Standard Definition syncstarter

For SD we intend PAL/NTSC video at its full size, which can be both with ratio 4:3 or 16:9, also referred as “DVD quality”. The MPEG2 encoding format is used to store videos on a mass-storage hard-disk: this way the margin of error in the DVD mechanics is greatly reduced and sync becomes more reliable.

An ad-hoc built Linux kernel is manually customized for low-latency and runs the syncstarter software as first and only process, providing it with I/O access to supported devices.

The computer deployed can be a generic PC and it doesn’t even needs to be powerful (Pentium 3 or 4 is fine), but the important parts are the video decoder cards: they must support playback using the IVTV Linux driver. Also the PC must have enough PCI slots to host the cards, one for each channel required. This usually scales up to 4 channels in a single PC.

A syncstarter PC mounting 4 PVR350 cards for a 4 channel video installation

As it is needed to sync more than 4 channels, IvySync also includes the possibility to sync across channels on multiple PCs and it does that using UDP-lite. Besides running in loop as an on/off solution IvySync can be customized for ad-hoc interaction, for instance to skip videos on cue points according to sensor signals: to do that IvySync accepts commands via XML RPC so they can be sent from separate devices running on the network. At last, IvySync comes with a GTK GUI for the graphical configuration of its playlist: files are stored in $HOME/.ivysync and can be later used for scheduled playback.

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