Remote Conference Presentation via WebRTC

BlogGeekMe-ScreenshotCredit is due to Tsahi Levent-Levi of Amdocs, not only is he a leading voice in the evolution of WebRTC, but he’s eating that very dog food himself. It’s so great to see people walk-the-walk while giving-the-talk. That is in fact what he’s planning to do.

In a blog post today he put out a call for suggestion of WebRTC-based services to highlight in giving a presentation to a conference. His plans include giving the presentation remotely via a WebRTC connection. That’s awesome.

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CNET’s “The Next Big Thing” is a brand new show. They recently did an interesting segment on the coming wave of 4K/Ultra-HDTV and OLED display technologies. Even though I don’t entirely agree with some of their conclusions it’s not a bad primer on the subjects. It’s well worth the few minutes that it takes to give it a look.


I’ve long held that OLED in particular holds great potential. The picture quality offered by OLED can be outstanding. So much so that Sony has offered a line of professional OLED displays, even winning a Technical EMMY in 2012.

Priced at a whopping $26K, the BVME250A is the 25” model at the top of Sony’s present Trimaster EL lineup. In 2011 it won the Hollywood Post Alliance Engineering Excellence Award.

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Deal Alert: Plantronics .Audio 476 DSP Portable USB Headset

plantronics-audio 476This morning I have found that is offering the Plantronics .Audio 476 DSP Portable USB Headset for a rather impressive $14.99! This offer, which is available for one week or while supplies last, is for new devices, not refurbished goods. The MSRP is $49.99.

The .Audio 476 is described as “for laptops” which implies two things; the design folds down for easier transport, and the cable is not especially long. The specs list the cable as 6.5 feet. The specs also indicate that the headset is more than capable of HDVoice.

$15 is pretty cheap for a decent USB headset. I must admit that I am tempted, even if it’s just to have a spare headset in a drawer.

Wired vs Wireless For A Home Office

Wired vs Wireless NetworksNot long ago Colin Berkshire made an interesting observation about a trend in new home construction. He noticed that builders are no longer pulling cable for telephone and network connections, which leads to an “RJ-free” home. This makes a lot of sense for most homes, but it’s not what I would want for a home office.

Of course, Wifi is phenomenally convenient. Hereabouts we use a Ubiquiti PowerAP N device configured as a wireless bridge/access point. We’ve used various devices over the years. The Ubiquiti PowerAP has been without a doubt the best of the bunch. Sadly, the product is not available anymore, although they can occasionally be found on E-bay.

With a population of over forty devices, ours is a considerable home network. While many of the devices we use are connected via Wifi, much of the network remains connected by traditional Ethernet cables. Wired networks are more trouble to install, but the effort is rewarded with more consistent performance and reliability.

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LifeSize on WebRTC Revisited

LifeSize WebRTC gateway LaptopA couple of weeks back Lifesize announced the availability of an experimental WebRTC gateway service. They made the announcement during a webinar on WebRTC. Of course, I went to try the service shortly thereafter. While I could make the test call to the address offered, I couldn’t reach anything else, nor was it exactly obvious how that should be done.

A couple of days later Emily G. from LifeSize PR responded to my inquiry about this. She offered to be the other end of a an initial test call, giving me her H.323 dialing string as a calling target.

At the appointed time I visited the the WebRTC test page using Chrome on my laptop and entered her H.323 address, which was just an IP address. The WebRTC gateway immediately connected us. We chatted briefly. She was able to explain how the gateway should accept typical H.323 dialing strings or a SIP URI.

The gateway worked reasonably well for this short call. The call quality was limited by my use of a laptop with it’s questionable built-in camera. Also by the fact that the laptop was online over my local Wifi. Wifi and high-bandwidth streaming media are not always a happy pair.

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Series: Lighting for Video Calling and Conferencing in a Home Office

This series is about my efforts to make more ideal use of video calling and video conferencing from my home office. It describes how the existing mix of natural and artificial light was not appropriate for video calling, and my efforts to explore both commercial and DIY lighting options.

polycom-hdx-4500-160px Lighting for Video Calling and Conferencing in a Home Office

Originally published July – August, 2013 (remains ongoing)