1. Description

1.1 Introduction

TeraVision was designed as a hardware assisted solution for distributing video in real-time for graphic-rich scientific visualization and collaborative applications. The system’s is best described as a power-point projector with a gigabit network card which allows users to walk up to a TeraVision box and stream the video output of their laptops, workstations or even graphics clusters by simply plugging the VGA/DVI output of the rendering machines to the TeraVision box. The sending TeraVision box is built around a PC with a high-resolution video capture card and a gigabit network adapter.

The receiving end however does not require any special hardware for displaying the streamed video as long as it has a comparable network adapter and a decent graphics card. The receiving end can either be a laptop, a workstation style display machine or even a tiled-display. The software for the system is available for Linux and Windows and is open-source.

figure 1

Figure 1: The system is capable of taking inputs from various kinds of hardware and can stream the video, uncompressed (or compressed) to a variety of displays.

figure 2

Figure 2: A user streams her 1600x1200 laptop screen to EVL’s 6400 x 3072 pixel tiled display at 12 fps.

figure 3

Figure 3: In this picture three remote TeraVision servers are streaming high-resolution video to three different sections of the tiled-display. Each video stream is independent of each other but the screens for each stream are synchronized.

1.2 Advantages of the hardware-assisted approach

The advantages to such a hardware assisted approach are significant for compute-intensive applications.

1.3 Features

Currently the system is undergoing development of v3.0 and following is a list of features that are supported. Readers are encouraged to go through the recent TeraVision paper submitted at Cluster 2004 for a better understanding of the system’s capability.

Future releases will incorporate the following features: