Desktop Video AGOCG Report
2. There is a perceived resistance to introducing video hardware ideas. e.g. HP are still ".. waiting for the technology to stabilise..". There is also the problem of dealing with the temporal dimension that this new data source provides. That coupled with the problems of data volume and therefore cost I suspect are the main problems with the wider introduction of the technology. When a major player introduces a really cheap (newly packaged) idea- say for video-telephony or some such, then I suspect the idea may take off. At present it seems to be mainly the home video market and spin off from it.
4. From my personal experience DTV is still relatively new and as such is in its infancy. Many of the things I would like to use DTV for require considerable investment in hardware at this moment in time. I suspect that in 10 years time your average Desktop Computer will be able to offer DTV facilities that can only currently be realised using hardware costing many 10's of 1000's. The uses to which I could put DTV currently outstrip my resources and as such leave me in a situation where I would like to do more but am frustratingly unable to progress much further.
5. Sorry if this distorts your survey - feel free to delete it since the Atlas Video Facility (as documented above) is rather more than a DTV system, taking up a whole large room!
9. Whatever emerges as the DTV `standard' ,(if ever), I would be very cross if it doesn't make maximum use of current and emerging standards i.e., MPEG, JPEG, Mime, etc.
14. MPEG is definitely going to eclipse everything else. It (MPEG 1) will come at us from the home video games market (80% of all computer sales!) and via cable and satellite (MPEG 2), and in videotelephony (MPEG 4). The only problem is that MPEG compression is currently expensive. That will probably change within 12 months. We anticipate buying MPEG playback cards, such as ReelMagic (although it has its limitations), as well as Motion JPEG.
For recent reviews on authoring packages see the following: a) Windows Sources, June 1993. (IconAuthor is Editor's Choice.) b) Personal Computer Magazine, December 1993
For a recent review of video solutions for PCs and Macs look at the article in Personal Computer Magazine, February 1994. They have another relevant article due to appear in March 1994. (VideoLogic's MediaSpace is rated the best PC solution currently available.)
A paper on our Multimedia Information System is to be published in the first issue of the new UCISA journal `ACCIS' in April (?) 1994. I shall probably be giving a similar paper at the MediaActive Conference in May 1994 at Liverpool Moores University.
I'm a little frustrated by your questionnaire as it doesn't have any questions relating to whether or not we investigated a range of products before purchase, how long we have been using digital video, nor does it have any questions on compatibility with graphics cards and monitors.
We have spent some time researching the platforms, digital video hardware/software and authoring software. The products we use were selected after considerable investigations. We also looked at graphics cards and monitors, which are an integral part of the whole system - and after all that's what the user will see! So, please do not infer from the fact that we use few products that we either aren't aware of the others or haven't tested them. This may well be true for others who reply, but it may not!
I've also looked into purchasing some Indys from Silicon Graphics, for desktop videoconferencing, but I'm afraid the video quality was nothing like we can get on our PCs using VideoLogic's MediaSpace cards. Since then I have been following closely PC videoconferencing developments. I suppose I should add here that we feel that the Mac is no longer the most appropriate platform for multimedia. There are many reasons for this including cost, but the main reason is Windows.
I am also looking into some networked digital video solutions. I hope to establish a pilot site here for the Starlight system from the USA, in collaboration with a local computer supplier.
In conclusion, I would have included either a lot more questions or would have very few. I have issued a number of specific requests for information similar to yours before and found that the shorter the questionnaire the more replies you get. I appreciate that in this case you need a lot of answers - so I would have asked a lot more questions!
Best of luck with the survey! I look forward to reading the results.
17. I hope this information is of use - as mentioned before my department is concerned with support for CBT. Please contact me if you feel I can be of further assistance,
20. It'd be nice to have our products (DEC) included in the standard list of options if you do another ballot in the future, rather than being a `write-in' I'd be interested in a compilation of your survey when it is complete.
Other Comments Can't fill any more in ... the problem here is that before we can make any case for spending any money we have to show demand. You can't show demand if you don't have the kit because folk don't know what they might want to do, and how much ... therefore no kit ...
Also, as one of the smaller Universities, capital expenditure on such equipment, divided by the number who would use it means that it is not cost effective to do it. This is also the case for expensive software, we simply cannot afford it unless everyone in the University needs it (by expensive, I mean more than 3k or 4k per annum recurrent, such as the AVS deal)
We have NO AV services at all except technicians who will set up 35mm, OHP and VHS stuff for display, so there is NO video capability at all, no studio, no editing facilities etc.
We have enquiries about making video, but cannot support it, therefore it just does not get done.
The only video equipment in departments is an S-VHS recorder hooked up to an SG Indigo with video out in the Molecular Modelling Group (which is effectively autonomous and others don't have access)
1 In practice this is not really the case. QuickTime movies have a 30 fps structure and so players will attempt to play back movies at 30 fps. Whether or not a particular machine can play all 30 frames each second depends on the speed of the machine and also on how often individual frames are repeated. What people commonly call a 10 fps QuickTime movie is actually 30 fps with each frame played 3 times. 2 XA stands for eXtended Architecture, a format which allows publishers to produce disks running on computer platforms and on consumer players. 3 The Mode 2 standard offers a number of advantages over the original CD-ROM Mode 1, particularly for playing time-based applications like QuickTime movies. Mode 2 support also allows the reading of multi-session disks which have been written at different times such as Photo CD disks and also supports interleaving which is important in running movies from CD since it means the video signals can be interleaved with the audio soundtrack on disk to give better playback. 4 MultiSpin is what NEC calls its dual speed capability. 5 Transfer rates for audio remain at 150 Kbps even on dual speed drives because increasing the audio-speed standard would simply result in high-pitched voices. 6 RACE is an acronym for the CEC Research Programme `Research and technology development in Advanced Communications technologies in Europe'. For further details of the programme, contact RACE Central Office, European Commission, DG XIII B Advanced Communications Technologies and Services, BU 9, Rue de la Loi 200, B-1049 Brussels, Belgium. 7 Novell have recently announced NetWare, server/client software which claims to optimise the transfer of video and audio information across a local area network. A review of the software can be found in PC User issue 922 March 1994, pages 6162.
Graphics Multimedia Virtual Environments Visualisation Contents