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Video conferencing (VC)

Preparing for a VC session

  • If you are connecting from new equipment, make sure you test the connection prior to starting. You can contact the to schedule a test call.
  • Get to know your equipment beforehand, for example, it is important to know how to mute your mic prior to starting.
  • If you are connecting from a studio, find out from the organiser if you need to dial in or if your studio will automatically be connected.
  • Make sure you've confirmed to the organiser where you are expecting to join from, last minute changes can affect the dial-in code for all.

Joining a VC session

  • In a studio the session will normally start automatically. If you have been given a five-digit number to dial, use the control panel or remote control to do so.
  • On your own PC / Mac - you will need the 'Jabber Video' software. Go to Software Downloads and choose the VC software tab. When you have the software working, enter the five-digit code you have been given. NB. Student access to Jabber now has to be authorised by a PAT. The VCMaster can't accept student requests to join a conference over jabber without prior authorisation. ** Please note CISCO have now removed the Jabber for iPad from the app store so this is no longer available for use. **
  • You may find this guide to Using UHI Jabber (.pdf) helpful.

    Watching a recorded VC session

      Booking a VC session

      • Before you can book a VC session, you first need to book a VC studio to sit in or get a PC to sit at.
      • If you are just connecting to one other person or studio, just dial them directly yourself.
      • If you need a 'multi-site' session or you want the session recorded, contact vcmaster@uhi.ac.uk with all the details.
      • NEW - Self Service VC Booking Form guide is now available and will become the primary method of booking VC's. Please contact the Servicedesk if you need any further information.

       

      Video conferencing

      What is video conferencing?

      Video conferencing (VC) is a critical part of the advanced communications and technology strategy used throughout UHI for learning, teaching and administration.

      There are about 180 VC units on the university network. There are also multipoint control units (MCUs or 'bridges'), which enable multi-site conferences to be scheduled, monitored and remotely managed. UHI manages more than 15000 multi-site conferences per year in addition to many locally dialled point-to-point calls. This makes UHI one of the biggest users of videoconferencing in the UK and the video conferencing service (VCS) staff work closely with the manufacturers in developing and testing new equipment and facilities in order to continuously develop and improve the service.

      The VC service is delivered by the Learning & Information Services department and includes day-to-day scheduling of all multi-site conferences, and technical support to staff and student users. Each academic partner also offers local first line support and basic training.

      Within UHI, video conferencing is used to teach, host seminars and to hold meetings. It allows geographically disperse groups to interact without having the burden and cost of travel.

      It also allows people to share applications, files and data which makes it easy to hold presentations and review documents in a VC session.

      When is video conferencing available?

      The service is available during office hours and in the evenings dependent on local site access. However there will be times when we need to carry out essential maintenance work or service improvements. We will whenever possible give notice of any work that will require an outage.

      Is there any work scheduled? Information on planned works is available from the service announcements page.

      Where can I get more help with video conferencing? Contact the VC Master in the first instance.

      How do I report a problem? If you have problems with this service please contact the servicedesk.

      Handy links

      FAQs

      Answers to many of the common questions asked of the Helpdesk can be found on this page.

      Q: How do I book a videoconference?

      A: Whether you are booking a point-to-point or a multi-point videoconference, the first step is to contact your technician. He or she will book the suite and check that the bridge is available in the case of a multi-point conference. You should give the technician the following information:

      • Conference title
      • What sites you are linking to
      • How many people will be present locally
      • Dates
      • Start and finish times
      • Any equipment to be used, eg document cameras, PowerPoint presentation etc

      Book well in advance. It is preferable to do this by email, rather than telephone

      Q: How many sites can we link into a video conference at the same time?

      A: It is possible to link up 100+ sites at any one time

      Q: Can we connect our video conferencing system to an external system?

      A: If you are linking to an outside agency, let the technical staff know well in advance. Arrangements should be made to have a test with remote sites before the actual meeting.

      Q: Who do I contact if a problem arises during a conference?

      A: It is best to contact the VCmaster on 155 (externally 01463 279155).

       

      Technical guides

      Remote ControlThere are a number of guides available covering the video conferencing kit in use around the partnership:


      Training

      Training materials are available for the videoconferencing kit that was installed with ERDF funding in 2010.

      • There is a module on the VLE, under the 'Training' section of the Course Catalog.  The code is TRAIN_NGNVC and the title is "Next Generation Videoconferencing". Contact Marion.MacDonald@uhi.ac.uk
      • A3 posters are available for the videoconferencing rooms and PDF copies of these can be obtained from Marion.MacDonald@uhi.ac.uk

      UHI TV (YouTube)

      • UHI TV technical videos (Using the touchscreen, remote, connecting a laptop, controlling the camera, using the computer, setting and using camera presets, dialling in, using TurningPoint)
      • UHI TV TurningPoint videos (Using TurningPoint during a VC, preparing a basic slide, integrating TurningPoint with Blackboard, TurningPoint demographic slides)

       

      User guides

      General

      UHI TV video series (Using the touchscreen, remote, connecting a laptop, controlling the camera, using the computer, setting and using camera presets, dialling in, using TurningPoint)


        TCS recording/playback service


        Using VC Studios and personal VC software