Booking a session

Video conference equipment is located in the Discussion Room which is also used as a meeting room and so its availability may be limited at times. Video conference sessions can be booked through the computing staff who will check the availability of the Discussion Room

Vincenzo Abete (Audio-Visual Technician)
Telephone: +44 12233 30580
Email: computing@newton.ac.uk

  • Equipment available between the hours of 09:00 and 17:00 Monday to Friday (unless otherwise agreed).
  • All conferences are subject to availability, on a first come, first served basis.
  • All ‘Out of Hours’ conferences are subject to staff availability.
  • You use the equipment entirely at your own risk.
Advice & Training

Help and training will be available before and during a video conference.
Please contact Vincenzo Abete (Office F6, Extension 30580) for further details.

These suggestions will help to enhance the quality of the video and audio experience.

  • Before the session begins:
    • It is recommended you arrive at least 10 minutes before the session begins, to ensure there are no problems and to allow time for any set-up changes etc.
    • Arrange the seats in a clear position for the camera, but try to fill the screen as much as possible with people rather than with furniture.
    • Avoid wearing bright or patterened clothing/jewellery (such as chequered, plaids or stripes). Dark or pastel clothes will ensure you are seen clearer on the screen.
    • Check the lighting conditions are sufficient. Close drapes or blinds and beware of any glare or shadows.
    • Place the microphone on the centre of the table in front of the people in the meeting.
    • Turn off all mobile phones.
  • During the session:
    • Before you start the meeting, ask the remote site if they can hear you clearly. Have them introduce themselves so you can be sure that you can hear them. You may want to adjust the volume on the television.
    • The video conferencing system transmits video images at a relatively slow rate and moving images will appear slighlty jerky. To reduce this visual effect by making any movements smooth and slow.
    • Audio will have a slight delay and only one side should speak at any one time. You may want to pause briefly for others to answer you or to make comments. Each person should wait for the other to finish speaking.
    • Don’t place papers or objects on or around the microphone area. Do not rustle papers or tap on the table.
    • Speak in your normal voice clearly and concisely, without shouting. Use natural gestures when you speak and remember to address the camera, not the display screen.
    • As with any meeting, try to limit side conversations.
  • After the session:
    • Please switch of the equipment using the power socket master switch.
    • If you have any particularly good or bad experiences during a video conferencing session, then please let us know, by contacting Vincenzo Abete (Office F6, Extension: 30580).
    • We make every effort to improve our services.
Useful Links and Resources

The following links give more information about video conferencing generally and other sites which may be of use when video conferencing:

  • http://www.wmnet.org.uk/vc/
    WMnet, the West Midlands Regional Broadband Consortium, has developed these online guides to video conferencing with funding from DfES and Becta.
  • http://www.ja.net/services/video/vtas/
    JANET provides a Video Technology Advisory Service (VTAS), which provides unbiased technical advice on equipment and issues related to video conferencing.
  • http://www.timeanddate.com/
    Linking up to another country? Then check the time difference here.
Policy & Guidelines

The Institute encourages use of its information resources. The guidelines in this document are designed to support Video Conferencing (VC) communication by INI visitors and staff with remote sites. All users of the Institute’s VC facilities must abide by Cambridge University codes of conduct as well as by local policies and guidelines, and must act responsibly to maintain the integrity of these resources. The Institute’s facilities have been acquired through a grant from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, and there is no charge to participants for their use.

Using the Institute’s Video Conference Facilities

  1. Booking the Facilities.
    1. Any invited visitor or staff member can request the use of the VC facilities; use by non-Institute personnel is not permitted.
    2. Requests to use the VC facilities should be sent to the Audio Visual Technician, VC@newton.ac.uk (Office F6), at least 24 hours in advance (exceptions may apply). See Booking a Session for further information.
    3. Special events such as a scheduled remote lecture shall take precedence over all other requests for the use of VC facilities. This may require previously scheduled events to be interrupted, cancelled or delayed.
  2. Appropriate Uses of the Facilities:
    1. Seminars presented by people unable to attend a Programme or Workshop in person due to time, cost or other constraints;
    2. Collaborative discussions with researchers and groups elsewhere, including PhD students and postdocs of participants;
    3. Presentations by Institute members to workshops etc. elsewhere;
    4. Institute Community Outreach activities in the Mathematical Sciences;
    5. Administrative purposes of the Institute;
    6. Inappropriate uses, which include personal purposes not related to scientific work, and commercial uses such as solicitation of goods and services, are not permitted. If you are in doubt, please ask the AV technician in advance.
  3. Rules when using the Facilities:
    1. The handling of Institute VC equipment shall be restricted to personnel trained in its operation.
    2. Removal of or tampering with equipment and other resources is not allowed.
    3. A programme participant shall be designated responsible for the VC facility during the session and shall supervise the facility while in use. It is essential that prior to the session, this responsible user coordinates with technical staff to receive familiarization training with the VC system, to ensure that the user will be able to operate the system.
    4. VC technical support staff shall not normally be present during a session. VC technical support may be requested and will be provided only if other duties permit. Support will be limited to:
      1. Projection equipment operation
      2. Audio equipment operation
      3. Connectivity coordination and troubleshooting with remote sites
    5. Observers to any session should be announced to all participants in the session. If a session is to be recorded (video or audio) this fact should be announced to all participants in the session at all sites.
    6. The Institute will not accept liability as a result of a conference not taking place or interruptions due to unforeseen circumstances, network failure, equipment failure or power supply failure.
Using your own video conferencing equipment

There is a vast range of VC hardware and software available in the market and all VC vendors provide some common features. Some of the required features that will be considered standard for institute deployments include, but are not limited to:

  • H323 video protocol compatible
  • High Definition cameras and display monitors
  • Document-sharing capabilities
  • High speed network connectivity
  • Multiple monitors to connect various remote locations

To ensure that any VC equipment you are interested in deploying is compatible with these standards, please contact the IT staff in Room F6.

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