Videoconference at PSI

Service status

Webex Teams (in operation):

We're pleased to announce the general availability of Cisco Webex teams. The application will be installed automatically starting from 24.03.2020 to all Windows systems registered as office computers as well as Windows systems outside PSI (e.g. in the home office). For all other Windows client systems you will find "Webex Teams" for installation in the software kiosk (only possible at PSI). The distribution starts automatically and is finished when you see the "Webex Teams" icon on the desktop. For information on using WebEx Teams, see the "Using Cisco Webex Teams" chapter on this page.

Users in Home office:

Die to technical limitations the installation cannot be launched when connected with VPN.
Please disconnect VPN but leave the computer connected with the internet for approx. 30mins.

Call to the users:

  • Use the new service to collaborate with your colleagues and take a few minutes to read the documentation and get used to the new software.
  • We're thankful for any issues being reported to the IT ServiceDesk (http://css.psi.ch/).

Vidyo (end of life):

"Vidyo" has been replaced by "Cisco Webex Teams" and will be shutdown at the end of 2020.
We are aware of capacity lmitations with Vidyo. The error message in such a situation is "All lines are busy".

We are aware of capacity limitations with vidyo and are currently working in order to provide an alternative solution in short notice.

Introduction

Due to increased environmental awareness of companies and mobile working, videoconferencing is becoming more and more important for companies. Video conferencing  not only helps to reduce the number of business trips and to lower travel costs and but also helps to reduce the company's CO2 footprint.

Service description

The Information technology department (AIT) operates a video conferencing (VC) service consisting of the following service components:

  • Infrastructure in selected meeting rooms (so-called "Huddle Rooms")
  • Videoconferencing software "Vidyo" (installable via the software kiosk)
  • Rental equipment for temporary use in offices or meeting rooms
  • Accessories for regular use by power users in the office
  • Support for the standardized infrastructure

Infrastructure in conference rooms ("Huddle Rooms")

Selected meeting rooms at PSI are equipped with hardware infrastructure for video conferencing. The infrastructure consists of 65 inch displays and a sound bar with integrated camera/microphone. The installation is designed for use with notebooks/tablets and a video conferencing software. The facilities are optimized for the transmission of a local group of participants of up to 6 persons (so-called "Huddle Rooms"). Further features:

  • A separate notebook is required for use
  • You may need an adapter to connect the display (HDMI)
  • The videoconferencing hardware can be used with the standard VC software ("Vidyo") as well as with third-party software not supported by AIT ("Bring your own videoconferencing").

Videoconferencing Software (Vidyo)

As standard desktop videoconferencing software, Vidyo is provided by our partner "Switch" and supported by the Information Technology Department (AIT).

Other video conferencing software such as Skype, WebEx, Adobe can be connected to the available hardware, but has not been tested. If you experience any problems, you’re advised to contact the software manufacturer. AIT recommends using the standard solution "Vidyo".

Rental devices (portable solution)

Portable solutions can be borrowed for occasional videoconferencing outside the equipped meeting rooms (e.g. in your own office/meeting room). The devices are available at the IT ServiceDesk and the IT support centers West and East and are also designed for a maximum local number of 6 participants.

To borrow a portable solution, create a support request in ServiceNOW. We will contact you as soon as the device is ready for collection.
For more product information on "Logitech Connect", please follow this link .

Accessories (portable solution)

To conduct videoconferences at the workplace or for frequent use in meeting rooms, the following accessories are available with the keyword "Videokonferenz" in the Stock catalogue available:

  • Headset (USB, Bluetooth)
  • Logitech WebCam USB (for mounting on desktop screen) 
  • Logitech ConferenceCam Connect (portable VC system)
  • Adapter
    • USB-C to USB A (Tablets)
    • DisplayPort on HDMI (notebooks)
    • Mini DisplayPort on HDMI (Tablets)

Service availability

Service hours

Availability of infrastructure/support for this service is ensured during the following periods:
Monday - Friday from 8.00 am - 17.00 pm (response time: best effort)

Locations of conference rooms (Huddle Rooms)

The following conference rooms at PSI are equipped with video conferencing hardware:

  • OHSA/B19
  • OVGA/102
  • OVGA/412
  • WSLA/105
  • WBBA/003

On-site equipment/connections:

  • 65 inch display
  • Remote control display
  • Remote Control soundbar (Camera/Microphone/Loudspeaker)
  • HDMI (display connection)
  • USB (camera/microphone/loudspeaker connection)
  • Network cable (use of WLAN also possible)
  • Display adapter

Extending the video confenencing infrastructure to additional meeting rooms

If you have the demand to have fixed units of video conferencing equipment in additional meeting rooms, please contact the ServiceDesk via ServiceNOW.

Preconditions to be able to validate providing videoconferencing infrastructure are:

  • Corresponding demand and increased utilization of the existing locations
  • The meeting room is 100 % publicly bookable
  • Automatic reservation or reservation moderated by a secretary via Outlook
  • Willingness to prioritize reservations for video conferences in case of conflict
  • Suitability of the location (size, lighting conditions, ...)

The videoconferencing infrastructure should be available for use by all PSI employees. The centrally supported infrastructure is therefore provided exclusively in selected public meeting rooms.

Conduct a videoconference

The following points should be observed when conducting a videoconference.

Preparations

  • Define the date
  • Procure rental notebook if you do not have your own notebook available
  • Obtain the necessary display adapter
  • Install the video conferencing software "Vidyo”
  • Send invitations (e.g. by e-mail) to your participants
  • Reserve a meeting room (when using the Huddle Rooms)
  • Reserve rental equipment (if required)
  • Perform a test connection with your participants

Conference room (Huddle Room)

  • Connect notebook/tablet to the display via HDMI cable
  • Connect sound bar to notebook/tablet via USB A cable
  • Switch on display with remote control and switch to HDMI channel
  • Select camera/microphone in Vidyo or third-party software as source
  • Align camera with remote control / Adjust volume

Rental equipment (portable solution)

  • Connect your notebook/tablet/PC to the Logitech Connect System via USB
  • Select camera/microphone in Vidyo or third-party software as source
  • Align camera / Adjust volume

Legal information

Session recording

The recording of a video conference requires the consent of all parties involved. Before activating the recording, make sure that this consent has been obtained.

Any recording of a non-public discussion without the prior consent of all participants can be a legal violation. The different legislations in the countries of the participants may apply as well.

General recommendations

  • Use physical network connection (LAN cable)
    If possible, use a wired network connection instead of WLAN. This minimizes interference and short-term interruptions in the audio/video transmission.

     
  • Avoid using VPN
    Try to not conduct video conferences over a VPN connection. Videoconferencing has an increased demand in terms of network bandwidth, which places additional load to the VPN remote access infrastructure. In such a situation, transmission problems such as delays or short dropouts can occur.

     
  • Use a headset
    With a headset, the voice quality and noise level suppression is much better. Suboptimal room acoustics play a less important role and the probability of acoustic feedback (whistling, echo) is much lower.

     
  • Only one videoconference participant per room
    Only one participant per room should dial into a video conference. If there are several participants in the same office, the use of headsets and sufficient distance between the participants is strongly recommended. In this situation in particular, the use of built-in microphones/speakers should be avoided, as otherwise feedback effects (whistling, echo) may occur.

     
  • Deactivate unused cameras/microphones
    With a larger number of participants (>10), it is strongly recommended to deactivate the cameras/microphones that are not needed in order to reduce the probability of transmission problems (dropouts, noise, echoes, whistling).

     
  • Avoid disturbing noises
    When participating in video conferences, choose a quiet room without disturbing background noises such as machine-/traffic noise, large office rooms, childrens, etc. If you cannot avoid this, please mute
     your microphone while you are not speaking and use a headset.

Troubleshooting

Check the stability of your internet connection

In case of transmission problems, we recommend you to check the stability of your internet connection by performing the following test: https://mediatest.ciscospark.com(link is external)
If the test shows increased values for TCP/UDP delays, check if you are using a wireless repeater/range extender and, when possible,
switch it off or move a location with better wireless signal e.g. closer to the wireless access point.


Note: Within the PSI network/VPN it is normal behavior if the "TCP Connectivity" test fails.

You cannot hear the other participants

  • Check whether your speaker is muted
  • Check which speaker you have selected in the software configuration
  • Write to the colleague you are not hearing and ask him if he has switched on his microphone

Your colleagues do not hear you speak

  • Check if your microphone is muted
  • Check the selected microphone in the software configuration
  • Write to the colleague you are not listening to and ask him if he has switched on his speaker.

Audio/video transmission interrupted

  • Disable VPN
  • Use a LAN connection instead of wireless LAN
  • Deactivate cameras if possible
  • Reduce camera resolution if possible (HD/High Definition -> SD)

Audio feedbacks/echoes/whistling

  • Turn off your microphone
  • Some software solutions display the audio level of the participants, which makes it easier to locate the source of the interference.
  • Ask the participants to turn off their microphones or mute all microphones (if moderator)
  • Once the source of the interference is located, she/he can...
    • reduce the sensitivity of her/his microphone,
    • reduce the volume of her/his speaker,
    • switch to a headset,
    • change the room (several participants in a room)

Reservation

Conference room

The video conference system is permanently installed in the rooms. The booking of the meeting rooms is done using Outlook meeting requests. Reservations are being granted according to the principle "first come first serve".

Meeting rooms with videoconferencing equipment are marked in Outlook with the keyword "Videoconferencing".

Rental equipment

To borrow a portable solution, create a support request in ServiceNOW. We will contact you as soon as the device is ready for collection.

Support

If you need support in following topics, we will be happy to help:

  • Explain the end customers how to organize of a video conference
  • Training of Vidyo (requires prior appointment)
  • On-site service in case of hardware related issues

To request support, please contact us using the ticket system ServiceNOW or by phone at 4800.

Support delimitation

The following topics remain in responsibility of the customer:

  • The representative invitation/organization of the video conference for the customer
  • Performing test connections with session participants
  • The moderation of the video conference
  • Support during the video conference
  • Support outside office hours

Instructions for third part software

Quick start guides are available for the following video conferencing software: