Better Video Conferencing in High Definition
Adcap has the expertise to design, deploy, and support the full Cisco video conferencing solution. This is not the sametype of video conferencing from a few years ago – it is completely different and better. High Definition video conferencing at 720p or 1080p, just like High Definition television, is much more enjoyable and useful than the old video standard.
Another big change is the emergence of desktop video conferencing. Instead of having to go to the video conferencing room, lower cost video units are placed on desktops so that HD video calls can be made right when they are needed.
Video calls are much easier to complete and can now be completed by dialing a 10 digit phone number or by dialing an email address. Video conferences can be scheduled with a simple to use web interface. Video calls to people outside the organization can be completed just as easily and reliably as video calls internally when the right system is put in place.
The improvements of High Definition, desktop video calls, and simple reliable video calls to anyone have made HD video conferencing much more useful to organizations than in the past. Also, If there are any difficulties with any aspect of the system, all video endpoints can be managed and supported centrally by the IT staff with advanced management tools.
There are many good reasons to integrate high definition video calls into traditional business operations:
- Immediate access to an expert anywhere in the world.
- Collaborative product development.
- Customer, vendor, and business partner discussions.
- Education and training.
Cisco High Definition Video Conferencing
Cisco is the leader in the business video conferencing market with the Cisco TelePresence (formerly Tandberg) line of products. When this is combined with the video calling and conferencing capabilities that are part of the Cisco Phone System, this creates the complete Cisco Unified Communication and Collaboration system.
Since Cisco acquired Tandberg Video, the Cisco Unified Communications System (Cisco Phone System) and the Cisco TelePresence System (Tandberg Video) continue to be expanded, improved, and more tightly integrated. The systems work well together right now, and there are a few different parts to them that enable the entire video conferencing experience to be pleasant and highly usable.
Elements that make the Cisco video solution the best are the control and management applications that make it easy for users to just call and connect to people. Video endpoints are necessary to make the call, and Cisco’s TelePresence has many different types and sizes of endpoint.
Video Conferencing Endpoints
- Desktop video phones. Cisco E20, Cisco 9971, Cisco 8945.
- Desktop video conferencing endpoints. Cisco EX-90, Cisco EX-60.
- Workstation video applications. Cisco Movi Client for PC and Mac.
- Small conference room video devices. Cisco Quickset C20, MX200.
- Large video conferencing room installations.
Cisco Video Conferencing Infrastructure
In addition to video endpoints, there are four main applications that the Cisco Telepresence system uses to make video conferencing a seamless experience. These applications can be installed in in the primary datacenter. The four main elements are:
- Cisco TelePresence VCS Control - Cisco VCS Control
- Cisco TelePresence VCS Expressway - Cisco VCS Expressway
- Cisco Telepresence Management Suite - Cisco TMS
- Cisco TelePresence Codian Multipoint Conference Unit - Cisco Codian MCU
For people just starting out with video, many of these same functions can be done by Cisco’s video hosting service, Cisco Callway.
Video Conference System (VCS) Control is the master controller of all the video endpoints internal to the organization. When this device is in place, all Cisco, Tandberg, Polycom, and other standards compliant video devices register to the VCS Control application. As long as the video endpoint uses SIP or H.323, it can register to the VCS Control system. When this is done, there are a number of benefits for the video user:
- Users can call other users through the main directory using any method of dialing they want, including 10 digit dialing, email address, H.323 address, or IP address.
- Allows H.323 and SIP video devices to conference with each other by providing interoperability.
- Connects to Cisco Call Manager via SIP trunk for video calls between systems. All the Cisco phones can now conference with the desktop and room video endpoints!
Video Conference System (VCS) Expressway is the application that sits outside the firewall and is responsible for making HD video calls between organizations transparent and straightforward. The VCS Control and VCS Expressway boxes work together to send and receive video calls and conduct conferences with outside organizations over the Internet. Just like VCS Control, VCS Expressway can receive calls from devices that use either the SIP or H.323 standard.
The Cisco TelePresence Management Suite (TMS) is the control and management system that brings all the other elements of the video solution together. It allows for centralized control of all video endpoints, even non-Cisco video endpoints. It allows users to set up pre-scheduled conference calls. It also is the headend for the Cisco Movi video conferencing client for PC’s and Mac’s. The Cisco TelePresence Management Suite is an important part of any video conferencing deployment in order to provide the reliability and control that are required for a high-visibility system. It has many features that make HD video conferencing manageable and easy to use. Some of them are:
- Scheduling of conference calls across all types of devices with automatic allocation and reservation of conferencing resources. Scheduling via web, Exchange, or Domino server.
- Maintains directories and phone books for ease use in calling and scheduling.
- Manage devices including endpoints, gatekeepers, MCUs, and other infrastructure from both Cisco and third parties.
- Provides conference monitoring, diagnostics, and alarms.
MCU 4500. Cisco has many different Multipoint Conferencing Units (MCU’s) that are used to mix video and audio together. The best models to start out with are the MCU 4500 and 4501 models, sometimes known as the Codian MCU’s. Video conferencing bridges are essential for having Standard Defintion and High Definition conferences. When placed at the datacenter and tied into the Cisco TMS and VCS control systems, the 4500 series MCU’s provide conferencing resources that can be brought into any video conference that needs them. There are other size MCU’s that have many of the same features as well. The MCU 4200, MSE 8420, and MSE 8510 offer different combinations of price and concurrent conferences.
Some conferencing endpoints have built in MCU’s. These resources can also be used for conferences, but only when those specific endpoints are involved in the conference as well, and provided there is enough network bandwidth to support the mixing of multiple video streams on that device. That is why it is best in most cases to have a more powerful MCU at the datacenter where the WAN headend and high speed internet connections are located.
The management, control, and conferencing devices and applications that make up the Cisco Enterprise TelePresence system are essential to using HD Video Conferencing in larger environments. Thanks to their open system design, these components can be put in place and can integrate with existing Standard Definition and High Definition video system to make them more manageable and user-friendly.
Cisco Callway Hosted Video Conferencing
Cisco has two hosted services for collaboration. The Cisco Callway hosted video conferencing service provides many of the same ease-of-use and over-the-Internet video conferencing features that the on-premise system do, but for a fraction of the price.
For a low monthly cost, most of the Cisco conferencing endpoints, including the Cisco Movi client, can be set up to conduct HD video conferencing from inside a network firewall to other standards based video conferencing users over the Internet.
In many cases, and organization could start out with the Cisco Callway service, then transition to a premise based system as HD video conferencing becomes more used in the organization. Also, the Cisco Callway can be used to provide devices to remote users, or to high value customers or business partners.
Cisco Webex Collaboration
Cisco Webex is a flexible, powerful hosted collaboration solution that works well both internally and with external users. There are different deployment models that can be used depending on how the organization intends to use collaboration.
The video quality on Cisco Webex has been improved to Hiqh Quality, so when all participants have and use video cameras, there are many times that it provides a good video conferencing experience.
If an organization has many internal users on Webex, it is possible to deploy an internal Webex node that works in conjunction with the service. This keeps much of the video and screen sharing traffic internal to the organization. Also, an organization can have a Cisco MeetingPlace voice conferencing bridge inside their organization that ties into Cisco Webex, which lowers the per-minute voice charges from Webex conferences.
How to Buy?
Contact Adcap Network Systems, your Cisco Video certified specialist. The products and services can be either purchased from Adcap or financed by Adcap through Cisco Capital at very low financing rates.
Adcap is a Cisco Gold Certified Partner and Master in Unified Communications, which are Cisco’s top certifications for partners. We know IP voice and video inside and out. As one of Cisco’s top resellers, we offer very competitive pricing on all Cisco equipment, especially Cisco TelePresence equipment.
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Last Updated: June 12th, 2012 |