I'm planning an Asterisk configuration that should record videocalls and then feed it to an application.

From what I've researched, it seems like app_h234m is the way to go. But it's not clear to me what are the hardware requirements for this.

Can someone enlighten me?


That really depends on the lines you want to hook up to. If you want to do Video Calls over a normal phone line, then you'll need something like a TDM card, personally I recommend Digium Cards. (link) They kinda started the asterisk game and I've never had a problem with any of their cards.

However there is no special hardware required to make or recieve a video call, Asterisk simply connects the calls. Most SIP providers allow video calls, so i'd suggest going with one of them, and just make sure your internet connection is capable of handling the load.

Add (see below) in sip.conf to be able to support video calls.

videosupport=yes ; enable Asterisk video support
  • + forums.speedguide.net/showthread.php?t=191804 Here's a link for more information on video call bandwidth requirements. – grufftech Jun 9 '10 at 17:00
  • thanks - I'm finally getting to where I need - SIP is not an option here (non-existence of providers in my country). Can you give me a pointer or ideas on what would be the minimum hardware for 5 simultaneous video-calls in a landline and or gsm? – jneves Jun 9 '10 at 21:12
  • GSM is getting a little out of my particular expertise, However I have seen a system configured in this manner before. For GSM, You need a CDMA/GSM Gateway device, something pretty large to handle 5+ simutaneous calls. A PORTech MV-378 should do the trick for GSM. For standard phonelines, you'd need an Analog card, something like Digium AEX800. However, To offer some scalability, your probably wiser to go digital and get a T1/E1/PRI card, i've used the TE210P with great success in the past. – grufftech Jun 9 '10 at 22:10

I'd read "the book", Asterisk - The future of telephony. To be specific, chapter 2 "Preparing a system of asterisk".

Quote from the book:

"Server Hardware Selection
The selection of a server is both simple and complicated: simple because, really, any x86-based platform will suffice, but complicated because the reliable performance of your system will depend on the care that is put into the platform design.

Link: http://downloads.oreilly.com/books/9780596510480.pdf
More docs: http://www.asterisk.org/docs

  • That seems generic advice regarding Asterisk. Does that mean that h234m will record videocalls from any available channel? – jneves May 22 '10 at 18:54

jneves: I may be able to answer you question as I have experience with voice and video in Asterisks. Could you give me more details however about your current setup and what you plan to do? IE: How many concurrent voice calls are you running on the setup? how many concurrent video calls? If you can also give me an estimate of where you see this system in the future, that will help.

  • 1
    More information would be helpful. Any 2ghz dualcore machine w\ 1g+ of memory & a plethora of disk space will fair perfectly fine for a video conferencing machine – grufftech Jun 8 '10 at 22:13
  • Agreed on those specs – ThaKidd KG5ORD Jun 9 '10 at 4:50
  • We just want up to 5 videocalls at the moment. We expect to scale it up, but this will be only the pilot. – jneves Jun 9 '10 at 10:14
  • @GruffTech you're giving me generic specs for a machine - won't I need any specific hardware to receive videocalls? That's what I was looking for. – jneves Jun 9 '10 at 10:15
  • See below answer. – grufftech Jun 9 '10 at 16:56

Any old box will be fine, it all depends on how many calls you need it to handle. And with Asterisk it's probably best to scale up horizontally rather then vertically. Do your own testing and judge from that.

Also, Freeswitch seems to support this functionality as well with its mod_fsv. This may be more reliable then using Asterisk.

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