20000

16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16000

16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12000

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If Audio Rate2 or Audio Rate3 is enabled on the Configuration: Encoder > Audio page, the Sample Frequency is automatically set to 44.1 KHz and only the bit rates compatible with 44.1 KHz are available.

Configuration: Encoder > Multicast

VBrick WM Appliance Admin Guide

35

Windows Media Encoder Multicast -- Slot1

Click here to play

Click to trigger Windows Media Player to initiate streaming via

multicast

multicast. Right-click and select Save Target As to save the .asx and

 

send to others for viewing. This is a good way to view the stream when

 

adjusting various encoder parameters via the IWS.

 

 

Select Multicast

Select from the configured video rates or choose None to multicast

Video Rate

audio only. Default = Video Rate1.

 

 

Select Multicast

Select from the configured audio rates or choose None to multicast

Audio Rate

video only. Default = Audio Rate1.

 

 

Closed Caption

Controls whether or not script data is included in the multicast. Script

and Metadata

data includes Closed Caption data and/or user Meta Data depending

 

on what is enabled on the video configuration page.

 

 

Multicast URL

Use this URL in a player or browser (or on a web page with an

 

embedded player) to view the stream via multicast.

 

 

Transmit

Controls whether the encoded video and audio is to be transmitted to

 

the network via multicast.

 

 

Multicast

This is the destination IP Address of the encoded video. By default the

destination IP

IP Address is set to 127.0.0.1 (the localhost address) which disables

Address

multicast transmission. The multicast address must be a Class D IP

 

address.

 

 

Destination Port

Sets the UDP video destination port.

 

 

Time To Live

The number of hops (between routers) for which an IP packet is valid

 

on the network.

 

 

Type Of Service

The TOS (Type of Service) can be configured in the IP header to

 

establish packet priority in the network.

 

 

Join Own Multicast

Some network equipment requires that a Multicast source (such as a

 

VBrick encoder) join its own Multicast group. This feature is enabled

 

by default and has no adverse affect on equipment that is fully

 

Multicast-compliant.

 

 

Maximum Packet

The Windows Media packet size is automatically set to the smallest

Size

possible value based on various parameter settings. The audio Bit Rate

 

and Sample Frequency (see Audio Template Settings) are the primary

 

factors controlling packet size. Lower audio Bit Rates and Sample

 

Frequencies will generally result in smaller packet sizes. If you change

 

this setting, click Refresh to see the re-calculated packet size.

 

 

Estimated Total Bit

Reports the calculated estimated maximum bit rate for the multicast

Rate

stream including network overhead. Click Refresh when you change

 

settings. It may take a few moments before new values are displayed.

 

 

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WM Configuration

 

 

 

 

NSC File Information -- Slot1

 

 

 

 

Get NSC

Press button to save

 

 

NSC file. NSC files are

 

 

only needed to create a

 

 

publishing point on a

 

 

Microsoft Windows

 

 

Media Server that

 

 

receives the multicast

 

 

from a VBrick WM

 

 

Appliance.

 

 

 

 

Unicast Rollover URL

When present, the player will try to use the rollover URL to play the

 

 

stream if it cannot receive the multicast.

 

 

 

 

Allow Stream Splitting

Tells receivers of the multicast stream whether they should be

 

 

allowed to replicate the stream to multiple clients.

 

 

 

 

Allow Fast Caching

Tells receivers of the multicast stream whether they should be

 

 

allowed to cache the stream to disk.

 

 

 

 

Cache Expiration

The cache expiration time in seconds. Tells receivers of the multicast

 

Time

how long a cache of the stream is valid.

 

 

 

 

Network Buffer Time

The buffer time in milliseconds. Adjusts the depth of the player's

 

 

network buffer.

 

 

 

Multicast Playback

There are several ways to play the multicast stream from your VBrick WM Appliance on Windows Media player. The following playback options all use the .asx file and therefore offer all the .asx features including Program Name, Author, Copyright, Banner, and Log URL that are configured on the Announce (SAP) screen. The .asx file uses a URL reference to the NSC file on the WM Appliance so these playback methods also offer all the features of the NSC file including the Unicast Rollover URL, Allow Stream Splitting, Allow Fast Caching, Cache Expiration Time, and Network Buffer Time.

TTo play back a multicast stream:

Launch the player directly from the IWS by clicking Click here to play multicast. This is a good way for the WM Appliance administrator to easily view the stream when adjusting various encoder parameters via the IWS.

Right-click on Click here to play multicast and select Save Target As to save the .asx

file on your computer. You can then double click the .asx file to launch the player and play the multicast stream. E-mail the .asx file or make it available on a shared network drive to allow other viewers on your network to play the multicast stream.

Play the multicast stream from a browser or from a standalone player using the URL

http://vbrickipaddress/vbs1multi.asx. (The WM Appliance serves the .asx file via

HTTP.) The URL to the multicast .asx for Slot2 of a dual WM Appliance is http://

vbrickipaddress/vbs2multi.asx.

Use VBrick's StreamPlayer product to add an automatic program guide to Windows Media Player so when you run StreamPlayer it will automatically list all the multicast programs available on your network. The user can then click on a program to launch Windows Media Player to play the stream. (The WM Appliance can send network

VBrick WM Appliance Admin Guide

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