What big eyes you have.
And what big … ears … you have, too.
The first time the author of today's haiku ever saw Internet video, he wasn't exactly impressed. What he saw, way back then, was a postage stamp-sized window that showed what looked to be a still photo of a person, along with the caption Buffering. All of a sudden, the person in the photo would engage in a few spasmodic, insect-like movements, then resume buffering again. Watching this "video," the author's first instinct was to roll up a newspaper (back in those days people actually had newspapers) and swat
that hideous, insect-like thing on the monitor.
And then turn around and swat the person who wasted his time by calling him over and making him watch that hideous, insect-like thing on the monitor.
Historical note. In 1964, Bell Telephone installed "picture phones" in the Prudential Building in Chicago, the National Geographic Society Building in Washington, and Grand Central Station in New York. People could make an appointment to use the picture phone to call someone who, needless to say, had to be in the Prudential Building in Chicago, the National Geographic Society Building in Washington, or Grand Central Station in New York. Assuming you could coordinate schedules, you could place a three-minute picture phone call from Chicago to New York for just $27. Even Bell Telephone admitted that "the attractiveness of this system is limited."
Needless to say, video communication has come a long way since the debut of the PicturePhone, and from the first halting attempts to transmit video over the Internet. For example, with Microsoft Lync Server 2010, administrators have the option of allowing Microsoft Lync users to conduct video conversations using high definition video.
Oh, you noticed that, did you? Well, you're right, we did say that administrators have the option of allowing users to conduct video conversations using high definition video. HD video is obviously nicer (bigger, brighter, clearer – you name it) than other forms of video; at the same time, however, HD video requires a huge amount of network bandwidth. If bandwidth is a concern, then you might not want people conversing in high definition video.
Note. In case you're wondering, no one ever wants to converse with the author in high definition video. But we don't think that's entirely due to bandwidth concerns.
In Lync Server 2010, you can set the maximum allowed video resolution to any of the following:
· Hd720p15M - High definition, with a resolution of 1280 x 720 and aspect ratio 16:9.
· VGA600K - VGA, with a resolution of 640 x 480, 25 fps with the aspect ratio 4:3. (This, by the way, is the default value.)
· CIF250K - Common Intermediate Format (CIF) video format, 15 fps with a resolution of 352 x 288.
And how exactly do you specify the maximum allowed video resolution? Why, by using one of the CsMediaConfiguration cmdlets (Get-CsMediaConfiguration, New-CsMediaConfiguration, Remove-CsMediaConfiguration, and Set-CsMediaConfiguration), of course:
Set-CsMediaConfiguration –Identity global – MaxVideoRateAllowed Hd720p15M
That's all there is to it. Incidentally, these media configuration settings can be assigned to the service scope (for the Mediation Server service) and the site scope as well as the global scope. Why do you care about that? Well, suppose you have a site that doesn't have particularly robust network connections. (Or maybe the people in that site just aren't very attractive.) In that case, you could enable HD video at the global scope, but create a separate collection of media configuration settings for that one site, liming those users to a maximum video rate of VGA or CIF.
Oh, and you can manage a few other items of interest by using the CsMediaConfiguration cmdlets; for example, you can enable of disable QoS (Quality of Service), and you can configure the encryption settings for client applications. A pretty handy little family of cmdlets, if you ask us.
As you can see, Internet video has come a long way. For example, now the author no longer has to content himself watching hideous, insect-like creatures onscreen. Instead, he can watch classic Internet videos like Tootin' Bathtub Baby Cousins, Fred Goes Swimming, Keyboard Cat, Sneezing Baby Panda, and many, many more.
Like we said, Internet video has, uh, come a long way ….