Video TeleConferencing (VTC)
Video TeleConferencing (VTC) allows people to attend meetings held in multiple locations by sending a real-time TV-style signal between two or more rooms. This connection can be used for talking, computer presentations such as PowerPoint slides, and video sources such as VHS tapes or DVDs.
The most common way to conduct a multipoint video meeting is for each participating video system (meeting room, desktop, etc.) to connect to a single bridging device called a multipoint video bridge or MCU. Video bridges are available in two basic form factors: embedded within the video endpoint itself, and as a stand-alone hardware device.
While MCUs embedded within video endpoints can provide a cost-effective means to host high-quality multipoint meetings, they support only a limited number of participants (typically four) and provide a limited feature set. For these reasons, CIT hosts all meetings on a dedicated video bridge. Currently the NIH Video Bridge has the capability of supporting up to 120 simultaneous video connections and up to 59 individual conferencing layouts.
VTC allows experts from all over the world to communicate with and learn from each other, while avoiding the high costs and scheduling problems of travel. Additionally, a group can attend lectures, meetings, and conferences without leaving the office simply by setting up VTC in one room, where viewers can remotely join the distant events via a full-screen television experience.
CIT has upgraded our dedicated video bridge to service the HHS/ NIH community. The following are just a few of the new features that the NIH Video Bridge offers:
- Share content to show every participant your slides, spreadsheets, or documents
- Display all participants at all times with new layouts (Hollywood Squares and others)
- Provide IP connectivity for lower-cost connections
- Present enhanced, near high-definition, video quality for all participants
- Conduct a public forum without renting a hotel ballroom
- Record live meetings for on-demand viewing
- Host virtual meetings for town halls, councils, or classes
This service is available to all NIH customers and to other customers outside of NIH.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How can I set up a Video Teleconference?
A: Go to http://videosched.cit.nih.gov/ and fill out the form. For assistance, contact the NIH IT Service Desk by calling (301) 496-4357 or by browsing to http://itservicedesk.nih.gov. Submit a ticket for VTC Bridging including your name, contact information, and the date/time of the meeting.
Q: Do I have to register my videoconference system?
A: Technical coordination involves a review and follow-up of each Video Bridge conference by the NIH VTC Administrator. Videoconference System Registration is required for sites that have not connected with the NIH Video Bridge for over one (1) year. The registration process requires the site to complete a Videoconference System.
Q: What videoconference endpoint equipment do you recommend for use with the Video Bridge Service?
A: The equipment must be H.323 or ISDN capable, be able to generate a Touch Tone response, and be capable of registering with the NIH Video over IP gatekeeper service.
Q: How do I know if this service is right for my specific event?
A: To find out which of the CIT Video Services best fits your event, use the CIT Video Decision Tool at http://video.nih.gov/decisiontool/index.aspx. After you answer a few questions about your specific event, the decision tool will recommend the CIT Video Service that best fits your needs.
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