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Wireless Networks Thread, Video conferencing in Technical; Hi All, We are looking at doing VC and are looking for pointers on what to purchase and what kind ...
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    Video conferencing

    Hi All,

    We are looking at doing VC and are looking for pointers on what to purchase and what kind of softeare are available for a classroom VC.

    Any ideas?

    TIA,

    Ashok.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Re: Video conferencing

    Apart from don't do it?

    There are many factors that will contribute to a successful video conference.

    Yes BT has been videoconferencing sucessfully for years but then they have all the copper lines they could ever need at their disposal.

    The issues you are going to have with whole classroom participation is going to be people moving around and sound problems.

    Network and Internet congestion will give you problems and I would look into what quality of service you can put in using your existing managed swtiches if you have them. This would help to ensure that network problems aren't you.

    We use a polycom viewstation 128 hardware PTZ platform mounted on top of a big tv on a stand that can be wheeled around.

    We have used this for meetings with others schools and are looking in to linking up with a local college.

    I would have to say that so far our experience of VC hasn't been wonderful.

    Ben

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    Re: Video conferencing

    You *really* need to have a reason to VC ... not just to want a new toy, which is what Heads seem to want.

    We have a Psychology course delivered from Manchester by it and so it is very cost effective for us. We also use it to have face to face chats between students in our school and their email buddies in Karachi.

    We are looking to use webcams for some things now ... for one to one sessions between G&T students here and in France ... waiting until we have finished joining EMBC for this as we are using their portal for it.

    I would also suggest that if you are doing it over IP then you VLAN the port you use and get QoS happy to ensure you control your bandwidth for it ... some kit really likes to hog it. Also make sure the location is not at the end of cascaded switches / hubs ... iron out anything that might lead to a bottleneck.

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    Re: Video conferencing

    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for responses!, personally i don't want to go down this line yet but our MFL faculty has links to schools in other countries are wanting to do some courses which will help both schools so the requirements came from them. The management has also given backing to this.

    We have cisco managed switches and are using vlans to seperate the two networks we have. As for the classroom conferencing its just that i know they will ask for this so my team is trying to get the research done in advance to answer the silly questions they will ask.

    Unfortunately people don't understand that even the newest technologies can't meet all the challenges. They think because its a computer system it can do magic!(!).

    We have the 8mb connection and after installing isa server 2004 out traffic has cut down so its no more than 3.5mb max. So i can reserve at least 3-4mb for the VC session(s).

    Polycom kit has been recommended to us already so i'll get the guys to check it out.

    Thanks for your suggestions/inputs.

    Cheers,

    Ash.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Re: Video conferencing

    I know of other language colleges using vc to link with foreign schools. The option of vlanning a port just for the vc is a good one and one I considered for our setup however this will be defeated if we move it around classrooms for our conference room then yes it's a deifinate possibility.

    Allthough none of our connections are more than on switch away on either gig fibre link or gig copper link from the main managed chassis switch.

    Ben

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    Re: Video conferencing

    You should check with your RBC to see if they have any guidelines - CLEO (Cumbria/Lancashire) have a H.323 gatekeeper and were very helpful when I was trialling this in a previous job.

    From what I can tell, dedicated hardware solutions seem to work best and you should make sure that both endpoints have GOOD connections and hardware - schools abroad for example don't seem to be as lucky as us with our NEN and super-fast net connections... fending for themselves might be a better analagy.

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    Re: Video conferencing

    Hi,

    We've been using a couple of Polycom units for 3 Years now and they have worked really well (Apart from a transformer going twice !!). Our RBC (LGFL) has just started to get serious about VC and Has linked in to Janets Gatekeeper which makes it all a piece of cake. They are also starting to use a click to meet server for multi point conferecing (via webcams) and the quality is really good. Currently we mainly use it to deliver "a" level critical thinking and electronics using a company called Moore House Black. I would definatly check out the qos of your broadband before buying anything and get comanys to come and demo it using your setup can save a lot of wasted money.

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    Re: Video conferencing

    Problem solved

    Point SMT to this thread and ask them to count how many VC kits are listed

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    Re: Video conferencing

    As some of the others have said talk to your LEA or Local RBC (if you access the NEN via them) as they will tell you what they are doing, what their plans are and what is required on your network to enable you to use VC on their network. For VC generally a good forum similar to here is Wainhouse Research VC Forum

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    Re: Video conferencing

    Its a white elephant job for sure - I used to work at the local Chamber of Commerce where we were ordered to have a VC room at the behest of the DTI - the only time it was used in anger was when I had an interview with a firm in NZ.

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    Re: Video conferencing

    Take a look at this site:

    http://www.jvcs.ja.net/

    Its run by JANET (Joint Academic Network) - the people who run the University networks, they have lots of experience in this, and we now connect all our VCS systems through them (arranged by the LEA - about the only good thing they have done for us!)

    I'm not so sure about the white elephant comment, VCS is getting increasing use here, especially in 6th form/FE or any specialist subjects.

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    tri_94's Avatar
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    Hi there, we have recently got polycom system and we would like to test using JVCS, and wondered if anyone would help test a 3 or more way conference

    thanks
    nick
    tri_94@yahoo.com

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    We have two polycom bits of kit. But more often than not these days we tend to skype conference with schools in other countries who do not have access to reasonable VC kit using cheap webcams.

    Just last week we spoke to our partner school in china via Skype and the quality was pretty respectable considering it was a £20 webcam at both ends.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylv3r View Post
    Just last week we spoke to our partner school in china via Skype and the quality was pretty respectable considering it was a £20 webcam at both ends.
    Anyone tried the "high definition" cameras Sykpe were advertising a little while back? Assuming a half-decent Internet connection at each location I should think quality should be pretty good. And don't forget there's always the old-fashioned pen-pal style mode - record a video message and post it on DVD or similar. Slow, perhaps, but probably gives the children more time to think of stuff to say and very good quality.

    --
    David Hicks

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    Not tried the HD ones Skype were advertising but we purchased 2x Logitech QuickCam 9000's and they're very respectable quality along with some sorta handy features - you can make yourself look like a shark, or have a crown

  16. Thanks to DrPerceptron from:

    dhicks (12th January 2009)

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