How It Works

High definition videoconferencing enables face to face meetings with faculty, staff and students at any IU campus or with your colleagues around the globe. Indiana University has nearly 400 video-enabled classrooms, executive boardrooms, departmental conference rooms, and smaller “video collaboration booths” at each of our campuses. IU faculty and staff can check availability and make requests for many of our most popular videoconferencing rooms using Microsoft Outlook meeting requests. Or, you may contact Collaboration Technologies for help to identify and reserve rooms for your next video meeting.

In addition, for people on the go, we support personal software clients such as Microsoft Lync and Jabber Video (Movi) that allow you or your guests to join a video meeting from your Mac or Windows computer, at home or on the road. IU faculty or staff may request a Jabber Video (Movi) account for themselves or for one or more of their students or guests.

The IU Video Bridge allows three or more video participants to meet instantly by calling a common conference number. Ad hoc conferences on the IU Video Bridge require no advance reservation; just call 22 <number of your choice> to meet instantly, no advance reservation required. T­elephone callers may also join the meeting as voice-only participants. Each individual can control the arrangement of sites on his or her screen, whether it’s a multi-pane “Brady Bunch” view, or a full screen view of the active speaker. While there is no set maximum number of allowed participants in a single video bridge conference, we recommend no more than ten. If your meeting will contain more than ten parties, you may want to consider an alternate collaboration technology solution such as Adobe Connect or Istream.

Interoperability

IU’s videoconferencing room systems and personal software clients use the H.323 and SIP videoconferencing protocols for two-way video communication over the internet. Our dedicated room systems and personal software clients are not compatible with, nor do we provide support for, proprietary conferencing software such as Skype, Facetime, iChat, or GoogleChat/Hangouts.

Our videoconferencing systems can be used for more than just meetings. IU videoconferencing is closely integrated with both our streaming infrastructure as well as our Adobe Connect web meeting service. This means that the audio, video and computer graphics from any videoconference meeting can be captured and streamed live to a virtually unlimited viewing audience from any browser, Android or iOS device, recorded for on-demand viewing, or imported into an Adobe Connect meeting to leverage the HD resolution of videoconferencing with the advanced interactive features of Adobe Connect.

Our Help Desk provides live phone and video support for your meetings. We’ll test with your remote users, help you find a conference room or classroom, and consult on best practices for integrating videoconferencing into your conference room or classroom.

Types of Systems

Dedicated Room Systems

Most videoconferencing systems at IU are purchased and installed with individual departmental funds. There are a variety of dedicated room systems with varying features and price points. Collaboration Technologies can recommend an appropriate videoconferencing solution for your room based on criteria such as budget, desired collaboration features, physical characteristics of your room, and the collaboration capabilities of your remote participants.

Cisco Telepresence—CTS 1300 Rooms: The high-end Cisco CTS 1300 Telepresence system is advertised as providing a lifelike, immersive conferencing experience, and like a Thermos, does one thing well: keeps hot drinks hot, and cold drinks cold. Seating is limited to a maximum of six participants. Room dimensions for a CTS1300 room are constrained to a minimum of 15’x15’ or a maximum recommended 23’x13’. Price point: approximately $42,000 for initial equipment package; $7,000 yearly maintenance charge.

Videoconferencing appliance rooms: the specialized H.323/SIP appliance is a dedicated appliance system that provides HD quality video and may allow one or more pan-tilt-zoom cameras, microphones, advanced echo cancellation, and one-button laptop display to all participants in a conference. The chief advantages of dedicated videoconferencing appliances are reliability, simplicity, and the flexibility to integrate well in a variety of room sizes, from small 3 seat conference rooms to large advanced technology auditoriums. Price point varies: A typical installation with videoconferencing appliance + single camera, microphone and TV monitor is approximately $10,000; more complicated installations with videoconferencing appliance + multiple cameras, microphones, and/or displays may range between $25,000 and $70,000. Two of the most popular appliances at IU are the Cisco C20 and the Polycom HDX8000. Note that IU customers may take advantage of negotiated contract pricing for Cisco and Polycom videoconferencing systems through our vendor, SKC communications. Contact the IU Purchasing Department for ordering information.

PCVC (Personal Computer for Videoconferencing) Rooms: PCVC is a term coined by IU Collaboration Technologies to describe an audio-visual integration design concept in which a typical computer with a webcam and microphone is used as the meeting room's conferencing system. Until recently, the only viable method for assuring good audio and video in a meeting room was to deploy a specialized H.323 videoconferencing hardware appliance. However, with today's faster PCs, HD-quality USB webcams, and improved software-based acoustic echo-cancellation algorithms, it is now possible to build a PC-based room conferencing system that can deliver a superb HD conferencing experience at nearly half the cost of a dedicated H.323 videoconferencing appliance. PCVC's greatest strength is its flexibility, opening the meeting room to many conferencing solutions that previously could only be used by individuals at their desktops. Unlike specialized videoconferencing hardware appliances that can only communicate with other systems that support the H.323/SIP protocol, PCVC natively supports many of the most popular conferencing software tools, including Jabber Video (Movi), Lync, Adobe Connect, Skype. It is important to emphasize that because of audio and video limitations, PCVC is only recommended for small conference rooms, maximum 9 seats at the table. Price point: $6,000.

Mobile Videoconferencing Software

Jabber Video (Movi): works on Mac or Windows, and is designed to work well on from home on a typical broadband connection (384kbps upstream / 512kbps downstream), but can achieve up to HD resolution depending on available bandwidth and computer processor. Screen sharing capability to/from conference room systems.

Microsoft Lync: ubiquitous, easy dialing from IU’s most popular unified communication client, Microsoft Lync, to conferences on the IU video bridge. Windows Lync only can participate in an IU Video bridge call with video. Mac Lync client can only participate in an IU Video bridge conference as audio-only. Windows Lync video resolution limited by software protocol to relatively low-resoluton 320x240 pixels. No screen sharing.

Note: If you use the IU Video Bridge technology, UITS does not recommend upgrading to Office 2013. The Lync 2013 client cannot make video calls to conferences on the IU Video Bridge (e.g., 22xxxx@vc.iu.edu and 24xxxx@vc.iu.edu ) or direct calls to conference room systems. These calls will connect as audio only. If you do upgrade to 2013 but still need to participate with video in IU Video Bridge calls, you can request a Jabber Video (Movi) account as an alternative.