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Videoconferencing

Videoconferencing is a powerful multimedia tool that simultaneously captures and transfers video and audio between two (or more) locations. With videoconferencing you can conduct face-to-face meetings or job interviews, facilitate team collaboration, participate in a remote conference, or other events worldwide using dedicated high-quality video equipment that works across the Internet (IP based) or via an ISDN connection. For a videoconference to work, you need to have the six essential components: a camera, microphone, monitor, speaker, codec, and a network connection.

The CCS videoconferencing service is available in both 'fixed' locations and via 'portable' videoconferencing carts. Videoconferencing software is also available so that remote users who do not have dedicated VC equipment can participate in videoconferences with people who do. There is no charge for Ryerson Faculty and Staff use of videoconferencing rooms for academic or administrative purposes. Charges apply if CCS staff must deliver a cart or operate the equipment in VC rooms and for external events such as conferences.

Two dedicated rooms are available for holding videoconferences: KHS-350F and LIB-99O. In addition, a CCS meeting room, LIB-B48C, may also be used if it is available. All these facilities are equipped with specialized equipment that provides high-definition video for a rich user experience.

Table 1: VC Facilities and Equipment

Dedicated Rooms Available for Videoconferencing located in the Kerr Hall and Library basement

Room

Building

Capacity 
Equipment Room Type
KHS-350F Kerr Hall South (3rd floor) 20
  • Tandberg 6000 MXP HD
  • 65" HD tv
Dedicated VC room
LIB-99O CCS (library basement) 8
  • Tandberg 6000 MXP HD
  • 65" HD tv
Dedicated VC room
LIB-B48C CCS (library basement) 8
  • Tandberg 6000 MXP HD
  • 65" HD tv
General Purpose Meeting Room

ISDN is only available in room KHS-350F.

CCS provides the portable VC equipment carts. The portable VC equipment can be used in any network enabled facility around the campus to hold a video conference. The portable cart includes a Tandberg 6000 MXP HD system and a 52" HD tv (if required) along with necessary cables and accessories.

Videoconferencing software is also available for remote users who only have access to a Windows computer equipped with a webcam and microphone. Remote users are unlikely to be able to experience the full high-definition conference. There are two different clients available for PC videoconferencing:

  • ConferenceMe
    It uses a pre-supplied URL to connect to a conference. Please access the steps listed on ConferenceMe page.
  • Movi
    It allows dialing into conferences and instant messaging. Please access the steps listed on Movi page.

Please contact Media Services at help@ryerson.ca regarding these software options if you need to connect remote users who do not have access to a videoconferencing system.

To request videoconferencing service and/or support, please contact Media Services at help@ryerson.ca.

Things to know before booking a video conference facility or equipment:

  • Booking is based on a first come first serve basis
  • Book in advance. At least 48 hours of notice is required for bookings. A minimum notice of 10 working days is required to ensure staff availability if the requested session is after Media Services regular business hours
  • A display device (monitor/projector/tv) and speakers for sound and/or if you are requesting portable equipment
  • The IP addresses for IP Videoconferencing or the phone numbers for ISDN Videoconferencing of all video conference locations
  • If ISDN videoconferencing service is requested, additional ISDN service charge will apply
  • If the support is required after Media Services regular business hours, overtime charges will apply
  • CCS requires 24 hours notice of any cancellations; otherwise, a $50.00 cancellation fee will be charged to your account

Note:

  • Only one ISDN videoconference can be hosted for any one time slot due to the bandwidth restrictions
  • Only videoconferencing over IP can be hosted in any network-enabled room on campus

The charges for videoconferencing may differ for different user categories as explained in this section. Moreover, the use of ISDN lines for videoconferencing purposes will be subjected to additional charges.

Ryerson's Faculty and Staff - Academic & Administration purposes

Fixed

VC services are available at no charge at fixed locations to the Ryerson faculty and staff for any academic and administration purposes and if no technical support is required during the VC session. If VC support is required during the VC session, support charges will apply with a minimum of 1/2 hour service charge as shown in Table 2.

Portable

VC services to the Ryerson faculty and staff using portable equipment for any academic and administration purposes will have $50 delivery and pickup charge. If VC support is required during the VC session, support charges will apply with a minimum of 1/2 hour service charge as shown in Table 2.

The normal hourly rate is $50/hr except when staff is working overtime.

Table 2: IP Videoconferencing Charges - Ryerson's faculty and staff (Academic & Administration purposes)

IP Videoconferencing Service Charges for fixed or portable format available for Academic and Administration purposes

Format Delivery & Pickup Charges Equipment Rental & Set-up Charges Support Charges* (Optional)
Fixed $0 $0 $50/hr
Portable $50 $0 $50/hr

* A minimum HALF hour support charges apply with hourly increments.

Ryerson's Faculty and Staff - Non-Academic & Non-Administration purposes

Fixed

VC services to Ryerson's faculty and staff at fixed locations for any non-academic and non-administration purposes will have a $50/hr equipment rental and setup charge. If required, support will be charged at $50/hr as shown in Table 3.

Portable

VC services to the Ryerson's faculty and staff using portable equipment for any non-academic and non-administration purposes will have a $50 delivery and pickup charge, $50/hr equipment rental and setup charge, and $50/hr mandatory support charge as shown in Table 3.

Table 3: IP Videoconferencing Charges - Ryerson's Internal Clients (Non-Academic & Non-Administration purposes)

IP Videoconferencing Service Charges for fixed or portable format available for Non-Academic and Non-Administration purposes

Format

Delivery & Pickup Charges

Equipment Rental & Set-up Charges

Support Charges*  

Fixed $0 $50 $50/hr (optional)
Portable $50 $50 $50/hr (mandatory)

Fixed

VC services at fixed locations will have an equipment rental and support fees of $150/hr as shown in Table 4.

Portable

VC services using portable equipment will have $60 delivery and pickup charge, $150/hr equipment rental and setup charge, and $150/hr support charge as shown in Table 4.

TABLE 4: IP Videoconferencing Charges - External Events and Clients

IP Videoconferencing Service Charges for fixed or portable format available for the External Events and Clients

Format Delivery & Pickup Charges Equipment Rental & Set-up Charges Support Charges* (Mandatory)
Fixed $0 $150 $60/hr
Portable $60 $150 $60/hr

* A minimum ONE hour support charges apply with hourly increments

In order to understand the charges better, let us look at a few scenarios.

Example 1: Academic Use

A TRSM Ryerson Business Professor and her class want to hold a two-hour videoconference in room TRS 3-099 with their counterparts in Sloan School of Management, MIT, US. This instructor will need VC support during the conference.

The business professor is using videoconferencing for academic purposes. Room TRS 3-099 will need a portable equipment unit. Referring to Table 2:

Equipment Rental & Set-up Charges: $0
Delivery & Pickup Charges: $50
Support Charges: $50/hr = $100 (for 2 hours)

Total Charges: $(50+100) = $150

Example 2: Non-Academic and Non-Administrative Use

A Teaching Assistant (TA) from the department of Mathematics wants to be interviewed for a job outside Ryerson in room KHF-350S using videoconferencing for one-hour and the interviewer is in another location. He does not want any VC support.

The TA is a Ryerson employee who wants to use Ryerson's videoconferencing services for a non-academic and non-administrative purpose. Also room KHF-350S is a fixed VC room. Since this is non academic work, the TA will be charged a rental and setup fee of $50/hr. The TA should refer to Table 3 for the pricing information.

Equipment Rental & Set-up Charges: $50
Delivery & Pickup Charges: $0
Support Charges: $50/hr (not required) = $0

Total Charges: $(50+0) = $50

Example 3: External

An organization contacts Ryerson and books a video conferencing service slot for four-hours. The attendees want to use a big conference room in Jorgensen Hall (with a network connection).

The information can be obtained from Table 4 to get pricing for this request for portable equipment.

Equipment Rental & Set-up Charges: $150/hr = $600 (for 4 hours)
Delivery & Pickup Charges: $60
Support Charges: $60/hr = $240 (for 4 hours)

Total Charges: $(600+60+240) = $900

Example 4: After hours

A local neighbourhood club contacts Ryerson and books a video conferencing service slot for three-hours (one hour during Media Services regular business hours, and two hours after) in the Ryerson Library's room.

In this case, an external user is requesting the portable VC service during and after regular Media Service business hours resulting in two types of Support charges. The quote can be obtained using the normal rate for the regular hours but $100/hr for after hours support charge from Table 4:

Equipment Rental & Set-up Charges: $150/hr = $450 (for 3 hours)
Delivery & Pickup Charges: $60
Support Charges: $60/hr for 1st hour and $100/hr for after hours for 2nd and 3rd hour each = $(60+100+100) = $260 (for 3 hours)

Total Charges: $(450+60+260) = $770

Example 5: ISDN

A Ryerson Staff requests the use of two (2) ISDN conference lines for administrative use for half (1/2) an hour with support during Media Services regular business hours.

At present, ISDN conference is only offered in room KHS-350F. The staff person will have to pay additional charges for using ISDN per line requested in addition to the charges for a service based on fixed location from Table 2. For our example, let's assume $1 ISDN charge:

Equipment Rental & Set-up Charges: $0
Delivery & Pickup Charges: $0
Support Charges: $50/hr = $25 (for 1/2 an hour)
Additional ISDN charges: $1/minute for 30 minutes for each of 3 lines = $(1*30*3) = $90

Total Charges: $(25+90) = $115

Videoconferencing FAQ

The videoconferencing service using an Internet Protocol (IP) network is known as IP videoconferencing. H.323 is a standard that enables the videoconferencing to be carried out over IP networks. Each system in a point-to-point and multi-point conference connects to other locations by dialing an IP address, instead of using dedicated telephone lines, as in H.320 or ISDN videoconferencing.

There is no difference between video conferencing and video teleconferencing. Both the terms are interchangeably used to describe a meeting between parties in different locations wherein the meeting participants use communications equipment to both see and hear one another as they interact.

For a videoconferencing to work, a basic device called a CODEC (Coder/Decoder) is required along with a camera, microphone, display unit (monitor/tv), speaker, and network connection. A CODEC takes the video and audio signals from the conference room's camera and microphone, digitizes and compresses them before submitting the signals over a network (LAN or internet). Videoconferencing can also be conducted using an ISDN (standard H.320) over digital phone lines. CCS at Ryerson University offers both the IP and ISDN videoconferencing services.

Codec stands for "Coder/Decoder". It is a piece of equipment or software that both encodes an audio/video signal from an analog source (like a camera or a microphone) and decodes the digital signal for replay as an analog signal (to a monitor or speakers).

Early planning will insure success. If you are doing a single point conference, also known as Point to Point, you could simply call the person responsible for scheduling a room to check the availability. Make sure that you have the distant site’s scheduling contact or technical contact phone number. This information will help local support personnel to get the unit's ISDN phone number or IP address. It will allow for a quick test of the connection and support during your conference.

Planning a conference with multiple locations can be complicated, but CCS Media Services staff can assist you with taking the necessary steps to ensure a successful video conference. The same steps apply as discussed for single point conference except you will have to provide the different IP addresses or ISDN phone numbers for all the locations participating in the conference.

There are currently two dedicated rooms in CCS with fixed equipment for videoconferencing. In addition, any network enabled room on campus can be used with portable equipment for IP and ISDN videoconferencing.

Videoconferencing at Ryerson is available for individual or group use in fixed and temporary campus locations, and is open to student groups, faculty and staff for a variety of applications such as lectures, multi-media presentations, meetings, and interviews. Ryerson’s videoconferencing facilities are also available to external clients.

Standards have been adopted by the main manufacturers of video conferencing equipment to ensure a fair degree of interconnectivity with videoconferencing systems around the world. Testing connectivity with remote locations is recommended and can be arranged by Media Services staff prior to a scheduled videoconference.

Portable videoconferencing equipment can be set up in various locations in Ryerson such as classrooms and boardrooms, or any other location with an available IP connection. Large audiences can therefore be connected by videoconference at any such location, provided that videoconference equipment is set up and connected to an IP address at both locations.

Computing and Communications Services at Ryerson will provide user support for standard videoconference equipment purchased by Ryerson departments. If you would like more information about purchasing recommended equipment, please contact Media Services at avhelp@ryerson.ca.

The CCS videoconferencing rooms are free of charge for all internal academic or administrative use. Hourly charges apply when support is required, or when these facilities are used for internal non-academic and non-administrative purposes. Portable equipment for videoconferencing is subject to set-up charges, and hourly rates will apply when not used for academic or administrative purposes. Videoconference technicians can also be provided (with 2 weeks’ notice and when available) for an additional hourly rate. The CCS videoconferencing rooms and portable videoconferencing equipment are also available to external clients at specific hourly rates, as well as set up charges and videoconference technician rates where applicable.

To book a videoconference, please contact Media Services at help@ryerson.ca.

Things to know before booking a video conference facility or equipment:

  • Booking is based on a first come first serve basis
  • Book in advance. A minimum notice of 10 working days is required to ensure staff availability if the requested session is after Media Services regular business hours
  • If you require a display device (monitor/projector/tv) and speakers for sound and/or if you are requesting portable equipment
  • The IP addresses for IP Videoconferencing or the phone numbers for ISDN Videoconferencing of all video conference locations

ALSO NOTE:

  • Only one ISDN videoconference can be hosted for any one time slot due to the bandwidth restrictions
  • Both IP and ISDN videoconferencing can be hosted in any network-enabled room on campus.