Mapping: Capture Sources

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Copyright © 2018 Userful Corporation. All rights reserved.
(Updated 2018.05.02)

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Introduction

Userful software allows users to capture wide variety of content through external devices (e.g., laptops, desktops, tablets, smartphones etc.) and stream live video feeds over video walls or displays.

This document outlines capture and streaming methods and helps to perform a quick comparison among them, depending on the use case scenario.

  1. Hardware Capture
  2. IP Video Streaming
  3. IP Desktop Capture

1. Hardware Capture

This capture method requires the physical installation of the capture cards into the Server. Userful software can handle multiple capture cards, limited only by the number of PCIe slots that can fit into your Server.

Blackmagic DeckLink Capture source casts output from any compatible playback device (e.g. PC, Mac, smartphone, tablet, gaming console, etc.) on a display or group of displays in a video wall. This source can only be used for Blackmagic Capture cards that are physically installed in the server.
Video Capture source casts output from any playback device (e.g. PC, Mac, Smart phone, tablet, gaming console, web cams, etc.) to a display or multiple displays in a video wall setup. This source can be used for V4L devices that are physically installed in the server.
Advantages
  • Latency time is almost negligible (i.e., 30-100 ms) depending on source media type, size of the video wall, capture cables etc.
  • It can capture upto 4k content resolution.
Disadvantages
  • Additional hardware requirement is a bottleneck.
  • Settings that need to be configured on the external captured device can be an additional overhead.
  • Only one display or video wall can be mapped to single hardware capture source. It is advisable to use mirror groups to play the same content on multiple displays/video walls.

2. IP Video Streaming

This streaming method allows to play video feeds such as security cameras and video files over a network, using various protocols for delivering audio and video over IP network.

Network Streamer allows you to play video feeds such as security cameras and video files over a network. This source uses RTSP and HTTP for delivering audio and video over IP network.
RTP Streamer allows you to play video feeds over the network. This source uses RTP for delivering audio and video over IP network.
RTSP Streamer allows you to play video feeds such as security cameras and video files over a network. This source uses RTSP for delivering audio and video over a network.
Advantages
  • It does not require any additional hardware installation.
  • It does not require to run any third party server software.
Disadvantages
  • This can introduce latency time of upto 1-3 seconds.
  • This can sometimes cause security risk within the network.
  • There is no control over the the external cameras which may cause issue while playing live video feeds.

3. IP Desktop Capture

This capture method allows users to connect to a remote system, which requires a third party server software to be installed on the remote system.

Desktop Streamer (VNC) allows users to share the desktop of a remote system and also control it with your local mouse and keyboard, just like you would do sitting in front of that computer. You just need to run a server i.e., TightVNC on the system that you want to access remotely.
Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) Client allows users to connect to a system serving RDP sessions remotely. This source provides remote access to a properly configured Windows system using the FreeRDP service.
Advantages
  • It can share multiple desktops onto the displays or video walls.
  • This is ideal for control rooms environment for data visualization and collaboration use cases.
Disadvantages
  • It can introduce latency time of upto 1-3 seconds.
  • There is a risk of downtime; that can be caused by third party service provider.
  • Installation of third party server software on the external device to be captured is an additional overhead.
  • It can sometimes cause security risk within the network.
  • It is not suitable for streaming the high-demanding content (e.g., Youtube videos)


Note: Userful strongly recommends thorough testing of anticipated use case before deployment.


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