Conferencing and Streaming Convergence (VC audience)


Published on

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Conferencing and Streaming Convergence (VC audience)

  1. 1. Connect. Any Way You Want. Application Briefs by Polycom® Polycom Video Communications Collaboration Solutions Video Streaming with Polycom iPower™ Video Collaboration Solutions 1
  2. 2. Video Streaming with Polycom iPower Video Collaboration Solutions Videoconferencing and streaming media solutions have traditionally taken different usage tracks within an enterprise environment and historically have been deployed for different communication applications. Videoconferencing is designed for real-time communications so interactivity between users is inherent in the way the technology is normally applied. In contrast, streaming is usually a “one-way” experience; there is the communicator, a message and the audience who can experience a message in “real time” (as it is created) or on-demand (after the fact). Applications for streaming may have interactivity but it is most often between the user (at their PC) and a network resource, not between users. When video conferencing and streaming systems share a common network, there are many opportunities for leveraging the two technologies. Streaming media offers a way for the users of videoconferencing systems to expand the reach and increase the impact of their meetings without compromising the quality of the audio and video in a conference. Streaming media capabilities are widely supported on enterprise PCs. This means that while the desktop is not necessarily an equal participant or initiator of a real time conference, the user of a desktop computer on a corporate network can watch a conference stream or archive with very little effort on the part of the IT group or the user. The reach of a conference or event is extended beyond the domain of H.320 or H.323 devices to include virtually all Microsoft Windows™ PCs. One of the incentives to use streaming media for audiences is to reduce the cost and complexity associated with having all audiences joining by videoconference with a multipoint conferencing unit. By having viewers watching one stream including both people and content, the need for MCU ports is limited to only those sites where a meeting or event participant is contributing to the conference. In addition to live events being streamed to remote audiences in an “auditorium style” paradigm (where the audience can be large compared with the videoconferencing end points participating), streaming technologies can be used to record a conference of any size, at a fraction of the cost of reaching the same size audience over a video call. After a conference has been recorded, creating a conference “archive,” the conference is available to participants or those who were absent for review. Business Applications for Streaming Media Streaming media is popular in business for three broad categories of applications. The first category is corporate communications. When targeting employees or partners/business influencers with information, it is sometimes important for the subject matter expert or provider of the information to communicate with non-verbal as well as spoken words. Executive addresses to employees or other audiences, usually spoken from tightly scripted prepared remarks, are well suited to streaming media. A second application is the area of business learning. Rich media on a PC screen with video and synchronized slides offers the opportunity to demonstrate procedures or to see the facial expression of the instructor. Many studies have demonstrated the positive impacts of streaming media on information comprehension and retention. 2
  3. 3. The third popular application for streaming media is eBusiness. Increasingly companies are electing to deliver information to their business partners and customers by way of rich media for the same reasons as described above. Companies have demonstrated positive results with using streaming media webcasts to generate leads in place of face-to-face seminars or “road shows” where customers can attend an informational briefing without leaving their offices or at the time of their choosing. Creating Streaming Media with Polycom videoconferencing solutions Videoconferencing and streaming media have a lot in common but until recently, it was difficult to implement a solution that permits a videoconferencing user to capture an event in streaming media format or to make a live conference available to anyone with a personal computer. With Polycom People+Content™ Streaming, customers can now use their standard-compliant iPower videoconferencing device to capture video, synchronized content or webcast a conference. Specifically, the integration allows users to: • Capture or stream locally-generated video and present synchronized content while not in a live videoconference • Capture a point to point or multipoint conference with content during the conference for review (effectively creating an accurate archive of a conference), and • At the same time or without capturing the conference, stream a videoconference with video and content integrated in a common viewing window live to a remote audience during the session These capabilities are now inherent to the iPower product family running 5.0 software release. Directly out of the iPower system and without additional external equipment, a videoconferencing system user can elect to record or stream a conference by selecting “Stream to Web” from the Options menu. The iPower system user will be prompted to enter a name and password (optional) for the conference or local video and content to begin streaming. In the same screen, if a conference is in progress, radio dials permit the person originating the stream to choose which site’s video to stream from the iPower system. If an instructor is teaching a class, he or she can set the server to always stream the instructor’s video and content. Viewers on the stream will see the instructor even when other videoconferencing-enabled participants may be asking questions. A voice activated switching option is also available to produce the full meeting dynamic. To permit the audience to see both participating locations in a two way call at the same time, the user setting up the streaming source can select Picture-in-Picture (PIP). Up to five streaming media viewers can point their browsers to a pre-configured web page on the iPower system. A web URL can access an iPower system-streaming server, if the server is registering with DNS, or by IP address. A web page prompts the user to enter a conference name and optional password. The built-in server logs the request and provided the information matches the stream name and password and the receiving system has Windows Media player installed, it begins sending the stream to the audience member who requested to view. For PCs with earlier versions of Windows Media Player™, the server in iPower products prompts the user to download and install the latest edition including the highest performance codecs. 3
  4. 4. The intelligent iPower streaming server will show the video in full screen format, if slides or a document (the Content) is not presented. As soon as supporting information is introduced into the videoconference, the web interface resizes the People video to the top left corner of the window and dedicates a larger area for Content (generally higher resolution graphics). Since the Content is captured at the display resolution (SVGA or XGA) of the iPower system, streaming audiences can zoom in or out of the content graphic using the zoom control buttons on the web interface. In addition, the video window can be detached from the streaming media window and repositioned at the viewer’s discretion. Once detached, both the People and the Content windows can be sized independently of one another and be placed anywhere on the user’s screen. For live events that may have audiences exceeding the recommended five permissible on a single iPower system, each iPower system in a videoconference could start streaming. For an even larger audience, such as an employee meeting or distant learning application, the iPower system can utilize remote streaming servers to host streams and re-broadcast to the network without loosing the audio, video and content synchronization of the event or the settings selected by the originating stream source. Recording local content or a live videoconference for on demand viewing is also easily controlled from within the iPower 5.0 user interface. When recording is selected, the server captures the entire experience of the conference including video as well as any content introduced into the conference by participants. An archive can be written locally (to the iPower system’s hard disk) or remotely (to a network drive). The files for the archive playback can also be stored on any external storage media such as USB thumb drives or CDRWs attached to the iPower system via the USB ports. A recording can be accessed like any other file stored locally or on the network. The recording is saved as a self-contained unit in a folder that contains web (html format) pages that provide the People+Content synchronization. Navigating the content of a conference archive is also intuitive in the playback user interface. A viewer may pause, stop, or move the slider to a different point in the session. After a conference is recorded, People+Content video files can be edited on a separate dedicated video editing system using software available from one of many third party providers. Conclusion Videoconferences provide an engaging and interactive experience but they do not always satisfy the needs of all the potential target audiences. By gracefully integrating streaming media and videoconferencing into a single platform, Polycom iPower offers customers the best of both worlds: an efficient, easily managed streaming media source for large or time-delayed audiences as well as a fully interactive and high quality experience incorporating live video and supporting content. With integrated video, audio, data, and Web capabilities, The Polycom Office is the only solution that offers an easy way to connect, conference, and collaborate any way you want. iPower streaming and 4
  5. 5. recording tools are the Polycom commitment to making distance communications as natural and interactive as being there. Work faster, smarter, and better with iPower streaming and recording tools and The Polycom Office. Polycom, Inc. develops, manufactures and markets a full range of high-quality, easy-to-use and affordable voice and video communication endpoints, video management software, web collaboration software, multi- network gateways, and multi-point conferencing and network access solutions. Its fully integrated end-to- end solution, The Polycom Office, is supported by the Polycom Accelerated Communications Architecture, and enables business users to immediately realize the benefits of integrated video, voice data and web collaboration over rapidly growing converged networks. For additional information, call 1-800-POLYCOM (765-9266) or +1-408-526-9000, or visit the Polycom web site at Polycom, the Polycom logo and ViewStation are registered trademarks and iPower, Pro Motion, Siren 14, People+Content, ImageShare, and The Polycom Office are trademarks of Polycom in the U.S. and various countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2002, Polycom, Inc. All rights reserved. 5