Chapter 1. Setting Up the Hardware and the System

This chapter explains the steps you need to take to set up your system so that Video Server Toolkit (VST) can run on it, in these sections:

Supported Hardware

This section consists of the following subsections:


VST works on the following platforms running IRIX version 6.5.4 or later:

  • SGI Origin 200 GIGAchannel server with one of the following installed:

    • SGI DIVO or DIVO-DVC video option board (XIO)

    • Viewgraphics Dynamo MediaPump multiplexer adapter PCI board, compliant with the Digital Video Broadcast Asynchronous Serial Interface (DVB-ASI) protocol

    • Vela Research four-port SCSI MPEG-2 decoder

  • Silicon Graphics O2 workstation with O2Video (mvp)

Port Configuration

The SGI Origin 200 GIGAchannel single-module system has six PCI slots and five XIO slots; one XIO slot can be used for the 100-Base-T XIO option board, which has six serial ports.

External Devices

VST can interact with a variety of external devices, as shown in Figure 1-1.

Figure 1-1. VST With External Devices

Figure 1-1 VST With External Devices

Installation of VST includes configuring it to work with external devices:

  • Devices that control VST:

    • video tape recorder edit controller or other device for controlling VTRs, using a Sony-compatible (P2-compatible) RS-422 control protocol

    • automation controller using the Louth Video Disk Communications Protocol

  • Devices that VST controls: most broadcast VTRs using the Sony-compatible RS-422 control protocol

  • Devices through which media are played or recorded:

    • SGI DIVO video option board: 8- and 10-bit Rec. 601 digital video playback and recording with optional 2:1 lossless data reduction

    • SGI DIVO-DVC video option board: 8- and 10-bit Rec. 601 digital video playback and recording with optional 2:1 lossless data reduction or DVCPRO25 compression

    • Vela Research four-port SCSI MPEG-2 decoder (MPEG-2 transport streams (main profile at main level) playback)

    • Viewgraphics Dynamo MediaPump

    • SGI Digital Audio Option board for 24-bit uncompressed AES or ADAT digital audio

    • DVB-ASI devices

  • Auxiliary devices: house time-code readers

Disk Storage Options

Origin servers have two storage options:

  • SGI Origin 200 GIGAchannel internal drive bays (four 18-GB Ultra SCSI disk modules (32 MB/sec))

  • Ciprico 7000 Fibre Channel RAID disk array (44 MB/sec per RAID)

Bandwidth Considerations

A stream is a video/audio program. The number of streams a server can record or play at once depends on the storage option and the compression type.

For example, if you assume that 8-bit 4:2:2 Rice variable compression is, at worst, 11 MB/sec, an Ultra SCSI system can handle two Rice-compressed video streams (32 MB/11 MB = 2 streams) or eight DVCPRO-compressed video streams (32  MB/3.6 MB = 8 streams).

A single Ciprico fibre channel RAID disk array can support four 8-bit 4:2:2 Rice-encoded video streams (44/11 = 4, assuming average 2:1 data reduction; some video streams may require more bandwidth) or 12 DVCPRO video streams (44/3.6 = 12).

Compression Formats

The bandwidth determines the number of streams of video that can be played or recorded at once. Each compression format requires a different bandwidth, as summarized in Table 1-1.

Table 1-1. Compression Formats and Bandwidths

Compression Format


8-bit 4:2:2 uncompressed

21 MB/sec

8-bit 4:2:2 Rice-encoded

11 MB/sec (typical)


3.6 MB/sec

MPEG-2 [email protected]

0.4 to 1.5 MB/sec (~3 to 12 Mb/sec)

Because the Rice-coded format is lossless, there are few reasons to use uncompressed video unless the video files or frames will be used by other programs, such as an editing application.

Running uncompressed video on an O2 workstation is not supported in this version of VST.

Hardware Installation

To set up hardware for use with VST, follow these steps:

  1. Install the server, interface boards, and storage following instructions in the manual(s).

  2. From the system administrator at your site, obtain a name and IP address for the system.

  3. Connect the system to the network using a 10-Base-T Ethernet cable between the RJ-45 connector on the O2 workstation or Origin 200 GIGAchannel master module and a network port.

  4. Connect the system console (RS-232/RS-422 serial) port on the Origin 200 GIGAchannel master module to a serial port of another system or an ASCII terminal using a serial cable.

    See instructions for using an SGI workstation as the system console or attaching the system console in the Origin200 GIGAchannel Owner's Guide.

  5. Edit /etc/uucp/Devices to remove the comment; change

    # --A direct line so `cu -lttyd2`will work
    # Direct ttyd2 - 9600 direct


    # --A direct line so `cu -lttyd2`will work
    Direct ttyd2 - 9600 direct

  6. Log in to the system console using the serial port on another system. Make sure the serial port on the other system is not being used for another purpose, such as its own system console.

    Use the following command if the other system is an SGI server.

    cu -s 9600 -l ttyd2 

  7. Install any hardware and associated driver software related to VST, such as DIVO/DIVO-DVC, Vela, or DVB-ASI boards, following instructions in the manuals for the products and in Chapter 6, “Configuring and Using External Devices.”

Initial System Administration

Before turning to Chapter 2 to set up filesystems, complete the following steps to perform basic administration tasks:

  1. Name the system.

    vi /etc/sys_id

  2. Add system name and IP address to the hostname-address database.

    vi /etc/hosts

  3. Set IP address in non-volatile RAM; also, set system up for automatic restart.

    nvram netaddr <IP Address>
    nvram AutoLoad Y 

  4. Set network address mask, as appropriate for the network.

    vi /etc/config/ifconfig-1.options 

  5. Set default system time zone.

    vi /etc/TIMEZONE

  6. Set password for user root, if necessary.


  7. Reboot the system.