What's Unified about it?

Andrew Sniderman on UC

Lets talk about Video

Lets talk about Video

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I just finished deliverying the video session for Masters so my head's full up on video.  Here are some tidbits on how to get the most out of video in R2:

  1. R2 adds VGA (860x480) and HD 720p (1280x720) for P2P calls.  We also upped the frame rate from 15fps for CIF to 25 for VGA/HD
  2. In OCS 2007 we only supported CIF resolution video (352x240); now that clients can do CIF, VGA and HD we added a way to do capability negotiation between endpoints to figure out the best resolution for a video call - this is done in SDP
  3. Bandwidth control - you can control at the pool and we send via in-band provisioning at registration.  Clients also will optimize sending resolution depending on viewing size selected.  So for example if you're viewing a small CIF size video window the sender wont send VGA or HD.
  4. We did a bunch of work to optimize the bitstream in VGA to bring it down to ~600Kbps; HD is ~1.5Mbps.  We use RTVideo (based on the VC1 standard for both); H.263 is also in the video stack for partner interop
  5. Client capabilities play a factor - for example HD requires a quad core box to send
  6. You'll also need an HD webcam - check out the TANDBERG one about to release - even if you're not doing HD the optics are amazing and make a huge quality difference
  7. Dont let your users run free w/ random webcams and no guidance.  Use webcams we've certified (TB one will be there soon) and give them some direction on camera placement (eye level atop a non-jiggly monitor is best), lighting (you need light on your face not behind you) and background (neutral is best not some fancy poster or somesuch with a lot of detail).  Use the USB Video Class drivers - the certified webcams dont require any add'l software/driver install; have windows update pull the latest.  Finally make sure you have decent network - even with all the optimizations we do for real time, video needs BW and quality is impacted by packet loss
  8. Monitoring server (QoE) now surfaces video metrics and we also raise add'l user events in OC showing if network / bandwidth are impacting calls
  9. Try integration with your existing video conferencing gear - if you've got recent Polycom or TANDBERG room or deskside systems chances are it speaks SIP and w/ a firmware upgrade you can get it to register w/ OCS and have Communicator Video Calls.  These guys are working on making this integration even better including support for ICE for anywhere access.
  10. Try RoundTable, er the Polycom CX5000 for an easy setup room system for the total room videoconference experience - 360 degree video, all the web conferencing trimmings you get with Live Meeting and individual video from folks in the room or joining remotely - adding video can be transformation for meetings w/ remote participants.
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