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VIC Frequently Asked Questions

Error: Failed to load processor VicNav
No macro or processor named 'VicNav' found

For IPv6 related problems, please also see the IPv6 FAQ.

Basics

  1. How do I get started?
  2. How do I find out more and command line options?
  3. How do I report bugs, comments, and other feedback?
  4. How do I contribute code?
  5. What about commercial use?

Transmitting video

  1. How do I configure my capture card on PC's?
  2. Why does VIC crash as soon as I try to transmit?
  3. Why does VIC crash, soon after I start transmitting, on my multi processor NT machine?
  4. I'm transmitting using a colour camera but why is my picture in black and white?
  5. Why can I only see a blue picture when transmitting on my PC?
  6. When I try to send video (checking the "Transmit" checkbox) I get the message: vic: CIF grabber: bad geometry.
  7. How do I configure VIC to automatically start transmitting?
  8. On Solaris "shmat" reports "too many open files"?
  9. On Linux it reports "No locks available"?

Hardware

  1. What capture cards have been tested on PC's?
  2. Support for SunVideoPlus PCI card?
  3. Where are the Sun Video Plus drivers on Solaris 9?
  4. In linux my philips webcam gives me a green image

Answers

Basics

1. How to get started?

VIC is a multicast (or unicast) video tool. It is best to start it using a session directory tool, like  SDR. VIC does not do call or session invitation for two reasons. There are several alternative protocols for performing call setup and negotiation, and adding code to the video tool to do so encumbers the tool unnecessarily. In addition, these call setup and negotiation is reasonably complex and best handled elsewhere so that audio, whiteboard, etc, can all leverage the same functionality if desired.

If desired VIC can be launched from the command line as described below.

You can start it from the command line using an IP address and port number as arguments. The syntax is:

vic address/port

To join a multicast group (address range 224.0.0.0 to 239.255.255.255) just enter the group address and a port number.

To connect to two unicast hosts, goldfinger and jaws, on jaws type:

  vic goldfinger/10000 

and on goldfinger type:

  vic jaws/10000 

2. How to find out more command line options?

Documentation for VIC can be downloaded from the  Software section of the UCL Multimedia web-page.

3. How to report bugs, comments, and other feedback?

All bugs, comments, and requests for features should be directed to vic@….

When reporting problems please detail:

  1. which version of VIC you are using.
  2. which hardware platform and OS version.
  3. if you are participating in a public or private conference. (Who? Where? When?)
  4. if you are receiving, or transmitting and receiving.

The more information you furnish, the more likely we are to be able to assist you.

4. How to contribute code?

All code contributions are welcomed. Please send patches and the version of the source code used to vic@….

5. What about commercial use?

The majority of the code in vic was developed at  LBL and they have a special copyright notice as follows. It basically means you have to get written permission from "The Regents of the University of California". Certain files do vary - consult the sources.

  * Copyright (c) 1993-1994 The Regents of the University of California.
  * All rights reserved.
  *
  * Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
  * modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions
  * are met:
  * 1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
  *    notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
  * 2. Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
  *    notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the
  *    documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
  * 3. All advertising materials mentioning features or use of this software
  *    must display the following acknowledgement:
  *      This product includes software developed by the University of
  *      California, Berkeley and the Network Research Group at
  *      Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory.
  * 4. Neither the name of the University nor of the Laboratory may be used
  *    to endorse or promote products derived from this software without
  *    specific prior written permission.
  *
  * THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE REGENTS AND CONTRIBUTORS ``AS IS'' AND
  * ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE
  * IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE
  * ARE DISCLAIMED.  IN NO EVENT SHALL THE REGENTS OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE
  * FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL
  * DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS
  * OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION)
  * HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT
  * LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY
  * OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF
  * SUCH DAMAGE.


Transmitting Video

1. How do I configure my capture card on PC's?

From the VIC menu, click on the options menu and select the 'configure on transmit' option. When you start transmitting, VIC will display the configuration dialog boxes for your capture card. You should make sure that the following options are selected:

  • 320x240 (NTSC), 384x284 (PAL), 352x288 (CIF) depending on your input source (camera)
  • 16bit RGB
  • the correct input port
  • either PAL or NTSC depending on the input source.

The options should be saved (by the driver), so this only needs to be done once.

2. Why does VIC crash as soon as I try to transmit?

Try configuring the driver to use 320x240 (see above).

3. Why does VIC crash, soon after I start transmitting, on my multi processor NT machine?

VIC has been reported to not work on dual pentium machines. We recommend that you run VIC on a single processor.

4. I'm transmitting using a colour camera but why is my picture in black and white?

The picture will appear to be black and white when you have configured the driver to use NTSC and have a PAL video camera. Most capture cards are configured to use NTSC as default.

5. Why can I only see a blue picture when transmitting on my PC?

Either your camera is not working or you have configured the driver to use the wrong input port.

6. When I try to send video (checking the "Transmit" checkbox) I get the message: vic: CIF grabber: bad geometry.

You should configure the driver to use something around 320x240 (or 352x288, 384x284). You can do this by selecting 'configure on transmit' from the 'options' menu under 'Encoder'. You'll only need to do this once since the video format is saved, unless you change it when using another peice of software.

7. How do I configure VIC to automatically start transmitting?

Download this TCL attachment:"script.tcl" script, saving it into the directory where VIC is installed as 'script.tcl'. Edit the script to reflect your hardware and use the -u script.tcl flag in VIC to invoke the script.

8. On Solaris "shmat" reports "too many open files"?

Add this to /etc/system and reboot:

  set shmsys:shminfo_shmseg=50
  set shmsys:shminfo_shmmax=2097152

9. On Linux it reports "No locks available"?

On Red Hat Linux 6.0 you may see the message "No locks available" on starting vic. This occurs when running with your home directory on an NFS mounted filestore, if you are not running lockd. Ensure that lockd is running before using vic (the NFS package must be started in /etc/rc.d/rc5.d). Similar problems have been reported with SuSE 6.2.

Hardware

1. What capture cards have been tested on PC's?

The list below details reports of cards that have been tested. If you have experience of a card not listed below, then we would interested to hear from you.

Hardware tested at UCL:

This is the card recommended by UCL. Drivers are available for Windows 95/98/NT4, FreeBSD and Linux. There are several versions of this card which vary in price and capability. Theoreticly as they all use the bt848 chip they will all work.

  • PCTV by miroMEDIA

Similar properties to the card above as it uses the bt848 chip.

Excellent card! Comes with drivers specific for Windows95.

  • Stinger by VideoLabs, Inc

Excellent card! Comes with drivers specific for Windows95.

This card also worked. The only problem I encountered was that after restarting capture a few times, the system crashes. Also reported working by Guido Wessendorf.

The driver of this card almost works. When requesting an image format, it accepts the number of bits per pixel and bitmap size for the frames but does not scale the image to fit the bitmap. To get around this you have to use the helper application to set the video format before starting capture.

Tests I made with the QuickCam driver showed that it completely ignores all information in the call for configuring the image format. To get around this problem I have made the vic binary directly modify the quickcam.ini file to select the required video format. In order for this hack to work you have to name the vic binary "vic.exe".

Works very well! Originally reported by Julian J. Bunn.

Does not provide RGB bitmaps. Versions of vic after October 20 should support it if you have an installed converter for it's output format. Also reported working by Richard Taylor. Original problems reported by Bob Olson.

Hardware tested elsewhere:

Reported working by Peter Parnes.

Thanks to a lot of very helpful feedback from Knut Manske this now works. Richard J Taylor also reported success.

The card does NOT come with NT drivers but the drivers for  Intel smart video recorder III work! The driver file tested with the card was SVR3_14.EXE. You also have to set the video source using vc. Win95 drivers reported working by A.Flavell.

Reported working by Manu Gamboa & Javier Lasa.

Got it to transmit, but after exiting and trying again it failed. Reported by Dave Price. Capture / Transmission seemed OK (in colour and B/W) however exiting VIC and restarted caused a series of error messages (complaining about things like unsupported capture format and bpp). Reported by J.C. Evans.

There is a new Windows 95 driver for this card available from Creative  here.

Jim Gemmell reported that it worked with an early version of the vic port if you first set the format to 640x480 RGB with the helper application. Since then Richard Taylor and Eric Paulos have reported problems which they are trying to solve.

  • SPEA Showtime Plus PCI by  SPEA

Works on SPEA Showtime Plus PCI with onboard frame grabber. Reported by Bernd Boeker.

I tried your vic with my camera RUCOLA, and it did work! It is a CCD camera just like the QuickCam. In Japan it is sold with CUSeeMe by  Macnica. Reported by Koji Ando.

  • Intel ProShare Video System 200 by  Intel

Reported to work by Hendrik Klompmaker, Kevin Coffman and Richard J Taylor.

Knut Manske got it to work after setting the frame format to 320x240 16 bit RGB. Also reported working by Richard J Taylor.

  • Intel Smart Video Recorder PRO by  Intel

Charles Beck reported it working.

Les Chan reported it working with version 1.4 of the Nogatech win95 driver. This is a PCMCIA card.

Reported working by Jeff Smith on a Digital Ultra 2000. The card is only available in Japan (or in the States via T-Zone computers). IBM also sells a clip-on camera which connects directly to the card and doesn't need any external power. The drivers available via the page only have a readme in Japanese and there is a small catch to the install, but I could easily provide info (and a translation).

2. Support for SunVideoPlus PCI card?

The SunVideoPlus PCI card is actually from  MMAC and is known as the the Osprey 1500 (the SBus version is the Osprey 1100). The original drivers (sunvideo_plus_1_1.tar.gz) from Sun with Solaris 2.6 are basically rather old drivers from MMAC - these Sun drivers have a number of bugs - the worst being lack of "non-integer scaling" which means that the software codecs in vic generate a stretched image. You can work around the bug by selecting 'hardware encode' (under Encoder Options...) and flipping codecs to get rid of the artifacts. The newer drivers (which cure the 'stretch' bug and many more) are  available from MMAC ftp server - these work under Solaris 2.7 as well. Sun has also released  new drivers (ver 1.2) which cure the problems.

It should be noted that Sun's drivers install into /opt/SUNWo1kp whereas MMAC drivers install into /opt/MMACo1k - this can impact upon applications if they require access to the dynamic link libraries. To get vic working with these drivers you need to set your LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable (e.g. in csh):

  setenv LD_LIBRARY_PATH "/usr/openwin/lib:/opt/SUNWo1kp/lib"

The interface code to the SunVideoPlus boards was mainly taken from  Erlangen's version of vic - we have integrated it into our version and modified it somewhat. It has been tested succesfully under Solaris 2.5, 2.6, and 2.7.

3. Where are the Sun Video Plus drivers on Solaris 9?

Sun has discontinued their video card and the drivers are no longer part of Solaris 9. The drivers supplied with earlier Solaris releases can still be installed - see the  Sun Video Plus User Guide for installation help.

4. In linux my philips webcam gives me a green image

If you have the pwc drivers loaded the camera will show up in vic, but you also need the pwcx decompressor module for it to work. This is only available as a binary module  here - obtain the correct module for your kernel and then you'll probably have to do a --force install and vic should show you a normal image.