Access Grid / IOCOM / EVO Advanced Videoconferencing Tools
The Access Grid may be thought of as a prototype for "next generation video conferencing". The aim of the inventors of Access Grid (at the Futures Lab, Argonne National Laboratory) was to implement a technology that could support productive meetings between remote participants that are as effective as face-to-face meetings - all using commodity hardware. This can only happen if one is able to forget the technology and concentrate on the meeting itself.
Features of the Access Grid are:
- Very high quality audio
- Big display to enable full-size people shots and simultaneous viewing of all remote sites
- Multiple cameras to show groups and multiple viewpoints
- Collaborative software to enable remote participants to share and interact with data
- Usage of IP multicast, to enable bandwidth-efficient networking
The Access Grid at University of Manchester was the UK's first facility of its kind. It began life with a demonstration at EuroPar 2001 in August of that year and Manchester was a major constellation site at SC Global 2001 in November.
In the last decade the original Access Grid toolkit has been joined by interlinked systems including IOCOM's IG2 and visimeet, and the EVO all of which are pervasive across the University of Manchester.
JANET Access Grid Support and VTAS-AG
The AGSC is a national support service based at the University of Manchester from 2004-2011. The primary function of the AGSC is to provide a national technical support service for Access Grid technology. The ASGC provides this service for the UK academic and research communities. In addition to technical support, the AGSC provides procurement advice, node Quality Assurance testing, weekly open sessions and training for node operators.
Since August 2011 this role has been split between the University of Edinburgh front-line JVCS support and a Video Technology Advisory Service (focussing on Acccess Grid and related technologies) in the University of Manchester.
Support for Access Grid Nodes at Manchester
We currently provide best-efforts support for the Access Grid nodes in Devonshire House and room 1.10 in the Kilburn building. Although this does not include provision of a node operator service, we can provide training for using the Access Grid (remember to contact us in plenty of time if you want to be trained to run a specific meeting).
We recommend that you allow 5-10 minutes to set up Access Grid for your meeting and a further 15 minutes as contingency in case there are problems. Support will only be provided for equipment that has previously been switched on and tested (e.g. by visiting the AGSC test room venue) and users should be ready to demonstrate the problem to a member of the AGSC.
To let us know of problems with these nodes or if you want to request user training, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
For immediate assistance also contact the JVCS: Telephone: +44(0)131 650 4933 E-mail: email@example.com
AG nodes on campus
There are a number of Access Grid nodes on campus.
We would advise potential users to speak to the VTAS Collaboration through Access Grid for an update on the current situation.
As stated above, RCS support only the first two on this list:
- Devonshire House, Access Grid Node, RCS/MIMAS
- Room 1.70 - Humanities Bridgeford Street
- Room 3.06, Stopford Building
- CG48, Devas Street
- Room G528A, ISBE, Stopford Building
- Room 1.213, Alan Turing Building, Mathematics
- Manchester Interdisciplinary Biocentre
Salford R&D, Clinical Sciences
- NCeSS, Authur Lewis Building
- MIMAS, Waterloo Place
- MAGIC node
- S15, Zochonis Building, Clinical Psychology
- Room 3.225 Alan Turing Building
- C1.43 AG Node, Room C1.43, Humanities
- C6, George Begg Building
- C2, George Begg Building
- C3, George Begg Building