Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Express, Release 2.x -- Information About Ad Hoc Conferencing

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Main page: Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Express, Release 2.x


Ad hoc meetings are initiated through the end-user interfaces of products other than Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Express. For example, you can initiate either a voice-only or a voice-and-video ad hoc meeting by using the "Meet-Me" button or the "Conf" button on Cisco Unified IP Phones that are registered to Cisco Unified Communications Manager. You can also initiate ad hoc meetings through Cisco Unified Personal Communicator.


In contrast, scheduled and reservationless meetings are set up and accessed only through Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Express end-user interfaces, such as the phone, the web, or video endpoints.


You can provide ad hoc conferencing for the following endpoints by configuring your Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Express server as a Cisco video conference bridge (IPVC-35xx) in Cisco Unified Communications Manager:

  • Cisco Unified Personal Communicator-voice, web, and video.
For more information about Cisco Unified Personal Communicator, go to http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6844/index.html.
  • All voice and video endpoints that support Cisco Unified Communications Manager meet-me and ad hoc conferences-voice and video only.
For information about meet-me and ad hoc conferences, see the "Conference Bridges" chapter of the Cisco Unified CallManager System Guide or the Cisco Unified Communications Manager System Guide for your specific release. Go to http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/voicesw/ps556/prod_maintenance_guides_list.html.


Note: For more information about ad hoc conferencing features and benefits, see the data sheet for Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Express VT at the following URL: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6533/products_data_sheets_list.html


Contents

Prerequisites for Ad Hoc Conferencing

  • If you want to use your system for ad hoc conferencing, purchase the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Express VT product offering and install the following licenses:
In the unlicensed mode, your system comes equipped with only the default six ad hoc voice, web, and video ports. The default web ports expire after a trial period, unless you install the webconf license.
  • Make sure that the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Express server is configured with valid Domain Name System (DNS) servers that can resolve the domain names for all Cisco Unified Communications Manager servers in the cluster. For information about modifying the DNS configuration, see the Installation and Upgrade Guide for Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Express Release 2.x.


Related Topics


Restrictions for Ad Hoc Conferencing

  • Only Cisco Unified Communications Manager Release 4.1 through Release 6.1 are supported.
  • Ad hoc meetings are not recorded in billing reports.
  • Ad hoc meetings do not appear on the Attend or Find Meeting pages in the End-User Interface.
  • Voice and video ports are licensed separately. You can have more voice ports than video ports, under the control of stdvoiceconf and stdvideoconf licenses.
  • In each video conference, all participating endpoints are dynamically adjusted to use the same video bit rate. If participants join the meeting using different video bit rates, Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Express sends flow-control messages that instruct endpoints to lower their bit rates to match the lowest-speed endpoint.
  • All participating video endpoints are dynamically adjusted to use the codec that is configured in the Video codec field. Video endpoints that do not support the configured codec cannot join any video conferences.


Recommendations for Ad Hoc Conferencing

The video mixer switches the video stream to the current active speaker, which is the loudest speaker as determined by the audio mixer. Therefore, users in a video call may experience poor or confusing video switching results if any participating endpoints generate loud background noises.


Provide the following recommendations to end users that may participate in video calls:

  • Mute your phone when you are not speaking.
  • Do not use a speakerphone, which may generate echoes, ringing sounds, or audio feedback.
  • If you use a microphone that is built into your video camera, keep the camera away from fans, vents, and other sources of noise.
  • For softphones, such as Cisco Unified Personal Communicator with a Cisco VT Camera or Cisco IP Communicator with Cisco Unified Video Advantage:
    • Do not use the microphone that is built into your computer. These microphones tend to pick up a lot of background noise.
    • We highly recommend that you use a headset that is equipped with a microphone.
    • Whenever multiple microphones are available, make sure that your computer and video endpoint are configured to use the desired microphone.
For example, suppose that you use Cisco Unified Personal Communicator with a Cisco VT Camera on a Windows XP system, and that you have a headset that is equipped with a microphone. To make sure that your system is configured to use the headset microphone, choose Start > Control Panel > Sounds and Audio Devices. Then click the Audio tab, and make sure that your headset is selected as the sound recording device.
See the documentation for your specific endpoint product to optimize audio settings and resolve audio problems.


About Voice Ports for Ad Hoc Conferencing

The number of available ad hoc voice ports on the system may not exceed the installed maxstd license port count.


Ad hoc voice ports are used in the following situations:

  • Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Express uses one port for each endpoint in a voice call that includes three or more endpoints. (A direct, voice-only call between two endpoints does not use any ad hoc voice ports.)
  • The system uses one port when a Cisco Unified IP Phone creates a meet-me conference.
  • The system uses another port for each additional endpoint that calls into the meet-me conference.
  • The system uses one voice port for each utilized video port.


About Web Ports for Ad Hoc Conferencing

The number of available ad hoc web ports on the system is equal to the lesser port count of the installed webconf license and maxstd license.


Ad hoc web ports are used only when all of the following conditions are met:

  • The maxstd license is installed on the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Express system.
  • Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Express is integrated with Cisco Unified Personal Communicator.
  • Cisco Unified Personal Communicator users add web conferencing to their conversations.


Related Topics


About Video Ports for Ad Hoc Conferencing

The number of available ad hoc video ports on the system is controlled by the stdvideoconf license port count and may not exceed the maxstd license port count. One ad hoc video port is used for each video endpoint in a call.


You can configure a maximum video bit rate that is supported for incoming calls on the Ad Hoc Conferencing Configuration page. Video calls are limited to the maximum bit rate configured. You might configure a higher bit rate to improve video quality and responsiveness; however, raising the video bit rate above the default may result in reducing the number of supported video calls. If you want lower network utilization, you can lower the maximum bit rate allowed for video conferencing.


The actual number of usable ad hoc video ports on the system depends on the value of the Video maximum bit rate parameter:

  • At the default bit rate of 320 kbps, the number of usable of ad hoc video ports equals the value of the stdvideoconf license. If the Video maximum bit rate is increased beyond the default value of 320 kpbs, the number of available ports may be reduced.
  • If you decrease the value of the Video maximum bit rate parameter to a rate lower than the default of 320 kpbs, the number of usable of ad hoc video ports stays at the value of the stdvideoconf license.

Note: It is not possible to increase the number of ports beyond the licensed count by lowering the maximum bit rate of the system.

  • If you increase the value of the Video maximum bit rate parameter to 704 kpbs, the system decreases the number of available ad hoc video ports according to the following formula:
number of available ad hoc video ports = stdvideoconf license port count / 3
For example, if the stdvideoconf license port count is set to 60 and the value of the Video maximum bit rate parameter increases to 704, the number of available video ports is 20.

Note: This change only takes affect after you save the values on the Ad Hoc Conferencing Configuration page.

  • If you do not install the stdvideoconf license, the system is in trial mode. In trial mode, the six trial video ports are not affected by changes to the value of the Video maximum bit rate parameter.


To display the number of ad hoc video ports that are currently available on your system, see the Max streams supported at this bit rate read-only field on the Ad Hoc Conferencing Configuration page or check the Licenses Summary page.


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