[Theora-dev] Re: PC-based video server

John Kintree jkintree at swbell.net
Wed Jan 26 09:03:48 PST 2005

On Tuesday 25 January 2005 10:45 pm, Andrey Filippov wrote:
> And I do not have any real experience using Theora, I don't "feel" it as
> the actual bit rates needed, CPU load, etc. So I am addressing developers
> who have such experience -- first of all I'm trying to get your general
> opinion on such project - how doable, how big it is and is anybody
> interested in working on it or have any ideas on this.

Well, I've seen pretty good quality theora format video at less than 1 Mbps.  
You are using high resolution sensors in your network cameras, so to pick an 
easy number to work with, I'm figuring 1 Mbps per network camera.  It's great 
that the network cameras can output video in theora format.

With a 1 Mbps data stream, we're talking 7.5 MBytes per minute storage.  If 
you store each stream every ten minutes, you would be storing the video in 
files that are 75 MB each.  If you have ten network cameras attached to the 
PC-based video server, instead of trying to save the output from all of the 
cameras at the same time, the stream from camera(n+1) could be saved 1 minute 
after the stream from camera(n).  With ten cameras, you would be saving a 
total of 750 MB each ten minutes, or about 108 GB every 24 hours.  A PC with 
two 400 GB drives could give you about a week's worth of storage.  An array 
of drives could give you even more.  

All of that sounds practical to me with off-the-shelf hardware; although, I'm 
not sure what you would do when you run out of storage.  Maybe hot-swap the 
drives?  I'm also not sure how much traffic there would be accessing the 
stored video, and how the server would keep up with the job of delivering 
stored video.  If people wanted to watch the live video, they would just go 
to the address of that network camera, right?  So, the PC-based video server 
would not be required to do much, if any, streaming video.  People who want 
to watch the stored video could just download the desired files, right?

I hope someone who has more experience running servers than I have can offer 
an opinion here, too.

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