Quickguide to using VIC
General Information
  • No special equipment is needed in order to receive and display video. 

  • In order to transmit video, you must have a camera and a frame grabber connected to your computer. A frame grabber is a piece of hardware which is installed in the machine and translates the data transmitted by the camera in to the correct encoded format for VIC, or some other video application.


Starting up VIC

There are two ways of starting up VIC:- from the command line and from SDR. Using SDR is easier as it automatically configures the tool for use.
  1. Using SDR (RECOMMENDED) - Click on the session advertisement, a box will appear listing the available tools for the session. Either click on the 'Join' button which will start all the tools, or click on the tool buttons individually to the left of the screen.

  3. From the Command Line - As with the other Mbone tools the format for setting up VIC from the command line is as follows:
    1. Unix:
      Prompt> vic [options] <address/port>

      Click on the Start button in the bottom left hand corner of the screen. Select Run... In the Run Window, type the following in the open: field.
      Open: vic [options] <address/port>

      e.g. for a session using the address, and port 2222 with a ttl of 47, the correct syntax would be:-

        vic -t 47
      **All participants must use the same multicast address and port number in order to see one another** 
To transmit video click on the Menu button at the bottom of the Main VIC Window. This will open the VIC Menu Window. In the VIC Menu Window click the Transmit button in the top left hand corner. The little red square on the left hand side of the button will turn red after a few seconds, indicating that you are transmitting video.

To stop transmitting video, click on the Release button beneath the Transmit button in the VIC Menu Window. When you stop transmitting, your image on the screens of other participants will not disappear, it will simply freeze. In order to make a frozen picture go away, position your mouse pointer over the frozen thumbnail image, and press d on the keyboard. You should not press any buttons on the mouse.

Each thumbnail image can be enlarged by clicking on it once. A larger image will then be displayed in a separate window. This larger image can be resized using the Size... button at the bottom the window. There are three different encoding schemes, CIF, NTSC and PAL, each offering three different sizes, a small, a medium and a large size. The three encoding schemes produce roughly the same size images. 

If your picture looks strange: 
  • if you can see the outline of yourself, but it looks distorted, press on the Menu button in the main VIC window. Then press the release button in the VIC Menu Window. Then press transmit.
If you cannot see all the participants in VIC: 
  • Make sure that the VIC video window is large enough to accommodate all the pictures. Depending on your window manager, you can normally enlarge the VIC video window by dragging the edges of the window. If you still cannot see them, it may be because they are not transmitting video.
If you cannot see yourself in VIC: 
  • Make sure that you are transmitting video. There should be a little red square on the Transmit button in the menu which you get by pressing the Menu button in the VIC video window. If not, press Transmit.

Further Information

The VIC userguide is available in word7 and postscript format. Please refer to this for more detailed information regarding technical definitions.

There is also a VIC FAQ which answers many questions about hardware compatibility and general user problems.

Please consult these two sources of reference first. If your query still remains unanswered, please send an email to vic@cs.ucl.ac.uk


activities|calendar|timescales|network monitoring|ukerna|quick_reference|guides|slide_preparation|PIPVIC-1|software|private_access