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Videoconferencing Services

DSS IT offers a range of videoconferencing services to our customers.

Use Cases

To help you select the service and equipment that meets your need, here are some common use cases and our top recommendations.

I want to . . .

. . . record a speaker, talk, panel, conference, interview, etc.

  • Borrow a video camera, wireless mic, and tripod from DSS IT.
  • If the recording will be posted to a public website and/or shared widely, ensure that you have a signed video release from the subjects.
  • Test that recording and audio are working before the actual event. Verify battery levels and available storage are sufficient for duration of event.
  • The Zoom videoconferencing service supports recording of videoconferences.

. . . interview remote job candidates or prospective graduate students

  • Borrow one of the Logitech Conference Cameras from DSS IT.
  • Use the Zoom Videoconferencing service.
  • Offer a time before the actual interview for candidates to test their equipment and connections.
  • Be sure to connect the computer that will be used for the conference to a WIRED network connection.
  • Have a fall-back plan such as a conference phone and phone line available, just in case.

. . . be interviewed by a remote party

  • See our general recommendations below.
  • For a single individual, using a laptop with webcam and headset is fine. If multiple local people are being interviewed, consider borrowing one of the Logitech Conference Cameras from DSS IT.
  • If possible, use a headset to improve audio quality.
  • If possible, arrange to test your equipment and connection with the remote party before the actual interview.
  • Ask ahead of time if there is a fall-back plan, such as a phone number you can call.

. . . include one or more remote participants in a local conference or host a "virtual conference"

  • For smaller conferences (2-50 people), borrow one of the Logitech Conference Cameras from DSS IT.
  • For larger conferences (25-100 people), borrow the Aver videoconferencing codec from DSS IT OR consider renting an appropriately equipped room or equipment from IET-Academic Technology Services.
  • The Zoom Videoconferencing service can accommodate up to 50 participating endpoints.
  • Plan well in advance! This will likely require significant coordination with the remote parties.
  • Be absolutely sure to test ahead of time.
  • Have a fall-back plan such as ensuring that a good conference phone and phone line are available in case the videoconference goes wrong.

. . . bring a remote speaker into a classroom

  • For a one-time event, borrow one of the Logitech Conference Cameras from DSS IT.
  • For a multi-day or course-long event, consider using one of the video-equipped classrooms managed by IET-Academic Technology Services.

. . . participate in a remote "virtual conference"

  • See our general recommendations below.
  • Consider borrowing one of the Logitech Conference Cameras from DSS IT.
  • If possible, use a headset to improve audio quality.
  • If possible, arrange to test your equipment and connection with the remote party before the actual interview.
  • Ask ahead of time if there is a fall-back plan, such as a phone number you can call.

General Recommendations

If you are using desktop videoconferencing services like Zoom, Skype or Google Hangouts, here are some tips to get the best results:

  • Connect the computer to a WIRED network port rather than using wireless. Wired networks provide more consistent bandwidth and are therefore likely to have higher video and audio quality. Some newer laptops, including the MacBook Air, do not come with wired ethernet ports--DSS IT has USB to ethernet adapters available for loan.
  • If you will be the only local participant at a laptop or desktop computer, use a headset rather than relying on your computer's or webcam's built-in microphone. A headset will improve the audio quality, reduce interference from background noise, and reduce the chances of "echo." Little known fact: the earbuds that come with most mobile phones (and that include a mic) can serve as a headset on most laptop and desktop computers. The DSS IT service desk also has USB headsets available for loan.
  • If you will have multiple local participants, consider borrowing one of the business conference cameras from DSS IT. They have high-quality cameras with pan/tilt/zoom and "speakerphone" mics that are designed to pick up voices from a conference room-sized space.
  • If possible, test your connection with the remote site ahead of time. While desktop videoconferencing services make it seem easy, a lot of things still have to go right for a videoconference to work smoothly.
  • If you have a major event like a conference or important guest speaker, please consider using professional videoconferencing services rather than desktop services and plan well in advance. Professional services are available from both DSS IT and from IET-Academic Technology Services. DSS IT is happy to consult on these options.

Zoom Videoconferencing Service

Zoom is a video- and audio-conferencing service. DSS has Zoom licenses available for use by any of our faculty, staff, and graduate students.

Some features of Zoom include:

  • Up to 50 participants.
  • Participants can call in via phone or use computer audio.
  • In addition to video/audio conferencing, Zoom supports screen sharing and shared whiteboard.
  • Zoom conferences can be recorded easily (one click), and recordings can be easily shared via YouTube or other online video services.
  • Zoom supports Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS clients.

Some use cases for Zoom include:

  • Hold a virtual staff meeting with participants at different locations.
  • Host a webinar for prospective students.
  • Remote interviews for job candidates or prospective students.
  • Provide remote advising services to students.
  • Hold a virtual conference to save on travel costs.

Each DSS administrative cluster has assigned Zoom licenses. Contact the administrative staff in your cluster to check out a license.

If you use the Zoom service heavily, you can purchase a dedicated license under the DSS umbrella at a cost of $10/year. Contact the DSS IT service desk if you are interested in purchasing a license.

 

Loaner Equipment

DSS IT has the following loaner equipment available. You can submit a loan request online.

Canon VIXIA HFR700 Video Camera, Audio-Technica Wireless Mic, and Tripod

nullNote: This equipment is for video recording only, not video conferencing.

DSS IT has one video camera, wireless mic, and tripod available for checkout. This system can record up to 16 hours of HD video. The wireless mic system includes a lavalier (lapel) mic and wireless body pack that will capture excellent speaker audio. There is also a handheld mic available. Video is captured in MP4 format suitable for easy uploading to YouTube or other online video services or editing in desktop video production software.

Example Use Cases:

  • Recording a talk or lecture for sharing via YouTube or other online video service.
  • Recording an interview for sharing with media or on websites.

 

Logitech C930e Webcams

nullDSS IT has two of these webcams available for checkout. These webcams connect via USB to any laptop or desktop computer. They feature a 90-degree field of view, suitable for use in small conference rooms, and capture HD 1080p video with digital pan/tilt/zoom. These webcams are compatible with Mac and Windows.

Example Use Cases:

  • Local panel interviews of remote participants
  • Collaborative small group meetings with remote participants.
  • Conferencing a remote speaker into a small classroom or conference room.

More Information: http://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/c930e-webcam

Logitech BCC950 Small Conference Camera

This conference camera and speakerphone unit may look like a prop from War of the Worlds, but it's really a simple to use device.null Just plug it into a laptop or desktop computer via USB, then use it with Skype, Google Hangouts, or any other common desktop videoconferencing software. This all-in-one package includes a high resolution camera (720p) and a speakerphone that can clearly capture normal speaking voices from a small-sized conference room (e.g., up to 10 people). The unit includes a remote control that can be used to pan, tilt, and zoom the camera so that you can focus on a speaker, whiteboard, or other feature content. This unit is compatible with Mac and Windows.

Example Use Cases:

  • Local panel interviews of remote participants
  • Collaborative small group meetings with remote participants
  • Conferencing a remote speaker into a small classroom or conference room

More Information: http://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/conferencecam

Logitech CC3000e Medium/Large Conference Camera

This unit includes a conference camera and separate speakerphone. Just plug it into a laptop or desktop computer via USB, thennull use it with Skype, Google Hangouts, or any other common desktop videoconferencing software on Mac or Windows platforms.The camera offers 1080p high resolution and pan/tilt/zoom on remote control. The separate speakerphone can be positioned away from the camera and is capable of picking up audio clearly in a small- to mid-sized conference room (e.g., up to 40 people). The speakerphone can also be paired to a mobile phone to allow for phone-in participants with high-quality audio.

Example Use Cases:

  • Conducting a "virtual conference" in a mid-sized conference room
  • Joining one mid-sized conference room to another similar remote room
  • Bringing together phone-in participants with remote videoconferencing participants

More Information: http://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/conferencecam-cc3000e-business

Aver HVC310 Professional Videoconferencing Codec

This unit is a professional videoconferencing codec, meaning that it can be used to connect to remote on- and off-campus locationsnull that are similarly equipped SIP and/or H323 videoconferencing codecs. Most universities and other institutions have classrooms and conference rooms that provide compatible equipment. Also,codec-equipped rooms are available for rent commercially in most cities from FedEx Office and other providers.

The HVC310 includes a high-resolution camera with pan/tilt/zoom capabilities and two conference room mics, making it suitable for mid- to large-conference rooms (e.g., up to 100 people). The unit can accept VGA input from a laptop to send both camera and computer content simultaneously. The unit can also be connected to professional hand-held and wireless microphones for very high quality audio from a presenter or panel.

Note: Using this equipment requires coordination with the remote participant(s). Please plan ahead if you need to do this, and give us as much advance notice as possible!

Example Use Cases:

  • Enabling "spill over" from a large campus conference room to another on-campus space
  • Conducting virtual conferences with many remote participants
  • Joining two classrooms together for collaborative instruction

More Information: http://www.averusa.com/communication/installation-guide-310-110.asp

Campus Services

IET-Academic Technology Services provides a variety of videoconferencing solutions. For fastest service, we recommend calling ATS at 530-752-2133. Most of these are provided on a recharge basis, though some are available at no cost for undergraduate instruction. Some of the options include:

  • Several available conference rooms and classrooms that are equipped with professional videoconferencing equipment
  • Portable videoconferencing equipment available for rent
  • Full videoconferencing services that include professional videography, audio, etc.

 

Most of these services are billed at $80-90/hour, and most include costs for setup and tear-down.

Make sure to call WELL IN ADVANCE! ATS services often need to be booked up to a month in advance!