TANDBERG in the organization
In the process, the task was to organize video conferencing between units. It was necessary to connect the audience with a bunch of people, while ensuring two-way audio and video communications.
When organizing such installations, a competent approach is needed, the following issues need to be addressed:
- What communication channel do our units have in our realities?
- What audience reach is needed?
- What information will we transmit during the meeting (presentation, documents, video content, DUO video, face-to-face, face-to-face, etc.).
- What functionality do we need?
- Who will be the central node, with a thick channel and where will we record and store all this?
- Provision of the hall (projectors, presenters, acoustics, stands, fixtures, corny electricity and Internet connections)?
- Who will supply all this to us?
- Who will service, train, and install all this?
- How to integrate all this into the general network of the organization?
- Are we ready to spend the N-th amount of money on the implementation of the system?
About service and training, this is a separate topic, it must be immediately decided, people are sensitive to changes in their work, they have to go through 3 phases: denial, anger and acceptance of the situation.
If you intend to install such a system, immediately kill yourself with the thought, “Do not put us HD cameras and drive us all through Skype?”. Skype can and will be useful for holding one-time meetings between small audiences (3-5 people), this will make it all possible. All such software solutions require high speed and channel quality. You will save on equipment, but get a bunch of cones and problems with installation, training and abandon the whole idea at the beginning of the way.
What kind of buns does videoconferencing give us?
- reduced travel expenses and time savings;
- conduct training, give lectures, presentations;
- fast communications and large audience reach;
- in real time, you can manage and control all units;
- quickly and effectively solve tasks;
- make decisions by brainstorming;
- Regular report of departments on the current state of affairs;
- keep a record and log of all meetings, latecomers can always click play and listen to everything;
You can think of a lot of usefulness, I don’t know why in Russia technologies can’t take root normally, especially in connection with the large extent of the territory and the “thick” channels of unlimited Internet, lately.
There are many complex solutions beautiful and different on the market. The first thing that caught my eye was Marconi Vipr (I didn’t find a supplier in Russia, I even called the Ericsson office (who bought Marconi)), Tandberg (it was decided to stop at Tandberg’s decisions, then in 2009 I bought it Cisco and at the end of the year, there were finished firmware), Polycom (maybe for a price less, but Tandberg uses our president ^ _ ^), something pushed away from Polycom then, a choice was made towards Tandberg.
The basic kit that was needed for the "budget" configuration:
- Tandberg mcu
- TANDBERG Content Server + 1U Rack NAS
- TANDBERG 1700 MXP NPP MultiSite
- TANDBERG 770 MXP NPP
The scheme of the "budget" configuration
If the number of audiences is not more than 3, you can abandon the Tandberg MCU, TANDBERG Content Server and NAS. You can also use the TANDBERG Edge 95 MXP with a separate camera and the ability to connect to multiple projectors / panels.
Requirements for the communication channel
It is important to consider not only the speed of the connection, but also the quality of the connection, which includes such concepts as packet loss and jitter. Packet loss is conveniently checked by the built-in utility in Windows PathPing , the analog for Linux is mtr, also a very convenient iperf or jperf utility with a graphical interface in Java, using it, you can generate traffic by controlling deviations.
If you choose between fiber-optic communication channels, copper or ADSL, then it is better to choose the first one, if possible and take the channel “wider”, you will definitely need an external IP address for each terminal, or if the networks are connected in a VPN, then select a separate IP range addresses on the internal network. We also launched on ADSL, at a speed of 128 kbps, of course the conference resembled a slide show, but "it works." Tandberg has developed a special technology for updating the image, the whole image is divided into sectors and only active ones are updated, i.e. if you wave, then only the zone with the hand will be updated, and not the whole picture, which will greatly reduce the requirements for connection speed, channel quality and traffic consumption.
INTandberg 770 MXP NPP - the threshold is set for the maximum connection speed for H.323 and SIP up to 768 kbit / s (you can increase the maximum threshold by purchasing an additional option), you also need the NPP option to transmit presentations. On average, with active discussion, for one hour of traffic at ~ 300-350 mb, this is with a picture quality of 720p .
The Tandberg 1700 MXP NPP- with a minimal configuration (without Tandberg MCU), the MultiSite option is required, it allows you to connect to 3 codecs at the same time. It is a 22 ”touch screen with a camera, which can be used as a regular monitor. The connection speed threshold for 3 simultaneous participants of 2048 kbit / s, for traffic, with active debugging, is ~ 900 - 1000 mb per hour. You can replace the Tandberg 1700 MXP with a TANDBERG Edge 95 MXP and connect it to 2 large monitors, one will have a presentation, the other will give an overview of the audience or the persons participating in the discussion.
It is better to find a company that provides equipment for a test period or for rent, you can choose from existing solutions and adapt them to the current environment.
Well, we figured out the connection and roughly vaguely imagine what Tandberg equipment is needed, we proceed to the installation.
ATTENTION!!! Update firmware. Firmware is updated using a special request to the Tandberg service center, only for official suppliers.
Issues that we have to solve:
- With the help of what to look and what to look at?
- What to listen to?
- What to speak through?
- What additional equipment do we need?
What to look at and what to look at?
If the audience is not large, you need to use LCD or plasma panels, the pictures are more saturated on them, it’s better to take 2 identical panels of the maximum diagonal and scatter the picture with the presentation and “faces”. If the audience is large, you need to use a good projector based on the parameters depending on the audience, lighting: 2500 lumens for an audience of less than 100 people and daylight, 3000 lumens for an audience of 100 to 200 people and daylight, 5000 lumens for an audience of more than 100 people and bright daylight.
Not unimportant is the parameter of maximum resolution, size and quality of the projected screen. The best surface for the screen, in my opinion, is silver-gray with a reflection coefficient of less than 1, it is more stable in extraneous light sources and its color reproduction is the highest, and of course you need to select it depending on the resolution of the projector, aspect ratio.
What to listen to?
The market has a large selection of different acoustics. For an audience of 50 people, full-time 100 W power is enough. It is better to use suspended low-frequency speakers, you can even take it with the built-in amplifier.
What to speak through?
An omnidirectional microphone copes with its functions, if you doubt that one will not be enough to buy another one (put it at the beginning and at the end of the audience). But for an audience of 50 people, one is quite acceptable.
What additional equipment do we need?
It is important to provide equipment with good protection against static electricity, to buy a good UPS, given the power of the projector.
For presentations, in each audience there is a nettop with a monitor. DropBox is installed on them, in the course of the meeting, file exchange is carried out through it, everything is simple.
System management training and control
It is better to immediately appoint a person responsible for this system, so that he feels the whole process of installation and configuration of the equipment, he himself participated in the installation. He should only deal with training and installation, and also monitor all systems in real time.
Management can be done using a convenient web-based interface and telnet. Screenshots of the web-face can be viewed here. To control via telnet camera, you can use a special emulator of the MXP Soft TRC4 control panel .
Well, for clarity, what is happening in the audience, you can install cheap ip-cameras aimed at the screen.
It is better to immediately connect and configure SIP, this is a workaround that will save the situation if something is mixed up on the highways.
As a conclusion
After six months of torment with denial, installation, equipment, communication channels and training, the technology took root and became ordinary, like a cell phone. Meetings are held every day and few people in the organization can be surprised by this. The audience coverage is simply enormous, more than 300 people per session, it is very convenient to conduct training, while its quality is improving, and in general any process very much affects it. The main thing is to ensure "accessibility of technology", and not to hide it in an iron fireproof cabinet. In general, Tandberg lives up to its value and prestige in the videoconferencing market.