Vidyo is an easy-to-use HD quality videoconferencing technology that is available for many different platforms and devices. WestGrid has purchased a Vidyo Portal and Gateway and is using it for video collaboration between desktops (Windows, Mac, Linux), devices (IOS, Android) and h.323 systems. Vidyo accounts are available to researchers upon request to support their research collaboration needs.
Below are a list of tips that may be useful if you have a WestGrid Vidyo account:
- For best quality, use a standalone echo cancelling mic or a headset. Microphones that are built into laptops are problematic because of their proximity to the keyboard (clicking) and system fan, and lack of echo canceling. For echo canceling mics, a good choice is the Phoenix Duet PCS. This is a USB microphone and speaker that you should be able to find for approx $150. If you have special requirements (you want to use your desktop speakers, you have a larger space) there are alternatives; however, the Phoenix Duet PCS should do a good job for a desktop environment. http://www.phnxaudio.com/duet-pcs For privacy (so that your neighbors can not hear your conversations) you may also want to use earbud style headphones with your echo cancelling microphone. Another good choice is the Clearone Chat 150/160 http://www.clearone.com/products_chat150. If you prefer a headset, Logitech offers many good choices, especially those that are meant for gaming.
- When initially setting up your audio, you should visit the settings section. To find the audio settings section, while in a call, click the Settings (cog) Icon, then select Devices. Once there you can select the appropriate audio devices for input and output. Also, the following check boxes are available:
- 'Auto Adjust Microphone Level' - This setting will try to automatically set your input level for your microphone. Recommended setting is OFF. We've found user's input level was generally set too low when this was checked.
- 'Echo Cancellation' - This setting will attempt to minimize echo problems when not using a proper echo canceling microphone or headset. Unfortunately, by checking this the system will cut off your microphone when other sites are talking. While this does reduce echo, it makes interactive converstations difficult. Recommended setting is OFF if you have a headset/echo cancelling microphone or ON if you don't.
- A good first test once logged in etc, is to connect to your own room. This should show your video back to you, and give you a chance to click the settings 'cog' icon, select the devices tab and set up the appropriate audio/video devices.
- To search for users, start typing the user's name into the search bar - results should pop up automatically. To add them to your contact list, click the name of the user, then the 'Address Book with a + sign' icon near the upper right. To see all users currently logged in, search for " * ". To see all users with a registered account, search for " % ". All WestGrid collaboration rooms are also in the address book and you can call them directly.http://goo.gl/cvXDIz
- For one on one meetings, you can 'call direct' to another user. If there are multiple attendees, you should use your 'room' that you are automatically assigned when given an account. There are also some generic rooms available.
- You can invite a 'guest' to your room by select 'Invite by Email' at the bottom of the interface. The guest does not require an account and will receive an email with a link to download the client and will connect directly to your room. See details in the User's Guide linked at the bottom of this page.
Connecting To LifeSize/Polycom/Tandberg Systems:
- You can call any h.323 (LifeSize/Tandberg etc) unit by dialing 03xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx for SD quality connections, 04xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx for HD connections. (xxx is the IP of h.323 unit)
- To connect from a LifeSize or Polycom unit to you directly (point to point), from the h.323 unit dial: 126.96.36.199##05yyyy (where yyyy is your 4 digit extension)
- To connect from a Tandberg unit to you directly (point to point), from the h.323 unit dial: email@example.com (where yyyy is your 4 digit extension)
- To connect from a LifeSize or Polycom to your room (multipoint), from the h.323 unit dial: 188.8.131.52##03yyyy (where yyyy is your 4 digit extension)
- To connect from a Tandberg unit (Tandberg) to your room (multipoint), from the h.323 unit dial: firstname.lastname@example.org (where yyyy is your 4 digit extension)
Vidyo on Linux
- There are two parts the the Vidyo program. The tray app and the GUI. On Windows/Mac, the Vidyo GUI is a browser frame that the program creates itself. On Linux, Vidyo uses an existing browser for the GUI. If you are having issues, you'll first need to check if the tray app is running (check for the Vidyo icon), then visit the vidyo.westgrid.ca portal and log in via a web browser. The browser session should connect to the VidyoDesktop software tray app. It may take a minute for it to connect - if it says it is trying to connect to the VidyoDesktop software, give it a few seconds. The tray app should 'light up' once you are connected.
- An important note about running Vidyo on Linux is that application sharing only works on Gnome. The Linux VidyoDesktop client will crash if you are running KDE and you (or anyone) attempts to share their desktop/presentation.