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Video Endpoints & Conferencing

The Telecoms Office are now supporting Cisco video conference units on the University phone system.

Devices Supported

We only support Cisco video conference devices. Cisco currently has the DX, SX and MX range of video conference devices. The 8845 and Jabber soft client can also be used for video calling.

Video Units For One Person

If a single person wants to take part in a video call, they have several options available to them:

Jabber.
The Jabber soft client, when running on a Mac or PC with a suitable camera and microphone, can be used as a video conference end point. The Jabber soft client is free. For more information see here and here.
8845 Handset
The 8845 is a standard 8800 series phone, but it has an in-built camera to support video calling. Its small screen size makes it best suited for person-to-person video calls, although it's low price (compared to the DX series) of approx. £250 and all-in-one nature may be appealing in some situations.
DX Series
The DX series is the top of the range in terms of individual endpoints. They look a bit like an iMac and have a touch screen. The DX70 has a 14" screen and the DX80 a 23" screen size. The DX70 & 80 can share a laptop's screen that is connected via HDMI. The DX series supports the Cisco Proximity feature to allow wireless sharing of a laptop's screen. The DX80 is approximately £1,500.

Room based systems

All the devices in the SX & MX ranges support the Proximity feature to allow wireless screen sharing of laptops.

SX Range
The SX range is intended for use in existing room A/V setups and they come with no integrated display. The bottom of the range SX10 (approx £1,500) is quite small (it can be mounted on top of a TV/screen) and can be powered from the network. The SX20 and SX80 have several choices of camera (the SX10 has an in-built camera) The SX80 comes with the Touch 10 touch-screen remote control. The Touch 10 is optionally available for the SX10 & SX20. The SX80 requires that the Touch 10 is connected direct to the SX80. The SX10 & SX20 support the Touch 10 connecting via the normal ethernet connection.
MX Range
The MX range are all-in-one room based units, ranging from the single 42" screen MX200 (approx £5,000), to the dual 70" screen MX800.

Touch 10

NOTE: The Touch 10 remote needs its own PoE ethernet network connection.

Computer Screen Sharing - Cisco Proximity

The Cisco Proximity feature allows a Mac or PC to wirelessly share its screen with a support video device. For proximity to work, the video end point needs to be connected to a video VLAN. If the video end point is only on the voice VLAN, Proximity will not work.

Making & Receiving Calls.

See the separate page on how to make & receive calls. We do not support making or receiving ISDN video calls. If you wish to make or receive ISDN video calls, you will need to use the Janet Video Conference Service.

Conference/Multi Party Video Calls

Video systems need access to a bridge (also called a MCU) to make conference/multi party calls.

JISC offers the Janet Video Conference Bridge for free.

Telecoms have invested in a bridge connected to the phone system. Currently, we only support ad-hoc conferences. In the future, we will also support pre-booked dial-in video conferences.

Use of the Telecoms bridge will incur a fee. The fee will vary depending on the device you wish to use with the bridge. Note that only one system in a conference needs to have use of a bridge.

  • SX & MX units require a license that costs approximately £2,000 + VAT to use the bridge. This is a one-off cost for a perpetual license.
  • For the DX units, 8845 handset and Jabber soft-clients, the price to use our bridge is an extra £5 per month (per line).
  • The cost for pre-booked dial-in video conferences has yet to be decided.

Calling To/From Skype (Consumer)

Once people find out they can make & receive video calls, a frequent question is: "Can we call people on Skype?" (And by Skype, they mean the consumer Skype service)

Currently, there is no way for us to connect to Skype for video calls (and this is what people want Skype for)

An alternative, is Jabber Guest: This allows you to give someone a web link, and they can use their browser to call into the phone system. This call supports video and audio.

Calling To/From Skype For Business/MS Lync

If the far end Skype for Business/Lync system is setup to allow SIP or H.323 calls, then it should be possible to establish a video call from any of the supported devices to the far end. Note that the exact supported feature set during the call (e.g. Screen sharing, Remote Camera Control, etc) will vary based on software versions.

Support & Maintenance

Maintenance of Devices

All devices will be added to the Telecoms Office's central video endpoint maintenance contract. The cost of a unit will be added to the monthly charge per unit. Not that this is maintenance and NOT insurance.

Device Replacement

Unlike the Cisco telephones, we will NOT include scheduled replacement of units.

Support Method

Due to the nature of use of video conference systems, it would be impractical for the Telecoms Helpdesk to provide first line end-user support. Institutions must provide their own first line, on-site support who can work with the Telecoms Helpdesk.

It must be stressed that Telecoms Helpdesk does not provide any out-of-hours support.

Ongoing Costs

The monthly cost for a video conference unit would be made of two elements:

  1. Hardware & Software maintenance. This will be the cost of the hardware maintenance contract for the device split over 12 months. We would pass this on as is and put no mark-up or profit on it. As a rough ball park, a DX80 would cost £10-15 per month, and a SX20 would be nearer £50 per month.
  2. Monthly fee. This is the fee for having it attached to the phone system and us providing support. This is £10 per device per month. NOTE: The 8845 & Jabber clients will only incur the standard £5 per month fee.

Network Connectivity

The DX, SX & MX video conference units require a separate VLAN from the normal voice VLAN. This is provided free of charge. The 8845 phone can use the normal voice VLAN.