Training Workshop - VTC Exercise
Exercise 4: Using VTC
By the end of this session you'll have a basic understanding of the AccessGrid VTC software.
Summary of key points:
- AccessGrid is venue-based, meaning it uses a virtual venue as meeting place (cf a chatroom)
- Multicast networks vs unicast networks and the use of bridges
- Running the Venue Client
- RAT (Robust Audio Tool - haha) tweaks
- Disable/re-enable audio
- Mic vs Line-In on Windows sound recording device
- Managing video
General steps in running AccessGrid:
- Ensure than when using AG 3 the working directory is
%APPDATA\AccessGrid3 rather than the default of
%APPDATA\AccessGrid if you intend to be able to run AG 2.4 along side AG 3.
- Run a
BridgeServer if intended participants aren't able to access the
VenueServer via multicast
- Connect to the
VenueServer using a multicast participant first
- Other participants can connect to the
VenueServer after that
- Unicast participants implicitly use the
Notes regarding the server on AccessGrid 3
In order to dynamically assign a bridge to a client the
VenueServer is configured with a bridge registry of known bridges. When operating on the open internet, the default bridge registry is fine because the bridges are accessible. When running on your own network, you need to make your own registry, and then tell the
VenueServer to use that. The registry is a text file accessible via HTTP (or maybe just a URL, I'm not sure - check the AG docs) and is specified in the following file:
- Start the AccessGrid
VenueClient (if using AG 2.4, use the
--personalNode commandline switch)
- Type in the address of the
VenueServer and press the 'Go' button.
- It's possible to set up a default venue so it doesn't need to be typed in.
- Windows for audio (titled RAT) and video will appear at this point.
- If needing to connect by unicast select Unicast from the Tools menu and wait for the audio and video windows to disappear and reappear.
- In AG 2.4 you'll be asked to select a bridge
- In AG 3 you'll be automatically assigned a bridge, but can change it using the pop-out menu under "Bridges" in the Tools menu.
- In the RAT window, check the
- Fix the audio input device in Windows:
- Right click on the volume icon (a small speaker) in the system tray and select "Open Volume Control"
- From the Options menu, select "Properties".
- Change the radio box in the "Adjust volume for" panel to "Recording".
- Ensure "Line-In" and "Mic" volume controls are checked.
- Click "Okay".
- Mute "Mic" and un-mute "Line-In"
- NB You'll need to do this every time RAT is restarted, so keep the window open.
- If still having trouble, from the Tools menu disable audio and then re-enable it (and fix the recording device as mentioned above).
- Enable video from the Tools menu. Another window should appear with thumbnails of the video feeds of participants (you may have to un-mute them to get a picture). You should at least see your own video.
- Click on a thumbnail to toggle showing a larger version of the video feed.
- To size the video window put the mouse over the window (to make it active) and use the following keys:
- L: Large window
- M: Medium window
- S: Small window
- NB By default a border is shown around the video feed within the window. To get rid of this border, hold down the SHIFT key as well as the window sizing key (e.g. SHIFT + L gives you a large video feed with no border).
- Arrange your windows appropriately and you're up and running.
- To quit, simply exit the
For more detailed instructions see the AccessGrid documentation.