Vic-video conferencing tool

Source: Internet
Author: User
Document directory
  • Overview
  • Features
  • Installation
  • Supported Systems
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Feedback
Deo C
Onferencing Tool

Vic is a video conferencing application developed by
Network Research Group
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
In collaboration with
University of California, Berkeley
Source code and pre-compiled binaries are available
Anonymous FTP
Vic-related questions and feedback are welcome and can be sent
To the developers via

  • Overview
  • Features
  • Installation
  • Supported Systems
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Feedback to authors

Other links:

  • What's new?
  • The ftp archive
  • Browse the change history
  • Research projects
  • Screen dump of user-interface
  • Mccanne, S., and Jacob, V .,

    VIC: a flexible framework for Packet Video,

    ACM multimedia '95.

  • FreeBSD mbone tools
  • Linux mbone tools


The UCB/lbnl video tool,Vic
, Is a real-time, multimedia application
For video conferencing over the Internet.
Vic was designed with a flexible and extensible architecture to support
Heterogeneous environments and deployments. For example, in high
Bandwidth settings, multi-megabit full-motion JPEG streams can be
Sourced using hardware partitioned ed compression, while in low bandwidth
Environments like the Internet, aggressive low bit-rate coding can
Be carried out in software.

Vic is based on the draft Internet standard

Real-Time Transport Protocol (RTP)
Developed by the IETF

Audio/Video transport
Working Group.
RTP is an application-level Protocol implemented entirely
Vic -- You need no special system enhancements to run RTP. Although
Vic can be run point-to-point using standard unicast IP addresses,
It is primarily intended as a multiparty Conferencing Application.
To make use of the conferencing capabilities, your system must support
IP multicast, and ideally, your network shoshould be connected to

IP multicast backbone (mbone)
Vic also runs over

, The experimental real-time networking protocols
From U. C. Berkeley's tenet Group
And over ATM using
Spans API.

Vic provides only the video portion of a Multimedia Conference; audio,
Whiteboard, and session control tools are implemented as separate
Applications. Our audio tool is called
Our whiteboard Tool
UCL developed the Session Directory Tool
Other related applications include Isi's multimedia conference control,
The Xerox PARC network video tool,
And the INRIA video-conferencing system,
Vic is backward compatible with rtpv1 and can interoperate with both
NV (v3.3) and IVS (v3.3 ).


Features unique to Vic include:

  • An ''intra-h.261' video encoder,
  • Voice switched Viewing Windows,
  • Multiple dithering algorithms,
  • Interactive ''title generation', and
  • Routing of decoded video to external video ports.

Encoder combines the advantages of NV's block-Based Conditional
Replenishment Scheme (I. e., robustness to loss) with those of H.261
(I. e., higher compression gain and compatibility with hardware codecs ).
This is achieved by coding only ''intra-mode'' macroblocks and using
Macroblock skip codes to replenish only the blocks that change.
For a fixed bit rate, the H.261 coder achieves frame rates
Typically 2-4 times
That of the Nv coding format.

Vic allows Viewing Windows to be configured
To ''follow the speaker ''. Using cues from VAT, Vic will switch
The viewing window to whoever is speaking. More
One window can be configured in this manner, which causes
Most recent N speakers to be displayed.

Vic has several dithering algorithms for representing
Continuous-tone color video streams on color-mapped displays.
The user can trade of run-time complexity with quality.
An error-diffusion dither gives the highest quality
At the greatest CPU cost, while a direct Color quantization
Results In the lowest CPU load but yields relatively low quality.
An ordered dither (derived from NV) gives moderate
Quality with low complexity.

Vic exports an interface that allows graphics to be easily composited
On top of the captured video. overlays can be downloaded and
Manipulated authentication ss the ''conference bus'' allowing a ''production team''
To enhance a broadcast with titles, credits, logos, etc. Since
Conference bus can be manipulated using TCL, it's easy to extend existing
Scripts or create new scripts for on-the-fly title generation.
See the ''title-maker ''' script in the VIC distribution for an example
Of how to do this.

Video streams can be displayed simulatanously on a workstation display
And on an external video output port, provided your hardware supports
External output. This allows you to render a single stream to
Full-sized NTSC/PAL analog video signal, which when viewed on
External Monitor (or video projector) generally provides a more
Comfortable picture compared to video displayed in a small X Window.


The easiest way to install Vic is to grab

Binary Distribution
For your architecture, unpack it, and install the executable and
Manual entry.
You can also build vic from source. Start by unpacking the gzip 'd

Source tar
, E.g., by running

  • Gzip
    -D-C vicsrc-tar.gz | tar xfv-

This will place the contents of the Source Distribution
In./vic-x.y where ''x. Y' is the current version number.
''Cd'' to this directory and do the following:

  • Make sure
    (V7.5/4.1) is installed or built in the directory
    Above the vic tree.
  • Run the./configure script.
    You may specify the following arguments to configure:

    -X-nodes des =Path Specify a pathname for the X include tree
    -X-libraries =Path Specify a pathname for the X Libraries
    -With-tcl =Path Specify a pathname for TCL
    -With-TK =Path Specify a pathname for TK
    -With-Aix-SHM =Path Specify a pathname for the aix shm extension Library

    If you run into problems with configure, you shoshould EditConfigure. In
    And use
    GNU Autoconf
    To generate a new configure from Configure. in. If you need to make
    Such changes, please send them to us so future versions of Vic
    Will configure out of the box.

  • Run make.
  • If make completes successfully, run ''make install'' as root
    To install the binary and man page.

Supported Systems
ISCSI SunOS 4.x Videopix,

ISCSI Solaris 2.4 Sunvideo,

ISCSI NetBSD 1.x None
DEC/MIPS Ultrix 4.3 Jvideo, XV (TX/PIP)
DEC/AXP OSF/1 v3.x J300, jvideo
SGI IRIX 5.x VL, indigovideo, Cosmo
I386 BSD/OS None (yet)
I386 FreeBSD
Matrox meteor
, Video spigot
I386 Linux Connectix
I386 Linux Ibm pcmcia Smart Capture card (SCC)
RS/6000, microchannel
(3xx, 4xx, 9xx, 41 w/t, 42 w/t)
AIX 3/4
Ultimedia video I/O adaptor
RS/6000, PCI (40 P, 43 p) AIX 4 Parallax (pCI Adaptor)

  • For the DEC/j300, you will need

    Lance berc's
    Video Server called
    Vic does not work with DEC's Mme server.
  • Remember to run jv2driver with the right command-line options
    If your using the svideo connector (-Sin) or PAL video (-pal ).
  • Solaris-2 has small limits on shared memory segments. If you
    Want to display full sized 24-bit video windows and more
    One or two, add these lines to/etc/system and reboot:

    • Set shmsys: shminfo_shmmax = 2097152
    • Set shmsys: shminfo_shmseg = 24

    If you have a cg14 frame buffer (the built-in Frame Buffer
    On sparc-20), it's a good idea to run

    • /Usr/KVM/cg14config-g 2.2

    From your x startup script. The default display Gamma
    Is not appropriate for video (even though the man page
    Says the default is 2.2 ).

  • If you're running SunOS, the shared memory limit is also low,
    But not as bad as Solaris. You can change it by adding
    "Options shmsize = 2048"
    To the system config file or adb' ing the Kernel & changing the first
    Words of shminfo to 2097152.
  • BSD/OS 2.0
    Now supported des a library to support the svr4 shared
    Memory API
    Unfortunately, their X server is not
    Shipped with the X shared memory extension compiled in.
    To get reasonable display performance with Vic, you'll need
    To recompile the X server with this extension.
  • To use shared memory under Aix, You need to compile one of
    Sample extensions provided with AIX and start the X server
    That extension loaded. When building VIC from source, you need
    To specify -- With-Aix-SHM = libpath to set the pathname of
    Extension Library (that also needs to be compiled from the exmaple
    Codes). If -- With-Aix-SHM isn't provided, Vic will be built
    Without shared memory support (and hence pay a big performance
    Hit when rendering video to X Windows). (thanks
    Bob Olson
    For bringing up vic is this environment .)
    Bob reports that with the shared memory support in place,
    A 1 T (PowerPC 601 box) can decode 320x240 JPEG at 30fps in
    Software (with Q up to about 70 ).
    Andrew Booker
    Kira Attwood
    Have made
    AIX Binaries

    Publicly available

  • The default BSD/OS make doesn't like Vic's makefile.
    Just use gmake (which is probably installed ).
  • There are two versions of Vic for Solaris: Vic and Vic. xil.
    The vic. xil binary uses Sun's xil library for video capture,
    While Vic. rtvc bypasses the library and manipulates the device
    Directly. The rtvc version is faster, but because it doesn' t
    Use the standard API, it might not work in future Solaris or
    Xil releases. The Vic. xil binary is built with only xil
    Support, while the vic binary supports all available Capture Devices.
  • Amancio hasty
    Has put together
    Web Page
    For the mbone tools under FreeBSD
    Check it out. Thanks
    Jim Lowe
    Vic supports both the matrix meteor board and the video spigot
    Under FreeBSD.
    Ftp:// *
    For the matrox
    Href =
    For the video spigot.
  • John brezak
    Has ported
    Vic to Windows 95/NT (January 31,199 6). He says:

    • Run "nmake-F Vic. Mak" to compile.
    • Known problems and limitations:
      • Untested on Mono displays
      • Need to handle case where ip_multicast_loop cannot
        Be turned off. The default Win95 TCP/IP stack has
        This limitation.
      • There are some colormap problems in pseudo color/8.
        This appears to be a TK problem.
      • Changing color mapping methods can cause an exit on pseudo color/8
      • No grabber support.
      • Shocould use videox interface for higher performance.
  • Koji Okamura
    SCC driver for Linux
    And Linux

    Vic Binaries
    W/SCC support.


This work was co-hosted sored by the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory
And the Tenet Group of the University of California Berkeley and
The International Computer Science Institute. Support was provided

  • An at&t Graduate Fellowship;
  • For the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory:

    • Office of Energy Research, mathematical, information,
      And computational Sciences Division, of the U. S. Department
      Of energy
      Under contract No. DE-AC03-76SF00098,
    • Sun Microsystems,
    • Digital Equipment Corporation, and
    • Silicon Graphics Inc.
  • For the Tenet research group:
    • The National Science Foundation and the advanced
      Research Projects Agency (ARPA) under cooperative
      Agreement NCR-8919038 with the Corporation
      National research initiatives, and
    • Digital Equipment Corporation.


As always, we very much want to hear about bugs and problems. Please
Don't hesitate to offer suggestions or other feedback. Send all VIC
Related corresponsed to
(This list includes des only the developers and is not distributed beyond
Our site ).

Steven mccanne


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