Video Conferencing / Multipoint Video Conferencing (Bridge)

When three or more room-based end-points need to connect, a video conference “bridge” system must be used. IT ATS offers bridging services to the university community.

A bridge, or MCU, can connect three or more end-points together for a larger conference. The bridge is typically used for small meetings, dissertation defenses, or interviews. It would not be appropriate for large numbers of individual participants (in which case desktop conferencing options would be more appropriate).

To schedule a single conference or a course with a video conference component, please use our ITV Studio Request form. When video conferencing with other parts of the country or the world, be sure to remember the time difference in your requests.


Conference Moderator

In large conferences (or small ones for that matter) it’s important to choose a conference moderator or conference chair to ensure things run smoothly. This should be someone attending the conference who will greet sites as they connect, take roll call and keep the conference on track. The use of an agenda is recommended.

The conference moderator also should request end points mute their microphones when not actively speaking. Microphones are very sensitive, and side conversations at sites will sometimes be heard by everyone. The moderator should acknowledge each site before microphones are turned on for questions.  Sites must be patient as there is a slight delay when using the video bridge.


Calling the Bridge

At the designated time, place a call to the IP address You will immediately be connected to the lobby area of the bridge. Using your remote or touch-tone keypad, enter the conference ID followed by the pound key [#]. Then, if prompted, enter the conference PIN ID followed by the pound key [#]. These ID’s will be provided to you to send to your participants.


Remote site system requirements

When video conferencing with other parts of the country or the world, be sure to remember the time difference in your requests.

Room-based systems:

Remote sites equipped with a video conferencing system that has been installed in a room will typically use the H.323 protocol. Various vendors such as Polycom, Tandberg, Cisco, LifeSize and Sony make room-based video conferencing hardware. These systems are generally compatible with the bridge, but should be prepared to schedule a test to confirm compatibility before the date of the conference.

Individual participants:

Individuals wishing to join the conference but don’t have access to a room-based video conferencing system can still join the multipoint conference using a computer software or mobile device app that is compatible with H.323 conferencing.  We recommend Polycom RealPresence.


Screen Configuration

Since multiple sites are connected to the same call, the screen must be configured to show the participants. You have a choice of how you’d like the screen configured for display of the remote sites. Your choices will depend largely on what type of conference you’ll be holding.

Video Conference Full Screen Full Screen: This option will display the dominant speaker (determined automatically based on who is speaking) in a conference to all sites.
Video Conference Quad Split Split Screen: This option allows all participants to be seen on the screen simultaneously.
Video Conference Dominant Speaker Dominant Speaker plus Split: This option allows the dominant speaker to be seen in a large section of the screen while other participants are still seen simultaneously.

Other configurations are also available if needed. You will not see yourself “reflected” back to your screen during a conference — the delay would be too distracting.