Computer based multimedia conferencing has the somewhat different requirements from POTS or ISDN based video conferencing which has made use of custom terminals. It is also a requirement that such systems interwork with ISDN and POTS based conferencing systems. All told:
These requirements have dictated that we build a number of Conference Management and Multiplexing Centres to provide the necessary format conversion and multiplexing to interwork between the multicast workstation based domain and unicast (whether IP or ISDN) hardware based domain.
Traditionally such a multiplexing centre would employ a centralised conference control system. However, this is not scalable and we wish the users of such systems to participate in large multicast based conferences. We also do not wish to change the multicast media applications when they switch from a entirely multicast based conference to one using a central system for some participants.
It is inevitable that translators, multiplexors, format converters and so forth will form some part of future conferences, and that large conferences will be primarily multicast based.
Next: Where current systems fail Up: CCCP - Distributed Internet Previous: Multicast Internet Conferencing Jon CROWCROFT