Video conferencing: Do it yourself. But better.

ITS Multimedia Services has been offering video conferencing in specially equipped and supervised rooms for many years. These rooms are located both at the “Zentrum” (HG, LEE) and “Hönggerberg” (HCI, HIT) sites. A high-quality service that is used very actively.

However, video conferencing at the workplace is of great importance especially in the scientific community because it can be carried out more quickly and spontaneously. The laptop- and desktop-oriented “do-it-yourself video conferencing” is being used extensively as well. It requires participants to use their own laptops or desktop PCs with integrated or external cameras and microphones and individual software at a workstation or in a conference room.

Video conferencing software

With Scopia, ITS MMS does offer a solution for such meetings. However, the choice regarding which software is used is made among the connected peers: This means there is a wide variety of solutions in use, from Skype and Lync to WebEx and Adobe Connect to Zoom and – of course – Google Meet.

One thing they all have in common is the use of a local computer, which ideally includes a headset and camera. Another thing that they all have in common therefore is the quality of such a conference, which can vary between “very good” and “very poor”, with a clear tendency towards the latter. This is due to the often simple equipment and the surrounding conditions.

From 2019, Multimedia Services will therefore be offering a service for equipping local meeting rooms, which will improve the acoustic and visual quality of these do-it-yourself conferences. The range of offers will combine spatial elements such as movable walls and lighting as well as technical elements such as screens, cameras, loudspeakers and microphones. They can be used with individual software solutions on your own computer as well as for video conferences in small groups.

Proposed options

  • Single workstation and small meeting rooms (up to 4 people); target price 2,000 to 5,000 CHF
  • Huddle rooms (autonomous meeting place for open spaces; max. 4 persons); approx. 5,000 CHF
  • Meeting room (5-10 persons); approx. 10,000 CHF
  • Large meeting room (5-10 persons); approx. 20,000 CHF

By the end of 2018, ITS MMS will create standardised setups for meeting rooms of various sizes and test them within the scope of pilot installations: If you are interested, these pilot installations are already available for testing. It will be possible to book the setups starting in Q1/2019.

More

  • Video conferencing service (IT Service Catalogue)
  • Carrying Out a Video Conference (Services)
  • Infrastructure, incl. Huddle Rooms (PDF)
  • Application scenarios / E-learning/distance learning (PDF)
  • Room setup (PDF)

Contact

  • IT Services of ETH Zurich, ITS Multimedia Services (ITS MMS)
  • Tom Rechsteiner, Group Manager Videoconferencing & Collaboration (ITS MMS)

 

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