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Multipoint Control Units (MCUs). Gabe Moulton The Ohio State University [email protected] Internet2 Commons Site Coordinator Training September 27, 2004 Austin, Texas. What Are they?. Scenario 1: Point to Point call Each endpoints captures and sends one audio and one video stream

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Multipoint control units mcus
Multipoint Control Units(MCUs)

Gabe Moulton

The Ohio State University

[email protected]

Internet2 Commons Site Coordinator Training

September 27, 2004

Austin, Texas


What are they
What Are they?

  • Scenario 1: Point to Point call

    • Each endpoints captures and sends one audio and one video stream

    • Each endpoint receives and displays one audio and video stream

  • Scenario 2: Multiple end point call

    • Each endpoints captures and sends one audio and one video stream

    • Now there are potentially multiple incoming audio and video streams

    • Most endpoints don’t know what to do with this

  • In walks the MCU

    • It receives all video and audio streams

    • Mixing the audio and sends it back out as one stream to each endpoint

    • Video is mixed and transmitted as one stream to each based on the configuration of the conference


Mcu conference request considerations
MCU Conference Request Considerations

  • Layouts

    • Continuous Presence (CP)

      • Multiple sites visible on screen at once

    • Voice Switched

      • One site on screen at a time

      • Switches based on who is talking

  • Data Rate Choices

    • Increasing the data rate doesn’t always increase the quality of the conference

      • Bandwidth availability considerations


Multipoint control units hardware vs software
Multipoint Control Units: Hardware vs Software

  • Hardware

    • Dedicated, real-time operating system

    • RADVISION

    • Polycom

    • Tandberg

  • Software

    • Based on standard Operating systems (Windows, Linux)

    • First Virtual Communications

  • Embedded

    • Has dedicated hardware for processing

    • Works well for small numbers


Mcu control functions
MCU Control Functions

  • Defining a conference

    • Speed

    • Number of users

    • Multiple windows

  • Operating a conference

    • Dial out

    • Dial in

  • Monitoring a conference

  • Monitoring an MCU

  • Cascading MCUs


Mcus available in the market
MCUs available in the market

  • RADVision H.323

    • 9 ports at 384Kbps

    • Small, simple, includes Gatekeeper

  • RADVision ViaIP

    • 50 ports at 384Kbps, expandable

    • Powerful, reliable; ECS Gatekeeper

  • Accord/Polycom MGC

    • 48 ports at 384Kbps, Expandable multi Format capable

    • Many advanced features; no Gatekeeper necessary

  • Tandberg

    • 16 ports at 384Kbps

    • Many advanced features

  • Codian

    • 20 up to 80 ports

    • Advanced features, no gatekeeper required

  • VCON

    • VCB-2000

    • Streaming Capabilities


Radvision mcu 323
RADVISION MCU-323

  • 9 [email protected] ([email protected], [email protected])

  • Built-in Web server. Provides operational control of who is in a conference and who has the floor. Also controls application sharing and MCU Cascading.

  • Built-in Telnet server. Provides optional remote control and monitoring.

  • PC remote configuration software. Provides conference definitions, names, and software updates.

  • List price $22.5K. Discounts as low as $10K.


Tandberg mcu
Tandberg MCU

  • 16 users, 3 simultaneous conferences

  • Support for H.264

  • Embedded Encryption

  • Supports ISDN and IP

  • Embedded webserver for control and configuration

  • Small 1U form factor, 19” Rackmountable


Polycom mgc
Polycom MGC

  • 3 Flavors, 25, 50 and 100

  • Capacity varies by configuration

  • Support for H.264

  • Can support ISDN, IP and ATM

  • Separate Software control

  • Priced by configuration


Radvision via ip
RADVISION via-IP

  • 4 flavors 15, 30, 60, 100

  • 384Kbps capacity by type

    • 15  12

    • 30  24

    • 60  42

    • 100  70

  • Support for SIP

  • Can add gateway cards

  • Chassis based system, expandable

  • Gatekeeper based dialing


Commons mcu test facility
Commons MCU Test Facility

  • Three MCUs are available for testing and discussion.

    • Web interface

    • Telnet interface

    • PC interface

  • The Commons will support remote or onsite (you come to Ohio) testing.

  • Useful for assisting in evaluations for your own purchases.



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