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Landro Frequently Asked Questions

This document lists answers to frequently asked questions about the Landro Enterprise Edition system.

Landro Server

What are the server hardware requirements?

  • Intel Core 2 Duo 3GHz (or better) processor
  • 4 GB ram
  • For media servers, a miniumum of 500 GB of Enterprise class (high performance) hard disk storage. Drives may also be configured using RAID 0 (disk striping for performance), RAID 1 (disk mirroring for data protection), or a combination RAID 0+1.
  • G/bit Ethernet
  • Windows XP Pro or Windows Server 2003. For encoders, this must not be the 64-bit version.
  • For encoders, one or two 5V PCI slots for encoder cards

What server software components are available?

Landro server software is broken down into the following three components (services):

  • Central / Database Service:  Handles tasks relating to enterprise and license management, and database.
  • Encoder Service:  Handles task relating to encoding and streaming live content.
  • Media Server Service:  Handles tasks relating to storing and streaming recorded content.

Any server can be configured and licensed to run one or more services, however, care must be taken to assure proper distribution of resources in relation to the size of your enterprise.

What is distributed storage?

The Landro Enterprise Edition system balances the use of file storage resources by automatically choosing where to save recordings. Users do not need to worry about one media server filling up while another goes unused. This load balancing helps keep the system running efficiently, and maximizes the use of your storage capacity. While this system provides for management-free storage, it can also cause some confusion. Programs recorded by an encoder do not necessarily reside on that servers’ hard drive. Additionally, a server that is not currently being recorded to is still likely to be in-use by other encoders or clients.

What expansion options are available?

The Landro Enterprise Edition system can be easily expanded, whether you need additional observation rooms, additional file storage capacity or additional computers to access the system. You can add encoders, media servers or Landro software client licenses.

Where should I install the Landro servers?

Landro encoders may be installed anywhere in your site. Some clients prefer a central room containing all the servers and others simply place an encoder where there used to be a VCR, to take advantage of the already installed video and audio connections. The choice is yours.

What are the pros and cons of server placement?

Although server placement decisions are left to the customer, there are several considerations that you should keep in mind.

  • Centrally located servers provide greater security and ease of administration.
  • Placing servers at the current observation (VCR) sites can greatly reduce the installation costs associated with cabling.
  • VCR cabinets do not make good server cabinets: Due to the heat generated from a modern PC, a typical closed-door type VCR cabinet is not a suitable server location.

What file types are supported?

Landro server encodes content into a proprietary file format, based on the MPEG2 standard.

Can I import and export files with the Landro system?

Currently, the Landro client software permits exporting programs or collections of play segments to MPEG2 files on the client computer. At this time, Landro does not support importing files.

What about making backups?

File backups are the responsibility of the customer. There is not a provision in any Landro software for making backups. Most customer sites have a Landro media server capacity of multiple terabytes (one terabyte = 1000 gigabytes), which makes backing up files difficult. One possibility, used by many customers, is just to delete the content at the end of the semester, since most content is not valuable for the long term. File backup, then, is only an issue for the handful of programs that you do wish to keep long term. Another option is to consider using RAID 1 storage as a quasi-backup system.

Landro Client

What are the client workstation hardware requirements?

  • Intel Core 2 Duo 2GHz (or better) processor. Celeron processors not recommended.
  • 1 GB ram
  • 128 MB DirectX9 compatible graphics card. 1024 x 768 minimum resolution. Motherboard based video hardware not recommended.
  • DirectX9 compatible audio.
  • G/bit Ethernet
  • Windows XP Pro or Windows Vista

What client software options are available?

  • Play Analyzer: Classification, searching, recording, and video analysis.
  • Live Analysis: Near real-time (2-3 sec. delay) streaming of video from up to 4 cameras simultaneously.
  • Camera Control: Camera control option currently only supports the Sony EVI-D100 camera.

Landro Administrator

What are permission groups / folders?

The terms permission group and permission folder are used interchangeably. The Landro system lets you assign individual programs to a permission folder, thereby restricting access to selected individuals. Any user in the Landro system can be granted access to one or more permission folders, giving you the flexibility to securely control which users have access who which content. Also, note that a program’s permission folder may be changed at any time (assuming the user has permission to both the old and new permission folder).

What is the best way to set up users and passwords?

There are several considerations in determining how to best set up the users for your system. For instance:

  • How do you want to restrict/grant access to programs?
  • How much time will you want to dedicate to system maintenance?
  • What levels of interaction occur between users and groups of users?

For some customers, creating a single user (login) for an entire class is sufficient. Landro permits multiple concurrent logins with the same user ID, and as with their previous videotape systems, users are trained and instructed as to which content they should be viewing.

Other customers will create user logins for every individual at their facility. This requires more management, but also allows greater detailed security.

Should we use one or more databases?

A database is the entire collection of programs, and their associated playbook. Creating a second database is typically only desirable when you have two very different types of content (i.e., speech department and psychology department).

Different databases allow for the creation of individualized playbook data, users, and user privileges. Note, though, that programs may not be searched or analyzed across multiple databases.

Cables and Connections

What is the difference between RCA and S-Video, and which should I use?

In an RCA (or composite) video cable, the color (chrominance) and brightness (luminance) signals are transmitting on the same wire. With S-Video, these two signals are transmitted separately on two wires, resulting in a better picture. The Landro encoder systems can use either type of cabling. We recommend using S-Video as it will provide a better quality recording; however, some people do not perceive a great difference in visual quality, and the cabling costs might increase slightly.

What about audio cables?

Audio cables should be made of quality, well-shielded wire to eliminate excessive noise and signal loss. The maximum acceptable length of an audio cable depends on many factors, including cable capacitance, signal frequency, and source impedance. Long cable runs may require pre-amplification. Specific questions regarding audio cabling and equipment should be referred to an audio specialist.

What cables are required for camera control?

Please reference the following documents relating to camera control wiring:

What type of network cabling is required?

CAT-5e cable will run a gigabit network. However, CAT-6 is designed for higher frequencies, has a higher signal-to-noise ratio, and will provide more reliability at high data rates.

Peripheral Equipment

What types of microphone should we use?

For good audio quality it is essential that you have quality microphones. While some customers choose to use a single microphone for the entire room, the results can be less than acceptable because of excessive ambient noise. A better option is to choose quality clip-on or lavaliere style microphones. These microphones can be attached to the subjects' clothing for clean, crisp audio.

What types of cameras are compatible with Landro?

Any type of quality NTSC analog camera is compatible with the Landro system. For software pan-tilt-zoom control by the Landro client software, a Sony model EVI-D100 camera is required.

Why not use digital camera technology?

With the present state of technology, there are several problems associated with digital cameras:

  • The ability for a camera to capture a picture digitally has a direct relationship to the quality of the optics, and hence, the output quality of the camera. For instance, an inexpensive web-cam type camera will never create acceptably high quality results, regardless of mega-pixel capacity, because of the poor quality optical system used.
  • Digital cameras are typically designed for security type applications, where quality is not an issue.
  • Digital cameras have severe bandwidth limitations, allowing only a small number of connections. Often the video frame rate will drop proportionally to the number of users connected. For this reason, some cameras support network multicast, however, multicast is not handled properly by most networks.
  • Digital cameras can have very high latency (30 or more second delay). Landro encoding servers can stream video with only a 2-3 second delay.
  • Digital cameras do not have powerful encoding processors. All things being equal (optical and capture quality), all video is encoded to minimize the space required to store it. Poor encoding quality will produce poor results, even from the highest quality video source.
  • Digital cameras can not store or play back pre-recorded video. Some type of server technology is still necessary.

What about Multi-Camera session rooms?

Some of your session rooms may contain multiple cameras. You have the option of either recording each camera as a separate program or combining two cameras' video signals into a single program by adding a video splitter. (See: Video Splitters.) Recording separate programs will allow you to play back each view independently. However, each camera view will require it’s own encoder, and each program must be classified and searched separately.

What is a video splitter?

A video splitter is a device that takes one or more video input signals and combines them into one video output signal. Video splitters have controls for showing and one input full screen, or "splitting" the view to show each input at the same time. By adding a video splitter to one or more of the Landro encoder systems, it is possible to combine two separate camera angles into a single recording. This allows you to show both the interviewer and interviewee on the same screen. Adding this feature requires the purchase of a video splitter for each dual camera room. For software control of the video splitter, a MicroImage PXD310 is required.

Networking

Why does Landro require gigabit?

Landro streams all video a full D1 (DVD) quality, unlike most typically poor quality "web-video" type applications. Landro is designed to be a high performance system, allowing many users to simultaneously stream, record, and play back video. Since networking hardware has become extremely affordable, we require all clients and servers to be connected to a central gigabit switch, thereby guaranteeing the best user experience, and a system not troubled by bandwidth issues.

Should we use a network domain, or a workgroup?

Landro servers should be part of a workgroup, not a domain. The policies, restrictions and updates that make user PC administration easier in a domain can interfere with the correct operating of the Landro servers.

Show we use SQL or domain logins?

Security is correctly handled through SQL user logins rather than domain logins.

Can we use Antivirus software?

Landro servers must not be running any anti-virus monitoring software, Windows Automatic Updates or any other software that can intervene in the normal operating of the server or cause an unattended restart. These operations can and will disrupt the proper functioning of Landro servers. Updates may be applied manually, and anti-virus scans may be performed manually, only when the Landro services have been safely stopped.

Should we use a closed or open network?

In general, the best network configuration is to place all Landro servers and client PCs on their own, dedicated network with their own gigabit Ethernet switch, and then use a firewall to provide access from the Landro network to the campus WAN. This allows the Landro client PCs to still access campus resources and the Internet, while protecting the Landro network from unwanted traffic and security risks.

Software licensing

What are Software components?

There are several software components that may be purchased for Landro client and server software. Software components may either be purchased initially, or as an upgrade at a later date. See "Client Options" and "Server Components."

What is the difference between a software license and a user capability?

A software license is granted to a particular computer to allow certain software components to run. For instance, Live Analysis might be enabled on a client computer.

A user capability is a right that is granted to a user (login) to perform certain task within the software. For instance, if a user is not granted Live Analysis access, he is not able to view live video feeds, even if that computer has that capability. Conversely, if a user does have Live Analysis capability, he can not view live video on a computer that is not licensed for Live Analysis.

How do I assign user capabilities?

User capabilities are assigned with the Landro Administrator application.

HIPAA Compliance

Landro does not claim specific HIPAA certification or compliance, however, we have made every effort to create a secure system.  The following items may address some concerns:

  • File shares: There are no file shares on a Landro server. All file access is achieved using a proprietary file transfer protocol.
  • File access on servers: Any media file on a Landro server is obviously accessible to a user directly logged onto that system, however, Window’s user logins and passwords can be set up at the discretion of the customer.
  • Network file access: Since there are no files shares, there is no network access to any media server file.
  • Network access to live streaming: All streaming video uses a proprietary streaming protocol.
  • User access to recorded content (programs): Users can be granted access to one or more permission folders. This restricted access is guaranteed by the SQL permission system, and is not a client-side restriction.
  • User access to live content: Users may be granted permission to view live video feeds. If a live feed is also being recorded, users without access to the recorded program’s permission folder are restricted from viewing.
 
Can't find the answers you need? Send your questions to support@landro.com
 


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