Video Conference FAQ

A video conference is a meeting between two or more participants at different locations, or sites, created using software and computer networks to transmit audio and video data.

For example, in a point-to-point (two-site) video conference for two individuals utilizing a desktop video conferencing program, each participant has a computer, a video camera, microphone, and speakers. As the two participants speak to one another, their voices are carried over the network and delivered to the other's speakers, and whatever images appear in front of the video camera appear in a window on the other participant's monitor.

Multipoint video conferencing allows three or more sites to meet. The site with the speaker is displayed on the screen for the other sites to see. When another speaker begins, then that speaker’s site appears.

The benefits of using video conferencing include:

  • Reduces domestic and international travel costs
  • Eliminates the carbon footprint associated with travel
  • Increases the value of communication
  • Creates opportunities for real-time communication and collaboration

Benefits to Staff:

  • Conduct interviews with job candidates without having to arrange for travel.
  • Use a desktop program to attend cross-departmental meetings without leaving the comfort of your office.
  • Participate in job-related training and professional development from campus.

Benefits to Researchers:

  • Communicate and collaborate with research partners at other locations on a daily or regular basis.
  • Share and review data using screen sharing.
  • Participate in master classes and continuing education from campus.
  • Participate in seminars and panel discussions from campus.

Benefits to Instructors/Faculty:

  • Invite other students, experts and scholars into the classroom.
  • Participate in master classes and continuing education from campus.
  • Participate in seminars and panel discussions from campus.

Benefits to Students:

  • Interviews with prospective employers without leaving the campus.
  • Meet and collaborate with peers at institutions anywhere in the world.
  • Learn from lecturers and experts anywhere in the world.

Case Western Reserve has several types of video conferencing technology available on campus. If you don't have video conference equipment already available to your department, UTech can help you to locate equipment and that is best used given your situation and the site(s) with which you'll be engaging. The type of technology suggested to you will depend on the type of meeting being conducted on site at CWRU, the number of people attending on site, and the technology being utilized by other sites participating in the video conference. Generally, it is easiest to link two or more sites utilizing the same technology, but it is also possible to link sites using different technologies.

For example, users in a Cisco TelePresence (CT) room can directly call another CT room because both types of equipment use SIP technology. To connect users in a Cisco TelePresence room with, for example, a Lifesize unit that uses IP technology, the sites must each call a bridge line that enables the different technologies to communicate. For more information on the types of video conference technology available at CWRU and their interoperability, see the Planning page.

No matter what type of technology is available to you and the sites you want to contact, UTech can make your video conference possible. Email help@case.edu for assistance.

Students, faculty and staff have immediate, free access to Google Hangouts and Zoom, a web-based video conferencing. Anyone in the world can be invited to participate in a Hangout or Zoom meeting and can attend on any computer and most mobile devices. Up to ten sites can participate in one conference at a time. All that is needed is a web browser, webcam, microphone and speakers (or headset). No downloads are required (other than the occasional web browser plugin).

To access Google Hangouts, create an account in Google+ and use the Hangouts feature or open webmail.case.edu and click the Start Hangout button in the chat gadget.

To access Zoom, go to cwru.zoom.us and log in with your CWRU Network ID and password. Directions for creating a meeting and inviting participants can be found here.

For immediate assistance, please call 216.368.HELP (4357).

Depending on the type of technology that you and your connecting site(s) are using, you may be able to schedule and conduct your video conference without the assistance of UTech.

You generally can schedule a video conference on your own in the following situations:

  • You are using Google Hangouts for your video conference.
  • You are using Zoom for your video conference.
  • You are being called by another video conference site on your desktop or in a video conference room that you control.
  • Another site is hosting the video conference and has provided you with a number or IP address to dial to participate in the conference.

You generally will require assistance from UTech in the following situations:

  • You are in charge of calling another site that uses a different type of video conference technology than what your site uses. This will require you to schedule the use of a video conference interoperability bridge. See the Planning page for assistance in determining if you require a bridge.
  • You are in charge of hosting a video conference in which two or more outside sites of the same or different technology are participating. This will require you to schedule the use of a video conference interoperability bridge.
  • You require the use of a video conference room that your department doesn't manage. This will require you to contact the room's departmental owner for arrangements, as well as UTech, if you require the use of a video conference interoperability bridge (see above).
  • You require the installation of desktop video conference software.

If you encounter a situation like the ones above that require assistance, Email help@case.edu for assistance. For immediate assistance during or immediately before a video conference, please contact the UTech Service Desk at 216.368.HELP (4357).

You automatically have access to create Google Hangouts through Google+ and the webmail chat gadget. Anyone in the world can be invited to a Hangout.

Zoom can be reached by all CWRU faculty, staff and students at cwru.zoom.us. Anyone in the world can be invited to a meeting room.

If you require Jabber software for desktop video conferencing, email help@case.edu to request the software and account setup.

UTech can assist you with setting up a video conference. Email help@case.edu for assistance.

If you require immediate assistance immediately before or during a video conference, please call 216.368.HELP (4357).

Video conferences can easily be arranged by two or more location using tradition means of communication such as email and telephone. Once the participants have decided on a date and time for the video conference, one site should be put in charge of hosting the conference from a technical standpoint. If only two sites are involved, one should be assigned the job of calling the other site. If three or more sites are involved, one site will have to provide the bridge number that all sites will call to participate in the conference.

If the CWRU site is chosen as the host, you will need to know:

  • how many sites are participating
  • the video conference technology that you will be using
  • what technology the other site(s) will be using to participate
  • the TelePresence numbers, user names (Jabber only) or IP addresses of the other participant(s).
  • Contact information for a technical resource at the other site(s).

If you are using desktop software options, you will need a built-in or add-on webcam, microphone and speakers (or a headset).

Once this information is gathered, you can complete the planning process by emailing help@case.edu for assistance. UTech will then provide you with the information you need, and other information you need to provide to other participating sites.

Yes. There are quick start guides for using Cisco TelePresence (CTS) touch screens, Lifesize units, Jabber. Directions for using Google Hangouts can be found here.

For additional assistance and consultative services, please contact UTech Video conference Services through help@case.edu.

General benefits include:

  • Reduced domestic and international travel costs.
  • Reduced carbon footprint associated with travel.
  • Increased value of communication (compared to phone or email).
  • Creates opportunities for real-time communication and collaboration.

Benefits specific to faculty:

  • Invite other students, experts, and scholars into the classroom.
  • Participate in master classes and continuing education from campus.
  • Participate in seminars and panel discussions from campus.

Benefits specific to staff:

  • Conduct interviews with job candidates without having to arrange for travel.
  • Use a desktop program to attend cross-departmental meetings without leaving the comfort of your office.
  • Participate in job-related training and professional development from campus.

Benefits specific to researchers:

  • Communicated and collaborate with research partners at other locations on a daily or regular basis.
  • Share and review data using screen sharing.
  • Participate in master classes and continuing education from campus.
  • Participate in seminars and panel discussions from campus.

Benefits specific to students:

  • Interview with prospective employers without leaving the campus.
  • Meet and collaborate with peers at institutions anywhere in the world.
  • Learn from lecturers and experts anywhere in the world.

See the Rooms page for a complete list of rooms on campus that are equipped with video conference equipment. Not all rooms are available for scheduling. Please contact each room's scheduling contact for more information.

Yes. There are resources in the room to assist you with the TelePresence unit, SMART Board, projector and lighting.

Jabber

overhead shot of man on a laptop

Cisco Jabber Video is a desktop TelePresence client that enables individuals with a webcam to participate in TelePresence meetings from their Macintosh or Windows computer. Students can download the public version of the Cisco Jabber client for free at Cisco.

Jabber can easily connect with other Jabber users and TelePresence technology, such as Cisco TelePresence Sites (CTS). To dial another Jabber user, enter their user name followed by @case.edu (faculty and staff) or @jabber.com (students). To call a CWRU bridge or video conference site, enter a ten digit number followed by @, e.g., 216.754.2102@case.edu.

To communicate with video conferencing endpoints that use IP addresses, such as Scopia users and Polycom, Lifesize, Scopia Room and Tandberg units, the Jabber user and other participating endpoints must be able to dial a special bridge number that can be reached by both TelePresence and IP numbers (e.g., 192.5.109.51 and 1.216.754.2102). Email help@case.edu for assistance.

Jabber User Guide

Zoom

Zoom is the next generation of online video conferencing at CWRU. With Zoom, users experience cloud video conferencing, online meetings, group messaging and a software-defined conference room solution in one, easy-to-use platform.

Zoom allows the university community to host and join unlimited video conferences and calls from computers and mobile devices, offering the best video, audio and wireless screen-sharing experience across Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, iOS, Android, Blackberry, Zoom Rooms and H.323/SIP room systems.

For more information and training materials, go to the Zoom page.

Google Hangouts

Six people having a split screen google hangout video session

Google Hangouts enable up to 10 Google users to join a web-based video chat room. Hangouts can be started using the Hangout button in the Chat gadget in webmail.case.edu or within Google+. Hangouts also can be created in Google Calendar events. Invite anyone with a CWRU or Google account to your Hangout by sharing its URL.

For more information on how to use Google Hangouts, see Google's Hangout Help page