Video Conferencing (VCon) is a modern communications tool that can save time and money, and can support a Carbon Management agenda. It can also remove uncertainties due to inclement weather.
Most universities and large companies have VCon facilities so it has become a viable alternate to physical meetings. Universities have started to use VCon to support:
- Staff recruitment
- International and PG student recruitment
- Business meetings
- Distributed research groups
- Distributed teaching
- Student Viva meetings
- Technology transfer
VCon can be delivered over the Internet or ISDN. Internet sessions do not incur call charges, and can offer high quality video and audio, band width permitting. ISDN based VCon is still used by some companies who lack full Internet access. ISDN uses at least 2 telephone lines (and in some cases up to 6 to get high quality video). This will incur calls charges which will be passed on to the end user. Our technical support team can advise on the cost of planned ISDN sessions.
VCon facilities are available in the Peter Froggatt Centre, The McClay Library, Committee Room C (Administration Building) and 50 Elmwood Ave.
AVS are currently piloting a standards based desktop option, which will permit a user to participate directly from their computer to a professional vcon setup.
If would like to explore options for VCon from your computer check the the links below and/or contact the technical team.
For support or further information about video conferencing facilities, please contact Audio Visual Services by:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or
- Telephone: 02890 976499
Setting up Video Conferencing
Setting up a VCon meeting is straight forward. Ask if the remote site has VCon facilities. If it does, download the booking form (.docx file - 1 page), complete it and return to Audio Visual Services at email@example.com or 028 9097 6499 We will work with the remote site to set up a VCon link. That's really all there is to it!
For further details, or to see a demonstration of our VCon facilities please contact Audio Visual Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 028 90976499.
VCon is like any new form of communication, it does take some acclimatization. We recommend that you practice using VCon in a test situation before relying on it in a critical meeting. We also ask that you give us one weeks notice to allow us to check out the connection.
Video Conferencing from your own device
Videoconferencing can also be achieved from most modern computers, tablets and Smart Phones.
These "VCon Lite" systems tend not to offer the same quality and features of dedicated systems, but are suitable for informal and person to person meetings.
The most popular VCon Lite system is Skype, which is available for Macs, PCs and a wide range of Smartphones, including iPhones.
Skype key facts include:
- Free for Internet conferencing
- Proprietary system, requiring all conference delegates to have an account
- Can be used for video or audio conferencing. Media Services can advise on compatible microphones and cameras
- Offers limited collaboration tools
- Skype is an independent system that requires its own username and password
Note: Media Services does not offer a full support service for Skype, but will provide advice on a best endeavour basis.
To install Skype on a PC carry out the following:
- Go to to Skype.com
- Select the "Join Skype" tab
- Select the Create an Account" tab if you don't have an account
- Follow the instructions on the screen
If required Skype will download software on to your PC, simply follow the install instructions.
Upon launching Skype you will see the Welcome Skype screen. If you tick "Sign me in when Skype starts" box then Skype will remember your password and sign you in automatically.
Skype is very intuitive, simply set up your main contacts and you are ready to go. To make a call, select a contact and press the "Call" button.
Skype's main role is to support video calls. It is not a full document collaboration application (such as "Google Docs"). However it does offer Instant Messaging (IM), and the ability to share your screen, which could be used for presentation purposes.
If you would like a demonstration of Skype or any of the University's Videoconferencing options please email email@example.com or phone 028 9097 6499.
Last updated April 2016