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Thirty-two Screen Telepresence Interop Call Successful
April 17, 2011 | Howard Lichtman
Here at Internet2 we've been working hard putting the pieces together for our telepresence interoperability service. A few days ago, we had our first big test, maxing out our current capacity at thirty-two screens. I'm pleased to say that it was a great experience. We had a wide variety of endpoints connected from various vendors, including Cisco TelePresence single and multiscreen systems, legacy Tandberg high definition systems, Polycom high def and standard def systems, Lifesize systems, and even desktop clients including Cisco Movi and Vidyo Desktop.
The way that multipoint is accomplished while maintaining the immersive experience is interesting. On single screen systems, the active speaker gets the entire screen, while other sites are placed in a "filmstrip" along the bottom. This seems to max out at nine little boxes, making a total of ten sites on the screen at a time. When there are more than ten sites connected, the ten most recent speakers are displayed. It's important to note that the filmstrip is overlayed on top of the main image, such that the active speaker is not squished or cropped, although the bottom part of their image can be obscured. This is not an issue when cameras are positioned correctly, but if people are too low in the frame is can create a "Kilroy" effect. On multiscreen systems, the filmstrip can spread across all three displays, creating a maximum of (I think) thirty total screens viewable at a time. It's also important to note that three-screen systems appear contiguously in the filmstrip.
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