Videoconferencing

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Videoconference Coordination
Planning Your Department's Videoconference Endpoint
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Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y

 

Bandwidth
For a computer network, bandwidth refers to the amount of data that can be carried from one point to another in a given time period (usually a second).

Certified Endpoint
A site that has conducted a successful connectivity test with the ITS MCU. Once a site is certified it may participate in a conference with the ITS MCU. However, for future conferences this site will need to be certified again as it will not be a registered site with the ITS MCU.

CODEC
The term codec refers to an acronym that stands for "compression/decompression." A codec is an algorithm, or specialized computer program, that reduces the number of bytes consumed by large files and programs.

Compression
The reduction in size of data in order to save space or transmission time.

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Conference ID
A unique number assigned by the video conference scheduling system that identifies a scheduled video conference with the ITS MCU Service. The Conference ID is required in order to connect or “dial-in” to the MCU Service. The Conference ID number is also required when trouble-shooting problems with a video conference.

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Conference Presentation
The display/layout of your conference on the TV screen. There are two options to choose from, Voice Activated Switching and Continuous Presence. The Continuous Presence option also has two choices for set-up to choose from.

  • Voice Activated Switching - Typically used for presentations, voice activated switching switches full screen video depending on which site is actively speaking. Also, if any site has a mic picking up noise or sound it will be switched to, i.e. rustling papers, pen taping, side conversations, etc.
  • Continuous Presence - The transmission of two or more simultaneous images. Ability to see all sites involved in a videoconference at the same time in a matrix form on the video monitor (ala "Hollywood Squares"). However, it is limited to just seven sites at one time, no more than that.

Diagrams of Possible Continuous Presence Set-ups
(placement of sites in squares dependent on the order sites dialed in to the conference)

4 or 5 Site Set-up

 
6 or 7 Site Set-up
4 site diagram   7 site diagram
*The 5th site will be a voice acitvated switch in this box.   *This box will also switch between the currently speaking site located in the smaller screens

 

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Continuous Presence
The transmission of two or more simultaneous images. Ability to see all sites involved in a videoconference at the same time in a matrix form on the video monitor (ala "Hollywood Squares"). However, it is limited to just seven sites at one time, no more than that.

Diagrams of Possible Continuous Presence Set-ups
(placement of sites in squares dependent on the order sites dialed in to the conference)

4 or 5 Site Set-up

 
6 or 7 Site Set-up
4 site diagram   7 site diagram
*The 5th site will be a voice acitvated switch in this box.   *This box will also switch between the currently speaking site located in the smaller screens

 

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Decompression
The act of expanding a compression file back into its original form.

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Dial-up
Use of public telephone line to connect with a videoconference either with our without operator assistance.

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Dialing Plan
Allows for a standardized format in assigning an identity to an end-user.

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Digital Transmission
The transmission of information in the form of "1s" and "0s." This information is suctomarily related to computer data taffic, but can also process audio and video.

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Dedicated Network
A network connection isolated from any other traffic, i.e. other computers or servers on same hub/switch/network.

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E.164 Number
The identification number assigned by UH for your videoconference unit. These numbers are only assigned to endpoints that are part of the UH system.

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Ethernet (shared or switched)
An ethernet is a type of local area network (LAN). On a shared ethernet each packet runs along the same path competiting for access, whereas a switched ethernet is attached to a switch that directs each packet towards the correct destination. The switched ethernet is usually a faster connection as opposed to a shared ethernet.

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Endpoint
Endpoint is a term we will use to refer to the video conference appliance, e.g., Polycom unit, along with its related audio-visual equipment.

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Firewall
A device that provides security for your network by only allowing authorized traffic to pass through. A firewall's primary purpose is to limit access, which can present a problem for those who want to do videoconferences. Firewalls are not part of the H.323 standard. H.323 uses dynamically allocated ports and is not very firewall-friendly.

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Gateway
A network element (node) that performs conversions between different coding and transmission formats. The gateway does this by having many types of commonly used transmission equipment to provide a means for interconnection. For instance, the gateway could link the H.320 site with an H.323 session.

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Gatekeeper
A gatekeeper is a utility that controls H.323 videoconference access on a packet-switched network. It requires that multimedia terminals register "at the gate", which is accomplished when the terminal provides its address. The gatekeeper translates network addresses and aliases to make connections. It can also deny access or limit the number of simultaneous connections to prevent congestion.

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GDS Number
ViDeNet developed the Global Dialing Scheme (GDS). It is a numbering plan for the global video and voice over IP network that resembles the international telephone system. GDS provides easy, uniform dialling throughout the world.

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H.320
A widely used video compression standard that allows a variety of videoconferencing systems to the community utilizing ISDN telephone lines. Due to the utilization of ISDN telephone lines charges can be incurred with this type of videoconferencing.

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H.323
A standard providing a foundation for audio, video, and data communication across IP-based networks, including the Internet. The standard is broad in scope and includes both stand-alone devices and embedded personal computer technology as well as point-to-point and multi-point conferences.

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Hardware
The term hardware describes the physical aspects of computers and related devices.

Initiation Start Time
The Initiation Start Time is the time at which the MCU Service will initiate the video conference session and begin to allow Endpoints to connect or “dial-in” to the MCU Service. This is NOT the start time of the actual video conference. The Initiation Start Time will be set fifteen (15) minutes in ADVANCE of the planned video conference start time to allow Endpoint Technical Contacts to prepare their rooms and equipment, connect to the MCU Service, and verify that the video conference is operating properly PRIOR to the video conference start time.

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Internet2
An infastructure being set up by more than 100 U.S. universities collaborating to create a better means for education and research. For more information on Internet2 please click here.

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Interoperability
A state of compatibility between videoconferencing units that may support differing levels of compatibility.

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IP (Internet Protocol)
The most popular network protocol in corporate and public networks. May be used by H.323 endpoints for audio, video, and data packet transfer.

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IP Address
An address that uniquely identifies each host on a network or Internet. An IP address has a length of 32 bits, and divided into four 8-bit parts, each separated by a period, as in 149.122.3.30. This kind of notation is called dotted decimal notation. Each part can consist of a number between 1 and 255.

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ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network)
An international standard for end-to-end digital transmission of voice, data, and signaling. In a videoconference, a system provides simultaneous voice, video, and text transmission between individual desktop videoconference systems and group videoconferencing system.

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Local Area Network (LAN)
A local area network (LAN) is a group of computers and associated devices that share a common communications line or wireless link. Usually a single processor or server is shared within a small geographic area (for example, within an office building). Generally, the server has applications and data storage that are shared in common by multiple computer users.

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Multi-site (or Multi-point)
Videoconference that includes more than two sites. The sites must connect via a MCU.

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MCU
Multi-point Control Unit or MCU is a device that bridges together multiple inputs so that three parties or more can participate in a videoconference. An MCU may also be equipped with a gateway that supports conversion or trans-coding between different video conference protocols, e.g., H.323 and H.320.

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Point-to-Point
Videoconference between two locations.

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Polycom
A company that creates videoconferencing appliances.

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Registered Endpoint
A site that has conducted a successful connectivity test with the ITS MCU, has been added into the database and has been given a unique E.164 number. Once a site has been registered it will be able to participate in ITS MCU conferences, regardless if it is used regularly or not.

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Requestor
The UH faculty or staff person requesting a video conference setup and MCU Service. This person is responsible for contacting each Endpoint Technical Contact and Schedule Coordinator to reserve the conference room and all of the necessary equipment prior to scheduling the MCU Service with ITS. The Requestor must coordinate any changes to the scheduled video conference, including re-verification that all Endpoints and conference rooms are available, that the Technical Contacts and Schedule Coordinators are aware of the changes, AND, coordinate the changes with ITS to ensure that the MCU Service is correctly setup to support the video conference.

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Schedule Coordinator
The person responsible for the scheduling of the Endpoint and associated facility, e.g., conference room.

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Software
Software is a general term for the various kinds of programs used to operate computers and related devices.

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Technical Contact
The person responsible for the proper maintenance, upkeep and operation of the Endpoint, including ensuring that the Endpoint devices are correctly configured and connected to the UH network to support appropriate use of the Endpoint and its participation in video conferences. Technical Contacts are responsible to ensure that the Endpoint devices are operating properly prior to the start of the actual video conference, i.e. at the initiation start time.

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UHNET
The University of Hawaii System's wide area IP network linking its 10 campuses and 5 education centers.

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Videoconference
Communication across long distances with video and audio contact that may also include graphics and data exchange.

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Voice Activated Switching
Typically used for presentations, voice activated switching switches full screen video depending on which site is actively speaking. Also, if any site has a mic picking up noise or sound it will be switched to, i.e. rustling papers, pen taping, side conversations, etc
.

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© 2004 University of Hawaii
Updated: January 30, 2007