a multichannel interactive streaming solution

A guide to the Windows client

This is an introduction to the stand-alone Windows client for Palantir.
Although designed with ease of use as a primary goal, it emerged during time that some of its peculiarities deserved an explicit explanation. Reading this short introduction will allow to make proper use of all of the features of the Palantir system.

The Windows client can be downloaded from the Demo page.

First look

the Windows client Below the frame area, the server address text box contains the address of the Palantir server to connect to.

At the bottom of the window, a status line displays useful information about the current session (if Frame rate is ticked in the Display menu, the current frame rate is presented instead).

If the camera wired to the server supports pan, tilt and zoom, sliders controlling these movements will be shown around the frame area (pan and tilt) and on its right (zoom).

After a successful connection, the window title displays the greeting string from the server.

Main controls

Buttons The Connect/Disconnect button is used to initiate a connection to the server specified in the server address text box, or to terminate the current connection.

Once the connection has been established, the Control button can be used to request ownership of the audio channel (if available) and of the devices connected to the server. If no other client is currently in control, the request is satisfied at once; otherwise, the waiting time (proportional to the number of pending control requests from other clients) is displayed in the status line.
After control is gained, the button caption turns into a countdown showing the residual control time in seconds. When the count reaches 0, this client is preempted and the next pending request is satisfied. If the control queue is empty, however, this client will keep control indefinitely (until another request occurs).

If the control button is grayed out, then the current server features neither an audio channel nor any controllable devices.

Channels The Channels panel includes checkboxes to individually activate/deactivate the audio and video channels, and to toggle the display of the device control window.

Note that the audio channel selector remains unavailable (grayed out) until the client requests and obtains control from the server.
Besides, if no audio channel is installed at the server, the selector will remain grayed out even after the client has gained control.

Image menu

The Stretch to window option, selected by default, causes video frames to be stretched (or shrinked) so as to fill the available display area. If the client window is resized, the frames are too.
Unselect this option to display the video stream according to its original size.

Display menu

The Message input switch allows the user to send some text to the server, one line at a time. This text will show up in the logs with date, time and IP address of the sender client.
Selecting this item makes the server address text box available for user input (its caption will then turn into Message). Pressing ENTER delivers the message.
Unselecting this item makes the text box available for editing the server address again.

The Frame rate switch causes the current frame rate (computed every 8 frames) to be displayed in the status bar, replacing other status information.

The xyz readings switch toggles the display of the numerical coordinates for the three sliders on the main window (usually associated with pan, tilt and zoom).

Servers menu

This menu allows quick connection to a list of predefined servers.

Configuration file

Starting with version 2.3, the Windows client supports reading parameters from an external file, which must be called pclient.ini and must reside in the same directory as the client executable.

The configuration parameters include the list of predefined servers to be shown in the Servers menu, the default server address, and whether the client should try to connect to the default server at startup.

Here is a sample layout for the pclient.ini file (another one is included with the distribution):

autoconnect= 1

server0=, Babies' room
server1=, Garage
server2=, Garden

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