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Described here are features that were not present in Sametime 8.5.x, but are present in IBM Sametime 9.
New video capabilities in Sametime 9
Sametime uses H264- SVC ( Scalable Video Codec) , for enhancing the video conferencing experience. In simple terms, this refers to the use of layering when sending video - a less capable client will request only the lower, low quality, layers, while a more capable client will receive multiple layers, which combine together to display a higher quality video. The benefit over older technologies is that SVC is able to perform a more graceful degradation of video when low bandwidth or CPU usage is encountered. Like its predecessor H.264/AVC, SVC covers a wide application range, from low bitrate mobile applications, to High-Definition Television (HDTV) broadcasting. For more information on SVC, refer to RFC 6190.
Sametime supports both peer to peer and multi-way calls for audio and video, and also supports video in meetings.
A new look and feel
ST Connect and Web Client's look has been upgraded to new user interface. The meetings window and the AV call window for peer to peer and multiway calls have been completely redesigned.
The meetings window features a toolbar on the left to provide access to different views, including the participant videos, list of participants, the meeting stream, and the library.
The AV call window features access to new capabilities including an collapsible/expandible participant list, a dialpad, and menus for accessing the call history and the phonebook.
With the introduction of SVC, Sametime also provides the users capability to customize their video view with different layouts. Users have the capability to switch from Voice Activated based switching mode to seeing multiple remote videos in a different forms as they wish and to make the best use of the available screen real estate.
This lets the system handle the layout based on the number of visible videos and the type of video call (i.e. whether i.e. a multi-way call or a meeting call).
Active Speaker (aka Voice Activated Switching)
If you just want the video of the speaker to occupy all available space on screen, this is the perfect option.
All remote videos appear in the same sized rectangles.
Prominent Speaker Narrow
A prominent position is provided to the active speaker. Others are placed in smaller sized rectangles below the main video.
The videos are stacked.
Prominent Speaker Wide
A prominent position is provided to the active speaker. Others are placed in smaller sized rectangles below and around the main video.
Active Speaker Highlighting
In a video call, the currently active speaker is highlighted with a light blue border. And in prominent speaker layouts, that speaker will switch positions with the person in the prominent position.
Full Screen Mode
From a meeting room, the video can be undocked and viewed full screen for a more immersive experience, along with all the layout options to get the best deal. This option is also available for ad-hoc video calls between participants.
Video Room Selection
Depending on your server-side policy settings, you may have the option of choosing from multiple video-rooms in order to get the best balance between bandwidth utilization and quality.
Server-side policies allow the definition of video rooms based on:
Line rate: The maximum bandwidth allocated to individual users joining the meeting.
Video optimization preference: Either SHARPNESS or MOTION
Encryption settings: Whether required, optional, or none
Video Room Selection for Multi-Way Calls
After logging in to your video enabled community, access the preferences option from the gear menu. Within the Preferences window, go to Voice and Video --> Service Providers:
As shown below, you can choose the appropriate conference room to set the quality for multi-way calls.
Video Room Selection for Meeting Calls
Similar to multi-way calls, you can set the conference video quality when creating a new meeting room:
Lecture Style AV
Lecture style mode can be accessed from the drop-down below the start call button. In this mode, non-moderator participants are in the mute state, and need to request permission before they can be unmuted and transmit audio or video. These requests end up in a queue at the moderator's end, as shown in the screenshot below:
The moderator can set other participants as moderators too. Under the gear menu, choose the option to "Change permissions", and in the list box beside "Manage the meeting room:", choose the users you'd like to include as moderators. Any of these moderators can initiate a call in the meeting.
This feature was widely requested by customers, and has now been included in the newest release!
Call Statistics and Diagnostics
During a running call, you can access the call statistics and diagnostics window to assess the health of your connection. You get to view technical details about your connection, and different parameters regarding the quality of the outgoing and incoming video and audio streams your computer is sending and receiving.
Persistent Video Room support and Provisioning
Sametime now provides the persistent Video Room capability that allows user to get provisioned automatically with at least one Video Room and have the capability to request more Video Rooms depending on the Video capability they would like to have. For e.g. a user could have a Video Room with a standard 180p video and a room where in the user can host a HD Video capability call. The same provisioned room can be accessed from the browser, UIM and mobile devices depending on what the user is using at that point of time.
Browser Platform Support
Web client support: http://www-969.ibm.com/software/reports/compatibility/clarity-reports/report/html/softwareReqsForProductByComponent?deliverableId=1351634873302&duComponent=Desktop_5AD46BF0ACF211E2B5E265EF0925FE1B
Plugin Install Steps
This is a one-time activity, unless there is an update available in which case you will be prompted to update the plugin.
Clean your browser cache and cookies.
One you enter into an AV enabled meeting room link that the moderator has shared, you will be prompted to go through the install of Sametime WebPlayer plugin.
Plugin Install Steps – Internet Explorer (Windows) / FF (Mac/Windows)
You will get a new install popup page once you open the meeting room.
After installing it will refresh or prompt to restart the browser.
After restarting it will initialize the browser to use the AV. This may take some time.
You will get a start or join call button depending on if you are the owner of the meeting room or just a participant in a meeting.
Plugin Install steps – Chrome (Windows)
On Entering the meeting room, the new popup page is opened that will prompt you to download the extension.
Click on the Continue and it will start the download as shown below in the default download location.
After it gets downloaded, open the extensions page as shown below and drag /drop the downloaded file into this page
Restart the browser and reenter into the meeting room again.
Plugin Install steps – Safari (MAC)
On entering the meeting room, a new install popup page will be opened that will prompt you to download the extension(dmg file)
One the dmg file is downloaded, Click on the file to run the MAC installer and follow installer instructions.
Restart the browser.
HTTP Tunneling Support for Web Audio Video
Sametime Web based AV capability is now supported for external users who could join the AV through their intranet via HTTP Proxy and still have SIP and RTP features tunneled through the Proxy.
The proxy settings can be configured manually through the browser settings by setting up the HTTP Proxy host and port. Proxy auto-config (PAC) can also be used instead.