Videoconferencing at UVa
Group Videoconferencing Overview
Resources and Recommendations
H.323 videoconferencing (Internet-based) provides a lower-cost alternative to ATM, satellite-based, or ISDN videoconferencing. A large part of the cost of videoconferencing is the network. Since UVa offices, conference rooms, and other facilities typically have an Internet connection, that connectivity is already funded. So long as the remote site (the “other end” of the proposed videoconference) has Internet-based (H.323) videoconferencing capability, this technology can be less expensive than other services with comperable quality.
ITS has several recommendations for the hardware and software needed to set up a conference room or seminar room. One system is VCON-based and is comprised of several separate parts. Others are an Aethra endpoint or Polycom system. ITS has Polycom SP units and small TVs available for short-term checkout. For a desktop system, the PVX from Polycom has a similar interface to their larger units and can take advantage of an existing webcam and microphone. The Vigo from VCON runs software similar to their Armada system. Similarly, VCON makes available a software client (vPoint HD).
Another endpoint manufacturer is Tandberg which seems to concentrate on larger installations and set-top (rather than PC) appliances.
Any H.323 system can make use of a Multipoint Control Unit (MCU) to set up multi-party conferences. UVa has a Codian MCU pair available. The Codian replaces an older Cisco unit.