Welcome to our updated Service Page!
UCSF IT Services together with classroom services, part of Educational Technology Services (ETS) in Student Academic Affairs (SAA), offers four video conferencing options to collaborate with colleagues, patients and peers across campus and/or around the world.
Reduce your travel expenses and join the UC effort to save time, save money and conserve valuable resources by using video conferencing. Video conferencing is the cost-effective, reliable alternative to traveling off-campus for:
- Weekly administrative meetings
- Seminars and classes
- Grand Rounds, Case Conferences and Tumor Boards
- Multi-site conference calls
Each video conferencing service has its own unique set of features. Find the use case that best meets your videoconference needs.
I want to...
- Use my own laptop, computer, tablet or smartphone to schedule and manage my own audio and video conference meetings from my laptop, computer, smart-phone, or tablet. This includes sharing content and recording meetings from computer to computer.
- Use my laptop or desktop to join a video conference room-based meeting hosted by a colleague or peer.
- Use my laptop or desktop to connect directly to a colleague.
- Use a video conferencing (VC) enabled room (located at each UCSF facility) to connect to a guest lecturer or with other VC rooms inside or outside UCSF.
- Stream a live presentation.
While we generally suggest contacting the IT Help Desk or ETS for multi-point, off-campus conferencing, there are several self-service options to get you started right away:
- Request a Jabber Video account from the IT Service Desk at (415) 514-4100.
- Stream or capture classroom-based presentations. Click here for a list of capture enabled rooms which can be reserved through 25Live.
How do I reserve a video conference room?
- Mission Bay Hospital http://reservations.ucsf.edu/VirtualEMS/Default.aspx
- (Selected rooms at Parnassus and Mount Zion are also in EMS)
- Mission Hall Conference Rooms (other than ETS rooms on the 1st and 2nd floors
- User sends a meeting request directly to the room in Outlook
- (This is true for other Parnassus and Mt Zion rooms not listed in the EMS system)
- UCSF General Use Classrooms
Who to Contact
The University uses a four-tiered approach to supporting videoconferencing:.
- Local User – every unit should have someone who serves as the first point of contact for room users also known as VC ambassadors. IT/ETS conducts ongoing training for point persons.
- Help Desk http://help.ucsf.edu (415) 476-4100 – when a problem is beyond the local user, Help Desk will create a ticket and assign someone from ITFS to help.
- IT Field Services – onsite support assigned by Help Desk
- ETS/Telehealth firstname.lastname@example.org (415) 476-4310 – specialized help for complex conference needs or hardware and infrastructure issues.
How do I book a videoconference room?
Which rooms work best for different types of meetings?
How much do videoconference services cost?
How do I get started with a video conference request?
My Video Conference will have more than one site, can I do that?
What if my meeting involves more than 8-12 video participants or sites?
Do I need a Bridge number?
How do I get a Bridge number?
What network bandwidth and type enables a quality video conference?
How can I stream an event live?
How can I record and save a class presentation (capture)?
What if I want to stream or record in a space other than the ones equipped with in room Mediasite systems?
How can I stream and/or record in the MH Hospital Auditorium?
When do I choose a video conference over a web conference?
What is the difference between a Video Conference and Web Conference?
What tools do I need to begin Web Conferencing?
What is WebEx?
What if I don't have access to a Video Conferencing Room?
Can I video conference from home? My office? A hotel?
If there is Jabber Video, why do I need a room-based video system?
Can I use Jabber on both PC and Mac?
How much does it cost to get a Jabber Video account?
What are the best practices for video conferencing?
What environmental issues should be considered when using video and audio?
Mission Bay Hospital
Mission Hall Conference Rooms (other than ETS-managed rooms on the 1st and 2nd floors – see below)
* User sends a meeting request directly to the room in Outlook
UCSF General Use Classrooms managed by ETS
Parnassus and Mount Zion
* Send meeting request for rooms not listed in the EMS system (return to top).
Depending on your meeting needs. Many rooms within UCSF campuses are video enabled and you may also use them for web conferencing with the addition of a few non room-based tools. Contact the Service Desk for specific needs and consultation (return to top).
While WebEx and Jabber UC are free of charge, video conferencing that require ITFS support staff to set up or manage meetings may incur costs.
See ITFS managed room rates.
See ETS managed room rates.
See MBH rooms
Support may be provided on an hourly recharge basis if a client requests any service not offered under Basic or Premium support or if a non-subscriber requires support on a per-incident basis. The recharge rate for hourly service is $77.00 per hour. If hourly services are required, the client must provide ITFS with an approved funding source at the time service is requested (return to top).
For ETS-managed rooms: https://edtech.ucsf.edu/classroom-services/scheduling/reservations/25live. When requesting a video conference room in 25Live, specify the type resource you need (AV technician, video conference, capture, etc.). Generally, most classrooms require some assistance because of their complexity but increasing numbers of rooms can be user-operated. We generally recommend a demo for first-time users. For more information call (415) 476-4310.
For IT-managed rooms: http://reservations.ucsf.edu/VirtualEMS/Default.aspx (return to top).
Yes. The conference room may have an assigned videoconference bridge that you can use for the meeting. You can also request a video conference bridge via the Service Desk. A videoconference bridge supports up to 8 video participants including the hosting room. Remote sites dial this “bridge number” to join the video meeting (return to top).
Video Conferencing is a highly interactive medium which works best with a limited number of participants. Generally speaking, interactivity becomes problematic when the number exceeds 8-12 active participants. If you anticipate a larger number of participants, you should consider hosting a web meeting instead. Upon request via the Service Desk, a larger 12-participant video bridge can be provided for specific recurring meetings (return to top).
If you plan on having more than a point to point call (e.g. call from one conference room to another), you will need a bridge number. Bridge numbers can be used over and over again for the same event. But the same number cannot be used by two events at the same time. The second event would need a new bridge number (return to top).
The quality of a video conference primarily depends on the characteristics of the network connection between the conferencing sites. In the H.323 world, a high-quality conference (excellent audio and video) needs about 768 kbps (kilobits/second) of bandwidth on a switched network. On campus, this is possible since most network connections are 100 Mbps (megabits/second).
When a video conference includes an off-campus site then the type of network connection, the bandwidth between sites and firewalls must be considered. When connecting with off-campus sites, we strongly recommend testing by starting a Service Desk ticket in advance of the event (return to top).
Nearly 30 rooms throughout the University are equipped with automatic streaming/capture systems. The list can be found at https://edtech.ucsf.edu/video-services/class-capture#where
To request a live stream or capture, go to: https://25live.collegenet.com/ucsfhome_my25live, book one of these rooms and select “Mediasite” and “live plus on demand” as resources. There is no charge for academic, numbered courses. A fee of $78 per hour is charged for everything else (return to top).
Nearly 30 rooms throughout the University are equipped with automatic streaming/capture systems. The list can be found at https://edtech.ucsf.edu/video-services/class-capture#where. To request a recording, go to https://25live.collegenet.com/ucsfhome_my25live, book one of these rooms and select “Mediasite” and “on demand” as resources. There is no charge for academic, numbered courses. A fee of $78 per hour is charged for everything else (return to top).
ETS provides an on-location recording option. Call (415) 476-4310 for more details (return to top).
At present there is no in-room recording capability but special arrangements can be made with ETS to use a mobile streaming/capture system for special events. Call (415) 476-4310 for more details (return to top).
You would normally choose a video conference if you’re trying to create the feeling that meeting participants are all in the same room. Video conferences are a great choice for conducting business remotely, or for a person who wants to address multiple locations at the same time.
If your meeting is more presentation-based, then a web conference would be a better choice as the attention should be on the material being presented and not on the people attending the meeting (return to top).
Video conferencing and web conferencing are often confused. Web conferencing typically involves sharing content with others at their computers, while video conferencing connects participants face-to-face, resembling a real-time, in person-meeting.
Web conferencing participants can join with a variety of devices … phone, desktop, laptop, PDA … and from anywhere … home, work, car or classroom, while video conference participants are generally limited to VC-equipped conference/classrooms used in conjunction with a phone or specialized application like Jabber Video.
Video Conferencing (VC) works best when interactivity is required … tumor boards, case studies, grand rounds. However, just like web conferencing, true interactivity may be limited by the number of participants. Generally speaking, interactivity becomes problematic when the number exceeds 8-12 active participants.VC is generally used to connect two or more locations or rooms. These rooms are specially equipped with cameras, microphones, speakers and dialers to maximize picture and sound quality.
Web conferencing, on the other hand, allows a presenter to reach large numbers of participants, especially when an event is moderated. Plus, web conferencing allows users to join from their desktops, and they can submit questions online when size prevents direct interaction. No special rooms or equipment, other than a computer is needed to use web conferencing (return to top).
To use the WebEx web conferencing tool, you should first get an account by contacting the Service Desk. Although a web camera and headset are recommended, they are not required. You can use audio over our computer or by phone … your choice. A good, fast network connection is also recommended. Weak cellular or wireless connections can affect the quality of transmission, especially when video is required (return to top).
WEB CONFERENCE OPTIONS
WebEx is a desktop conferencing tool that allows you to meet with anyone, anywhere, in real time. A WebEx account is available through the Service Desk free of charge. WebEx Meeting Center for Windows and Macintosh features HD video and online chat, as well as all of the tools you need to share presentations and desktop applications, write on online whiteboards, make annotations and record meetings (return to top).
VIDEO CONFERENCING OPTIONS
Jabber Video is video conferencing software for desktops and laptops offered free of charge by UCSF. Jabber Video is a way for one person or small groups to use a desktop or laptop computer to connect to a built-in video conferencing system or bridge number. Jabber Video allows your laptop’s web cam, mic and screen to communicate with other Jabber Video clients and to room-based video conference systems. To request a Jabber Video account, please contact the service desk at email@example.com or call (415) 514-4100 (return to top).
Technically, the answer is yes. A USB camera, a microphone, and video conferencing software can turn your computer into a video conferencing system. The main stumbling blocks are adequate bandwidth and firewalls. For high-stakes video conferences, such as tumor boards, dissertations, etc., testing with the same equipment, network connection, and software you intend to use on the day of your conference and connecting with the far-point(s) is recommended. When at UCSF avoid using WiFi or Guest network (return to top).
Jabber Video is not a replacement for a video conference room system. Your computer mic or headset won’t pick up the audio of the entire room well enough to be useful. It was designed and meant to allow individuals to join a video meeting hosted in a conference room, or for person to person Jabber Video calls.
You need a strong and stable network connection due to the high quality of video and speeds needed for this type of connection. We recommend running as few applications as you can while running the Jabber Video client as the software needs a lot of your computer’s processor power (return to top).
Unlike room-based systems which are fully PC and Mac compatible, Jabber for Mac cannot share a desktop screen, only single opened windows (return to top).
Jabber Video accounts are available free of charge to UCSF Faculty and Staff. To request a Jabber Video account, please contact the service desk at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (415) 514-4100 (return to top).
- Allow a time to set up and shut down the video conference.
- Test with each location prior to the video conference. Testing provides experience and creates a positive experience.
- When videoconferencing with many sites, start by saying your name and location. Doing so helps the video equipment switch to your site and also helps other sites identify who is speaking before the video monitor catches up.
- Direct your questions to a specific site, and preferably a specific individual. Expect a few extra seconds of delay in getting an answer because of the technology and distance involved.
- Remember to mute your microphone when you are not talking and to take turns speaking (allow time for audio delay).
- Be aware of possible audio distractions if your microphone is not muted - coughing, paper shuffling, air conditioning units, laptop and projector fans, phone ringing, etc.
- Get experience using the remote control or room-based control panel beforehand
- Look directly at the camera as often as possible. This will give the remote site the impression that you are looking directly at them (return to top).
Solid colors are best. Busy outfits blur when on camera. Simpler patterns aid the video compression.
Think "TV studio lighting." Soft white frontal light is preferred. Standard overhead lights can cast shadows. Camera cannot focus properly in low light.
No hard lines or complicated patterns.
Don’t use widow as backdrop.
Can use a dry erase board, but be aware of glare.
Solid darker color is ideal.
Avoid red backgrounds they can be hard on the viewing site.
Give audience one thing to focus on—YOU.
Good idea—use a sign to indicate your location.
Keep the microphone away from where the speakers are located. This can cause audio loop back.
Test audio levels ahead of time. Make a test call. Use built-in features of the video conferencing system to test.
Make sure microphones are away from extraneous noise generators: Air conditioners, laptop/projector fans.
May need to add echo canceling hardware. This becomes less important as conferencing systems become better at handling audio (return to top.)