[hackerspaces] Looking for another hackerspace to share telepresence

David Powell davepow16 at gmail.com
Thu Jan 19 20:06:41 CET 2012

Harford Hackerspace uses Google+ Hangouts:

We typically only meet on Wednesdays at 7pm Eastern. So if your hackerspace
is active at that time then you could just look for our Hangout
notifications. We have been doing this for about a month now and it seems
to work okay. We often get strangers checking us out. They find us listed
publicly and are facinated by our messy garage when they find us.

On Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 12:31 PM, Bob Baddeley <
hackerspace-discuss at bobbaddeley.com> wrote:

>  I implemented this at a former job using completely open source tools and
> off-the-shelf components: ( http://vimeo.com/25094355)
> We used vlc to encode the video from an HD webcam and display it on the
> other end. We had the audio in a separate vlc stream. There was a web
> server with some simple web services that maintained the list of rooms and
> which IP+port each connection was on. It was still P2P, with the web
> services acting as a mediator. The awesome part was having a shared
> partially transparent desktop that both people could interact with.
> Some lessons learned:
> 1) We had to go through a lot of hoops to get the latency as low as
> possible. Even a couple tenths of a second is annoying enough to make the
> system practically useless. Bandwidth can be cranked down quite a bit until
> you have barely recognizable blocky video, but it's still useful as long as
> the latency is low.
> 2) Because the latency was so low, any jitter would freak out VLC, so we
> had to have a process that watched VLC and restarted it if anything went
> wrong. The UI also had a way to reconnect the feeds.
> 3) We did have issues with networks that couldn't open a port and forward
> it to our systems. I imagine that wouldn't be so much of a problem here
> where we have more control over our networks.
> 4) Ubuntu+Compiz is pretty awesome for being able to write rules for
> making windows maximized, forced in front, and partially transparent.
> Windows and Mac couldn't even come close to accomplishing it.
> 5) Video telepresence is cool, but bandwidth heavy and breaks apart
> quickly when there are multiple feeds. That's why we separated the video
> and audio. The audio had lower latency and bandwidth, and it was easy to
> connect to multiple people to get the teleconference effect, but for video
> we settled on being able to see only one of the feeds at a time. This had
> the additional advantage of allowing anyone to participate no matter what
> hardware they had.
> 6) You NEED noise canceling mic/speaker setups. With any kind of audio
> delay, you have the mic picking up the speaker, and then you get a feedback
> loop that gets out of control. The noise canceling mic/speakers solve this.
> Bob Baddeley
> On 01/19/2012 10:52 AM, Elmar mc.fly Lecher wrote:
> Am 19.01.2012 17:44, schrieb Chris Weiss:
>  On Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 10:30 AM, Elmar mc.fly Lecher<mc.fly at ramdrive.org> <mc.fly at ramdrive.org> wrote:
>  I would propose using chaosvpn for the link between the hackerspaces.
>  telepresence is very latency sensitive, I'm not sure if a VPN would
> perform well enough for HD video.  VPNs tend to even mess up simple
> 64Kbps audio.
>  The reason why we use tinc is that we use it for VOIP. The ccc voip
> system has been the main user for our network.
> Low latency is also the reason why "full mesh" was one of the design
> principals
> mc.fly ...
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