Integrated Media Systems & Services

IVDL Technical Information

We have provided below some basic information intended for the technicians who have to support live distance learning classes. We have included the current configuration, capacity and backbone technology of the distance learning classrooms here at CSU.

Equipment Used

  • We currently employ TANDBERG Educator systems. The Educator is based on the TANDBERG 6000 MXP CODEC.
  • The MXP 6000 CODEC is standards based. (H.323)
  • The MXP 6000 supports all major video and audio standards (H.xxx and G.xxx, AAC-LD, Siren 14)
  • It features a simple touch screen to control all conference and system functions. The system also has PTT (push to talk) student microphones along with automatic camera switching/zoom to student mics. Also integrated into the system are a Document camera, Win XP PC and DVD/VHS deck.
  • Our rooms feature large video screens (via LCD projectors) with separate Instructor, Student and Document cameras. In addition, a Smart Technologies Sympodium is integrated with the system to display PC (VGA) content as well as standard video. There is also a system input for Laptop PCs and several smaller preview monitors.
  • Our system supports H.239 for content sharing. However, we also employ a simple desktop sharing application called See & Share (also made by TANDBERG).

Interoperability

  • In terms of baseline interoperability, the remote site MUST have a standardsbased (H.323/H.320) CODEC from a major vendor (TANDBERG, Polycom, Sony, etc)
  • Skype, MSN, Yahoo, AOL video chat type applications are not compatible with CSU Video Conferencing equipment nor are they supported by CSU Distance learning technical support staff.

See & Share

CSU hosts a publicly accessible (although, obviously conferences can be made secure) See & Share server. Participants wishing to share their PC desktops simply need to first access the server and download a small piece of client software. Once the client is downloaded it can be launched and the participant is connected to the See & Share server and joins a conference. Once a participant joins a conference they can either view the currently shared desktop or request to share their own desktop. To really use See & Share to your advantage in a Distance Learning Classroom room you'll need an Internet connected PC/Laptop and a large separate VGA display. You could use a LCD projector or a large VGA capable Plasma/LCD. The video side of the conference occurs per usual using your normal displays. The content presentation happens using See & Share and PC and the separate VGA display.

Why do we use it?

  • In the past, during an IVDL class when an instructor wanted to show PPT or PC content, they had to switch the system to the PC input.
  • While that worked for displaying the content, the remote students could only see the content until the instructor switched back to the instructor camera. (disembodied voice)
  • The simple idea is that students at remote sites see BOTH the instructor and the instructor's PC-based presentation simultaneously.
  • The video side of the conference occurs per usual using the normal displays. The content presentation happens using See&Share and the PC and the separate VGA display

Testing

  • To schedule a formal test please contact the CSU Distance Learning Headend at 216-687-5270.
  • You can also place an ad-hoc test call to our test CODEC or MCU 24/7. When connecting to the CODEC you will see our Distance Learning Headend. The Headend is operational Monday through Thursday 9:00AM EST--9:00PM EST and Fridays from 8:30AM EST--4:00PM EST.
  • Headend IP address — 204.89.239.13 System -- Polycom F/X -- Call Speeds -- Up to 1.4 Mbps
  • You can also place a test call to our MCU. When you connect to the TEST conference you will see your site reflected back from the MCU.
  • MCU IP address — 204.89.239.10 MCU -- Codian 4210 -- Call Speeds -- Up to 768 Kbps (To join the test conference, use far end camera controls (FECC)
  • The MCU can host up to 20 video participants in a single call. The MCU features transcoding on a per-participant basis. The MCU also features adding VNC participants as well as streaming conferences.