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Blue Jeans Network - cloud-based conferencing service
Our mission is to make video communications as easy and pervasive as audio communications, enabling more effective communication and collaboration anywhere and from practically any device.
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Old 03-18-2015   #1
ajd
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Default VC Noob

Hi Guys,

I am new to these forums and new to the concept of Video conferencing. I wanted to learn more from you guys as you must be well experienced in this. I have some very basic noob questions about VC. I hope i am in the right section of these forums. If not can you please redirect my post to the relevant area.

Questions
1. Whats the difference between Video conference, teleconference, tele presence and are there any other kinds?

2. Polycom and Cisco are the main VC providers that i know off what are the other major brands?

3. Can you make calls from a cisco to a polycom unit and vice versa amongst various types of VC units?

4. Do you only require a data point and an internet connection for the VC to work? Or do you need a designated line for the VC unit?

5. Can you make calls to a normal telephone line via a VC unit?

Anyhelp will be appreciated.
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Old 03-20-2015   #2
thoeun0412
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajd View Post
Hi Guys,

I am new to these forums and new to the concept of Video conferencing. I wanted to learn more from you guys as you must be well experienced in this. I have some very basic noob questions about VC. I hope i am in the right section of these forums. If not can you please redirect my post to the relevant area.

Questions
1. Whats the difference between Video conference, teleconference, tele presence and are there any other kinds?

2. Polycom and Cisco are the main VC providers that i know off what are the other major brands?

3. Can you make calls from a cisco to a polycom unit and vice versa amongst various types of VC units?

4. Do you only require a data point and an internet connection for the VC to work? Or do you need a designated line for the VC unit?

5. Can you make calls to a normal telephone line via a VC unit?

Anyhelp will be appreciated.
Videoconferencing/telepresence gives the user a sense of being present in a conference via video and audio. Teleconference is a telephone call between several users(audio only).

I usually stick with those two. There are some softwares out there you can load onto a computer ie Vidyo.

Yes you can as long as they're on the same network.

Network connection

If properly configured yes you can make calls to a telephone.
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Old 05-21-2015   #3
avdesign
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Default

EDIT: The OP showed up as a new post when I dropped in today, thought I was replying to something more current.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajd View Post
Questions
1. Whats the difference between Video conference, teleconference, tele presence and are there any other kinds?
"Telepresence" is one of those marketing words/terms that was invented to overcome a perception problem. Video conferencing had a bad reputation, so they started calling it something else. In early days "telepresence" was used to differentiate between traditional "VTC" rooms and custom built rooms with uncommonly large displays and multiple codecs, designed to provide an "immersive" experience. Eventually it was used to describe all video conferencing. A rose, by any other name......

Quote:
2. Polycom and Cisco are the main VC providers that i know off what are the other major brands?
Depends on what you call "major", and what type of product you're thinking of. Cisco & Polycom are still big "hardware endpoint" brands, and each has significant software endpoint solutions. Lifesize is another. They operate in the "standards-based" world, meaning they use open standards which work between brands. Vidyo is a significant player, but theirs is a proprietary solution with a gateway to the standards-based world. Acano is new player in the software arena. HighFive is a new product that combines a proprietary camera/microphone module with a software client, but as far as I know it's a proprietary solution. BlueJeans Network offers a "gateway" service bringing proprietary products like Skype together with standards-based endpoints. Radvision is another with standards-based endpoints (owned by Avaya). There are others.

To stay current you'd do well to follow the Wainhouse Research newsletter & publications:

http://cp.wainhouse.com/intro

Quote:
3. Can you make calls from a cisco to a polycom unit and vice versa amongst various types of VC units?
Typically yes, if they are "standards-based" endpoints, both able to use either IP or ISDN, or with access to a gateway. For example, virtually all Cisco/Polycom/Lifesize endpoints can connect to each other provided the network and infrastructure they're on permits it (and allowing for the occasional software compatibility problem..). It's not uncommon for one enterprise to have multiple brands of endpoints operating simultaneously on their network (whether that's wise is a matter of opinion....). But you can't connect a standards-based hardware endpoint directly with a Vidyo endpoint, or Skype, or other proprietary endpoint without some sort of gateway hardware or service.

Quote:
4. Do you only require a data point and an internet connection for the VC to work? Or do you need a designated line for the VC unit?
Again, you must distinguish between ISDN (a dying technology, but still widely used in DOD) and IP. An ISDN enabled endpoint typically has between one and four ISDN lines dedicated to it, or else available to it via an ISDN/IP gateway. IP endpoints simply use the LAN to place calls over the internet, or over a VPN. So an IP endpoint only needs a LAN connection, and it can also make ISDN calls if a gateway is available. At my organization our IP endpoints are on a VLAN to keep the traffic somewhat isolated from other network traffic, but that isn't always necessary. Some endpoints are "hardwired" to a video bridge or an ISDN interface (common in DOD when external encryption equipment is used). There are also software products that can work via WiFi from laptops or mobile devices.


Quote:
5. Can you make calls to a normal telephone line via a VC unit?
Yes, if your infrastructure supports it. Most typically it requires ISDN service from the telco and an ISDN/IP gateway. That said, there are still a lot of legacy endpoints in the field with direct ISDN support that can receive a voice call along with one or more video calls in the same session, without any external equipment involved. Since most endpoints offered today are IP only, a gateway is usually required, unless the "telephone" call is a VOIP call. It can also be done with traditional analog phone lines using external audio processing equipment if it includes what's known as a "telephone hybrid" feature.

Last edited by avdesign; 05-21-2015 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 03-01-2016   #4
Proservand
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Default Great

thank you! This is the best answer i have never seen
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