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How do you do....it? Thread, Video Conferencing in Technical; Hi guys. Bit of advice please. We've recently started video conferencing with a school in Chicago via Skype. The first ...
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    Video Conferencing

    Hi guys.

    Bit of advice please. We've recently started video conferencing with a school in Chicago via Skype. The first time we tried it it was really good. Smooth audio and video from our end (the Chicago school didn't have a webcam at that time). Did the same today this time with a webcam in Chicago..and found serious dips performance, dropping calls and audio/video here and there...

    Now i do realise the route I've chosen is a free one(!) and there are compromises to be made...and the poor performance could be down to a million things (whether it's raining, if it's a Tuesday, if I've got my blue shirt on....


    but if any of you have any advice for improving performance or indeed a better way of doing it (and relatively cheap...one where I don't need a dedicated ISDN line etc..) then I would be most grateful..


    Ta

    Nick

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    Apologies. In my haste/lazyness I neglected to see other posts on this subject...however if anyone has something new to add or updates on how they do it I'm be most obliged y'all.

    Nick

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    OK this is a free solution (well nearly)

    Get an old base unit, install Asterisk Know Asterisk at Home or Asterisk at Work in 30 MINUTES :: AsteriskNOW | that can be on within 15 minutes. This will be your server.

    Then create your user accounts on the server.

    Install x-lite softphone CounterPath Corporation | Home.

    Configure the settings for your user

    Using x-lite you can use video conferencing

    you will only have to pay for the base unit.

    Hope this helps

    Z

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    eduabncs's Avatar
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    Talking

    If your from a LA supported school then have a talk to your local RBC or LA IT support as they will usually have some form of VC infrastructure and will be best placed to advise you. For general advice and guidance have a look at this site Video Conferencing Guides . I'm biased about that site as I appear in one or two of the videos!

    At the end of the day the name of the game is getting both the audio and video streams to the other end with the minimum of delay. How this is achieved is varied. Do you want an IP or ISDN solution or a mixture of both? Do you want to VC with more then one site at a time. The list goes on and on. As a I said most RBC's will have some or all of the above in place already and most will connect up to the NEN VC network JANET Videoconferencing Service (JVCS)

    Ah the joys of VC....!

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    @ndavies - you're right, the route you've chosen does mean compromises in terms of video quality. As a p2p connection over the internet is a best efforts delivery you can't guarantee the quality of the video or priority of video traffic over the route(s) taken between sites. A number of factors will impact on the quality of the connection for instance codecs used, video size, frame rate etc. Not that familiar with skype video but the software should allow you to play around with the video connection settings that each party will negotiaite....but it may make little or no difference as you're still at the mercy of the networks and routers between you're network and the remote network you're trying to reach.

    You get's what you pay for, a dedicated route provides better QoS but involves considerable expense, a route over existing networks results in lower cost due to the cost of cheap local tails such as adsl but the guaranteed delivery isn't there hence the variable quality.

    What i would suggest is that you look into a hosted video conferencing solution. There should be a better route to reaching a hosted VC providers network via the respecitve ISP's which should improve quality to a degree, but it would still traverse part of the internet and routers that won't be prioritising VC traffic so there will some quality issues.

    You might also look to see if you can use the connections to the education networks to you're advantage. In the UK janet offer a video conferencing service whereby QoS and addressing is setup between LA's/RBC's/NEN so that schools with a connectoin to the RBC or LA can reach other schools and janet connected sites. The quaity should be better because it's not traversing the internet...it's possible the VC reach could have be extended to US education networks connected to janet via transatlantic circuits. I believe Janet has a connection to the Abilene network in the US (i think its a peering agreement), but it may be too much to except connecivity purely through the respective national education networks without some internet traversal.
    Last edited by torledo; 16th April 2008 at 11:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eduabncs View Post
    If your from a LA supported school then have a talk to your local RBC or LA IT support as they will usually have some form of VC infrastructure and will be best placed to advise you. For general advice and guidance have a look at this site Video Conferencing Guides . I'm biased about that site as I appear in one or two of the videos!

    At the end of the day the name of the game is getting both the audio and video streams to the other end with the minimum of delay. How this is achieved is varied. Do you want an IP or ISDN solution or a mixture of both? Do you want to VC with more then one site at a time. The list goes on and on. As a I said most RBC's will have some or all of the above in place already and most will connect up to the NEN VC network JANET Videoconferencing Service (JVCS)

    Ah the joys of VC....!
    Are you the guy known as Sherbert Holmes?

    Worst. Scottish Accent. Ever

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