Networked VGA Grid FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Got a question about our Networked VGA Grid? Check out our quick answer guide.

What are the differences between Standalone and Networked VGA Grid solutions?

Both solutions support  DVI, HDMI™, VGA, component, S-Video or composite cables, however Standalone VGA Grid also supports SDI (3G, HD and SD).

For a Standalone VGA Grid solution the video and audio sources are directly connected using DVI, HDMI, VGA, component, S-Video or composite cables. For a Networked VGA Grid solution the sources are remote and are attached via DVI, HDMI, VGA, component, S-Video or composite cables to HD Encoders.

For the Standalone solution, the VGA Grid captures and encodes data from the sources. It also synchronizes, records and streams the data. In the Networked VGA Grid solution, capture and encoding happens in the HD Encoders and this encoded data is transmitted across an Ethernet/IP network to the VGA Grid Concentrator which performs synchronization, recording and streaming of the received data.

How much storage does the VGA Grid have for recording?

The VGA Grid comes with a single 6 TB HDD for recordings.  This can be upgraded to include more storage, use RAID arrays, or can be changed out for SSD instead of spinning drives.

How many video sources can VGA Grid include in a multi-source layout?

While the VGA Grid has no set limitations on how many video sources can be combined into a single multi-source layout, each multi-source channel requires the VGA Grid Concentrator to  decode and re-encode the sources that are part of the channel. The CPU overhead caused by decoding and re-encoding can be high. Therefore we recommend not making more than a handful of multi-source layouts. The maximum number you can create without impacting quality depends on the number of sources in each channel and channel configurations such as bit rate, frame size, and whether or not the VGA Grid needs to do any scaling.

How many video channels can a VGA Grid system record and stream at the same time?

The Networked VGA Grid Solution supports connection of 64 VGA Grid HD Encoders each of which can capture and encode a two video sources (1 HD and 1 SD) and a single (stereo) audio source. All 64 of these channels can be streamed and recorded simultaneously. 

What is the difference between a VGA Grid and a VGA Grid Concentrator?

A VGA Grid refers to a Standalone VGA Grid solution which contains internal capture cards for direct connection of video sources.  A VGA Grid Concentrator is a part of a Networked VGA Grid Solution which contains no internal capture cards; instead it receives data from connected VGA Grid HD Encoders.

Can I connect a VGA Grid HD Encoder to a VGA Grid or only to a VGA Grid Concentrator?

No. VGA Grid HD Encoders are only for connection to a VGA Grid Concentrator (which has no internal capture cards) as part of the Networked VGA Grid solution.

Can I use a VGA Grid HD Encoder by itself to stream or record?

No.  The VGA Grid HD Encoder works only in conjunction with a VGA Grid Concentrator.  Epiphan’s has a variety of other streaming and recording products are designed to perform capture, encoding, recording and streaming as standalone units. See the catalogue here.

Does the VGA Grid Concentrator offer centralized management for all of the connected VGA Grid HD Encoders?

Yes. The VGA Grid Concentrator acts as a single management point for all connected VGA Grid HD Encoders. Changes to VGA Grid HD Encoder settings (e.g. frame size, bitrate, etc.) are made in the VGA Grid Concentrator control interface which then forwards them to the corresponding VGA Grid HD Encoder. Similarly, a status screen of the VGA Grid Concentrator displays status and alarms for all of the connected VGA Grid HD Encoders.

Does the VGA Grid perform playback of recorded files?

Not directly.  Recorded files can be shared to media players using UPnP and SAP or downloaded from the VGA Grid to a computer which can then perform playback.  Alternatively, recorded files may be automatically transferred using FTP, RSYNC or CIFS to centralized network storage to facilitate subsequent access and playback.

How do I know how much storage is required for my application?

The amount of storage required depends on the number of channels, the bitrate of those channels, and the amount of time for which the channels need to be recorded. The bitrate for each channel is configurable. Summing the bitrates for all channels and then multiplying by the amount of recording time gives a good approximation of the storage required.

How many streaming clients can the VGA Grid support for a single stream?

The VGA Grid Concentrator can support many (100+) simultaneous streaming clients using unicast connectivity to each of them. It supports multicast and RTSP/RTMP for connection to video servers (e.g. Wowza) or Content Delivery Networks to support streaming to a very large number clients.