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Videoconferencing Quick Reference Guide

General Questions

Connectivity Questions

Advanced User Questions

General Questions

What information do I need to schedule a videoconference?

First, you will need to gather information about the videoconference, such as the participating locations/sites, contact information, and technical details (if available). Getting the information in advance will make the process easier and will allow for more time to address any technical issues or if an alternative plan is needed.

How do I schedule a videoconference?

Follow the steps below to schedule a videoconference session:

  1. Go to My Conferences.
  2. Click  +Add a Conference
  3. Select Conference Information to provide the type of conference; if a computer presentation is planned, or other details as needed.
  4. Select Date and Time  to identify the videoconference start and end time on a single or multiple day schedule.  Note: There are three options for repeated sessions that should allow you to schedule your events
  5. Select Locations to choose an address for the videoconference.   Note: This reservation system only allows scheduling of Wieboldt 421.  All other rooms listed must be scheduled prior to this reservation.  Indicate the rooms which you have scheduled in the text box.
  6. Select Register off site locations  to add technical details for remote sites which you will be conferencing with in the future.  These sites are saved to your profile and can be accessed for any conference you schedule.
  7. Select Multi-Site Reservation for resources to host a videoconference with more than two sites at a time which can support telephone connections for those who cannot attend on-site.

Upon submitting your request, if there any conflicts with the Wieboldt 421 room reservation, you will be notified.  A Videoconference Support Technician will contact you to discuss the details of the event and to coordinate testing with any off-campus location.

How do I view or modify a scheduled a videoconference session?

Follow the steps below to view or modify a scheduled videoconference session:

  1. Go to My Conferences to find a list of all future videoconferences on your schedule.
  2. Click the Conference Name to view specific details of the scheduled videoconference session.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and select Modify Conference.
  4. Modify the videoconference details as needed (time, date, location, etc).
  5. Enter the reason for the modification.
  6. Click Update to save your modifications.
Where can I find a videoconference room on campus?

A list of public and department-owned videoconference rooms is available on the Northwestern IT Web site. Public videoconference rooms are supported by Northwestern IT and require a reservation prior to use. To reserve a department-owned videoconference room, you will need to contact the department coordinator.  Please note that  use of these rooms and availability will be limited. Also note that support may not be available as many department-owned videoconference rooms are Northwestern IT-supported.

How do I host a videoconference call with one other location?

In order to have a videoconference call with another location, you must do the following:first make sure that you reserve the videoconference rooms on the Northwestern campus. If the other location is not on the Northwestern campus, make sure they are scheduled and are identified as H.323 compatible. Your contact at the off-campus location will need to verify this information.

After the rooms have been secured, you will need to create a videoconference reservation using the My Conferences Web reservation system.

How do I host a videoconference call with multiple locations?

In order to have a videoconference call with another location, you must do the following:

Videoconferencing support will contact you to coordinate a test with the remote sites.  NOTE: A minimum one week advance notice to coordinate site testing and verification.

How do I invite non-NU guests to my videoconference?

Non-NU guests will need to have H.323 videoconferencing capabilities at their location.

If there are only two locations in the videoconference, you can exchange videoconference IP addresses, then conduct a call to test the connectivity.

If there are more than two locations in the videoconference, you must reserve a multi-site videoconference using the My Conferences Web reservation system. Information for non-NU locations to participate is provided immediately after your reservation is submitted.

How do I join a videoconference call already in progress?

To join a videoconference call already underway, you will most likely need the video bridge (MCU) number. Dial the number (500#####) to connect. Be aware that connecting to a videoconference after it has begun may cause a disruption.

How do I connect to a scheduled videoconference whish is using the campus video bridge (MCU)?

An MCU phone number is required to connect to the videoconference bridge and is provided to the videoconference coordinator who is scheduling the video bridge. This number always begins with 500 and will end with the last 5 digits of the coordinator’s office extension.

Test your videoconferencing system to ensure it is registered with the NU Gatekeeper. If your videoconference system is not registered to the Northwestern Gatekeeper, contact video@LISTSERV.it.northwestern.edu.


Connectivity Questions

While in a conference call, I cannot hear even though other participants can.  What should I check?

Check each device that has audio adjustments:

Why is my videoconference freezing or "hanging up"?

A problem with the network or the videoconference system may be causing your videoconference call to freeze or "hang up". If using the videoconference bridge (MCU), contact Northwestern IT at consultant@northwestern.edu for assistance, otherwise see the troubleshooting tips below:

Why does the audio in my videoconference sound choppy?

In most cases, issues with audio performance are related to either the network or the videoconference system and may be resolved by:

Ask the other participating location to contact their videoconferencing support team for assistance.

If you are using the videoconference bridge (MCU), contact Northwestern IT at consultant@northwestern.edu for assistance.

Advanced User Questions

How do I prevent firewalls from blocking information from my videoconference call?

You will need to work directly with your technical support person to troubleshoot firewall issues.

Each type of videoconference system (manufacturer) has a unique range of network ports that need to be available in order to maintain a stable videoconference. You should contact the support desk of the manufacturer and request information on the ports and forward it to your networking department. Many systems have options to choose a specific range of ports to use, thus minimizing the port requirements through the firewall. These settings can usually be found in the Admin/Networking menu on the videoconference unit.

How do I initiate a direct call to an existing videoconference room that has room-based videoconference equipment?

Find out the IP Address or H.323 video number of the videoconference system you need to connect with.

Enter the number into your videoconference unit and initiate a call. Make sure to have someone in the other room to receive the call and test the connectivity with you.

How do I share my data (presentation, word document, spreadsheet, etc.) with other videoconference participants?

In order to share data, all videoconference systems are required to support H.239 – the standard for data sharing in videoconferencing. Consult with your technical support person and check the list of videoconferencing rooms for detailed information on equipment capabilities.

  1. Connect your laptop to the videoconference system (usually with a VGA cable) and set your computer/laptop display resolution to 1024x768 @ 60Hz.
  2. Start the presentation mode using the videoconference remote control (or control system) provided in the room.
  3. Begin sharing your computer image to the others on the videoconference call.

Note: If you see an error message, check to see if your computer monitor resolution is set to the appropriate setting and refresh rate.  The error message should explain the problem.  Contact your local support team for assistance if the error repeats.

Can more than one person share data at the same time?

No. Data sharing is only possible for one location at a time during room-based videoconferencing sessions.  The location that is sharing data must stop sharing in order for the next location to begin sharing data.  When a second location tries to send data at the same time, it could result in their system freezing, requiring a reconnection to the session.

Last Updated: 20 March 2017

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