Standalone VGA Grid User Guide
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Quick Start

This section helps you get up and running quickly with your Standalone VGA Grid.

Before you get started, make sure you have:

  • an HD source (i.e. a computer, a tablet, or a phone)
  • the appropriate cables or adapters to convert the output to DVI or SDI (if needed)
  • ideally, a network with Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)
  • a computer with a web browser connected to the same network (this is referred to as the “admin” computer in the steps below)
  • optionally, an audio source such as a microphone or the headphone jack from a laptop . Note that audio signals sent over HDMI and SDI are supported in the latest hardware revision(s). If you have SDI ports, your system supports HDMI and SDI audio.

These instructions include steps for setting up and configuring audio. Skip these optional steps if you do not want to configure an audio source at this time.

Step 1: Physical set-up and power-on

Complete the following steps to prepare and power on the system. Refer to the Front and Back Panel View section for your system to locate the appropriate input ports.

  1. Turn on your HD source and connect the output cable to a DVI-I or SDI port on the back of the system.
  2. (optional) Attach a 3.5 mm audio cable from your audio source to the system’s motherboard audio input port(blue port on the back of the system).
  3. Connect the Ethernet cable to the Standalone VGA Grid.
  4. Connect the Ethernet cable to your network.
  5. Attach the power cable to the system and plug it into a power source.
  6. Unlock the front panel and press the power button to turn on the system.
  7. Wait for the Standalone VGA Grid to complete the power up sequence. The power LED illuminates and the hard drive LED flashes during start up.

Step 2: Admin discovery and login

The Standalone VGA Grid is managed from an Admin panel. This interface acts as a configuration utility and system monitor. The first time you access the Admin panel you will not know the IP address of the system.

The steps below use DNS-based service discovery (a type of zero-configuration networking) to access the system. Depending on the operating system on your admin computer you may need to install some software before you can used DNS-based discovery.

This quick start is meant for systems that support DHCP and DNS, however if your system does not support these mechanisms, refer to Connect to the Admin panel and Connect to the Admin panel for alternative discovery mechanisms. Return to step 3 below when you have completed setting a static IP address for the Standalone VGA Grid.

Installing Bonjour Print Services

SystemAction Needed
Microsoft Windows

You must install Bonjour Print Services:

  1. Use the following URL -
  2. Click Download.
  3. Follow the system prompts to download and install the application.
Mac OS XThe Bonjour software used for service discovery is built in to the Mac OS. No special actions are needed.
LinuxThe Avahi implementation used for DNS-based discovery is shipped with most Linux distributions. If necessary, check with your administrator to ensure you have the Avahi package installed.

You are able to access the system Admin panel on the local network by specifying its serial number in a web browser on your admin computer.

  1. Find the system’s serial number. It is printed on a sticker on the back of the unit.
  2. Type the following string into the address bar of your web browser on your admin computer (where <serial> is the serial number of your Standalone VGA Grid):

For example: http://95dd40d5.local/admin

  1. Enter the user name and password then click OK. The administrative user is ‘admin’. Initially no password is set. To set a password follow the procedure outlined in User administration.

  1. Optionally, navigate to the Network link under the Configuration heading and note the IP address of the system.

Step 3: Set up the video source

The Admin panel has a pre-configured list of the frame grabbers in the Sources section. Each video input card on the back of the system is a frame grabber. Each frame grabber has one DVI port, one SDI port, one S-Video port and one 3.5 mm audio port. The sources are listed by their frame grabber serial number.

DVI ports are listed with the suffix .vga, SDI ports are listed with the suffix .sdi, S-Video inputs listed with the suffix .video, and analog audio inputs are listed with the suffix _analog or, for the audio port on the motherboard: Analog. Digital audio inputs (for systems with SDI ports) are listed with the suffix .hdmi-audio or .sdi-audio, depending on their source.

The serial numbers for your system will not be the same as the examples shown below.

  1. From the Admin panel, scroll to the Sources section. (You will see more sources than shown below.)

  1. Find the DVI (or SDI) source that you have connected by selecting each DVI (or SDI) source (named .vga or .sdi as the suffix) and verifying if the preview on the right side of the screen reflects your source material.
  1. Make note of the name of the source, or optionally, change the source name to reflect the data it is capturing.

    To rename the input source:
    1. Click on the source name at the top of the source configuration window. The name text becomes red.
    2. Edit the name. The following characters are supported: a-z; A-Z; 0-9; + (plus); - (hyphen); _ (underscore); , (comma), . (period); ~ (tilde); # (hash); [ ]; ( ). Although spaces are also supported, it is suggested you use underscores to separate words.
    3. Press Enter on the keyboard. The name is updated at the top of the screen and in the list of sources at the left side.
  2. Optionally, configure the audio source (if connected):
    1. Scroll to the Sources section again and select the motherboard audio source. It is prefixed by the word audio and suffixed Analog (i.e. audio ALC892 Analog). The audio configuration page appears.
    2. From the Input source drop-down list, select Line for the blue port at the back of the system.
    3. Click Apply.

Source setup is complete. The system automatically detected and adjusted the image capture settings at start up and will continue to adjust every 60 seconds during operation (interval is configurable). The system’s goal is to produce the best quality captured image given the source equipment used. Generally no further configuration tweaks are needed.

Step 4: Configure the channel

Now that you have confirmed the system sees your source it is time to add and configure a channel for output of your source. Channels expose your sources to your streaming users and prepare the sources for recording.

By default, when you add a channel, the system names it the same name as its source. If you changed the source name in previous steps, your new channel's name will reflect the new name.

To add a channel for your source:

  1. In the Admin panel, click Add channel from the Channels section; a new channel is created and the channel configuration page opens.
  2. From the Use video source drop-down list, select your source.
  3. Click Apply.

To review and configure the channel:

  1. From the Admin panel, scroll to the Channels section.
  2. Click the link for your channel; the channel expands.
  3. Click Encoding for your channel.
  4. No need to change anything right now. Review some of the default settings. The four most useful settings to know about are codec, frame size, frame rate and bitrate.
    1. The codec is set to H.264 by default.
    2. The frame size should reflect the resolution provided by your source. You can set it to something different by typing in the fields or selecting an option from the different sizes shown. Scaling the image (making it larger, smaller, or different aspect ratio) takes some processing power, so it’s always best to leave this at the value detected by the system unless you know it is wrong or know you need to scale the size.
    3. The frame rate limit is set to 30. This means the system won’t spend extra computing time to attempt to receive more than 30 frames per second. For perspective, NTSC TV signals use 24 frames per second and most hand-drawn animations show only 12 unique frames per second.
    4. The bitrate is set to automatic, and the system will determine the best value.
  5. Click Status for your channel.
  6. Notice the Stream Info section has an item named Video that reflects the four settings reviewed in prior steps (the frame rate is specified as <resolution size>@30 for 30 (frames per second). It also provides an indication of the current actual frame rate.

You may now optionally add audio to your channel:

  1. Click Sources for your channel; the media source page is displayed.
  2. Select the audio source to which you connected your 3.5mm audio cable. If you connected to the blue line-in on the back of the system, the audio source is the audio source without a frame grabber serial number.
  3. Click Apply.
  4. Click Encoding for your channel; the Encoding page is displayed.
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the Encoding and click the Enable audio checkbox.
  6. Leave the default AAC format and audio bitrate.
  7. Click Apply.

Step 5: Testing the stream

The Status page contains a link to the live broadcast stream for your channel.

To preview the channel in a browser:

  1. From the Admin panel, scroll to the Channels section.
  2. Click the link for your channel.
  3. Click the Status link for your channel.
  4. Right-click on the Live broadcast link for your channel and select Open in a new tab or Open in a new window.
  5. The new tab or window opens with the stream displayed.
    1. If the signal is not detected, reset the DVI cable connections and try again.

Your stream setup is complete. Since most of the steps are pre-configured; you are up and running with a stream very quickly. You can share the live broadcast link with your users.

Step 6: Recording the stream

The stream is set up and broadcasting. This may be all you need, but if you like you can also record the stream.

To record the stream:

  1. From the Admin panel, scroll to the Channels section.
  2. Click Recording for your channel; the Recording page is displayed.
  3. Click the red Start button; the text at the top of the screen changes to indicate the recording is starting, then indicates the length of time since the recording started.
  4. Click the black Stop button; the recorder stops.
  5. Refresh the page by clicking Recording again; the page reloads and a file list appears that shows your newly recorded stream snippet.
  6. Click the file name to download and view your recording.

What’s Next?

Now that you have a source set up and ready to stream, you can fine-tune the system to your exact requirements. You can look at topics such as:

When you have completed system tuning, make sure to back up the system configuration using the procedure described in:

Refer to the table of contents for a complete list of the topics covered.