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Behind the Curtain

The Global Classroom uses H.323 videoconferencing technology.  H.323 is a worldwide standard for sending audio and video over an IP network (like the public internet). Your university may already own some h.323 hardware and we prefer to use hardware-based systems. Quite often, universities have purchased this equipment made by companies like Polycom, Tandberg, Sony or Aethra.  If you are unable to use one of these hardware-based devices, then we suggest using a standard USB webcam with software from Polycom. That software is called PVX. It runs on Windows computers only. Our other partner universities often use a laptop with webcam and large display, however this software-based solution is only recommended for groups of 4 or less as the camera and audio severely limits the number of parties that can be actively involved in the videoconference.

Minimum Requirements
    •    At least 256 Kbps bandwidth (both upload and download) for connecting to the Internet
    •    Network that allows incoming and outgoing communication over TCP ports 1720, 3230-3237 and UDP ports 3230-3237
    •    A computer running Polycom PVX software (this is for groups of 4 or less) - see computer requirements below
    •    Enough bandwidth during the time of class
    •    An instructor and technicians to run the class

Computer Requirements (if running PVX software)
    •    PC with Windows 2000 SP 4 or Windows XP SP 1
    •    2.2 GHz Intel Pentium 4 compatible with SSE or
    •    AMD Athlon XP (2200+ or faster)
    •    256 MB Ram
    •    16 MB video memory
    •    62 MB free hard disk space
    •    PC camera with built-in microphone (like the logitech quickcam line of webcams)
    •    Polycom PVX software (www.polycom.com)

Preferred Requirements
    •    768 Kbps bandwidth (both upload and download) connection from videoconferencing system to the internet
    •    Network that allows incoming and outgoing communication over TCP ports 1720, 3230-3237 and UDP ports 3230-3237
    •    Polycom VSX 7000, 8000 or HDX 6000, 7000, 8000 with two large format displays (depending on the size of the room, could be 50" plasma, LCD or LED display OR 2 projection systems)
    •    Multiple microphones to pick up sound adequately from entire room (can be two polycom tabletop or ceiling mounted microphones or multiple high quality condenser microphones running into a microphone mixer)
    •    Audio amplifier and speakers to adequately provide sound coverage to entire room
    •    Computer with Microsoft Power Point connected to the computer input on the videoconferencing system to allow for sending of content to the far sites