Almost every day we receive phone calls from solicitors or directly from a witness expressing an interest in connecting Skype (public version not Skype for business) to a court or tribunal centre in the UK. Technically yes it is possible for us to connect Skype to a UK Court however it’s not straight forward. 
Skype is only able to connect to other Skype accounts so there is no route to connect (dial) any other video chat service or video conference solution.
We’ve established that UK courts do not use Skype nor do they advocate the use of it, however we do have the technology in place to quite literally ‘bridge’ Skype to any video conference system.

Our video conference bridging service also connects the signals from IP based Skype and other video chat platforms to ISDN and standards based H.323 video conference systems (Polycom, Cisco, Lifesize) which ultimately allows any two video devices to communicate.

As mentioned earlier it is not a straight forward process to link Skype to standards based video conferencing systems, that’s why our experienced engineers do the complicated configurations behind the scenes making it a seamless experience for both the witness and the Court room.

Despite having the ability to connect Skype to court video links we don’t really advertise the fact because we have found Skype to be unreliable and we cannot be totally sure of its security. The only person that dislikes an unreliable video link more than us is the sitting judge, and we’ll let you imagine their reasons for disliking unreliable video links.

So how do we cater for witnesses that want to connect to UK Courts using Skype? We offer them our reliable and secure alternative, Viewme!

Like Skype, Viewme is a application installed on a mac or computer. Viewme gives the user the ability to securely connect to our encrypted bridging service where we are able to connect directly to the courts video link service over ISDN which makes the link reliable and secure.

Another great security feature is that we use unique conference ID’s that are randomly generated for single use only. If the conference ID is not known then access is not permitted, moreover we only generate the conference ID’s the day before the hearing. We know Viewme works well because we have used it extensively since 2013. Both lay and expert witnesses have used the Viewme service to connect to UK Courts over ISDN and indeed across the Martin Dawes (Vodafone bridge) network.

So if you have Skype and want to connect to a Court give us a call because we can help!

Contact Daniel Shaw – Court Video Links Specialist on 0203 751 4577 or email him daniels@vc2.co.uk  – he is very well connected.

 Patrick Stewart – Video Conferencing London – @vc2world

From IP(H.323) or SIP Based Video Conferencing Endpoint to a Viewme Meeting Room

Please connect using the correct dial string for your make of video conferencing system.

For Polycom dial : gw.seevogh.com##(meeting ID) (Example gw.seevogh.com##1234567890)
For Cisco dial : 68.178.129.93@(meeting ID) (Example 68.178.129.93@1234567890)
For Tandberg dial : (meeting ID)@gw.seevogh.com (Example 1234567890@gw.seevogh.com)

 

From Viewme Meeting room to IP(H.323) or SIP Based Video Conferencing Endpoint(PC,Mac,Linux systems)

Click on the menu icon in the top left hand corner of the screen then click ‘call H.323/SIP client’

You will then see a keypad and an address bar.

Enter the IP address or SIP address of the video conferencing system you are trying to connect to then press the telephone icon to call.

 

To Connect from an ISDN Based Video Conference Endpoint

Please contact your meeting host for ISDN dial in details.

 

If the Make of your video conference codec is not listed above or if you are experiencing any issues please contact support on 0044 (0) 203 751 4580

 

Polycom realpresence video conferencing now available on iphone 4s, android and ipad2

Polycom is pleased to announce RealPresence Mobile is now delivering standards-based visual communication to your iPhone 4S.

With a simple touch, you and your colleagues connect to one another with standards-based video, providing an engaging, realistic experience. The RealPresence Mobile is an efficient, secure, innovative and high-quality addition to any video enabled network, seamlessly connecting to the millions of video conferencing systems deployed throughout the world. Unlike competitive applications that struggle to work in bandwidth challenged areas or are restricted to wireless LAN-only, the RealPresence Mobile helps ensure your maximum connectivity no matter where you are.

The new RealPresence Mobile offers even broader functionality when powered by the RealPresence Platform, including centralized management, multipoint calling, firewall traversal, carrier-grade scale, and full redundancy for an unsurpassed user experience.

Leverage mobility, position and retire quota faster with these components of the RealPresence Platform:

  • CMA® 5000 – CMA (Video Resource Management) provisions and manages the RealPresence Mobile for Microsoft Directory Services, call speeds, and call signaling preferences. The mobile application occupies a CMA license.
  • RMX® 4000 – RMX (Universal Video Collaboration) provides the required additional multipoint calling capability for the increased number of users with multiple devices. The exponential growth of devices on the network drives higher use of multipoint resources.
  • DMA™ 7000 – The DMA (Virtualization) provides a fully redundant call signaling platform that supports both H.323 and SIP call signaling as well as Gateway services to bridge the two platforms.
  • VBP® Series ST – The VBP 5300 or 6400ST (Universal Access and Security) gives remote users secure access into the corporate video network even when the remote user is NAT’s or behind a firewall.
  • RealPresence Mobile v1.1 is available soon on the Apple® iPhone® 4S, Apple® iPad®2, DROID XYBOARD by Motorola™, Motorola XOOM™, and Samsung Galaxy Tab™, with more devices to follow.

 

 

Free Business to Business Video Conferencing via iPad

We in the industry knew it wouldn’t be long before someone created an app that connected the iPad directly to any standards-based videoconference codec. Sure enough, Polycom has recently launched their RealPresence™ Mobile app for the iPad. If it is free video conferencing you are looking for, then grab your iPad and search for the Polycom RealPresence™ Mobile app. You won’t be disappointed.We road-tested the RealPresence™ Mobile client in a number of situations and  were pleasantly surprised at the ease of connection, video and audio quality.
We simply launched the app then dialled out to a Tandberg test IP address. No configuration of the router was necessary and we were able to send and receive both video and audio at 384kbps at the first attempt.
We carried out our next test sitting in our local McDonalds restaurant (at lunch time.) With our iPad connected to their network, we dialled into our RMX2000 video bridge. Again, we were connected first time. We entered the meeting pin and then waited for a colleague to connect from an ISDN site. Sure enough, within two clicks we were having an IP to ISDN videoconference over a McDonalds restaurant wifi network while eating burgers and slurping cola.
As part of their new ‘software’-focused offering, aptly named “RealPresence™,” Polycom launched the M100, a scaled down but fully functioning version of their CMA desktop client. Although the M100 is currently only available for Windows 7 & XP, there is talk of a Macintosh version, which is hovering over the release horizon.  CMA users can pick up the Macintosh version when they purchase a minimum of 50 client licences. The good news is that Polycom are running a  scheme where you can buy 50 licences (mixed PC & Mac) with a generous 50% discount.
So the next time you want to videoconference download the free RealPresence™ app via the apple app store and connect to any standards based video conference.
if you want to connect to more than 1 other  location in the same conference contact bridge@videoconferencinglondon.co.uk and ask for a virtual meeting room, which will give you the ability to connect up to 9 sites in a HD conference plus up to 30 voice calls in the same conference. We believe in connecting people and want you to enjoy the benefits of true collaboration without having to pay a premium.
Happy Conferencing,
Videoconferencing Team

 


Mobile court room through video conferencing
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The adoption of video conferencing in courtrooms throughout the United Kingdom means more and more cases are being heard via video link. This provides services connected to the legal services with the ability to reduce risk and cost while increasing accessibility.
We provide facilities for all hearings.

We have provided far end video conferencing services to courtrooms all over the world since 2003. Our network of partners cover every major city in the world, which enables us to deliver witnesses to the courtroom in any time zone.

Our “Portable Witness Solution” delivers high definition video conferencing from the home, workplace or one of our local  rooms throughout Europe. We work with solicitors who either have no video conferencing ,IP video conferencing or PC based video conferencing software.

Our aim is to help the legal proffession provide justice to all those who seek by helping winesses, expert wintnessess and defendants appear in court without travelling. for general enquiries call 08458 380 562. Or email cs@videoconferencinglondon.co.uk

Video Conferencing in courts

 

Video Conferencing (VC) enables any person who has an interest in court proceedings to be involved in a hearing from a remote location. In its simplest form, a witness at a remote location may give his/her evidence via a video link to the court with one screen and one camera in the courtroom.

The technology needed to establish a video link is relatively simple. A screen and a camera with a microphone is required at each location. Any form of screen can be used. An ISDN telephone line supplied by BT is used to transmit the pictures and sound electronically between the locations. Connection is made by dialling the telephone number allocated to the relevant location.

The Access to Justice Act, 1999 allows VC to be used for civil hearings, e.g. case management conferences, ancillary relief hearings, overseas or remote witnesses or in any civil cases in which the court directs the use of video and the parties involved consent to its use.

The courts listed below have VC equipment and it is possible for every location to connect to any other location on the list. For example, VC equipment in Birmingham can be used to give evidence in a matter being heard in Plymouth. It is also possible for multiple locations to be connected e.g. Bournemouth, Leeds and Manchester can be used to take evidence for a matter being heard at The Royal Courts of Justice in London. The network is extremely flexible.

Video Conferencing now available in Care Centres

To address the problem of delays in child care and supervision cases Video Conference (VC) technology in Care Centres (Care Centres have jurisdiction to hear Public Law Children Act Cases) is now available. The availability of expert witnesses has been identified as one major cause of delay and the VC equipment will provide the courts with greater flexibility for when and how expert witnesses (particularly medical) are required to give evidence.

All 53 Care Centres across England and Wales have now been equipped with mobile VC units and DCA is in the process of developing a national directory of suitable sites at hospitals, medical institutions and universities that could be used by expert witnesses. This means HMCS will now be able to arrange hearing dates and conclude cases more quickly and ensure that the costs to the parties and the public purse will be reduced. It will also mean that experts will have to spend less time travelling to and from court and less time waiting for their case to be heard.

Those wishing to make use of the VC equipment should make their request to the court before the Case Management Conference (CMC) or as soon as practicable before the full hearing. At the CMC itself any necessary practical issues can then be agreed, such as remote location, who will administer the oath and any other special arrangements required to ensure that witnesses are able to give their evidence freely.

Site Site Contact Name Telephone Number
Barnet County Court Jane Billyack 020 8371 7108
Basingstoke County Court Linda Thompson 01256 318 222
Birmingham Crown & County Courts Andrea Lloyd 0121 681 3120
Blackburn County Court Anne Wright 01254 680654
Bournemouth Combined Court Douglas Bloom 01202 502 890
01202 502 879
Brighton County Court Vicki Wilton 01273 811332
Bristol County Court Jerry Fowler/Rebecca Cobbin 0117 9106704
0117 9106719
Caernarfon County Court Anwen Wiliams 01286 684600
Cambridge County Court Graham Jone / Susan Bolton 01223224 500
Canterbury County Court Sue Nicholas 01227 819213
Chelmsford County Court Janet Littlewood 01245 264670
Cardiff Civil Justice Centre Tracey Davies 029 2037 6483
Carlisle County Court Peter Cowen 01228 520 619
Chester Civil Justice Centre Julie Burgess 01244 404 241
Court of Appeal, Civil Division Sharon Whitfield 020 7947 6891
020 7947 6917
Coventry Combined Court Neil Turfrey 0247 6536194
Derby County Court Mrs Linda Morris 01332 622595
Exeter County Court Becky Inglis 01392 415324
Guildford County Court Julie Eade 01483 595211
Hove Trial Centre Peter Dingle 01273 229 200
Ipswich County Court Robert Chester 01473 298412
Kingston on Hull County Court Anne Dawson 01482 621144
Kingston-on-Thames County Court Joseph Barnes 020 8546 8843
Lancaster County Court Stephen Sainsbury 01524 68112
Leeds Combined Court Micheal Binns 0113 254 8616
Leicester Crown and County Courts Jane Wainwright 0116 222 5899
Lincoln County Court Richard Harrison 01522 883 206
Liverpool County Court Gill Best 0151 296 2200
Luton County Court Natalie Robinson 01582 506700
Manchester Civil Courts of Justice David Morecroft 0161 954 1737
Medway County Court Pauline Rockett 01634 810721
Milton Keynes County Court Caroline Beechey 01908 302803
Newcastle Combined Court David Bean 0191 201 2055
Newport (Gwent) County Court Jan Mills 01633 227171
Northampton County Court Bernie Norton 01604 470453
Norwich County Court Dave Curtis 01603 728244
Nottingham County Court Nicola Conlin 0115 910 3588
Oxford County Court Neil Spiker 01865 264215
Peterborough County Court Mary Dew 01733 355421
Plymouth Combined Court Pam Reedes 01752 677 489
Pontypridd County Court Richard Roberts 01443 490800
Portsmouth County Court Yvonne Moorecroft 02392 893015
Reading County Court Neil Ashby/Helen Bateman 0118 9870561
Rhyl County Court Tracey Sullivan 01745 352940
Royal Courts of Justice Roger Little Hazel 020 7947 6581
020 7947 6357
Sheffield County Court David Schofield 0114 2812473
Stoke on Trent County Court Amanda Lowndes/Claire Barlow 01782 854019
Sunderland County Court Stephen Preen 0191 5680758
Swansea County Court Andrew Morris 01792 484 706
Swindon Combined Court Sally Snowdon 01793 690 574
Taunton County Court Graham Haines 01823 335972
Teesside Combined Court Russell Pennell 01642 343 047
Telford County Court Mrs Lorna Colling 01952 291045
Truro County Court Alex Maker 01872 222340
Warrington County Court Tony Allman 01925 256700
Watford County Court Colin Douglas 01923 699429
Wolverhampton County Court Ian Lowbridge 01902 481085
Worcester County Court Tim Good 01905 7307800
York County Court Diane Stephenson 01904 629935









Video Conferencing Equipment and Services for Installation & Maintenance – Cisco TANDBERG, Polycom, LifeSize, Sony, Vaddio

Firewall Port Forwarding for H.323 video

H.323 uses a single fixed TCP port (1720) to start a call using the H.225 protocol (defined by H.323 spec) for call control. Once that protocol is complete, it then uses a dynamic TCP port for the H.245 protocol (also defined by the H.323 spec) for caps and channel control. Finally, it opens up 2 dynamic UDP ports for each type of media that was negotiated for the call (audio, video, far-end camera control). This first port carries the RTP protocol data (defined by the H.225 spec) and the second one carries the RTCP data (defined by the H.225 spec).

As per TCP/IP standards, ports are divided into 3 sections: 0-1023 (privileged ports), 1024-49151 (registered ports) and 49152-65535 (dynamic ports). H.323 specifies the dynamic ports in the dynamic range are open. Polycom has added a feature to its product line that allows the ports to use a fixed ports (instead of dynamic ports) so that it can more easily traverse a firewall. Only the system behind the firewall need to turn on this feature, since the firewall will prevent the audio/video/FECC from the outside to come in unless this is enabled.

You must forward the traffic to and from the video endpoint through the firewall using the specified port numbers and protocol types for outgoing calls. To receive incoming calls, your must forward traffic using the 1720 TCP port.

The following are details on port forwarding assignments for various products:

Polycom Port Forwarding

For Polycom products, the following ports must be opened in the firewall and assigned to the IP address of videoconferencing endpoints (e.g. a video endpoint could be at 192.168.0.109):

Port 389 (TCP): For ILS registration
Port 1503 (TCP): Microsoft NetMeeting T.120 data sharing
Port 1718 (UDP): Gatekeeper discovery
Port 1719 (UDP): Gatekeeper RAS (Must be bi-directional)
Port 1720 (TCP) H.323 Call setup (Must be bi-directional)
Port 1731 (TCP): Audio call control (Must be bi-directional)
Ports 3230-3235 (TCP/UDP): Signaling and control for audio, call, video and data/FECC
Port 3603 (TCP): ViaVideo Web interface (ViaVideo users only)
So, a typical H.323 call would use 2 TCP fixed ports (3230-3231) and 6 UDP fixed ports (3230-3235) during the call.

Polycom M100 Desktop Video Software – from Help Book V 1.0 – Specifying Call Settings Preferences: Network NATs and firewalls provide security for your network by limiting outside access to your internal network. Some access, however, is necessary for video conferencing. Therefore, to enable your Polycom Telepresence m100 to freely place and receive calls with the outside world, while still maintaining protection for your network, you must also open ports in the firewall. If your system is on a network where the transmit bandwidth is significantly lower than the receive bandwidth, use asymmetric network to ensure that there is sufficient bandwidth for outgoing calls. To open media ports in the firewall: 1. From the main window, click Menu > Preferences > Call Settings 2. Set the media port range used by the system. 3. Open the same range of ports in your firewall. You must also open these ports in your firewall:

• Port 1718 (UDP): Gatekeeper discovery
• Port 1719 (UDP): Gatekeeper RAS (must be bidirectional)
• Port 1720 (TCP): H.323 call setup (must be bidirectional)
• Port 1731 (TCP): Audio call control (must be bidirectional)
• Port 5060 (TCP and UDP): SIP

Recap of all firewall port configurations for H.323 Polycom video & Network Products

LifeSize Port Forwarding

Login to the Firewall/Router:

Forward port 1720 TCP to the private IP of the LifeSize system.
Forward 2 TCP ports 60,000 and 60,001 to the private IP of the LifeSize system. If you have other services on these ports, you can forward any other 2 TCP ports in the 60,000 – 64,999 range.
Forward 6 UDP ports 60,000 to 60,007 to the private IP of the LifeSize system. If you have other services on these ports, you can forward any other 8 UDP ports in the 60,000 – 64,999 range.
(NOTE: 3 TCP and 8 UDP is the minimum number of ports required for a single point-to-point H.323 video call.)

Login to the LifeSize system:

Go to System Menu –> Administrator Preferences –> Network –> NAT
Enable Static NAT, and enter the public IP address of the firewall in the "NAT Public IP Address"
Go to System Menu –> Administrator Preferences –> Network –> Reserved Ports.
Enter the TCP & UDP port range you chose in the steps above.

Tandberg Port Forwarding

"In order to properly support a NAT configuration, the firewall will need to be configured as a one-to-one relationship between a public IP address and the private IP address for all ports in the H.323 range (which include 1718 UDP, 1719 UDP and 1720 TCP as well as other vendor-specific TCP and UDP ports needed to complete H.323 calls). For the specific range needed, consult your endpoint manufacturer."

Polycom GMS Ports:

21 (FTP) – Software Updates & Provisioning
80 (HTTP) – Pulling ViewStation/VS4000 info
3601 (Proprietary) (Data Traffic) – GAB data
3603 – TCP – Pulling ViaVideo info (since might be non-web server PC)
389 (LDAP and ILS)
1002 (ILS)
GMS listens for connections on ports 80 and 3601 (GAB) and in the future will listen on port 3604 (ViaVideo) and other potentials later.

H.323 Ports (IP based video conferencing):

80 – Static TCP – HTTP Interface (optional)
389 – Static TCP – ILS Registration (LDAP)
1503 – Static TCP – T.120
1718 – Static UDP – Gatekeeper discovery (Must be bidirectional)
1719 – Static UDP – Gatekeeper RAS (Must be bidirectional)
1720 – Static TCP – H.323 call setup (Must be bidirectional)
1731 – Static TCP – Audio Call Control (Must be bidirectional)
8080 – Static TCP – HTTP Server Push (optional)

1024-65535 Dynamic TCP H245
1024-65535 Dynamic UDP – RTP (Video data)
1024-65535 Dynamic UDP – RTP (Audio data)
1024-65535 Dynamic UDP RTCP (Control Information)
These ports can be set to "Fixed Ports" on Polycom systems, as opposed to dynamic.

Other Polycom ViewStation Ports:

21 (FTP) – Software Updates & GMS Provisioning
23 (Telnet) – For Diagnostics & API Control
3220 to 3225 – TCP Ports
3230 to 3247 – UDP Ports
Other ViaVideo Ports:

3604 (GMS Server Discovery) (Used by ViaVideo) (Broadcast)
Accord (Polycom Network Systems) Additional Ports:

5001 – Static TCP – MGC Manager (5003 can be chosen instead within MGC)
21 – Static TCP – FTP (retrieve MGC config. Files etc.)
RADVision Additional:

1820 – Gateway Signaling/Call Setup
2720 – MCU Signaling/Call Setup
d-Link DVC-1000 Ports:

The port 1720 (TCP) and the 6 ports 15328-15333 (TCP and UDP) need to be forwarded. d-Link indicates that NetMeeting and the H.323 cannot co-exist behind the same router simultaneously.

 

further reading

This new hot of the press will show businesses how to videoconference with ease.
As businesses begin to wake up to the fact that video conferencing is fast becoming the most important tool in the office, I am confident that small business will not be left behind in the stampede to become video conference enabled.

My confidence is securely underpinned with the long awaited launch of polycom’s M100. The M100 is Polycom’s latest addition to their suite of telepresence solutions. It is a PC based personal telepresence software solution that will transform your computer in to a fully working standards based video conference end point. Within a click of a mouse you will know how to video conference.

This piece of software is hot because it will ensure you can have

meetings over video with any standards based codec including Lifesize, Tandberg, and of course polycom. Don’t stop reading the best is coming..

After installing the M100 you will instantly have a Polycom solution in your mits, (lets not forget the fact that Polycom are currently the world’s number one video conferencing manufacturer as reported by wainhouse) you will then have the ability to access some of the video conferencing tools that will ensure you a place at any world summit.

When I speak of tools I’m referring to multipoint video conferencing, connecting to ISDN based video conference systems and of course sharing presentations. If that’s not enough to whet your video conferencing appetite, read on for the crème d résistance.

This software is available now with a RRP of less than £70 per seat and if that didn’t excite you the fact that you can download a fully working 30 day trial version today for free should.

To get your trail version complete this form. Use the software for 30 days then come back and buy a license for it. If you mention this post when you order I will give you £5.00 off the RRP as a small gesture of thanks.

You might find that suppliers, clients or other offices within your business may want to connect with you using video conferencing. For those who already have video conference devices say hi to them from me, and those that don’t have the equipment, simply point them to this page or ask them to contact me Patricks@videoconferencinglondon.co.uk don’t forget to mention this post to get the £5 discount.

And finally after you install the software read “How to start video conferencing on a budget

 

London based BAA Chief Executive Colin Matthews was unable to connect his Polycom video conference system to a video conference meeting held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel New York. BAA’s incumbent service provider simply could not connect the long distance UK IP based video conference to the New York ISDN video conference call. BAA’s Technical Advisor Paul Hayley was delighted when Video Conferencing London were able to connect the two sites with their on demand video conferencing bridging service.

Technical Director Mark Williams said “ Our on demand video conferencing bridging service is the mobile phone of the video conferencing world. We simply give businesses large and small access to the same video conferencing facilities that almost all large organisations currently use every day.
Not only can we connect different video conference systems together, if you can connect your PC to a broadband connection you can connect to any Polycom, Tandberg, Sony, or Life-size system.
We believe that if small businesses are to survive and indeed get to play with the big boys, they will need to adopt tools like video conferencing that will not only give them access to the people sitting in big board rooms but will also help them communicate internally.
Video Conferencing London is a privately owned certified supplier of video conferencing products and services.

Click here for a free trail

If you have an IP video conferencing system you can use our bridging service, which is commonly known as video conferencing bridging, to connect to ISDN video conferencing systems. In fact, you can connect to any manufacturer’s video conferencing systems including Polycom, Tandberg, Sony, and Lifesize. That’s not all. You can connect to up to nine sites (you plus eight sites) in a mixed video conference call (IP & ISDN), share your desktop applications (collaboration), record your conference and stream your recording to up to 2000 users who log in to your password protected stream.

What exactly are we offering?

If you take away all the jargon and fan fair, what we are offering is the ability to connect your PC or Video Conferencing system to any PC or Video Conferencing system. While you’re connected you can record, then stream the recording or stream the session live. What is not simple is the diverse number and types of applications that this opens up. Take for instance the Chairman of BAA who found himself unable to connect his IP based Polycom video conference system to an ISDN based system at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. He had a meeting scheduled within the hour and his incumbent provider could not connect the call. Within twenty minutes of speaking to our engineers, BAA’s Engineers were able to give the Chairman the green light for his scheduled call. A North London Student, who in order to graduate from her PhD course had to deliver a presentation to examiners at her university in Singapore, found out that the cost to hire video conferencing was more than she had, so she had to find a far cheaper alternative or face losing her PhD. She was amazed when she found out that she could use her PC to connect to the Polycom Viewstation in the university’s grand lecture theatre; more importantly she paid 60% less than the amount quoted by even the most basic providers. And for those of you who are wondering what happened . . . she got her PhD. We always have time for those who are running late and consequently cannot make the video meeting on time. We simply tell them to use their mobile phone to dial into the meeting where they can hear everything that is said and more importantly contribute their expert opinion.
What’s in the box?

The key to explaining technology to non technical people is to show them how it solves their problem. You don’t need to know what’s in the box, unless of course there is nothing in the box . . . well, there’s nothing in the box. What you get is a virtual key to your own virtual room which is located on our very real video server.

To use an analogy, imagine you have very high spec video conference system, the type that you would usually purchase for around £150,000, well that is exactly what you have access to, and that is what gives you the ability to connect to almost any video conference system, using your PC. Make good decisions faster.

If you were a baby boomer you may remember a time when the only way to make a phone call was to run 2 miles down the road to the nearest BT phone box. 60 years on do you now think video conferencing is just as inaccessible as phones were back then? The age were business class video conferencing is in the palm of your hands is not yet here, however the speed in which business is conducted dictates that to be efficient, effective and profitable we need to communicate often and well, so that as business people we can make good decisions faster than our nearest competitor.

I agree that there are lots of great products out there that will keep you connected; however there is only one product that doesn’t require any capital expenditure, long term commitment or organisational membership. Our ‘on demand’ video conferencing service really is available on demand. All that we ask is that PC users have a webcam, headset and mic with a fast broadband connection, and video conference users continue as usual.

If you don’t have a video conferencing system and are interested in using your PC to connect to any ISDN based video conference get the free trial version today. If you have video conferencing already and want to connect to a IP or ISDN system connect to our bridge today.

This guide should help you start asking questions of the business needs for video conferencing, and indeed choose the best infrastructure to meet you conferencing requirements.

Network Infrastructure
One of the first things companies should consider when choosing video conferencing is the type of network they want to run the video packets over. There are typically two ways to video conference which are video over ISDN or video over IP.

Video Over ISDN
ISDN is the traditional method used for video conferencing. To video conference over ISDN you will require between 2 and 4 ISDN2 lines. (ISDN30 in 64k format cannot carry video packets unless your PBX can ‘bond’ two lines in 128K pairs – this can often be done using an s-bus card that plugs into a PBX, however each PBX manufacturer may do it differently.)
When considering using ISDN for video conferencing you need to weigh up two things:

1) Cost
2) Packet loss/Stability
1) The cost to install ISDN lines is typically £249 per line. There is a monthly line rental charge of about £24 per line. A typical installation will consist of between 2 and 4 ISDN lines. Call charges associated with using ISDN lines may vary depending on your provider. We provide ISDN lines at wholesale prices to ensure customers can benefit from rates that are typically 80% below those of BT retail (see article).

A typical one hour UK to US video call will cost around £18: a UK to national call will cost about £6 per hour.
2) ISDN is the traditional method for video conferencing and it is still predominately used by many organisations. Since video packets over ISDN do not travel along the same exchange as IP packets (internet Protocol) the risk of the ‘bottle neck’ effect is eliminated and all packets sent from the far end site arrive at the near end site quickly and in the correct order. (Packet loss occurs when video packets do not arrive in the correct order which can cause the image to freeze or become blocky.)
Video over ISDN is in most cases the most stable way to video conference. It is worth noting that ISDN based video conference systems require a bridging facility to communicate with IP based video conference systems and vice versa. We offer full managed and unmanaged bridging facilities.

Video Over IP
Video conferencing over IP is fast becoming common place in organisations. There is one overwhelming reason for this change: that is the cost to increase IP bandwidth capacity has been falling and still continues to fall.

There are 3 main levels of service (DSL, ADSL, SDSL) available which offer different quality of service and bandwidth capacities, with DSL being the lowest and SDSL being the highest.
We recommend SDSL for video conferencing. Most companies have some internet connection and can run video conferencing without upgrading. We usually advise companies considering using video conferencing over IP to look at their network usage over the past 12 months and consider future increases/decreases and operational changes that may affect bandwidth usage. Each case may vary depending of usage but as a rule of thumb we recommend a provision of 1.5Mbps to 2Mbps be set aside for video conferencing.

The stability of a video conference over IP is dependent on many networking factors including size and stability of bandwidth for both yours and the far site’s network. For more information about video conferencing over IP please contact one of our networking specialists.

Cost
There are no call charges associated with using video over IP, unless you connect to an ISDN based video conference system. You will be charged for connection to an ISDN gateway; typical ISDN gateway connection charges range from £60 – £160 per hour depending on level of service, connection speed and operator.

Bandwidth Requirements – now & in the future
For both IP and ISDN networks you will need to consider who you will be conferencing with on a regular basis. Ideally you will have the same type of network as other sites within your group. We provide bridging services to allow you to conference with IP from ISDN and vice versa.
Once you have decided on your network you will need to consider what features you want from a video conference unit.

 

Hardware Functionality
In general there are only really two add on options to consider: Multi Point capabilities (connecting with you plus two or more sites) and People & Content (sharing presentations, PowerPoint, spreadsheets etc. within the conference). Since systems ship with the ability to share presentations IP to IP multipoint upgrade is often the only choice.

 

We are sure this snippet of information will not be enough for you to make a purchasing decision but hopefully it will help raise some questions that aid your decision making process. We have a host of facilities available including on site demonstrations and test calls. For more information or to book a demonstration contact our customer services team on 08458 380562, use the contact form or email cs@videoconferencinglondon.co.uk

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