Video conferencing (VC) uses compressed audio/video that is sent and received over the Internet.
The latest VC equipment allows for the connection of computers to send high resolution data among participating sites.
Currently, IT is recommending specific equipment based on the particular needs in each county extension office
The first step for county offices to explore video conference is to call Andy Ofalt (814) 863-0334 or by email.
For University Park or other PSU campus work unit locations, visit PSU Information Technology Services.
Why should I purchase a Polycom system?
- Eye-to-eye contact and true interactive viewing bring all participants and locations together regardless of time and distance
- Overcome budget shortfalls
- Save travel dollars. Travel can cost $200.00 a day or more. Thirty days of travel can pay for a videoconference system
- Saves staff time. A two hour meeting, three hours away equals at least eight hours away from the office and six hours of travel time.
- Through interactive distance learning, educators can expose participants to people and experiences without the traditional restrictions of time limitations or geographical barriers.
What do I need?
Network? VC equipment? TVs? Projectors? Phones? Cables? Lighting? Furniture?
For an assessment of your county location and the items needed to set up and operate a video conference site, contact the AgIT Help Desk.
Each conference site must designate a Video Conference Technical Contact and a Video Conference Scheduling Contact to be included in the PSU videoconferencing information site.
After the installation of a Polycom videoconference unit, AgIT will provide basic training for the use your new Polycom equipment, and we will give you some tips & techniques to have more effective video conferencing meetings.
Want to learn on your own, here are several links to get you started:
- Videoconferencing User Practice
- Polycom User Training
- Effective Use of Two-Way Interactive Video Conferencing
Every VC system will include the purchase of a Polycom Service Contract. This contract offers training and technical support for the VC unit for the designated time, usually three years. The contract vendor is your primary source for support if you experience difficulties with the set-up and operation of your system during that contract period.
Currently our existing service contract vendor is EXPEDITE Video Conferencing . You can access support by calling 1-888-YES-VIDEo and selecting OPTION 2 .
EXPEDITE will troubleshoot and service the VC unit and other equipment that you purchased from them. You have a 24-hour turn around service for the Polycom hardware.
For other optional equipment (monitors, projectors, audio systems), consult the warranty information from your vendor.
For Network Problems, consult your local Internet Service Providor (ISP)
AgIT Support is available if you do not get resolution from EXPEDITE or your ISPCall: 814-865-1229 or submit a Help Request
Conference Scheduling Information
There are two videoconference connection options.
- Point-to-Point - will connect two Polycom units by a direct dial-up to the remote site. Use that site’s IP number or its 5 digit alias number. No third party scheduling is required, just dial up the remote site.
- Multi-Point - involves more than two sites conferencing . This requires that you schedule the PSU Video Bridge. All sites will dial into the PSU bridge by dialing 2 2 2 2.
- You are responsible to confirm that the remote sites for your conference are available and are reserved for your conference.
Reserving the Penn State Video Bridge
- The Penn State Video Bridge is scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. The Pen State Video Bridge is only to be used for PSU video conferences.
- To reserve the Penn State Video Bridge, contact ITS Call Center Services at (814) 863-8906. The Center is open Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:30pm.
- In addition to making a reservation over the phone, you may also complete the on-line Penn State Video Bridge Reservation Form.
Penn State Video Conference Sites
- For the detailed site information, be sure to follow the director, "If you are a PSU employee, click here to see more information," found at the above URL.
AgIT Managed Site: 424 Ag Administration Bldg.
- Available 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. For reservations, call Kim McClelland at 814-865-2319 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- This room seats 24 and will have a technical support person available to initiate the conference. You will be trained to operate the equipment in the room.
- You must complete a video conference event worksheet if you schedule room 424 Ag Admin at University Park. The worksheet will be sent to you when you request the room.
- Other non-AgIT managed sites are available on campus. See the Room Directory List above and make your reservations directly with their scheduling contact.
Polycom Getting Started Guide
Every technical contact should be familiar with the documents appropriate for their videoconference system.