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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 connected to the University phone system. Cisco currently has a range of video enabled devices. The 8845 phone and Jabber soft client can also be used for video calling. We strongly encourage potential customers to discuss your requirements with us as there may be limitations/restrictions on the features supported per device based on our CallManager software version.

All devices on the University phone system can make & receive SIP & H.323 IP video calls. URI dialing is the recommended method of making & receiving calls (e.g. 37070@cam.ac.uk) but IP dialing can be supported.

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 it's small desk foot pring 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 or via the Cisco Proximity feature to allow wireless sharing of a laptop's screen. The DX80 is approximately £1,500.

Room based systems

This is a general guide to the Cisco video endpoint range. We encourage you to contact us to discuss your requirements in more detail.

All the Cisco devices support the sharing of a computer display either via a HDMI connection or the Proximity feature which allows the wireless screen sharing of laptops.

Device Only Range
These devices are intended for use in existing room A/V setups and they come with no integrated display. Most of the devices now mount on (or underneath) a display. Prices range from around £1,500 to nearer £6,000 depending on the size of the room the unit is expected to support. Most of the units also come with a Touch 10 LCD touch panel remote control. Some support multiple displays and support automatic speaker tracking (i.e. the camera zooms in to the person talking).
All-in-one Devices
The all-in-one devices are all-in-one room based units, ranging from the single 42" screen (approx £5,000) to dual 70" screens.
Touch 10 Remote

The Touch 10 is a small 9.7" table type device that is remote control for many of Cisco's room based video endpoints.

Touch 10

NOTE: The Touch 10 remote needs its own PoE ethernet network connection often direct to the video device and not on the normal computer network.

Computer Screen Sharing - Cisco Proximity

The Cisco Proximity feature allows a Mac or PC to wirelessly share its screen with a supported video device. For proximity to work, the video end point needs to be connected to a video VLAN and the laptop must be on the UIS Eduroam or UniOfCam wireless service. 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. We used to suggest using the Janet Video Conference service if you needed ISDN video support, but they are soon to terminated ISDN support.

Conference/Multi Party Video Calls

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

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

JISC offers the Janet Video Conference Bridge which is currently free but is soon to become a charged for service.

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

Hardware maintenance is available separately. Not that this is maintenance and NOT insurance. Unlike the desk phones, Telecoms does not carry stock spares for Video devices.

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 maintenance. This will be the cost of the hardware maintenance contract for the device. 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

All the Cisco video conference units (Except the 8845 desk phone & Jabber clients) require a separate VLAN from the normal voice VLAN. This is provided free of charge.