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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 WestGrid users upon request, to support their distance collaboration needs. Whether it’s a quick video chat between colleagues, a multi-point videoconference amongst a larger distributed team, or a research presentation broadcast live to several sites, Vidyo offers the ability to connect and collaborate — anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Table of Contents

How to Get an Account

Any researcher in Canada and/or WestGrid user is able to get a Vidyo account. Please send an email to and include the following information: 

  • Your Name
  • Email
  • Institution
  • Phone (if applicable)

Getting Started

Once you have an account, you can refer to Vidyo’s documentation page for platform-specific User Guides, or follow these quick steps below to get started.

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STEP 1: To start using Vidyo as a guest or with your own account you will first need to download the software onto your desktop (click on the link sent to you in your guest invite or user account email; you will then be prompted to download the software).

STEP 2: Login to the VidyoDesktop with the Compute Canada VidyoPortal URL (, your Username and Password (sent to you in your guest invite or user account email). 

NOTE: There is a web hosted version of Vidyo however it does not have the Chat feature and is not recommended.

STEP 3: Select a contact or room from your contact list or search for users/rooms by using the SEARCH field (see below for how to search and add contacts).

NOTE: If you are using Vidyo as a Guest, simply click on the link you are sent in the meeting invitation and you will be taken directly to the appropriate room.

STEP 4: Test your set-up. A good first test once logged in, 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 (see Audio Considerations below for recommended audio devices and settings).



Setting-up/Joining Meetings 

(See the Quick Reference Card for Joining and Setting up Meetings for a two-page visual guide)

Invite others to a conference in your room  

  1. To send invites by email, go to your Vidyo Contacts List and click the envelope at the top right corner of your VidyoDesktop client to invite guests to join your room. This launches your default e-mail program and creates a message that includes the required connection information.

  2. You can invite both existing Vidyo users and 'guests' (without Vidyo accounts) to your room. 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.
  3. To join your room, click My Room, then select the Join Room button.




Make a direct call or join someone else’s room 

  1. Search for a contact in the Contacts Search field. 
  2. To place a direct, one-on-one call to someone, click on the person’s name, and then click the large green “CALL” button under the contact’s name. 
  3. To join the contact’s room, click on their name in your contacts list, then click on their name again under the Rooms heading (listed below the large green “CALL” button). 
  4. If there are multiple attendees, you should use a 'ROOM' (denoted by a green cube next to the name). You can either use YOUR ROOM that you are automatically assigned when given an account or a CONTACT’S ROOM. 

NOTE: Special purpose Rooms can be created upon request by emailing



Room Status Icons




In a call/meeting options

Meeting Tool Bar

Once you have opened a meeting in Vidyo, move your mouse cursor anywhere over the Vidyo window to display the Meeting Tool Bar. Hover your cursor over a symbol to see a description of it’s function.

NOTE: If the “Show Participants” icon and/or “Chat” icons are ‘greyed’ out, try re-sizing your Vidyo window to make it larger and these functions should become active.



User/Contact Management

  1. FIND CONTACTS: To search for users, start typing the user's name into the search bar - results should pop up automatically. 
  2. Number of contacts in your room/favorites list.
  3. The status and names of the contacts and rooms.
    Click on a name/room to view information about the contact/room, place a direct call to the contact, join the contact’s room or join the public room.
  4. Click to to invite guests to a Vidyo meeting.
  5. Click to open the Setting pages.
  • ADD CONTACTS: To add someone to your contact list, click the name of the user, then the 'Address Book with a + sign' icon near the upper right. 
  • VIEW ONLINE USERS: To see all users currently logged in, search for " * ". 
  • VIEW ALL USERS: To see all users with a registered account, search for " % ". 



Add a participant to Your Room during an active conference

  1. Click on the “Show Participants” Icon in the Meeting Tool Bar. (Note: If the “Show Participants” icon is ‘greyed’ out, try re-sizing your Vidyo window to make it larger and this function should become active.) This will open a list of participants to the left of the video feeds.
    To add a new participant, click the “Add Participant” icon at the top of the box, next to the “Search Participants” field.
  2. Search for the participants name in the new window’s Search Field and then click Invite
  3. The participant will hear ringing sounds from his/her computer and see a message pop up on the screen to Answer or Decline.



Manage Participants in Your Room

As a host of a call, you have the option to add, remove, mute, and control the privacy of all call participants. 

  1. To manage these options, click on “Control Meeting” from the bottom of the contacts list. The Control Meeting panel will open in your browser. 
  2. Select the top icons for global control of participants. 
  3. To control an individual participant, hover over the participant's name and scroll to the right to make adjustments as needed.



Other Vidyo Features

Record Meetings

  1. Once in a meeting/room, click on the “Show Participants” button (in the meeting tool bar) and launch the Control-Meeting Panel (at the bottom right corner of the participants list). 
  2. Note: You must be the owner of the meeting/room or have “Operator” or “Admin” status to record a meeting. To find out your user status or request an upgrade to Operator/Admin status please email
  3. The vidyo portal will open in a new window of your browser.
  4. The record controls are located in the bottom right corner of the window. The Record option is selected by default (please note that the “Record & Webcast” button won't work as it's not active).
  5. Click on the red circle button to begin recording. The button will flash red and all users connected to the meeting will have a small red dot on their client indicating that they are being recorded.
  6. The recording will stop when the red button is clicked again or when the last participant leaves the conference.
  7. To download the recording you must click on the link "Vidyo Replay Library" and go to the “My Videos” tab.

Important Notes:

  • To avoid problems downloading videos, try to not create large files. If you have to record a long meeting try to split the recordings for easier download.
  • The recording in Vidyo is limited to the layout of the meeting. There is no possibility of having a dual screen recording (video + slides) in separate windows. If this is a very important feature, please use a room equipped for recording.
  •  For help recording contact



Audio Considerations

Setting up or adjusting your audio

  • Audio setup and adjustments can be made in the Settings section. While in a call, click the Settings Icon (cog), then select Devices.
  • It recommended to use the pre-set audio settings.
  • The use of built-in laptop mics are not recommended. Microphones that are built into laptops are problematic because of their proximity to the system fan and keyboard (which makes them susceptible to picking up the whirring sounds of the fan and clicking sounds of typing) and their lack of echo canceling. 

Tips for choosing a headset and microphone

  • For optimal audio quality, you should use a standalone echo cancelling mic or a headset when participating in a call. 
  • 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. 
  • For privacy you may also want to use earbud style headphones with your echo cancelling microphone (so that your neighbors can not hear your conversations). A good choice is the Clearone Chat 150/160.
  • If you prefer a headset, Logitech offers many good choices, especially those that are meant for gaming.

Click here for a full listing of recommended devices for use with Vidyo. 



Connecting To LifeSize/Polycom/Cisco Systems

  • To dial out to any h.323 (LifeSize/Polycom/Sony/Cisco) unit from Vidyo you can enter for lower quality connections or for higher quality connections in the search bar of the vidyo interface (xxx is the IP of h.323 unit), then select  and choose 'Call':


  • To dial into Vidyo from any h.323 (LifeSize/Polycom/Sony/Cisco) unit into our Vidyo system, just dial the gateway from your codec, follow the prompts to dial a user directly or enter a conference, and finally enter the desired destination's extension.
    • West Gateway
    • East Gateway



More Information

For additional help, contact