MControl v1.1b Installation Instructions


Installation Instructions

  1. Copy the file to the directory where you would like MControl installed.

  2. Gunzip the file:

    gunzip mcontrol.1.1b.tar.gz

  3. Untar the file:

    tar xvf mcontrol.1.1b.tar

  4. You will now have a subdirectory called mcontrol. This subdirectory must be added to your path shell variable. To add a path follow the directions below. For these examples it is assumed that MControl has been added under the directory /usr/bin/mcontrol, substitute that with the appropriate path for your system.

  5. Make sure that you have vic and vat tools on your system and they are in your path environment variable (see step 4 above). Vic and vat binaries are available for free at:

  6. Make sure you have the rtpplay and rtpdump tools on your system and they are in your path environment variable (see step 4 above). Rtpplay and rtpdump binaries are available for free at:

  7. Make sure you have the Java virtual machine version 1.1 (1.1.6 or higher) or 1.2 on your system and it is in your path environment variable (see step 4 above).

    The Java virtual machine is available in the Java Development Kit (JDK) or the Java Runtime Environment (JRE), both available for free from Sun.

    You can check the version of your Java Development Kit by typing:
    java -version

    The 1.1 Java Development Kit (JDK) is available at:

    The 1.2 Java Development Kit (JDK) is available at:

    The 1.1 Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is available at:

    The 1.2 Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is available at:

    NOTE: You only need v1.1 or v1.2 of java, you do not need both.

  8. In order to make MControl easiest to use, you can include a button on your MBone sdr tool to invoke MControl. If you are not using sdr, it is not required for MControl, but is recommended. Sdr binaries are available for free at:

    If you are an sdr user, you will have a .sdr directory in your home directory. Check this directory to see if you have an sdr.tcl file. If you don't, simply move this sdr.tcl file to your .sdr directory.

    If you do, you will probably want to append the sdr.tcl file that comes with MControl to your existing sdr.tcl file. This can be done as follows. First backup your existing sdr.tcl file:

    cp ~/.sdr/sdr.tcl ~/.sdr/sdr.tcl.bak

    Then concatenate your existing sdr.tcl file with MControl's sdr.tcl file by executing the following command from your mcontrol directory:

    cat ~/.sdr/sdr.tcl ./sdr.tcl > ~/.sdr/sdr.tcl

    The next time you run sdr you will have a new button on the session info window to start MControl. You pull up the session info window by left clicking on a session. Use the "Join w/MControl" button to join that session with MControl started.

    If you are not using sdr or don't want to change your existing sdr configuration, you can invoke MControl manually by typing either:

    mcontrol [-s] [-a Audio Addr/Port/TTL] [-v Video Addr/Port/TTL] [RtpAudioFile] [RtpVideoFile]

    The -a and -v options are for specifying the multicast IP address and port number of a live MBone session to be buffered. An example would be:

    mcontrol -a -v

    If you want to play back a pre-recorded rtpdump file instead, you can specify an rtpdump filename. You can specify an audio file only or both an audio and video file. If you specify both an audio and video file, the audio file must be specified first. An example would be:

    mcontrol myaudiofile

    or with an audio and video file:

    mcontrol myaudiofile myvideofile

  9. Once you have completed the steps above, you will need to do a rehash (if you are using csh) or create a new terminal window (to pick up the changes in your .login or .profile) and restart sdr if it is running.

  10. In order to verify that your settings are correct, a Config.ksh script is provided. Cd to the mcontrol directory and type:


    All of your environment setting will be verified and you will be informed if there are any errors and how to fix them.

  11. To use MControl, start your vic and/or vat session the way you normally do. Then, select the "Join w/MControl" button from the sdr session info window (or just type mcontrol if you are not using sdr). MControl will automatically begin buffering the session as vic/vat/rat beginning playing the live session.

    The default buffer size is 3 minutes. Using the Menu button on MControl allows you to alter this buffer size. Hit the Apply button to begin buffering. Use the Pause, Rewind, Fast Forward and Play buttons to position your playout within the buffer. You can also click and drag the pointer to any point within the buffer.

    MControl can now be used to allow random access within a pre-recorded rtpdump file. Just select the "Existing Rtpdump Files" option from the Menu and use the "Find File" buttons to locate the audio and/or video files. Hit "Apply" when you are done.

    You can also specify the audio and video files (in that order) on the command line when starting MControl:

    % mcontrol myaudiodump.rtp myvideodump.rtp

    To playback an audio file only use:

    % mcontrol myaudiodump.rtp

    MControl will start both vic and vat for you and give you full VCR functionality for your rtpdump files.

    As of version 1.1a, MControl has added a "Server Mode". This allows you to specify the file playback address, port, and ttl so MControl can be used as a playback server. Server mode can be invoked either from the Menu or with command line options.

    From the Menu, switch to Use MControl For "Existing Rtpdump Files". Select the Rtpdump files you wish to use, then toggle the Mode from "Single Client" to "Server". The Server Mode panel will become available for you to specify the playback addresses, ports, and ttls. You can also check the "Suppress Audio and Video Tools" option if you do not want to view the media from the server terminal. "Suppress Audio and Video Tools" will be checked by default.

    From the command line, use the -s option to specify Server Mode. Use -a to specify the audio address/port/ttl, -v to specify the video address/port/ttl, and the next two files will be the audio and video rtpdump files, respectively.

    For example, to start an audio server playback only:

          mcontrol -s -a audiofile

    To start an audio and video server playback:

          mcontrol -s -a -v audiofile videofile

    MControl v1.1b

    Written by David Makofske ( and Kevin C. Almeroth (

    Based on ideas from K. Almeroth and M. Ammar, "On the Use of Multicast Delivery to Provide a Scalable and Interactive Video-on-Demand Service", Journal on Selected Areas of Communication (JSAC), August 1996. Available at

    Suggestions, problems, bugs to or