Introduction to Videoconferencing

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1 Introduction to Videoconferencing

2 2

3 Table of Contents Introduction... 4 Videoconferencing Etiquette... 5 What to wear... 5 Unnecessary Noise... 5 Guidelines for a successful videoconference... 6 Using the Equipment... 7 Main Display Screen... 7 Camera Controls... 8 Volume Control... 8 Transmitting Information... 9 Transmit Source... 9 Document Camera Use and Support No Warranties/Limitation of Liability Non-Washington Center Videoconferencing Devices Glossary

4 Introduction Videoconferencing is an interactive method of communication that combines the use of video, audio, and computing technologies to allow people in different locations to meet face-to-face to conduct a conference in real-time. It can substitute for the actual physical presence of remote participants. This reduces travel costs as well as travel time and makes meeting attendance more convenient. It also provides flexibility in pulling together at short notice meetings of people in many and/or widely separate locations. For education, it offers opportunities to more readily bring outside experts into the classroom. Videoconferencing provides remote participants with much of the face-to-face familiarity that comes with physical presence, including the elements of facial expression, body language, and eye contact. The University of California, Washington Center has nine videoconferencing locations. These include the Multipurpose Room (Room 120), Auditorium (Room 117), four conference rooms (Rooms, 201, 301, 1004 & 1104), two seminar rooms (Rooms 317 & 318) and a distance learning lab (Room 314). The Center is capable of hosting four simultaneous point-to-point videoconferences at up to near-broadcast quality audio and video resolution. Additionally, via the University s videoconference bridge in Oakland, California, the Washington Center can be tied together with multiple remote videoconference sites in a multi-point videoconference. Videoconferencing is via multiplexed ISDN at a maximum connection speed of 384 kbps or Internetbased IP at 768 kbps. Connection speeds may vary depending upon carrier conditions and the capabilities of the far side videoconference site. 4

5 Videoconferencing Etiquette In videoconferencing there are conducts or procedures that we must follow in order to successfully execute a videoconference with minimal problems. The University of California, Washington Center has compiled some etiquette that will put your mind at-ease and guide you through your videoconference experience at the Center. What to wear Wear conservative colored clothing such as blue or black; avoid wearing white, red or patterns such as plaids or stripes. Wearing all light or all dark clothing should be avoided. The camera s automatic brightness control will be tricked by these colors. If you wear too much light colored clothing the camera will automatically darkened the picture making your face appear shadowed. If you wear too much dark clothing the camera will automatically lighten the picture making your face appear light. Pastel colors are preferable. Don t Wear Wear Unnecessary Noise Avoid distracting movement such as tapping your fingers or pencil, turning back and forth in your chair, wiggling your foot, chewing gum or engaging in side conversations during a videoconference. The microphones are very sensitive and any noises made on your end will be amplified at the other end. Use the mute button when you do not expect to be speaking for a long period of time. 5

6 Guidelines for a successful videoconference Introduce all of the participants at your location; encourage the other site to do the same. Announce your name and the location you are participating from. Example, "This is Joe California in Washington, DC... When you precede your comments with that simple statement each time a new person begins to speak, participants from all sites will have an idea who is speaking and where they are from. Speak and move naturally, there is no need to yell into the microphone. Maintain eye contact with the people on screen as you would if you were having a meeting in person. The microphones at the UC Washington Center are located on the ceiling; there is no need to look up while speaking. The microphones are very sensitive and can pickup every noise that occurs in the room. Have an agenda. Distribute this agenda to all participants in the conference. Like any other meeting, a videoconference takes less time when there is a clear agenda and will be more successful. Signs of unpreparedness will be magnified in a videoconference. Remember, videoconferences can't always be extended, because the room may not be available after your scheduled time. There is a slight delay in transmission due to the nature of the medium. Be sure a person is finished speaking before you speak. Multiple sites speaking at once can cause delays in the switching. Also pause from time to time to allow for questions. Try to be within the camera's field of vision when speaking. 6

7 It is better to mention the technology only when there is a problem. Time will be wasted if participants are asking about how is my audio?, Is my video good? The UC Washington Center Information Technology Services support personnel have already gone through the testing of the video and audio with all participating sites. However, letting the far side know that the video or audio is being lost is very helpful. Using the Equipment The following diagrams are for advanced users on the types of videoconferencing controls that are used at the UC Washington Center. Main Display Screen The main screen displays available sources. 7

8 Camera Controls Zoom-In Tilt Camera Up Pan Camera Left Pan Camera Right Zoom-Out Tilt Camera Down Volume Control Push the UP or DOWN arrows to control the volume of the conference. Push the MUTE button if you want to carry a conversation with your site. 8

9 Transmitting Information The UC Washington Center videoconferencing system has the capability to transmit information from a computer, your personal laptop or our document camera to the participating site(s) of a videoconference. The images below give a visual description of the different types of sources that information can be transmitted from. Transmit Source When the transmit button is pushed from the Main Display Screen, the image below will be displayed. To transmit information click on the appropriate source where the information you are transmitting is located. Used to transmit information from a computer These buttons are used to switch between the speaker(s) and the audience Used to transmit information from a Laptop Used to transmit hard copied documents 9

10 Document Camera The document camera is used to show text, diagrams and a variety of graphical materials as well as small three-dimensional objects. Use and Support Requests for the use of the Center s videoconferencing facilities must be made on the Center s Videoconference Reservation Form. These forms are available from the videoconferencing coordinator. University faculty and staff without a local sponsor at the Washington Center should fax the completed form to (202) or mail to: Attn: Michael Sesay University of California, Washington Center Videoconference Reservations 1608 Rhode Island Avenue, NW 3rd Floor Washington, DC At the time of reserving a videoconference, the sponsor of the call must provide the Center with valid recharge account information and proof of authorization. A videoconferencing session will not be established without this information. 10

11 Reservations for the use of the Washington Center s videoconferencing facilities must be received, at least, three business days in advance of the proposed time of the videoconferencing session. The UC Washington Center is in the Eastern Time Zone. It is assumed that all session times are provided in Eastern Time (ET). Reservations are subject to the availability of the Washington Center s videoconferencing venues. In most instances, an operator is required to establish a call and verify the audio and video link. An exception to this is the Auditorium (Room 117), which must be booked, at least, one business week in advance and requires an operator for the duration of the call. When calling a new remote site, it is University best practice to make a test call to this location in advance of the actual call for link and protocol verification. As many remote sites can be heavily booked, when requesting a reservation please allow sufficient lead time for a link and protocol verification test. In some instances, sessions booked at the last minute, may need to be made without prior link and protocol verification. Cancellations must be received by 3:00 PM ET the last business day before the scheduled videoconference to avoid cancellation fees. If the videoconference is cancelled after 3:00PM ET the last business day before the scheduled videoconference, the session setup fee will be recharged to the call sponsor. The minimum reservation time for use of the Washington Center s videoconferencing facilities is one hour. Sessions are provided in one-hour increments. Additional hours will be billed at five minutes past the hour. Unless other arrangements are made in advance, the Center will attempt to connect with the far site 15 minutes in advance of the scheduled call time for final link verification. The 15 minutes link verification period is not counted as part of a session s duration. 11

12 The Washington Center reserves the right to change videoconference terms and conditions without notice. No Warranties/Limitation of Liability The UC Washington Center's videoconferencing service may not be free from defects or technological difficulties and is provided "as is," without warranty of any kind, either express or implied. In the event of a failed or defective videoconference involving the videoconferencing services, the University s total liability shall not exceed the amounts due to the University for the Services associated with the failed or defective videoconference. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE UNIVERSITY BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIALDAMAGES, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF business profits, business interruption, loss of business information, or any other pecuniary loss, arising out of or in connection with any use of the Washington Center s videoconferencing service, in any form whether SUCH LOSS IS CAUSED BY the University or the University's suppliers, agents or otherwise, even if the University's has been advised of the possibility of such damage. Questions about videoconferencing at the UC Washington Center can be directed to the videoconferencing coordinator at (202) or by to Non-Washington Center Videoconferencing Devices The Washington Center recognizes that in some instances, programs or individuals may wish to use either portable or PC-based desktop videoconference devices not provided by the UC Washington Center. Unfortunately, such devices can have a profound impact on the delivery, security and stability of information services to the Center as a whole. For that reason, the Center does not support non-washington Center videoconferencing devices. 12

13 Glossary Point-to-Point Videoconferencing Point-to-Point videoconferencing allows your location to participate in a videoconference with one other location. Multi-Point Videoconferencing Multipoint videoconferencing allows more than two sites to participate in a videoconference at the same time. Multiplexed ISDN Multiplexed ISDN is when two or more ISDN circuits are used to broadcast a signal, such as a videoconference session. Internet Protocol (IP) Based Videoconferencing Internet Protocol based videoconferencing is used to carry video over IP-based environments, particularly Local Area Networks. 13

14 For More Information Contact: Michael Sesay University of California, Washington Center 1608 Rhode Island Ave., NW, 3 rd Floor Washington, DC Tel: Fax:

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