Video Conference To CERN Howto

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The H323 video conferencing devices (polycoms) that are used at CERN, Nikhef and Nijmegen ar not capable to handle multipoint connections, either because the hardware does not support this, or because the required licence is not installed. Multipoint videoconferencing is still possible however, and even rather easy. It is also possible to bridge and EVO meeting to a H323 (multipoint meeting). As this took some time to figure out, I wrote it down on this Wiki.

Contents

Setting up a Point-to-point meeting using the Polycom

This is the easiest thing to do. You start the polycom, and in the call menu, you type the ip-address of the other polycom. A dot is typed by pressing right-arrow. Press call, and you can talk.

The ip-addresses for the nikhef polycoms can be found here

Calling a Polycom device from EVO

To call a polycom from EVO, go to the menu call -> H323. Uncheck the "Connect through local Koala" button. Then select the H323 IP option, and type the Ip address. Press the green telephone. If you're on a Mac, you might have to reconfigure your firewall.

Multipoint meetings using the Polycom

As stated, polycoms in itself do not support multipoint connections. That is why all polycoms at CERN, Nikhef and Nijmegen are connected to the es.net gatekeepers, which can host your H323 conference. All you do is you type the number of the conference you want in the field where you would otherwise type the ip-address. This number you can choose yourself, but it has to start with 82, 85, or 88. The other participants connect to the same number. The first participant is asked for a pin code, which you can choose yourself.

So, you just agree on a number beforehand, and a pin if you want to, and everybody calls this number. Done!

Connecting to the gatekeeper from EVO

Same as above, only instead of the h323 IP you select the gatekeeper option. There you type <number>@gk1.es.net, and you're in! Don't forget to uncheck the local Koala button again, or it won't work.

Bridging EVO meetings to H323 meetings

This is easy. You setup and EVO meeting as you'd normally do, and then one (and only one!) person inside the meeting calls the H323 meeting through the gatekeeper, or calls a polycom if only one has to be added, and people in both meetings can see and here each other.

This is all there is to it! Easy, no? If you have questions, don't ask me, go to videoconference-support@cern.ch. Good luck.

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