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Video Conferencing Certification PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Video Conferencing Certification OARNet Dr. Bob Dixon Megan Crabb, Arif Khan, John Langkals, Gabe Moulton Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio January 8-9, 2002 Presentation Rules: Interruptions are REQUIRED ! Why are the slides big and bold and boring?

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Video Conferencing Certification

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Video Conferencing Certification


Dr. Bob Dixon

Megan Crabb, Arif Khan, John Langkals, Gabe Moulton

Ohio State University

Columbus, Ohio

January 8-9, 2002

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Presentation Rules:

Interruptions are REQUIRED !

Why are the slides big and bold and boring?

And why are some of the slides “different”?

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Course Syllabus

Tuesday - Bob talks.

Megan, Arif, John, Gabe kabitz.

You interrupt.

Tuesday evening -

Bob, Megan, Arif, John, Gabe

help you “Make it so!”.

Wednesday -

Megan, Arif, John, Gabe talk.

Bob kabitzes.

You interrupt.

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The Internet2 Commons

  • A large-scale, Distributed Collaborative Environment for the Research and Education Community

  • A vision:

    • for enabling one-to-one, one-to-group, and group-to-group collaboration

    • in support of personal communications, meetings, conferences, and teaching and learning

    • for Internet2 members (primary and sponsored) and their international counterparts

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The Internet2 Commons

  • Levels of Participation

    • Non-Internet2 Organizations

    • Internet2 Member Organizations

    • Internet2 Member Sponsored Organizations

  • Requirements for Participation

    • Member organization to fill out Web-based form

    • If organization has gatekeeper, fill out ViDeNet form

    • Follow relevant standards

    • Provide any performance-critical network upgrades

    • Designate a site coordinator

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The Internet2 Commons

  • Initial Commons Management Team

    • Team Leader: Ted Hanss, Internet2

    • Operations: Bob Dixon, Ohio State University

    • Research and Development: Tyler Johnson, University of North Carolina

    • Outreach: Mary Trauner, Georgia Institute of Technology

    • International Coordination: Egon Verharen, SURFnet

    • DV-Videoconferencing Subcommittee Chair: Larry Amiot, Northwestern University

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About this course…..

This course cannot cover all you need to know

In 2 days.

But it covers MOST things.

By completing this course satisfactorily, you will be a

certified OARNet site coordinator.

But you are still responsible for learning the remaining

topics on your own.

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Site Coordinator Requirements

Officially defined on Internet2 web site.

Have personal hardware client

Have adequate assigned time for duties

Have required knowledge and experience

Be or work with the VideNet Zone Administrator

Support ALL campus users

Provide campus training and advice

Certify all local users and equipment

Participate in email list (s)

Maintain user directory

Schedule multipoint conferences

Keep records

Contact the NOC for support

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Video Conferencing

Video Broadcasting


Video Conferencing

Like a telephone call

Two - Way

Call up or Answer

Video Broadcasting

Like watching Television

One - Way

Tune In or enter URL



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Internet Unicast Video Broadcasting


New York




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Internet Multicast Video Broadcasting


New York




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New York




Internet Point-to-Point


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New York



Internet Multipoint




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Use in special room; rare

Use anywhere; ubiquitous

Uses ISDN telephone lines

Uses Internet

High installation cost

Low installation cost

High usage cost

No usage cost

Scheduled in advance



Professional operator

Centralized control

Decentralized control

Two Types of Video Conferencing

Traditional Internet

Usage at plateau

Usage growing rapidly

H.320 standard H.323 standard

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Requirements for Good Quality

Desktop Internet Videoconferencing

1. Fast PC. 300 MHz minimum. 450 MHz best.

2. Good quality video conferencing equipment.

Forget “web cameras”.

Forget software like Netmeeting.

3. GOOD Internet connection.

Most large university networks are good.

Forget 56K modem dial-in.

Cable modems and DSL are possible.

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Video Conferencing Products

1. Software-based

Generally slow and non-standard; not very satisfactory.

Examples: Microsoft NetMeeting, White Pine CUSeeMe.

2. Hardware-based, plug into PC USB Port.

Newest approach; will become ubiquitous

Examples: Polycom ViaVideo, VCON ViGo.

3. Hardware-based, PCI-bus cards install inside PC.

Added features and controls, beyond USB systems.

Examples: Zydacron Z340, VCON Escort 25.

4. Hardware-based, standalone, no PC involved.

Easiest to use, best quality.

Examples: Polycom Viewstation 128, VCON Falcon

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Recommended Equipment for

Video Conferencing

Desktop and Laptop:

Polycom ViaVideo - cost $400

Also requires PC

Classroom and conference room:

Polycom Viewstation - model 128 - Cost $4000

Also requires TV monitor or projector

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Where to buy Video Conferencing Equipment

Scott Dalton

SKC Communication Products

8320 Hedge Lane Terrace

Shawnee Mission, KS 66227


[email protected]

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H.323 Video Components

Local H.320

Video Room




Existing PC

Codec Card



Control Unit

Remote H.320

Video Rooms

ISDN Telephone


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Multipoint Control Unit (MCU)

1. Allows more than two people to be in a video conference.

2. May be physically located anywhere on Earth.

3. Functions as an Internet server for video conferencing.

4. Every person’s audio is always heard by all others.

5. Video from the person who talks loudest is seen by all.

6. Various brands have various capacities and features.

7. Multiple MCUs may be cascaded together

for larger video conferences. Or used separately

for more simultaneous video conferences.

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Multipoint Control Units:

Hardware (Dedicated, Real-Time Operating System)

Generally work well.

RADVision (and aliases Madge and CISCO)



Software (Windows NT Operating System in a PC)

Usually do not work well.

White Pine


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Important Administrative Topics

Continuous presence

Video switching algorithms

Testing endpoints in advance

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MCU Control Functions

Defining a conference


number of users

multiple windows

Operating a conference

dial out

dial in

Monitoring a conference

Monitoring an MCU

Cascading MCUs

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Recommended MCUs

RADVision MCU-323

9 ports at 384K.


Small and simple; includes gatekeeper.

RADVision ViaIP

50 ports at 384K


Powerful and reliable; ECS gatekeeper

Accord/Polycom NGK

48 ports at 384K


Many advanced features; no gatekeeper

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Commons MCU Test Facility

All three recommended MCUs are available

for testing and discussion.

Both remote and on-site testing.

Useful for evaluations and your own purchases.

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Live Demonstration of all three MCUs

Web interface

Telnet interface

PC Interface

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What is a Gateway

  • A gateway connects an end point using one network and/or protocol to an end point using a different network and/or protocol.

  • Examples:

    • ISDN to IP or ATM (H.320 to H.323 or H.321)

    • ISDN or IP to MPEG (H.32X to MPEG)

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Gateway (GW)

1. Joins H.320 ISDN video calls with H.323 Internet

video calls.

2. Calls may be initiated from either side.

3. May be physically located anywhere on Earth.

4. Various brands have various capacities and features.

5. Multiple gateways may be used for more simultaneous


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Gateway (GW)

Specific example: RADVision L2W-323

1. Up to 4 simultaneous video calls; 384K each.

2. Built-in telnet server. Provides optional remote

control and monitoring.

3. Customizable voice response.

4. PC remote configuration software. Provides parameter

settings and software updates.

5. Cost about $5K plus $1500/2BRI and $800/2V.35

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Examples of Gateways

  • Build-It-Yourself Gateway

  • Gateway In A Box

  • Gateway Feature of the MCU

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Build-It-Yourself Gateway




I2 or IP






(could be ISDN H.320, etc.)


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Build-It-Yourself Gateway

  • Pros

    • Cost savings for low usage, uses codecs that may be already available.

    • Can be on a router or patch bay so codecs can be easily repurposed for classroom use when not performing gateway functions.

    • Useful for non-H.32X networks such as MPEG

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Build-It-Yourself Gateway

  • Cons

    • Needs operator for outgoing calls.

    • No far-end camera control translation, hangup, etc.

    • No T.120 translation, must use alternative, such as web conference to collaborate.

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Gateway In A Box






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Gateway In A Box

  • Pros

    • Protocol interworking of control and media streams between an H.Series end point with another H.Series end point or voice band end point.

    • Incoming and outgoing call support using Gatekeeper to translate phone number.

    • Far end camera control may be supported.

    • T.120 supported if end points support, else use web.

    • GK and GW are often in the same box for easy management.

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Gateway In A Box

  • Cons

    • Limited products available supporting translation to non-H.32X networks, such as MPEG or analog.

    • Non-H.32X often requires a custom chassis configuration, as used on Wisconsin’s K-12 Motion-JPEG network to gateway to H.32X.

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Gateway Featureof the MCU with transcoding






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Gateway Featureof the MCU with transcoding

  • Pros

    • Operator or automated support for incoming and outgoing calls.

    • Simplified management of multipoint conference with end points using different H.32X codecs.

    • T.120 supported if end points support, or else use web conferencing.

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Gateway Featureof the MCU with transcoding

  • Cons

    • May need to replace legacy MCU

    • Or upgrade existing MCU to support gateway and/or transcoding functions.

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OARNet Gateway Services

H.323 Internet

H.320 ISDN

H.321 ATM

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Video Interface Unit (VIU)

1. Connects an existing H.320 video conferencing room

to the Internet, as an H.323 station.

2. Must be located in or near the video conferencing room.

3. Multiple VIUs can be used with multiple room systems.

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Video Interface Unit (VIU)

Specific example: RADVision VIU-323

1. Built-in telnet server. Provides optional remote control

and monitoring.

2. PC configuration software. Provides parameter settings

and software updates.

3. Maximum speed 384K.

4. May be a unique product, available nowhere else.

5. Cost about $3.7K

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Gatekeeper (GK)

1. Controls all MCUs, gateways, VIUs and clients in its

“zone”. A zone is any collection of H.323 devices

you choose to work closely together. The devices may

be physically located anywhere on Earth.

2. All H.323 devices must “register” with a gatekeeper,

before they can do very much.

3. There can be only one active gatekeeper in a zone.

4. May be physically located anywhere on Earth.

5. May be physically located in an MCU, a gateway, a router,

or a PC. But it is independent of them.

6. Multiple gatekeepers may be “neighbors” of each other,

in different zones.

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Gatekeeper (GK)


7. Provides calling with “telephone numbers”

and nicknames, instead of IP addresses.

A gatekeeper is analogous to a domain name server,

in this sense.

8. Provides optional control of what each user can do:

bandwidth and speed limits

access to gateways, VIUs and MCUs

9. Note that calls DO NOT go THROUGH a Gatekeeper.

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Gatekeeper (GK)

Specific example: RADVision embedded gatekeeper

1. Runs in a RADVision MCU or gateway.

2. PC configuration software. Provides parameter

setting, remote monitoring and user definition and


3. Built-in telnet server. Provides optional monitoring

and remote control.

4. 100 simultaneous registrants and 30 simultaneous calls.

5. Free !

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H.323 GK

  • Necessary for operation - but not mandatory in H.323

  • Required functions:

    • Address translation and/or redirection

    • Call admission/authorization

  • Some (coarse) bandwidth management

    • Centralized point for resource reservation

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The H.323 Zone

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Basic Operation

  • Endpoints register with gatekeeper to provide mapping between physical address and alias/E.164 address

  • Endpoint asks gatekeeper for permission to place call to another endpoint

  • Endpoint signals call with other endpoint

  • Endpoints exchange media

  • Endpoints disconnect, notify gatekeeper

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Gatekeeper Functionality

  • 'Services Definition' describes the various services (multipoint conferences, h.320 gateways, call forwarding, etc.) that are available on the network.

  • 'Zone Definition' provides a mechanism for describing users on the network in the local zone.

  • 'Neighbor Gatekeepers' provides a way to define other distant gatekeepers (for example, at other campuses), so that users can make 'long distance' calls.

  • 'Network Topology' provides a way to describe topology on the local zone. For example, a local zone may include several high bandwidth LANs interconnected with lower speed T1 circuits.

  • 'Network Control' provides functions for setting global network parameters, such as overall network bandwidth dedicated to H.323 conferencing.

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Network Control Functions:

  • Can anyone teleconference or only users that have established accounts?

  • Does the network use DHCP, forcing authentication by alias?

  • What is the maximum bandwidth allowed for each user?

  • What is the maximum total bandwidth on the network?

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GK Services

  • Services that are defined in the gatekeeper match those defined on the individual devices (e.g. MCU) and define the set of all services potentially available on the network. Services are defined by dialing prefix. The prefix also provides a 'hook' to the services' host device.

  • E.G. Dialing prefix 72* allows a user to hook into a particular MCU service.

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Direct v Routed Operation

  • The gatekeeper may allow calls to be placed directly between endpoints or it may route the call signaling through itself to perform functions such as follow-me/find-me, forward on busy, etc.

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Neighbor Gatekeepers Table

  • Means of determining location of an endpoint which is registered in a different zone

  • The neighbor GK table makes GK’s aware of each other

  • Each GK has a configurable “zone prefix” (i.e. area code)

  • I2 Commons users dial “out of zone” by dialing: 0 + neighbor GK zone prefix + terminal’s ext.

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Neighbor arrangements

  • Full Mesh: every GK must be aware of every other GK (not scalable)

  • Hierarchical: each GK must only know about the GK immediately above and below it. Multiple LRQ forwards are necessary.

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Neighbor Table Then…

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Neighbor Table Now

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The I2 Commons (ViDe) GK Plan

  • A special “Master” GK that knows about all the other ViDe GK’s (this one can have a 1000 neighbors, wow!)

  • Master GK has no endpoints, only neighbors

  • Zone administrators need only (must only) neighbor with the Master.

    • Only neighboring with the Master eliminates possibility of endpoint name conflicts in LRQ.

  • Eliminates the “full mesh” mess.

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I2 Commons Out of Zone Dialing (Long Distance Calls)

  • Z: ViDeNet Master Gatekeeper Exit Zone Prefix (0) This value is assigned by ViDe and will be the digit ‘0.’

  • N: Zone Prefix. This is the “area code” that identifies each zone.

  • D: Delimiter. This value is assigned by ViDe and signifies the end of the N string. This allows for N to be of variable length and supports future expansion of ViDeNet. The delimiter will be the digit ‘9.’

  • X: Extension. This is the H.323 E.164 extension of the endpoint and is assigned by the zone administrator.

  • E.G. UWM calls IU by dialing: 0 55018406909 5678

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Current H.323 Dialing Plan

Join ViDeNet -


The collective effort to standardize dialing plans

and gatekeeper neighboring.

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Univ Calif. Santa Barbara

Students and Professor

Santa Barbara, CF

Ohio State Univ


Columbus, OH

Purdue Univ

Students and Professor

West Lafayette, IN

Univ Southern Calif.

Students and Professor

Los Angeles, CF

Application: College Course

Argonne National Lab

Technical Control

Chicago, IL

Univ of Illinois

Students and Professor

Champaign/Urbana, IL

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Application: Telemedicine


2-Way, Real-Time


Operating Room


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Ohio State Univ

Professor Lecturer

Columbus, OH

Application: Guest Lecturer

in College Course

Lafayette College

Students and Professor

Easton, PA

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Application: Press Conference

with remote VIP

State Govt Building

Press and VIPs

Columbus, OH

Research Laboratory

Visiting VIP


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Barbershop Quartet Geography



North Dakota


New York









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How can I test my equipment

or just try this out?

Connect your H.323 client to the “Free Love”

MCU at Ohio State University.

To do so, set your gatekeeper address to

Set your speed to 384K.

Dial 70*1234 .

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Satellite-based Internet Connectivity

Small (2x3 feet) portable dish

$4K installed + $1.5K/month max.

2 Mbits down, 512 Kbits up, guaranteed.

Today: 30 tribal and minority colleges

2002: expand to 90

2002: Appalachia



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Useful References

1. Educause Quarterly tutorial article


2. The Video Conferencing Cookbook, and other

materials at

3. The Megaconference

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