3.2 Ingest clients

3.2.1 Hardware

3.2.1.1 Requirements

DVA Profession was built with effectivity in mind. Therefore a current off-the-shelf PC, with average performance properties should do just fine.
Here is a list of minimum hardware requirements for a DVA Profession video capturing client workstation:
  • Processor: at least 3.3 gigahertz (GHz) 64-bit (x64)
    • NOTE: at least Dual-Core recommended
  • System memory (RAM): at least 2 gigabyte (GB) of system memory
  • Possibility to attach at least 5 SATA disks  (directly on mainboard, or with external controller)
  • Hard disks:
    • 1x >= 30 GB hard disk (Windows system drive). You can use any reasonably sized disk for this purpose.
    • 4x >= 1 terrabyte (TB) hard disks: 2 as "DVA-Capture" volume (RAID 1), 2 as "DVA-Workflow" volume (RAID 1)
  • 1x Soundcard
    • Required for monitoring and checking of the video's sound quality
    • In most cases, the on-board soundcard of the mainboard will do just fine (depending on its quality)
    • It must at least be able to record/playback 48 kilohertz (kHz) / 16 bits
  • 1x decent graphics card
    • In most cases, the on-board display adapter of the mainboard will do just fine
    • There is no need for dual-head output
  • 1x gigabit (Gb) ethernet network adapter
    • In most cases, the on-board network adapter of the mainboard will do just fine
  • 1x video capture/playback card
    • In our setup, we've used a "DeckLink SDI" card from "Blackmagic design" and we've thoroughly checked its results and performance.
    • Any other capture card that works with VirtualDub should do just fine, but has to be tested.

3.2.1.2 Reference setup

At the Austrian Mediathek, we are using the following hardware setup:
  • Processor: Intel Dual-Core i5 CPU 661 @ 3.33GHz
  • Motherboard: Intel DH57JG, Mini-ITX
  • System memory (RAM): 4 GB system memory
  • Soundcard (onboard): Realtek High Definition Audio
  • Graphics card (onboard): Intel Graphics Media Accelerator HD
  • Network adapter (onboard): Intel 82578DC Gigabit Network Connection
  • Video capture card: Blackmagic design DeckLink SDI
  • Hard disks:
    • 1x 250 GB Seagate ST3250318AS
    • 4x 1 TB Samsung HD103SJ

3.2.2 Operating system

The current version of DVA Profession still uses Microsoft Windows as ingest workstation operating system.
In our setup, we're  running "Windows 7 Professional 64bit (Service Pack 1)".
NOTE: We've experienced performance issues with the 32bit version of Windows 7, which is why we'd recommend using 64bit - even if the RAM amount is not exceeding 4 GB.
NOTE: If you already have Windows 7 64bit installed on your machine, you can skip the "installation" step and proceed with "configuration".

3.2.2.1 Installation

  • Before starting the installation take a look at the BIOS and make sure that the hard disks are configured as "AHCI" (not "RAID" or "IDE").
  • Install Windows on the small, non-RAID hard disk.
    • NOTE: Windows 7 automatically creates a partition reserved for system use. You can safely ignore it.
    • NOTE: If you reinstall Windows7 make sure to unplug all other hard drives except the one you intend to install the OS on. Otherwise you might run into this error message: "Setup was unable to create a new system partition".
  • Choose language and country settings that match your location, but use the same across all capture clients.
  • Assign a computer name with characters that will work as a file and folder name
    • This is usually alphanumeric (a-zA-Z1-9), including hyphen (-).
    • This is necessary, because of the file-based structure of DVA Profession - and it makes administration consistent and easier across the whole setup.

3.2.2.2 Configuration

Unfortunately, many parts of the Windows operating system cannot easily (or at all) be configured by a script, so there are several things you have to click your way through in order to set them up correctly.

NOTE
: If you boot a freshly installed Windows 7 and attach it to a network switch, you will be presented with a dialog, asking to select the type of network location. Please close and ignore that window, as we will configure this later on.

3.2.2.2.1 Hardware drivers

Install hardware drivers in the following order:
The following drivers may not be necessary, if the system has already been pre-setup.
  • network adapter
  • graphics card
  • Chipset drivers
  • Storage controller (RAID)
The driver you will definitely have to install is the one for your video capture card (Decklink SDI in our case):
  • Decklink SDI card
Reboot the computer

3.2.2.2.2 Disable User Access Control (UAC) warnings

  • This is optional, of course, but assuming that the workstation will be operated by an educated, thinking person, it might be a good thing to treat them with respect and turn it off. If you are using "Synergy" to make working with multiple ingest clients easier, this step is necessary.
  • Control panel > User Accounts and Family Safety (german: Benutzerkonten) >  Change User Account Control settings (german: Einstellungen für Benutzerkontensteuerung) > " Never notify (german: Nie benachrichtigen)"

3.2.2.2.3 Create Softraid

  • Open "Disk Management" (Control Panel - System and Security - Administrative Tools - Computer Management - Disk Management; german: Systemsteuerung - System und Sicherheit - Verwaltung - Computerverwaltung - Datenträgerverwaltung). Change the 4 harddisks (2 for DVA-Capture, 2 for DVA-Workstation) to dynamic disks.
  • Create two volumes - each consisting of two mirrored disks.
  • Assign consistent drive letters across all ingest client workstations. This is necessary for the VirtualDub startup-script to point to the correct locations by default, and makes administration easier.
    • ≥30 GB (system) = C:
    • ≥1 TB (DVA-Capture RAID) = D:
    • ≥1 TB (DVA-Workflow RAID) = E:
  • After assigning the drive letters (D, E) run "init_video_client.bat", which you will find in the "client_config"-folder of your DVA-Profession download (misc/client_config). This script will name the drives: "DVA-Capture" (D) and "DVA-Workflow" (E).

3.2.2.2.4 Network

  • Location:
    • Control Panel (german: Systemsteuerung) > Network and Internet (german: Netzwerk und Internet) > Network and Sharing Center (german: Netzwerk- und Freigabecenter)
  • Set network location and name:
    • Location: Work (Screenshot label 1)
    • Name: video-network (Screenshot label 2)
  • Windows Firewall
    • Control panel > System and security > Windows Firewall
    • Either disable it, or make sure that the following services work:
      • ping
      • accessing windows network shares
NOTE: If you are configuring a multi-ingest workstation setup and have to switch between workstations already, you might want to install "Synergy" at this point, in order to make the installation more comfortable - but this is optional. (See section "Required applications", below)


  • Network shares
    • If it does not already exist (init_video_client.bat) create a folder called "DVA-Profession" on the "DVA-Workflow" volume
    • Share that folder under the name: "DVA-Profession"
  • Access rights:
    • Everyone: READ
    • <computername>\User: FULL CONTROL / CHANGE / READ
  • Create users
    • A default administrator user (usually, this one already exists - username "admin")
    • If you're not using a domain controller, you have to create a user for each operator that uses "DVA-Profession" on that machine.
      • This user does not have to be local administrator.
    • One user to use for read/write access of the ferry servers. Suggested username: "dva-profession"
      • This user does not have to be local administrator.
      • To ease administration, assign the same password to this user on all clients.
      • These credentials will be entered on ferry servers in order to access the "DVA-Profession" share during the workflow.
  • Time synchronization
    • It is important that all workstations related to DVA-Profession (ingest clients, transcoding servers, ...) all have the same system time. In order to provide this situation, it is necessary to synchronize them to a common reference. As the ferry servers are also configured to provide Network Time Protocol (NTP) service, the clients can adjust their clocks by using them as NTP servers.

3.2.2.2.5 General Windows settings

  • Windows updates
    • Run the Windows update once after a fresh setup (or better: Install downloaded service pack installers, in order to keep all client workstations as identical as possible)
    • After that update disable automatic updates. In professional environments, updates should be performed as a scheduled, planned and monitored action and not as a surprise to the people working with those systems.
  • Activate your copy of Windows:
    • Control panel > System and security > System
      • (or just press 'Windows-Key + Break')
  • Client_config-folder:
    • Copy the client_config-folder from your DVA-Profession download (misc/client_config) to the DVA-Profession-folder on the respective ingest-client.
  • Disable SMB protocol v2:
    • Install "lanman_smb2_off-patch.reg". You will find this patch in the folder client_config on your ingest client.
    • Edit (or add) the following registry key:
      [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Parameters] "SMB2"=dword:00000000
  • Configure energy saving options:
    • While capturing video it is very important that your workstation does not spin down hard disks, power off the monitor or do other things that might cause interruption of the video recording process. Therefore, we've prepared a power saving profile which we are using in our production environment.
    • Run the batch-file "power-management.bat", which you will find in the client_config-folder on the ingest client.
    • OR: install it, from the commandline:
      • powercfg -import "%cd%\video_archive.pow"
      • NOTE: "%cd%" is a Batch variable equivalent to 'pwd' (=current working directory). Without it, 'powercfg' would throw an error, complaining that it cannot find the power profile file.
  • Reduce any unnecessary performance overhead of the user interface:
    • Disable Windows Aero design:
      • Control panel > Appearance and Personalization (german: Darstellung und Anpassung) > Personalization (german: Anpassung) > Basic and High Contrast Themes (german: Basisdesigns und Designs mit hohem Kontrast):
      • "Windows 7 - Basic"
  • Display file suffixes for known file types:
    • Windows Explorer > press "Alt" > Tools (german: Extras) > Folder options (german: Ordneroptionen) > View: Hide extensions for known file types (german: Erweiterung bei bekannten Dateitypen ausblenden)
  • Display hidden files
    • Windows Explorer > press "Alt" > Tools (german: Extras) > Folder options (german: Ordneroptionen) > View: Show hidden files, folders, and drives.
      This helps locating and deleting so called "CIFS files" (see "Known issues").

3.2.2.2.6 DVA specific configurations

  • Run "init_video_client.bat", which you will find in the "client_config"-folder on the respective ingest client.
  • OR: Follow the following steps:
    • Mount the "capture" drive as "final" folder of the task "video_capture" on the DVA-workflow volume (Control Panel - System and Security - Administrative Tools - Computer Management - Disk Management: click right on the DVA-Capture drive > Change Drive Letter and Paths... > Add > Mount in the following empty NTFS folder: DVA-Workflow (E:)\DVA-Profession\workflow\02-video-capture\final)
      This makes it possible to access all files from within a single folder structure, even though they are located on separate physical drives which improves performance and makes it possible to proceed the workflow even if a capture is still in progress.
    • Offer possibility to optically distinguish between "capture" and "export" folders:
      • This has proven to reduce the likelyhood of human errors during exporting the video segments. We are using folder icons and fake folders for this purpose:
        • Create the folder "______CAPTURE______" as subfolder in "xx-video_capture\final"
        • Create the folder "______EXPORT______" as  subfolder in "xx-capture_export\final"
        • Assign different folder icons to each one of them

3.2.3 Required applications

3.2.3.1 Mozilla Firefox

Although DVA Profession was written in plain-vanilla HTML wherever possible to ensure greatest interoperability, we recommend using Mozilla Firefox as web client, since we did not test it with other browsers.
Download Firefox: www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/new/
Configuration:
Since Firefox is a very secure browser, accessing local files (URL: file:///) from the browser is disabled by default. The easiest way to enable links that point to local files i s to use the add-on "NoScript".
Install the "NoScript" plugin: https://addons.mozilla.org/de/firefox/addon/noscript/
  • Enable: Advanced > Trusted > "Allow local links"

3.2.3.2 VideoLAN VLC

VideoLan's VLC player is mainly intended for watching the viewing copy (MPEG-2), generated from the lossless archive format.
Download VLC player: www.videolan.org/vlc/
NOTE: VLC's installer must be executed as Administrator. Since Windows 7 has a quite inconsistent handling of access rules, it is not sufficient if your user has administrator rights, but you need to right-click the installer icon and choose "Run as administrator".
Install VLC with default parameters. No special configuration required.

3.2.3.3 ffdshow-tryouts

ffdshow-tryouts is the official successor of the previous "ffdshow" project. It is a wrapper around FFmpeg's codec libraries in order to make them available as Windows video codecs. Installing ffdshow-tryouts is required in order to handle "FFV1", the lossless video archiving codec of our choice.
Download the "64bit clsid" SVN build: ffdshow-tryout.sourceforge.net
NOTE: On the ffdshow-tryouts page it is mentioned to use the 32bit version for greater third-party interoperability, but this depends on the capture client being used: 64bit video applications list only 64bit codecs, and 32bit applications only 32bit codecs. Since we are using VirtualDub 64bit, it is mandatory to install the 64bit video codec versions.
Configuration:
After successfully installing ffdshow-tryouts, you should configure the default encoding options.
For realtime capture of SD material, choose "FFV1" as encoder, and set its parameters as follows:
  • Colorspace: 422P
  • Coder type: VLC (Variable Length Coding)
  • Context Model: Large
  • Keyframes distance: 1
Choose configuration of VfW options after install
Proper FFV1 parameters for capturing default SD

3.2.3.4 Avery Lee's VirtualDub

VirtualDub is a very powerful video-editing and post-processing tool. Within the DVA Profession system, it is mainly used as reliable video capturing tool. As the original capture contains the whole video carrier as one large video file, VirtualDub is also used to trim and split that video into individual parts, matching the cataloged item structure.
Download VirtualDub: virtualdub.org
NOTE: The integration of a capture application with the DVA Profession system is solely based on files and folders. This means that one could use any application of choice for capturing and exporting.
Configuration:
In order to avoid unwanted, silent misconfiguration of the VirtualDub as capture and export application, we have prepared a wrapper script to be used to start VirtualDub ("start.bat" - located in the client_config-folder on your ingest client). This script does the following:
  • It overwrites VirtualDub's settings in the Windows registry to force a clean start every time
  • It collects certain data about the capture workstation environment (version details of VirtualDub, ffdshow-tryouts, etc) in order to log that metadata in the coding report.
There are different default settings prepared as registry files (.reg), depending on the video format to be captured:
  • SDI input
  • DV (firewire)

3.2.3.5 Synergy

DVA-Profession uses Synergy to make the handling of multiple ingest workstations incredibly convenient, as it shares keyboard and mouse across the workstations to make them feel like one computer with multiple screens. However, it is non mandatory for running DVA-Profession and you can use any other way you prefer to handle multiple workstations.
Quote from the Synergy website:
"is Free and Open Source Software that lets you easily share your mouse and keyboard between multiple computers, where each computer has its own display. No special hardware is required, all you need is a local area network. Synergy is supported on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Redirecting the mouse and keyboard is as simple as moving the mouse off the edge of your screen. Synergy is released under the GNU Public License (GPL)."
Download Synergy 64bit version from: synergy-foss.org
Thanks to Synergy's new configuration GUI, the setup should be quite straightforward. In case you do have troubles and or questions, please refer directly to the documentation on their website.
NOTE: In order for Synergy to run smoothly, you should run it as administrator.
Without this enabled, opening certain applications/windows which Windows considers administrational on Synergy, clients will disconnect mouse/keyboard during that time.

3.2.4 DVA Profession web client

Configuration


When opening DVA Profession for the first time, it will force you to load the administrational setup page.

You must select the name of the ingest workstation you are currently on from the "Workstation" drop down menu and confirm by clicking on the "Save" button.
(The other settings are mainly for configuring the optical layout of the web interface and should work just fine with their default values set).

NOTE: In case your workstation name should not appear on that list, please consult your DVA Profession administrator, as the workstations have to be added in the configuration file on the ferry side.

If everything is configured properly, you should now see your computer name in the upper-right part of the page, and all disk space indicators in green.

NOTE: If the uppermost disk space indicator should be black, the ferry cannot access your workstation's "DVA Profession" share. Please consult your DVA Profession administrator, as this has to be verified/configured on the ferry side.
Kontakt:
Österreichische Mediathek
Mag. Hermann Lewetz
hermann.lewetz[at]mediathek.ac[dot]at
Österreichische Mediathek Digitalisierungsservice: