Video conferencing is a great tool…when it works. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions for software video clients along with advice on how to fix the issues.

Q. What should I do when users I call cannot see me but I can see them?

A. The following actions can be taken to try to resolve one‐way video issues:

  1. Check to make sure that you have a camera connected to your computer and that it is recognized by the video application.
    • Navigate to Settings in the video application then check the video or video input section. Make sure that the correct video device is selected.
    • If the video device is not listed, you may need to install drivers. Check with your IT department for the latest drivers that are appropriate for your platform, or contact your camera vendor for further assistance.
  2. If your camera has a privacy shutter, (for example, Cisco TelePresence Precision HD USB camera), make sure that it is not in the closed position.

Q. What should I do when users I call cannot hear me or my volume is low?

A. The following actions can be taken to try to resolve one‐way audio issues:

  1. Check to make sure that you have a microphone on your computer or webcam. Most laptops, along with most USB webcams, include built‐in microphones.
  2. Check that the microphone is not muted in the video application.
  3. Make sure that the microphone is not muted in your operating system or your microphone volume is set too low.
    • On Macintosh systems, navigate to System Preferences > Sound > Input.
    • On Windows systems, you can check this setting by navigating to Control Panel > Sound and Audio Devices > Audio > Sound Recording Volume. Check the sound level of the microphone and adjust to a comfortable level in the operating system and in the video application.If you have multiple microphones connected (i.e. built-in microphone in your laptop and USB webcam), check to make sure the correct microphone is selected. Navigate to settings in the video application then check the audio or audio input section and select the correct audio device.
  4. If you have multiple microphones connected (i.e. built-in microphone in your laptop and USB webcam), check to make sure the correct microphone is selected. Navigate to settings in the video application then check the audio or audio input section and select the correct audio device.

Q. What can I do if my computer slows down or locks up during a call?

A. These symptoms may indicate insufficient system resources that affect RAM or CPU capabilities on your computer. The following actions can be taken to try to resolve this issue:

  1. Check to make sure that your computer system meets the recommended settings for the video application listed in the HW and SW requirements.
  2. If your system meets the recommendations and you continue to observe this issue, adjust the Network Settings in video application to a level that reduces system slowdown. Move the Maximum Incoming Bandwidth and Maximum Outgoing Bandwidth sliders down until you find the setting that reduces choppy audio, video and high system resource utilization.

Q. What should I do when my video call is choppy, distorted or the audio is out of sync with video?

A. This is typically a sign of low or insufficient bandwidth to support the video call. The following actions can be taken:

  1. If you are on a smartphone or tablet with a 3G or a 4G connection, check the signal strength. If signal strength is low move to a different area or join the call over a Wi-Fi connection.
  2. If you are joined over a Wi-Fi connection at a public location (i.e. hotel, Starbucks, etc.) you may need to purchase premium high-speed internet access or move to a different location.
  3. If this is a reoccurring issue at your office or home, you may need to upgrade your bandwidth levels. Talk to your IT department or cable provider for different options.

Q. What should I do when my video application cannot detect my camera?

A. Some applications (Webex, Yahoo Messenger, etc) take possession of any camera they detect in the system, leaving your video application without a camera to use. To prevent this issue and ensure that the video application retains the camera for video calling, take the following actions:

  1. Shut down any applications that are running that would take control of your camera.
  2. Start your video application and begin your call, making sure that the camera is connected and turned on
  3. After your video application is in the call, start your other applications.

Q. What should I do when my video application continues to display the last frame of the shared presentation?

A. Unfortunately, there is no fix for this known issue. As a workaround, the system sending the content must stop and restart presentation sharing to properly display the presentation. This should ONLY happen if a system places a video client on hold to take another call.

In part one of this series we reviewed the 4 core design and technology components that are important for creating an effective AV room including video, audio, control and lighting. Although those are very important aspects of an effective environment, the technology “behind the scenes” is equally as important for creating a quality collaboration experience.

Understanding these background components is essential to recognizing what makes an AV room effective as a whole.

Wireless Mic Receiver: Used to pick up the signal broadcast by the mic transmitter and change it back into an audio signal. The output of the receiver is electrically identical to a standard microphone.

Audio DSP Processor/Mixer: A Digital Signal Processor, or DSP, is a special-purpose digital circuit that acts on digitized signals, such as audio. DSP circuits can replace traditional analog functions, such as filtering and more complex functions that are difficult to accomplish in the analog domain.

Amplifier: An electronic device for increasing the amplitude of electrical signals, used mainly in sound reproduction.

Video Matrix Switcher: A device for switching between multiple video sources including cameras, cable television, Blu-Ray, DVRs and more.

Control System Processor: A device that processes every signal sent out on an audio visual network and makes the signal available to all elements of an AV solution.

Surge Suppressor: An electrical device inserted in a power line to protect equipment from sudden fluctuations, or surges, in current which can damage equipment.

Codec: A device or program that compresses data to enable faster transmission and decompresses received data.

Seamless Video Switcher: A device used to select between several different video sources and, in some cases, composite video sources together to create special effects.

UPS Battery Backup: An electrical device that provides emergency power when the main power source fails. A UPS differs from an auxiliary or emergency power system or standby generator in that it will provide near-instantaneous protection from power interruptions, by supplying energy stored in batteries or a flywheel.

5-W's-of-a-Video-Conferencing-Strategy

Video conferencing initiatives continue to be an increasing priority to many organizations. With advancements in technology, the promise of connecting people anywhere, any time, on any device is now an attainable goal when video collaboration is implemented correctly. The first step in this process is to put together a solid video collaboration strategy.

As a starting point, here are 5 important for getting your video strategy off on the right foot.

Who will be using video?
More specifically, what business units will be using video? Will this be for executives only? Will different departments have access to the video conferencing equipment/services?

What will they be using it for?
What type of meetings will be taking place when using video conferencing? Will they be internal or also have external participants? Will they be point to point meetings or will you need multipoint capabilities for larger meetings? Determining your priorities for these meetings will help with demonstrating immediate value.

Where will these meetings take place?
Will you have dedicated conference rooms with video conferencing equipment? Will these be in all of your locations? Will you allow desktop video conferencing and mobile conferencing abilities? These questions will also help with determining what type of technologies and if you need to implement a BYOD policy.

When will this be purchased?
What is your purchasing procedure? Will this be something that you can move forward with once the correct technologies are determined? Does your organization view video conferencing as an op-ex or cap-ex purchase? These questions are important for determining the best way to purchase this equipment and if certain options like leasing might make sense.

Why do you want to implement video?
This may be the most important question when putting together your video strategy. You must determine what your organization is trying to accomplish and what the goals are with regards to video collaboration. Once this question is answered, you will be able to choose correct technologies and implement a strategy that will work towards those goals.

Once you are successfully able to answer these 5 questions your next step will be to determine the technology, and equally as important, begin creating a video adoption strategy. IVCi can help you build a high quality video conferencing strategy and implementation as well as assist with adoption and usage strategies.

Are you ready to move forward with your video conferencing strategy? Contact us for a free consultation.

Picture-4 Ways Video Can Enhance Customer Relationships

Video conferencing has long been known for reducing travel costs, saving time, and strengthening collaboration within an organization. However, when organizations utilize video conferencing to support customer relationships they have the chance to increase the ROI on their technology investment and boost both new and existing client relationships.

There are multiple ways that video conferencing can add value to customer relationships.  Here are a few that stand out;

1. Training:
Organizations can use video conferencing to help train customers on the product or service they are purchasing. This can help make the training more efficient and allows the ability to provide face-to-face training without needing to be on-location.

2. New Product Updates:
A great way to stay in touch with customers is by giving new product and existing product updates. By using video conferencing to give these updates, companies can stay connected face to face more efficiently with multiple clients.

3. Market Research:
The best way to determine what your customers and future customers need is with market research. Using video conferencing to connect with customers and gather their input is invaluable for R&D. These meetings also give companies a chance to strengthen customer relationships.

4. Adding additional resources during in-person meetings:
When on-location with customer, often times it is essential to have additional resources (i.e. engineers, technicians) there to assist with the meeting. Having those individuals connect to the meeting over video allows them provide overall support more efficiently by reducing the time lost if traveling to each meeting.

Understanding the many different ways that video conferencing can benefit an organization is imperative in truly understanding the value of visual collaboration.

To learn more about how video conferencing can assist your organization, contact us for a personalized consultation.

 

The below video resonates with many people as most of us have been on one of those poorly run audio calls. Never knowing who is or isn’t on the call, the constant interruptions, and not knowing who is typing in the background distracting the rest of the group.

The good news is replacing these audio calls with video can solve a lot of those challenges.  Here’s how:

  • The Role Call:  Since everyone is on video you can easily see who is currently on the call, who just joined and who is missing. No more distracting bloop bloops!
  • The Annoying Background Noise:  The active speaker is automatically displayed in the bigger window so you’ll be easily able to see (and call out) who is distracting the group with their incessant typing or barking dog.
  • The Lack of Direction: Video allows you share content, like a nifty little agenda, so can quickly and easily see what has already been discussed and what still needs to be discussed.
  • The Sleeper: Some people think conference calls are a great time to catch up on lost sleep; while you can get away with this on audio those sheeps jumping over your head are a bit more noticeable on video.
  • The Exploder:  Ever have that one person who all of a sudden freaks out and starts yelling about something that was said? Well with video you can see when one of your colleague’s is starting to get antsy then you can either work to placate him or prepare yourself for said explosion.

So start switching your audio calls to video and enjoy being able to see your colleagues instead of just hear them!