MNET Services>Telecom Video>FAQ>Running a Video Conference

Does MN.IT SERVICES have advice on the best way to conduct a videoconference?

There is no magic formula. Good lighting, acoustics, and preparation are the keys to success. For example, a system located in a cinderblock room will sound bad at both ends. A Google search for conducting a videoconference will list plenty of websites with information on the subject.

Can I call more than one person from my system?

Systems with a multisite license (may be called something else . varies by maker) can add up to five remote systems to a single videoconference without using a video bridge (three sites is most common). The licenses for the multisite feature will cost extra. Be aware that your location may not have sufficient Quality of Service (QoS) bandwidth to support the extra calls without impacting quality or starving other users of bandwidth. If you are unsure, contact your account manager or the Service Management Center. As of this revision, most County locations have enough Quality of Service bandwidth to support multiple calls.

Non-Routable Addresses

MN.IT SERVICES can connect to IP (Including some PC/Webcam based set ups), ISDN and switched 56K based systems as well as plain old telephones. IP addresses in the following ranges are not routable, cannot be dialed and will need to be the initiator of the IP call:

  • Any address starting with 10.
  • Addresses between and
  • Addresses between and
  • Addresses between and higher

This is not a complete list. However, if it's on this list, we cannot dial the system. If the address falls in one of the above ranges, and is a state agency or county, it may be reachable. You will not break anything by trying.

Can I have audio and video participants in the same conference?

Yes. If your system is not equipped to add an audio-only (phone) participant, contact the Service Management Center. There will be a connect charge (higher if LD charges apply) if MN.IT SERVICES bridges the call for you.

How do I find MNET locations that have video systems?

Check the Video White Pages or call the Service Management Center.

How do I find video rooms that I can borrow or rent?

Call the MN.IT Service Management Center for help at 651-297-1111.

What ports do my Firewall folks need to open for video to work?

In general, the following ports are required to be open:

porttypeprotocol description
1719Static UDPGatekeeper RAS Registration Admin & Status
1720Static TCPQ.931 (Call Setup)
5060TCP & UDPSIP call setup
5061TCP 7 UDPSecure SIP (encrypted)
1024-65535Dynamic UDP (RTP)Audio/Video/Data Streams
1024-65535Dynamic UDP (RTCP)Control Information

How do I connect to out-of-network systems that are behind a firewall?

In almost all cases, the system behind the firewall must originate the call. MN.IT SERVICES offers best effort assistance when connecting to systems behind firewalls and have had many successful connections. Contact the Service Management Center if the system you need to connect with can.t dial your system's IP address directly.

Can I conference with people who have a PC (or MAC) with a webcam?

MN.IT SERVICES will attempt to connect these systems on a best effort, time permitting basis only. The host site must approve the connection. If the webcam site causes conference wide problems, it will be disconnected, as directed by the host site. In most cases the telephone is a viable option. MN.IT SERVICES can connect to PC.s by using Lync*, Jabber, or ConfernceMe. Lync connections are subject to firewall & Lync server location. Lync users can receive content, but cannot send it.

Can we collaborate on the documents shown in Duo/Dual video mode?

The H.239 duo-video function in videoconference systems is only capable of displaying the output of a PC or secondary video source from one location at a time, unless the PC is a participant in an external data conference like WebEx, it is view only.

Can my I use my video system to stream a video to my local LAN?

Some Cisco and Polycom H.323 group conferencing systems have the ability to multicast into the local LAN. However, the LAN infrastructure must be capable of passing this type of traffic. The stream will not be available outside the LAN, or in some cases, campus. MN.IT SERVICES offers best effort support for such events. One hint is to be sure the hop-count is set above 1 (try 3 or 4, but do not exceed 8. The lower it's set the better). In most systems, access to its web management page is required to initiate and sometimes view the multicast. This feature is being phased out due to low demand.

What is the call rate?

The call rate is the bandwidth used for transmission and reception of both audio, video and content streams during a video call. The maximum rate is determined by your location's connection to the MNET core and the nature of your conference. Normally, 512kbps provides a quality picture for a typical "talking head" conference. Starting in 2015, most conferences will be run at 768Kbps. If your conference contains a lot of motion (showing ASL, for example) or requires clear transmission of fine detail (e.g., American Sign Language translation), call rates of 768kbps or higher are recommended.

Currently call rates are typically 768Kbps but may be as high as 1.920Mbps. Systems that are not yet HD capable, will see very little improvement at rates above 768Kbps.

What call rates can I use?

Calls to/from most systems can be connected at rates between 128Kbps to 1920Kbps, with 768Kbps being preferred and is more than sufficient for low motion .Talking Head. video. For HD systems used with modern flat-screen monitors, rates between 1152 or 1472Kbps provide a good 720p HD picture. MN.IT currently has a limited HD bridging capacity.

Why won't my system connect at the call rate I told it to?

Bandwidth limits can be caused by the system at the far end, the gatekeeper or packet loss, if one system or the other has a down-speed option.

Are my video and audio signals secure or encrypted?

MN.IT bridges and the majority of installed systems support encryption. Once enabled, your audio/visual streams will be encrypted, providing the other participants have enabled encryption on their system as well. If you see an on-screen icon of a padlock or skeleton key, encryption is active. Some systems may use other on-screen indicators for active encryption; consult the

In the CTMS scheduling system you have 3 choices

  • Required: all systems attending must be capable of encryption to connect.
  • If able: those that are able to encrypt will do so, and those that can't, won't, but unencrypted signals will get encrypted by the bridge when sent to encrypted sites. This is the recommended setting.
  • Off. This option, when set, will not accept encrypted calls.

What is the meaning of the little padlock or key icon I see on screen in a conference?

This is the encryption indicator and means your audio and video data streams are encrypted for transport across the network.

How can I ensure privacy if my monitor is off?

Having the system turned off is the best way. If that is not an option, for video, a lens cap works best, and for audio, unplug the microphones. Be sure you either plug the mics back in or make it obvious that they are unplugged. Be sure to remove the lens cap, or whatever used to block outgoing video.

How do I mute the incoming audio while in conference?

There is no incoming audio mute other than turning down the volume. Remember to return the volume to normal before leaving the room, to avoid confusing the next users of the equipment.

How do I turn off my microphone (mute) while in conference?

The microphone mute button is on your remote, and in some cases a button on the mics themselves. MN.IT SERVICES recommends you keep your microphone muted when not speaking while in conference.

Can I send a PC screen or other video source and my lecturer at the same time?

This has become a standard feature in most systems. Consult your operators manual for details on how to activate it.

How do I move and/or zoom my camera?

All room systems come with Pan, Tilt and Zoom capabilities, as well as camera presets. Consult your operators manual for details.

My menus look like another language, how do I reset them to English?

Call the Service Management Center and ask for video support to reset your device to display menus in English. This will only be possible if MN.IT SERVICES can gain remote access to your system. In some cases, you can return it to your preferred language by icon navigation.

How do I store camera positions for quick access?

Most systems with an integrated camera allows numbered presets. Once set, press the number on the remote to move the camera to the stored position. Consult your system manual for further details.

It is a good idea to set presets for one or two-person framing and then create a room-layout map with indicators showing the area covered by each preset. However, these presets may or may not survive a power-down. On a Polycom, the camera will point to preset zero when powered up.

How do I see the local and the incoming sites with only one monitor?

Once connected, most systems running in single monitor mode have some sort of picture-in-picture option that will show your local room in a small, moveable inset picture to help you frame your outgoing picture.

How do I play a recorded video during a conference?

Many systems have a set of jacks on the rear panel to accommodate a VCR (or other video playback device). Put the media in the device, press play, and select the VCR as the main source. The system.s operators manual is your best source.

What is recorded when I use my VCR or DVD to record a conference?

Normally, these devices record the incoming video (and/or content) and audio from both ends of the call. Be sure to test it in advance and document how it works. Make sure your documentation is easily accessible to others using the system. MN.IT SERVICES can assist you in testing your VCR/DVD functions. Call the Service Management Center to schedule a test.

Can I record a conference even if none of my participants have a VCR or DVD?

MN.IT SERVICES can record any videoconference event for you as streaming media (live, archive or live & archive) and burn it to a DVD. This is a billable service and very reasonably priced. Call the Service Management Center for details. Charges will vary. Videos longer than 2 hours will either be put on a DVD as MP4 video or span multiple DVDs. We do not have DVD equipment with capacities larger than 4.7GB.

How do I hang up a video call?

Multi-point calls will end when the host disconnects or at the conference end. You can also hang up locally. The button on the remote or touch-panel will vary, but is normally very plainly marked.