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The MGW 2400 allows three types of users: guests, administrators and a supervisor. Guests can view channel parameters and user profiles. Administrators can create, edit and delete channels as well as start and stop them. A supervisor determines those rights plus he or she can create, edit and delete users. Only a supervisor can restart the MGW 2400 without power-cycling the device.

I tested the MGW 2400 by connecting it to a Windows 2000 PC over an RS-232 serial cable. Using HyperTerminal, I logged in with the default user name and password and was presented with a menu-driven interface that asked for host name, network settings and user authentication. I could also invoke FTP to send software upgrades and configure shared access to media clips using a preformatted external SCSI disk. Once the network is set up, the same command menu is available via telnet but not SSH.

Good
• Multiple multicast and unicast targets per channel (6)
• Dynamic bit-rate adjustment
• Real-time uploading to a Windows Media Server

• External SCSI disk support

Bad
• Multiple network interfaces require separate network configuration
• No load-balancing on multiple NICs
• 10-user limit for unicast channels
• No native scheduling options

The unit comes with two 10/100-Mbps NICs--one for streaming services, one for management. The NICs must be assigned to different networks; if they're assigned to the same network, the host name of the device will be associated with both NICs, and the device will be unreachable.

I set up streaming services on one network interface and dedicated the other for management using MGW 2400's management console, the Element Management System (EMS). The EMS runs on a separate PC and requires a Pentium III with Windows NT 4 or Windows 2000 Pro and 128 MB of RAM. The only information required is the IP address of the MGW 2400; however, if you don't input the device's IP address, the EMS will search the local subnet for devices to manage.

The EMS console provides a display of the installed MGE-400 or MGE-400D modules. I connected a Marantz DVD player (DV4100) to the MGW 2400 using a stereo minijack audio cable and a video BNC cable. The display showed that the MGE-400D was connected to the DVD player and automatically detected the Composite video source.