Advanced Topics in Videoconferencing
This page aims to collect learning materials for deploying and troubleshooting videoconferencing solutions. The target audience is media, computer and network technicians.
Videoconferencing Learning and Troubleshooting Resources
- An Introduction to Videoconferencing - A Guide for New Users
- What TCP and UDP ports are needed or used by Polycom Video and Network Products? -- useful for firewall configurations See also this list of Confirmed Videoconferencing Firewall Ports.
- Network Planning Worksheets for Deploying Video Conferencing
- The effects of network latency and jitter on an H.323 video call
- Preparing Your IP Network for Video Conferencing
- Preparing Your IP network for High Definition Video Conferencing
- Understanding and Implementing High Definition Videoconferencing: Building a Better Telepresence Service Using Junos (free PDF book)
- The Videoconferencing Cookbook
- Ask The EXPERT: Reasons for Packet Loss
- Ask The Expert: The Effects of Packet Loss and Delay on Video Quality
- User’s Guide for Polycom HDX Room Systems
- Administrator’s Guide for Polycom HDX Systems
- Installing Software and Options for Polycom® HDX® Systems and Accessories
- Polycom HDX Series - Downloads, Release Notes
- How to troubleshoot video image issues during calls on Polycom® HDX systems.
- Polycom Recommended Best Security Practices
- Polycom Firewall Options and Tips
Videoconferencing Design Resources
- Video conferencing room primer
- Ask The EXPERT: Eye Contact in Video Calls
- Ask The Expert: Designing Your Conference Room
- Ask The Expert: The Perfect Desktop Conferencing Machine (also applies to Laptops)
- The seven deadly sins of visual quality over IP
- Cisco Video Conferencing Best Practices
- Videoconferencing Room Acoustic Guidelines
Videoconferencing Best Practices
Geared somewhat more to end users/customers.
- Video Conferencing Best Practices (scroll down to best practices for network users, oddly named but useful)
- 11 Do's and Don'ts of Video Conferencing Etiquette
- Videoconferencing Best Practices from the University of Minnesota
- Best Practices for Conducting a Successful Video Conference - from the University of Pittsburgh
- Group Videoconferencing Best Practices - from Dartmouth
- Faculty Guide to Teaching through Videoconferencing - from Penn State
- Video Conferencing Best Practices - from U. Calgary
- Video Conferencing Etiquette and Best Practices - from Georgia Health Sciences University
- Videoconferencing Tips for Success - from Northwestern
- Video Conferencing Best Practices - from Bluejeans
- Best Practices for Desktop Videoconferencing Success - from Avistar
Sample Network Requirements for Videoconferencing
- Speed: Between 384kbps (min. for SD) and 1Mbps (min. for HD) , , , .
- Note: HD calls between more modern Polycom devices can take place with 512kbps .
- Jitter: Must be less than 40ms, ideally less than 20ms. , , , 
- Latency: Less than 120ms , 
- Packet loss: Less than 1% , 
- The above usually requires QoS. Packet shaping needs to be tuned or eliminated.
- See also this list of Confirmed Videoconferencing Firewall Ports.
Videoconferencing Test IP Addresses
System Type: VSX 8000 #1 Capabilities: Up to 1472K @ 60fps Test Numbers: LAN/IP: 22.214.171.124 <-- Try this first!
System Type: VSX 8000 #2 Capabilities: Up to 1472K @ 60fps Test Numbers: LAN/IP: 126.96.36.199
System Type: VS 4000 #1 Capabilities: Up to 1472K @ 60fps Test Numbers: LAN/IP: 188.8.131.52
System Type: VS 4000 #2 Capabilities: Up to 1472K @ 60fps Test Numbers: LAN/IP: 184.108.40.206
System Type TPX 300 Network Interface IP Only Capabilities Up to 2Mbs (Per codec) Test Numbers: Codec 1 IP: 220.127.116.11 Codec 2 IP: 18.104.22.168 Codec 3 IP: 22.214.171.124
System Type: HDX 8000 Capabilities: Up to 1920 @ 60fps Test Numbers: LAN/IP: 126.96.36.199
Testing using your iPad, iPhone or Android device
Polycom has released an app for the iPad/iPhone and for Android devices. Using the app you can call HDX systems from Polycom. The app can be a good way to test connectivity to a Polycom videoconference system, as long as it is an HDX system. Simply download the app for your device, connect to a decently fast Wi-Fi network and dial the IP address of the Polycom system.
Click here for more information on the Polycom RealPresence app.
LifeSize has released an app for both iPad/iPhone and Android devices. You can use this to make short (5 min) test calls from your iPhone/iPad or Android device to LifeSize units. The software is called ClearSea. Download is available at .
Polycom in Austin Texas
Not always on. Try : lobby.austin.polycom.com or 188.8.131.52 or open a command line prompt on a computer, ping lobby.austin.polycom.com and use the IP address that PING returns.
Other Test Sites
General Testing Notes
- Both sites should try calling a test site (see above).
- If you can't call another site, have the other side try calling you. This sometimes gets around firewall rules (but won't help you with traffic prioritization / packet shaping).
- Both sides can check if the videoconferencing ports are open on their network: http://www.ipfingerprints.com/portscan.php.
- You can ping the other site's IP address to see if it responds (it may not, if ICMP/ping is not allowed).
- You can run a traceroute (tracert in Windows, traceroute on unix systems) to the other site's IP address. This will show you whether the route is accessible and it will show you the delay (latency) along the route (between each hop).
- Each side can telnet to a specific port on the other side's IP to see if it is open.
-  http://docs.polycom.com/global/documents/services/professional_services/high_definition_readiness_services/whitepaper_preparing_your_ip_network_for_hd_video_conferencing.pdf
-  http://www.lifesize.com/videoconferencingspot.com/?p=1563
-  http://voip.about.com/od/videoconferencing/f/How-Much-Bandwidth-Is-Required-For-Skype-Hd-Video-Call.htm
-  http://bluejeans.com/support/knowledgebase
-  http://www.ciscopress.com/articles/article.asp?p=357102&seqNum=2
-  http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/data-center/is-your-network-ready-to-handle-videoconferencing/
-  https://community.ja.net/library/videoconferencing-booking-service/videoconferencing-traffic-network-requirements
-  http://www.nefsis.com/best-video-conferencing-software/latency.html
-  http://docs.polycom.com/global/documents/company/features/h264-high-profile-app-brief.pdf