Interim Report

 

October 2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Enhancing Competency of IT Teachers and

Industrial Professionals

 

Quality of Service Enhancements of Remote VSAT Centre Reception

 

(Approved vide letter no.: 5(8)/2003-ELG dated 31/12/2003)

 

Funded by: Ministry of Communication & IT-Govt. of India.


Index

 

1.        Section 1. 1

1.1.      Motivation.. 1

1.2.      Current status. 3

1.3.      List of courses offered: 4

 

2.        Section 2. 5

2.1.      Financial Summary.. 5

2.2.      Details of Second year activities envisaged and schedule for completion.. 6

2.3.      Expenditure priorities and details. 7

 

3.        Section 3. 8

3.1.      Implementation of Reliance Telephones. 8

3.2.      Advantages: 8

 

4.        Section 4. 9

4.1.      Audience Response System to capture participant interactions  9

4.2.      The features of the setup are as follows. 9

4.3.      ADVANTAGES. 10

4.4.      Schematic Layout of microphone setup. 11

 

5.        Section 5. 13

5.1.      Remote Center Messaging Software.. 13

5.2.      General functionalities. 14

5.3.      Overall design of the system. 14

5.4.      Design of Messaging Software Module.. 15

5.5.      FLOOR ACCESSING MODULE.. 16

5.6.      DATA FLOW DIAGRAM... 17

5.7.      RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS. 19

5.7.1.    Targets achieved. 19

5.7.2.    Positive Features. 20

5.7.3.    Screens from the application. 21

5.7.4.    Drawbacks. 24

 

6.        Section 6. 25

6.1.      CONFORMANCE TESTING OF UPS UNITS. 25

6.2.      EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS. 25

6.2.1.    Backup Time Test – Under Normal Load: 25

6.2.2.    Load Regulation Test – Under Full Load. 26

6.2.3.    Input Voltage. 27

6.3.      TEST RESULTS. 27

 

7.        Section 7. 29

7.1.      TRIALS AND DEMO WITH MPEG-4 STREAMING OPTIONS. 29

7.2.      DEMONSTRATION WITH VIDEO CONFERENCING SYSTEMS. 29

7.3.      DG SET FOR MAINS POWER FAILURE.. 30

 

8.        Section 8. 31

8.1.      CONCLUSION.. 31


1.    Section 1

 

1.1.      Motivation

 

Currently IIT Bombay has an ongoing  project in satellite based Distance Education [1] where the live lectures in post graduate level IT subjects are multicast  to fifteen centers across six states. Participants at the Remote Centers (RCs) have the facility to ask questions, and clarify doubts by having answers from IIT faculty in real time. Moreover, the participant asking question is seen and heard by participants in other RCs as well as by IITB faculty. The classes are held in the mornings and evenings to enable IT teachers of engineering colleges and working IT professionals to pursue studies while continuing their jobs. Participants can accumulate credits toward a post-graduate diploma from IITB in the credit mode. They are also provided with an option of taking the course only for self improvement in the non-credit mode. Apart from differential fees for credit and non credit modes, there is an additional fees discount to bonafide students and teachers.

 

While the program has been functional for over couple of years, the feedback from participants indicated that measures to improve the Quality of Service (QoS), were needed to make the lectures more effective. Crisp images, clear sound and smooth movements typically measure the perceived QoS by the participants. Such measures were also expected to lead to greater acceptance of the program by industry and academic institutions.

 

Thus, the objective of the project can be summarized as:

Enhancing competency of IT teachers and industry   professionals through distance education by ensuring better QoS through:

§         Providing reliability of mission critical components of the existing system

§         Employing better digital techniques for recording and storage

§         Improving offline transmission of lecture material by efficient File Transfer Protocols (FTP) or On-Demand Video Streaming

§         Deploying enhancement techniques for satellite transmission and streaming of lectures.

 

In order to ensure that the lectures are received with acceptable quality and without interruption, the following parameters have to be considered:

§         Bandwidth: a certain minimum bandwidth is required to ensure acceptable quality of reception at the RC.

§         Data loss: Loss of data packets has to be minimized to have a good quality of reception. In the case where the channel is loss prone, error correction techniques have to be applied to render the transmission without glitches. 

§         Delay Jitter: When packets arrive at the RC with varying inter packet delay, it causes disturbances in the reception. To improve quality, it is important that inter packet arrival is kept constant at the RC so that the resultant play out is smooth. Generally, buffers are used to mitigate this problem where media packets are buffered and played out at a constant rate.

 

Given a bandwidth, data loss and delay jitter have to be minimized. Research in this area has been taken up as part of the project.

 

In this report, the QoS issues and the mechanisms implemented for improving the quality at the RCs for Distance education are discussed. Section 2 provides details of the financial aspects of the project. In Section 3, the satellite model along with the mechanisms implemented for QoS enhancement is discussed. Section 4 outlines the enhancement techniques explored as part of the research and development toward providing better QoS.  Section 5 provides a discussion on other options and techniques considered for improving the QoS and satisfaction level at the RCs. Conclusions and future directions are provided at the end of the report in Section 6.

 

 


1.2.      Current status

 

List of Fifteen Participating Remote Centers (RCs)

 

  1. Indian Institute of Technology Bombay

 

  1. Center for Development of Advanced Computing, CDAC Khargar

 

  1. Mahindra British Telecom Ltd, Mumbai

 

  1. Mahindra British Telecom Ltd, Pune

 

  1. Sinhagad Technical Education Society, Vadgaon, Pune

 

  1. Sinhagad Technical Education Society, Karve Road, Pune

 

  1. Persistent Systems Pvt. Ltd, Pune

 

  1. Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur

 

  1. MGM College of Engineering, Nanded

 

  1. Virtual Institute of  Training, Goa University, Goa

 

  1. Nirma Institute of Technology, Ahmedabad

 

  1. MJ College, Jalgaon

 

  1. Shri G. S. Institute of Technology and Science, Indore

 

  1. VJTI, Mumbai

 

  1. Institute for Development & Research in Banking Technology,  Hyderabad

 

  1. Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management, Kerala

 

The courses taught are high end IT courses at Post Graduate level. Recently some related theoretical courses as well as courses in management area are added.


 

1.3.      List of courses offered:

 

Code

Name

OOPJ

Object Oriented Programming using Java

MIS

Modern Information Systems

EE603

Digital Signal Processing, Wavelets and its Applications

IT 605

Distributed Systems

COOS

Computer organization and Operating Systems

DSAL

Data Structures and Algorithms

IT 621

Foundation Algorithms – Part 1

IT 602

Multimedia Systems

IT 606

Embedded Systems

IT 601

Mobile Computing

IT 603

Database Management Systems

IT 619

Foundation Lab

IT 605

Computer Networks

EE 659

A First Course in Optimization

MG 655

Corporate Strategies

MG 647

Innovation & Entrepreneurship

CS 317

Database and Information Systems

CL 692

Digital Controls

IT 628

IT Project Management

IT 653

Network Security

CSE

Advance Programming in C++

 


2.    Section 2 

 

This section gives details of the projects implemented during the year December 2004 till October 2005.

 

2.1.      Financial Summary

 

 

 

Consumables

Contingencies

Equipment

Pay/

Allow

TA/DA/ TTR

O/H

TOT

Total Funds Allotted

1,820,000

300,000

4,000,000

400,000

300,000

180,000

7,000,000

Less Expenses as on 30.09.05                   (A)

1,029,724

196,647.00

1,898,608

281,802

215,130

180,000

3,798,880

Balance as on 30.09.05

790,276

103,353

2,101,392

118,198

84,870

-

3,195,058

Committed expenses details

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMMITTED EXPENSES              (B)

606,388

13,120

844

5,000

6,084

-

631,436

Total  Expenses   (A+B)

1,636,112

209,767

1,899,452

286,802

221,214

180,000

4,436,378

NET BALANCE

183,888

90,233

2,100,548

113,198

78,786

-

2,563,622

 

 

 

 

 

Table – 2.1: Summary of Expenditure Status


2.2.     Details of Second year activities envisaged and schedule for completion

To improve QoS at the RCs, several activities were identified. The schedule followed to implement these activities is given in Table 2.2. The activities are represented in the y-axis and the time period is represented in the x-axis. Table 2.3 lists the target activities and the status of these activities till the end of this report period, June 2004.

 

 

S.no.

Target

Status

Date of completion

1.  

Testing of UPS units in DEP

Completed testing of  the parameters

15 June 05

2.  

Implementation of Reliance Telephones for quick reliable communication.

Completed.

15 July 05

3.  

Development of Software for text interaction between remote centers and faculty

Completed development, testing and setup.

20 July 05

4.  

Setup Audience Response Capture System

Completed the setup and testing of system.

30 Aug 05

5.  

Survey of possibility for implementing DG Set along with UPS

Completed

10 Sept 05

6.  

Survey for RF measurement equipments

In progress.

-

 

Table-2.3: Target activities and the status of these activities

 

 

 

 


 

2.3.      Expenditure priorities and details.

The grant available for the first year was sought to be channeled into the following specific categories:

        I.      Implementation of Reliance Telephones

– For effective and quick communication between the Remote Centers in case of emergencies and also for daily correspondence.

     II.      Setup Audience Response Capture System

– To capture the response of individual participants at the Uplink Center.

 

Details of category wise expenditure are as given in Table-2.4 below.

 

S.No.

Category

Equipments

Qty

Cost (Rs)

I

Implementation of Reliance Telephones

 

10

32,161.00

II

Setup Audience Response Capture System

Microphones

30

8,548.80

 

 

Mixer

10

14,096.25

 

 

Cable

167m

2,254.50

 

 

Holders

30

843.75

 

 

Hardware (Clamps, Bolts, etc)

40

4,000.00

 

 

Electrical

 

6,397.00

 

 

Miscellaneous

 

**

III

Bandwidth + Consumables

 

1

6,06,388.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

 

 

6,74,689.30

 

Table-2.4: Expenditure for Equipments (Dec 2004 – Oct 2005)

 

 

 


3.    Section 3

 

3.1.      Implementation of Reliance Telephones

The Remote Centers need to frequently interact with the DEP Team for various reasons such as administrative and technical assistance. It is found that many a times in case of emergencies the required contact numbers were either unavailable or out of service. Moreover due to frequent interaction with the Remote Centers, the telephone bills were also quite large. In order to tackle both the issues it was decided to implement a network of reliance phones which would be used only for the purpose of communication among DEP members.

Presently ten Reliance telephones have been installed (7 at Remote Centers and 3 at Uplink Center). The expenses are currently borne by DEP - IIT Bombay. Eventually the monthly expenses in maintaining the telephone connections will be borne by the respective Remote Centers.

 

3.2.      Advantages:

§         Quick and reliable connection.

§         Dedicated telephone equipment for the purpose of DEP related issues.

§         Can also be used by students to ask queries at the time of lecture sessions.

§         Reliance to Reliance calls to any part of India are free of cost. This will help in increasing the interaction between the Remote Centers and the DEP Team.

 


4.    Section 4

 

4.1.      Audience Response System to capture participant interactions

For effective participation at the Remote Centers, especially during the live classroom sessions, it is important that the interactions taking place between the faculty and the students at the Uplink Center is heard clearly at the Remote Centers as well.

The audience response capture solutions available in the market as of now are not capable of providing the right solution tailored for the requirements at DEP Uplink Center, catering to large number of participants (about 100). The solutions available are suitable for situations such as game shows. Moreover these solutions are very expensive which educational institutes may not be in a position to invest in.

We at DEP have come up with a solution which is very effective as well as very affordable.

 

4.2.      The features of the setup are as follows

§   Uses corded microphones spread out throughout the classroom.

Cordless microphones need to be passed around from one participant to another which usually disturbs the attention of the participants. Most of the time it is also difficult to find the location of the cordless microphones, which disturbs the class. Moreover many cordless microphones are required to effectively capture the audience response making the setup very expensive.

Using corded microphones overcomes this disadvantage associated with cordless microphones.

§   One microphone for every three participants.

With an installation of a total of 28 microphones, this ensures that every participant in the classroom has an easy access to a microphone without having to disturb anyone during the lecture.


§   Helps Remote Centers to better understand the discussions at the Uplink centre.

Especially during the live classroom sessions, the interaction between the faculty and the students at the Uplink site is heard clearly at the Remote Centers. This helps the participants at the Remote Centers to understand the proceedings of the session more effectively.

§   Improved capture of audience response.

As compared to the cordless microphone setup and other setups available in the market, this solution is better able to capture the audience response.

§   Very cost effective setup.

This kind of setup is very affordable in terms of cost which can be adopted by any educational institution with such kind of a setup requirement.

 

4.3.      ADVANTAGES

·         This setup of fixed microphones has resulted in increased use of the microphones by the participants at the DEP Uplink site as compared to the previous setup wherein cordless microphones were used.

·         It has proved to be very effective in lecture sessions where management related subjects are taught which requires extensive responses and interactions from the participants.

·         As a result the participants at the Remote Centers attending the courses have a feeling of a lecture well attended and understood because of the responses heard by the participants at the Uplink site, which in turn satisfies most of the queries arising from the participants at the Remote Centers.

 


4.4.      Schematic Layout of microphone setup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fig-4.1: Lecture Hall Microphone Setup


Following are a few images of the installation of the setup.

Fig-4.2: Installation pictures


5.    Section 5

 

5.1.      Remote Center Messaging Software

DEP makes use of application software from VCON®. There are a few drawbacks found in the software system. The current software system does not have the facility to provide 2-ways communication system between Uplink Center and the Remote Centers by way of text messaging. Also this software does not provide any logging facility of any kind.

Another problem DEP was facing in the software domain was of communicating with the faculty’s desk. There was no facility available to send the text based queries asked by students from remote centers to the faculty. Thus it was decided to design and implement the software as an add-on and provide DEP with an efficient communication and logging system.

This Messaging System provides the user with a user-friendly environment for efficient text message communication and floor accessing module. It also maintains a log regarding the log in times of all the participants, quality of audio and video received, problems encountered if any and the time each participant had logged off, queries asked to the faculty, interaction with the console room operator, being some among the many fields in the log file.

Development of this application software was handed over to students in final year of graduation in engineering as their project work. The interface for all the applications was developed using C# which is done by Smitesh Hawaldar. All the three applications communicate with each other through socket programming, which is done by Shreyas Phadnis and the persistent data is provided by the database, which is done by Viswasundar Desaraju.

 

 


5.2.      General functionalities

The general functionalities provided by the system are listed below. Details of these functionalities are mentioned in previous document.

·         Message sending

·         Message receiving Sending

·         Floor request

·         Granting Floor

·         Reclaiming Floor

·         Returning Floor

·         Log maintenance

 

 

 

5.3.      Overall design of the system.

The users of the applications are divided into 3 categories depending on their role:

·         IITB chair controller

·         Remote Centre controller

·         Faculty

 

 

 

Fig-5.1: Over all setup of the system

 


5.4.      Design of Messaging Software Module

 

 

Send Message

(Uplink or Remote site)

 
 

 

 


           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


           

 

Fig-5.2: Messaging software module design flow

 

Flow Explanation

·         Main window is displayed.

·         Coordinator (Uplink or remote site) enters the message in the respective space.

·         Sends the message.

·         Message is received and processed accordingly.

 

 


5.5.      FLOOR ACCESSING MODULE

 

 

Floor Request by remote site

 
 


           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Fig-5.3: Messaging software module design flow

 

 

Flow Explanation

·         Remote site coordinator requests for the floor.

·         Uplink site receives the floor request.

·         Uplink site coordinator can grant or reject the floor request.

·         If the request is granted then remote site can return the floor or the Uplink site can reclaim the floor.

 


5.6.      DATA FLOW DIAGRAM

 

Oval: 1
Check User & Password
                

Username

&      Password

 
 


     USER

 

LOGIN

 

 
Oval: 3
Process User request
Oval: 4

Update Database
                             

VCON LOG TABLE

 
 

 


                                                                                   

Valid

Administrator Login

 

vcon log info

 
                                                                                             

                       

log info

 
                                   

Oval: 2
Load
Admin.
System

LOG

TABLE

 
 

 

 

 


                                                                                                                         

 

Update Conversation

 

CONVERSATION

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Fig-5.4: Context Level 1 DFD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                           

 

                                                                       

                                                                                                       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fig-5.5: Context Level 2 DFD

 

 

 


5.7.      RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS

 

5.7.1.    Targets achieved

The following main modules were implemented are

·         Communication system between IIT, Mumbai and Remote Centers.

·         Communication system between IIT, Mumbai, Remote Centers and Professors Desk

·         Logging facility at IIT, Mumbai and its retrieval using a web-based system.

 

The development of this software was further divided in sub-modules:

·         Developed IITB Centre (server) interface.

·         Developed Remote Centre (client) interface.

·         Developed Prof’s Desk (client) interface.

·         Data handling in all the applications.

·         File handling part.

·         Socket programming for the entire communication system between IIT Bombay & Remote Centers.

·         Socket Programming for the entire communication system between IIT Bombay & Faculty’s Desk.

·         Developed web-forms for log checking system for IIT Bombay

·         Creation of the database to maintain logs using MS-Access©.

·         Database connectivity for the server to register the logs and updating of the database.

·         Database connectivity to the web form developed for querying purposes.

 


5.7.2.    Positive Features

·         This communication system developed uses the C# socket class and         extends various other C# core library classes to provide a customized functionality.

·         The interface is designed more like a chat system considering user familiarity with such chat systems.

·         The settings option on the remote centre side has been kept minimum so as to make the application more user friendly.

·         Security has been stressed greatly while developing this software. Any PC which wants to connect to the server needs to be registered with Uplink Center first. If a PC is not registered then one cannot connect.

·         Another unique feature of this software and a strong requirement of this software was maintenance of log both in flat-files as well as database.

·         An advantage of this feature is that in case the web-interface fails, users can view the database using MS-Access. In an event even if the database fails the data can be retrieved from the text files.

·         Another feature is that the faculty's desk has been designed in such a way so as to minimize faculty interaction.

·         The web-based log checking system is also password protected. Also the interface is very user-friendly and the query can be done based on RC NAME and/or Date of Lecture Transmission

·         This software also scan and maintains log from a log file created by VCON. So this feature gives IIT, Mumbai the exact login and logout time of remote centres.

 


5.7.3.    Screens from the application

Fig-5.6: Uplink Center - Main Screen

 

Fig-5.7: Uplink Center - Settings Screen

Fig-5.8: Professor Desk - Main Screen

Fig-5.9: Professor Desk - Settings Screen

 

Fig-5.10: Remote Center - Main Screen

 

 


5.7.4.    Drawbacks

The only feature that could not be implemented was 100% interaction with VCON meeting point. Since VCON is proprietary software its source code is not available. Although VCON developers have provided a VCON Development Kit (VDK), the VDK does not contain any reusable DLLs (Dynamic Linked Libraries). The VDK contains the header files which define the prototype of functions which the developers need to implement. Thus developing of these functions and interacting with VCON at floor request/response level was beyond the scope of this project as well as not within the time constraint.

 


 

6.    Section 6

 

6.1.      CONFORMANCE TESTING OF UPS UNITS.

The purpose of conducting these tests is to provide a benchmark for the Remote Centers in case they want to procure a UPS for backing up their systems.

DEP has procured 3 UPS units of rated at 1.5KVA, 3KVA and 5KVA. The 1.5KVA UPS is being used for backup power supply for the RF transmission equipments at the Uplink Centre. The 3KVA is used for the setup of the experimental Remote Center at IIT Bombay. The third UPS of 5KVA is being used to power the equipments in the lecture hall at the Uplink Center.

 

6.2.      EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS 

Tests were performed on three Aplab UPS. These UPS are used to support the transmission equipment used for the DEP Project. The results are as follows:

 

6.2.1.    Backup Time Test – Under Normal Load:

Switched on the entire equipment that is on the UPS. Then switched off the mains supply and noted the time for the UPS to give the first warning beep, and time to shift to the auxiliary supply.

UPS

VA Rating

Normal Load

Time for first Warning Beep

Time after warning for shifting to Auxiliary Supply

Total backup Time

UPS for Uplink RF Equipment

1.5kVA

13.1%

24mins

8mins

32mins

UPS for DEP RC

3kVA

33%

2hrs 20mins

20mins

2hrs 40mins

UPS for Lecture Hall

5kVA

37.2%

65mins

15mins

1hr 20mins

 

 Table-6.1: Backup Time Test

 


Analysis:

1.       The backup time of a UPS decreases as the load on the UPS is increased.

2.       There is some error in the performance of the UPS in DEP Studio since it is giving such less backup time at 13% load.

3.       Checked if the reading on the LCD of the front panel was correct. The actual load was about 60% while the UPS showed 13%load.

 

6.2.2.    Load Regulation Test – Under Full Load

The load test was performed on UPS in Room No. 201 by connecting different loads on the UPS and noting the output voltage.

 

Load

Output Voltage

4% (approx. no load)

229.7V

26.1%

228.7V

48.4%

228.8V

71.3%

228.5V

93.6% (approx. full load)

228.2V

 

 Table-6.2: Load Regulation Test

 

Analysis: 

% Load Regulation: ((VNL-VFL) / VNL) *100 = ((229.7-228.2)/229.7) *100 = 0.65%

As per the specifications of the UPS (see the appendix), the regulation must be +/- 1%.

Hence, the UPS complies with the specifications. 

 


6.2.3.    Input Voltage

Minimum value of input voltage : 217.8 V

Maximum value of input voltage : 230.0 V

As per the specifications of the UPS (see the appendix ), the input voltage should have a range of 160V-265V AC one phase.

Hence, the UPS complies with the specifications.  

 

6.3.      TEST RESULTS 

UPS Rating: 3.0kVA Normal Mains AC: 230V AC

Date: 21/06/2005 DC Voltage:  

 

S.No.

Test Parameter

Test Specification

Observation

1.

Make

Aplab

Aplab

2.

Model

Rhino Series

OK

3.

Capacity

3000VA

2400W at UPS output on Lamp load

4.

Technology

IGBT Based Pulse Width Modulation (P.W.M.)

IGBT Technology

5.

Input Voltage (Nominal)

160V-265V AC one phase

160V-265V

6.

Input Frequency (Nominal)

50Hz

Range 47-53Hz

7.

Input Power Factor

>0.96

>0.96

8.

Protection

Over Current and Short Circuit protected

Provided

9.

Voltage Regulation

±1% typical

0.65%

10.

Output Frequency

50Hz±0.5% and ±3% (sync mode)

50Hz

11.

Waveform Type

Pure Sine Wave

Complies

12.

Transfer Time

Ł 4 msec

Complies

13.

Load Power Factor

0.6 to unity

0.8

14.

Efficiency

90%

89%

15.

Cold Start

Should allow to start the computer and use the battery power when the mains is absent

Complies

16.

Communication Port

RS232 for UPS monitoring software/ DSS/ Smart Slot

Provided

17.

Battery Charging Time

4 hours for 90%

--

18.

Battery Support

Native as well as std. Car/bus battery, user replaceable- subject to training to user

--

19.

Protections

1.Input Over/ Under Voltage

2.Overload at the Output

3.Soar Protection for IGBT

devices

4.Output AC Over/Under Voltage

5.Battery Over/Under Voltage

6.Snubber Circuits for Power Semiconductor Devices

Provided

20.

LCD Display

 

Provided

22.

Alarm indication

Battery backup, Low battery, Over load

Exists

23.

Audible Noise

< 45 dBA

Site was not suitable

 

 

 Table-6.3: Test Results


 

7.    Section 7

 

7.1.      TRIALS AND DEMO WITH MPEG-4 STREAMING OPTIONS

Venera Technologies is an Indian software development company specializing in multimedia software. The company’s product line includes software encoders, which can at present encode video signals in composite, and S-video to MPEG-4 compression format, which were mainly developed for Internet based streaming. Trials were conducted by Venera Technologies at IIT Bombay’s DEP cell.

 

7.2.      DEMONSTRATION WITH VIDEO CONFERENCING SYSTEMS

Other means of transmitting the video content to participants at remote locations were tried out. This included trials and demonstrations with Tandberg Video Conferencing system.

The aim of the experiment was to demonstrate the capability of the equipment to stream the video content to receive only terminals within a closed user group connected in the local network or in any other network. The receive only terminals would be then connected to the central site by means of  an ISDN or Leased line.

Conclusion of the demonstration

      It was found that, though the system was capable of achieving the above mentioned requirement, there were other short comings in the system.

1.      The unit was able to stream the video content only in MPEG-2 format. It was desired that the system would use MPEG-4 compression standards since it has much better qualities as compared to MPEG-2. Moreover MPEG-2 is also being used by the current system deployed for transmission through satellite.

2.      The system also did not have any logging facility, which would have been of importance considering the nature of the application for distance education.

3.      The cost of the system was quite high in comparison to the satellite setup.

 

Considering these drawbacks and the possibility of achieving similar results by other means, it was decided not to pursue the purchase of video conferencing equipment.

 


7.3.      DG SET FOR MAINS POWER FAILURE

It was planned to install a DG Set along with the existing UPS setup so as to provide a longer up time for the system in case of power failures at the Uplink Center.

A survey was done on the internet and information was gathered from the UPS manufacturer.

The main requirement for the DG Set was Auto Start on power failure. This feature is found only on DG Sets with power ratings in excess of 25KVA.

The total UPS rating used for DEP does not exceed 10KVA.

 

Conclusion

1.      More survey needs to be done on the availability of Auto Start feature with DG Sets of lower power ratings.

2.      Since the premises of DEP are spread out, a survey on implementation of DG Set for DEP also needs to be done.


8.    Section 8

 

8.1.      CONCLUSION

The acceptability of distance mode of education depends very critically on the quality of reception of audio, video and text at RCs. Therefore improving the quality of service pertaining to content transmitted over the network by satellite assumes great importance. This project has already contributed in improving the quality of reception at the remote centers thereby increasing the effectiveness of the program. This has resulted in more number of remote centers and registrations at these centers. The following graph shows the growth in the number of registrations.

 

Fig-8.1: Cumulative Registration Status for all semester long & short term courses

 

As explained in this and the previous report, a series of development activities have been carried out leading to substantial improvement of audio and video quality. There still is a scope for future work which ca be aimed at the following:

          Recording the live lecture directly on Hard Disk or DVD instead of costly magnetic tapes.

          Setting up of Video servers for On-Demand service.

          Implementing video enhancing techniques that can be setup at the receiving end.

 


References

1.      http://dep.iitb.ac.in

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Report compiled by:

Mr. Bruno Lasrado

 

With input from

Prof. M.U. Deshpande

Ms. Saraswathi Ramamritham

Ms. Vasudha Khapne

Ms. Malati Baru