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Workstation Roles & Networking Ground Rules

One of AV-Playback’s key features is its ability to establish a node based a network hierarchy with multiple workstations containing the AV-Playback program. 
 
By having a combination of individual workstations configured to function as one, offers you the ability to create a large scale topology of interlinking workstations, expanding the total number of destinations all while reliving the stress a single workstation trying to supply all of the needed display outputs.        

Workstation Roles:
As in any hierarchy, there are multiple roles that members are given. In our case, there are three keys roles a given workstation can have.
 
Primary:
The workstation in this role is responsible for the transmission of all its transport commands to the AV-Sync Hub. Which is, in turn, the hub relays to all other listening AVP workstations. It also serves as the unit supplying current clip position data to the hub’s LTC timecode output signal.
 
If a backup workstation is currently linked to the primary then anytime media is added to the primary’s playlist and if those files do not currently exist in the backup’s default file folder, the primary will automatically copy through the network those files directly to the backup unit’s default event folder.
 

Backup:

A workstation designated as a backup will support the primary in that it will remain in sync both with media elements and their properties, as well as with following along automatically with the primary’s current play status. This means if in the event the primary crashes and shuts down the backup will continue unimpeded.
 
Neutral :
When neither Primary or Backup is checked, the workstation effectively does not belong to any hierarchy, instead, it operates somewhat independently but can still link to the hub to receive transport commands from the Primary.

NOTE: This mode is the systems default.

 

Ground Rules:
AV-Playback communicates too much of its other internal function by way ethernet packets. Despite this, if AVP is just running on a single computer, having it connected to an external network topology is not necessary. However, the computer must have a fully functioning NIC so as internally, AVP can still pass data amongst itself.
 
If you are needing to employ the AV-Sync Hub to share data with other AVP nodes, then the proper setup of a local network is required.
 
To ensure a smooth and reliable exchange of data between workstations here are some recommended guidelines:
 
1)  All AVP workstations must be on the same network switch or router. It is recommended that if you are not clear on how to set up using static IP’s then you should employ a DNS equipped router and setup each workstation to simply utilize DHCP. This way all IP’s will be assigned automatically.
 
NOTE: If using a network switch with static IP’s Windows will classify the network as Public. If you are using DHCP on a router, and each computer requires a password to log into it then make sure that Windows declares it as a Private network.
 
2)  Enable advanced sharing of the "C" drive and set it permissions by enabling full control of the "Everyone" user group. This is mostly necessary for the backup node but will make other changes easier if you do this on all AVP workstations.
 
 
3)  In the case of a primary and backup setup, both machines should have a common user ID. If not, then you will at least need to know the user login for each workstation. It is also helpful if all user ID’s have administrative rights. If that is not possible or if the computers are set up to not require login passwords at all, then the following steps need to be followed, primarily on the backup computer, but again it may come in handy if you do this on all non-password protected computers as well.
  a)  Right click on the Network Notification Icon in the right-hand corner of the system tray and select Open Network & Internet Settings from the context menu.
  b)  Click on "Sharing Options"
  c)  Now expand the "All Networks" section.
  d)  Finally switch the radial button to the "Turn off password protected sharing" setting and click "Save Changes"
 
 
4)  Again in the case of a primary/backup scenario setup exactly matching show folders on both machines. This means all subfolders, as well as the drive letter, should also the same. It is recommended that the folder be directly under the “C” drive (that is now shared). It is not recommended but If you want to use something like the Desktop to house the folder then either be logged in to both computers with the exact same user ID and/or make sure that the appropriate permissions are set to share those user protected folders on the network.
 
NOTE: The end goal we are trying to achieve here is the freedom to be able to copy files from one computer to another. The above steps are just one possible way to achieve that. If perhaps you know of another feel free to give it a try. Just remember when we are trying to copy files from the primary to a backup the only information AVP as to guide it is the file path of media elements that have been added to the primary playlist. Therefore, attention needs to be paid to the setup of matching event media folders on both machines. This is the reason it is preferred to make the entire drive sharable as opposed to just a folder. If it was just a shared folder then the network path Windows assigns it will not match the path in the playlist.

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