Video Conferencing Training for Engineers

Video Conferencing is key to what we do and it’s becoming commonplace in the live events world. Customers expect it to work (and it should) and event organisers want their events to include as many people as possible, whether they’re in the room or not.

We believe that technology should be used by all to bring maximum value to customers and that video conferencing specifically is a fantastic, valuable tool which allows people outside the room to interact and be engaged with those in the room.

Please feel free to attend our training day and learn about the technical opportunities and challenges associated with video conferencing. This training will be technical and designed for people with a good knowledge of AV and IT infrastructures.

The training will take place at our office in Wimbledon on 4th August at 10am. Please contact tom@presentcommunications.com if you would like to attend.

AJA Ki Pro Rack

 

We’ve recently invested in the industry standard AJA Ki Pro, a unit that has proved to be of superb quality and reliability for us over the last year.

With a wealth of professional connections, Ki Pro Rack will fit right into your existing cabling and routing system and record 10-bit Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHD files direct to removable hard disk or SSD Storage Modules, eliminating the need for time-consuming logging and capturing. The files can be used in most editing systems without the need for additional transcoding or importing processes.

  • HD/SD Solid State Video Recorder
  • Ability to switch between Apple ProRes 422 and Avid DNxHD
  • Built-in broadcast-quality Up/Down/Cross conversions
  • HD/SD SDI, HDMI, and HD/SD analog video I/O
  • Multi-channel AES, analog balanced XLR, and embedded audio I/O
  • Remote configuration and control via Ethernet LAN connection
  • Ethernet file transfer
  • Stand-alone operation and configuration, no need for external computer
  • RS-422 machine control, genlock, and LTC connections
  • Dual Media Drive Bays

 

Video conferencing out of the meeting room

Remote and flexible working is of course part of ones daily life now.  If we are not remote workers personally, we certainly know a few who are.  Data is accessible in the cloud and mobile phones and the Internet have made interpersonal communications easy, even from opposite sides of the World.

As the World shrinks, our workforce and our customers can be easily reached at any time and from any place.  Of course it’s not just the convenience; using the Internet rather than travel means we can reduce cost, increase efficiency and productivity whilst reducing our effect on the environment.

Many of us work with colleagues from all over the World and in different time zones.  Increasingly, we now communicate with those people via video link, whether it’s in a conference suite or from our desks using systems like Lync or Zoom. This use of video brings benefits over telephone and email.  It’s said that when we communicate, 55% of our message is expressed through body language and 38% expressed through tone of voice.

Even as a video conferencing service provider, I would still argue that there is no substitute for face-to-face meetings.  Large group meetings, presentations and workshops are still important but with teams spread from one continent to the next, it’s often not possible to get everyone in one room and that’s really where video conferencing comes in.  Large venues, hotels, conference and exhibition centres allow us to get large groups together but we often can’t get everyone in the same room.

Historically, event organisers have avoided complicated video links and streaming on the Internet and instead opted for simpler, safer options. With websites like YouTube now accounting for more than half of Internet traffic, video over the web is much safer, more reliable and resilient.  Event spaces are also realising the value of offering high quality connectivity to their clients.  We regularly run concurrent meetings on different continents, have over flow rooms on the other side of the world or join teams from different jurisdictions all together in one virtual place in order that they benefit from each others experiences.

If you want to know more about how we might be able to make this work for you, please feel free to give us a call…

Corporate clients require only the best equipment…

When it comes to the ultimate in connectivity and flexibility for video conferencing, there really is no substitute for Cisco’s flagship codec, the Cisco C90.

Having spent the last year trying, testing and comparing the C90 to similar products from the same and competitor brands, it has become apparent the Cisco’s product, part of the C-series, released since they bought Tandberg a few years ago has the relaxability in terms of connectivity particularly that the competitors just don’t offer and it’s these features that make is so useful in the live events industry where no two jobs are ever the same.

I can honestly say that we’ve used so many features on the unit that literally aren’t available on other devices, such as DVI input on the main video channel or even just HD-SDI inputs.  Actually clean output busses are handy as well as balanced line level in and out.

So what are we going to do about this.  Well, we just bought two more!

Video Conference service provider or AV company…?

What is the difference between an AV company who do video conferencing and a specialist video conferencing service provider??

Most AV/event production/rental houses will claim to be able to do video conferencing and indeed many of them actually own their own equipment and know mostly how to make them work.  So if I buy a Ferrari, does that make me a Lewis Hamilton?

Setting up a big sound system not only requires a knowledge of power amplifiers, system controller and mixing desks but also requires a good ear if you want it to work well.  Similarly with video conferencing, a good working knowledge of the equipment is necessary but so is a knowledge of IT and networking, phone lines, ISDN, IP, H.323, H.239, H.264, CIF, QCIF, HD, 720P, dual stream, people & content, bandwidth, firewalls, NAT, port forwarding etc etc.  The list unfortunately goes on and on.  Once you’ve got that covered, you then of course have the local connectivity side of things; VGA, HDMI, DVI, SDI, HD-SDI, Composite, Component, S-video. And then there is the audio…

You get the picture.

Present Communications is a specialist video conference provider.  We offer the finest technical support along side our equipment and in many cases offer a ‘brand-free’ service to other production companies and act seamlessly as your video conferencing team.

Firewall problems are a thing of the past – introducing PUNCH!

Firewalls, NAT, port forwarding, words that strike fear into the heart of even the most veteran video conferencing engineer.

There are many ways to set up a codec on a network.  You can allow the codec access to a public IP, NAT to the codec or use simple port forwarding if you think you’re brave enough.

Punch through the firewall

Any of these options require assistance from the in-house IT expert.  Of course that IT person should also be handy with video conferencing and understand the specific port requirements and also how H.323 work.  When you find that person, send him to me, I have a job going.

There are lots of ways that a firewall can be bypassed.  Some are much more complicated than others but mostly they require a lot of configuration.  What is really required by the industry is a way to just PUNCH! through any firewall and present the Video Codec to the outside world on a public IP address outside (and not related) to the network it’s on.
Well, we have this product and if you haven’t guessed already, it’s called PUNCH!  Each device is plugged into any network via the PUNCH! and that device is automatically configured with a public IP address on our network which will work with your Video Codec or any other device.

Don’t believe us, give us a try!

PresentAnywhere – Webcast and Video Conference from literally anywhere….

We are asked a lot about webcasting and video conferencing. Generally, people want it anywhere, at any time and they want it cheaper.

Lets take a video conference as an example.  Traditionally, there are lots of ways to facilitate this.  A connection is required from Site A to Site B.  This connection has typically been over ISDN. This is expensive for a number of reason.  Even if you disregard the fact that you need to make 8 potentially international telephone calls simultaneously, you also need to be on a site that actually has enough ISDN lines installed and configured for this kind of dedicated use.  They will be paying for these on a contract over a few years and probably not using them very much.  So very few sites actually have ISDN lines now that are configured appropriately and if they do, they’re really expensive.

That’s why, over the last few years, more and more video conferences have taken place over the internet which has become much more reliable in recent years.  The video call itself is effectively free to the end user assuming they can get a decent internet connection.  And this is still where the problem lies.

Most places have some kind of internet either wired or wifi, 3g or even 4g but generally wireless internet is not sufficient for a video conference.  Even if you can get the bandwidth, which is unlikely in the real world, it lacks the consistency and reliability.  That’s where our new technology comes in!  We’re calling it “Present Anywhere”.

“Present Anywhere” allows you to take all the different types of connections mentioned above and join them all together and make one virtual connection.  This is called ‘bonding’.  There are a couple of differences with our system though.  Other ‘bandwidth amalgamation’ software will make your internet faster but not for a single use.  So for example, whilst it might be quicker for browsing the web, it won’t make it any quicker than a single connection for something like streaming a single video or a VPN.  Bear in mind that streaming a video and downloading a video is not the same thing.  Also, some other bonding solutions require expensive hardware setups and the hire of leased lines and off site equipment and technical support.  Our does not.

Even if you can’t get fixed internet, wifi, 3g or 4g, we can still use domestic satellites which can be portable. If one isn’t enough, we’ll use 2.  And because we’re using compressed video rather than uncompressed that you would get on a satellite truck, we can get higher quality video through a smaller, cheaper satellite dish.

Basically, “Present Anywhere” allows you to present from … well … anywhere.

 

Cisco / Tandberg C90 now in stock!!

We are, as far as we know, the first company in the UK to have invested in the latest video telepresence engine, the Cisco C90 and made it available to our partners as part of our hire stock, supported by our experienced video conference engineers to take the stress away from your team.

 

Customisation High-Definition Connectivity Speed
Multi-site TechnologyLimitless integration possibilitiesDual StreamCustomisable video outputs 1080p60 end-to-end High Definition VideoFour Way 1080p30 High DefinitionHD 1080p Camera 12 HD Sources13 Video inputs5 Video outputs14 Audio inputs8 Audio outputs H.323/SIP 6mbps point to point10mbps multi-site bandwidth

 

We are able to offer support for a range of video conferencing equipment as well as full production services for your meetings, event, conferences and more.

 

 

cisco-tandberg-codec-c90-photoThe C90 is the most flexible codec on the market right now.  It has a mass of connectivity that can be fully customised and used to route a large number of HDMI and HD-SDI inputs and outputs as well as balanced and un-balanced audio and digital audio.

 

 

 

It connects to multiple sites in HD using over 10mb/s  (where available) which can be viewed with a customised layout.  Both local and remote layouts are fully customisable.  This allows each of the 4 independent outputs to have their own feeds.