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Answers about Personal Video Conferencing

 Ldsorg int.png[Clerk Support]


All content on this page is moving to LDS Help Center under the Meetinghouse Technology topic. This page was supposed to be deleted at the end of October 2012.


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This page describes common questions and answers about Personal Video Conferencing.

Contents

How do I?


Get help with Personal Video Conferencing (PVC)

Resources available for assistance with PVC, in order, are:

  1. This wiki - please read through the material carefully. Most questions can be answered here.
  2. Stake technology specialist (for priesthood leaders) - should be contacted for computer-related issues such as hardware and drivers.
  3. If you have already tried steps 1 and 2, and still have issues, then contact the Global Service Center.

PVC users should not contact Area Offices for help with PVC. They are not equipped to support this application.


Sign up for an account

  1. Go to http://pvc.lds.org.
  2. Click on Request an Account.

    PVC request acct screen.jpg
  3. Enter LDS Account username and password. If you don't have one, click on Register for an LDS Account.
  4. If you are a member of the Church workforce or hold one of the authorized leadership positions, you will automatically be authorized and see a Welcome page.
  5. Return to http://pvc.lds.org.
  6. Enter your LDS Account username and password.
  7. You will then be asked to install software - complete that process.
  8. After a short wait you will be at the main PVC portal page (you may need to log in one more time).
  9. You will notice that your "My Contacts" list has been automatically populated with existing PVC users in your stake.

Set up my computer to use PVC

Click here for details on setting up your computer properly for PVC.


Select my audio & camera devices

Before making a call in PVC, you need to select what audio and camera devices on your PC will be used. Depending on what equipment you have plugged into your PC, there may be several choices.

This is done on the Configuration screen. There are three ways to get to the Configuration screen:

  1. Right-click on the Vidyo icon Vidyo system tray icon.png in your system tray (lower right part of your screen for Windows users), and select Configuration.
  2. As you are starting a PVC call, if you haven't previously selected devices, or if the ones you chose before are no longer available, the system will automatically pop up the Configuration window so you can select the devices before you continue on with the call.
  3. While in a call, click on the Configuration PVC call control config.png button at the top of the window.

The window below will appear:

PVC config.png

Click on Devices on the left side. You can then choose which device to use as your speaker, microphone, and camera.

It's very important to choose your speaker and microphone carefully. We do not recommend that you use the built-in microphone and speakers on a laptop. This combination will create echo for other participants. You can select "Echo Cancellation" on this screen, which will help, but the built-in microphone will typically pick up a lot of noise from the laptop and will deliver poor audio.

Click here for recommendations on proper audio setup for PVC.


Call another PVC user

Once you are logged into the PVC portal, click on the white address bar and begin typing the name of the person you wish to call.

Name-lookup-sm.jpg

Names that match your entry will show up underneath "My Room". You will notice that the icon next to their name will appear green if they are logged into PVC. Click on the name, and you will see two options: Join Room and Call Direct.

Clicking on Join Room adds you to their personal meeting room, which others users can also join for a multi-party call. Call Direct places a call directly to the user for a conversation just between the two of you.


Host a meeting in My Room

After logging in to the PVC portal, click on My Room under the white address bar. Off to the right, you'll see a green button called Join Room. Underneath it, you will see the status of your room - whether it's currently empty, or if there are any participants already joined. Other PVC users can join your meeting room even when you're not there - you don't have to be the first one to join.

Click Join Room to enter your own meeting room.

Join PVC room.png

There are two ways to invite others to join your meeting room:

  1. Inform other PVC meeting participants to join your room after they log in. They simply look up your name, click on it, and click Join Room.
  2. Email them the link for your meeting room. To find this link, from the PVC portal, click on Control Meeting (top of screen), then Room Links.

Room link 22.png

If you don't see a link in the gray box, click Create New to generate your personal meeting room link. You can then click on Copy Link, and then paste that link into an email (using whatever email system you prefer) and send that link to all meeting participants.

If you want to secure your meeting room (they are open - any PVC user can join), you can set a Room PIN. Enter a PIN into the field, and then click Save down below. Then include the PIN in your email to meeting participants, and only they will be able to join by entering the PIN when prompted.

If you feel your room link has been sent out and used quite a bit and it's time for a change, click on Create New. The old link is now gone forever and won't work anymore.


Solve audio problems

Audio problems are the most frequent challenge with PVC. If you set things up properly, you'll have good audio. If you don't, you'll probably have poor audio results and be frustrated.

Click here to read some tips on equipment setup - pay particular attention to the part about audio and echo cancellation.

Here are some great training videos from the vendor (Vidyo) on how to get the best audio results with PVC:


Get the best quality video

If you are getting less-than-adequate video (remember, ask other users how you look, in addition to noting how they look), try the following tips:

  • Use an external webcam like Logitech, not the built-in camera on a laptop. Built-in cameras are almost universally lower resolution than current external webcams.
  • The faster the CPU on the PC, the better video results you will get. A quad-core CPU works the very best.
  • Test your Internet speed by clicking on Speed Test at the bottom of the PVC portal pages. If you are less than 1Mbps upload and download speeds, your video quality will be degraded.
  • Under Configuration (click the gear wheel on the window that shows meeting participants and then click Video), you can select the resolution. If you have a fast-enough CPU (typically need quad-core), you can select 720p30 for the very highest resolution (this is only available on the Windows client, not Mac). Otherwise, use Best Quality (Recommended). If you have low bandwidth, select the Low Bandwidth option - the video quality won't be as sharp, but you'll have better success in connecting the call (and potentially adding more participants than you would otherwise be able to).
  • Always plug your AC adapter into your laptop, and select the High Performance setting on your power control to ensure maximum CPU performance
  • A wired Internet connection is always better than wireless – this may be your primary cause of poor video. With Windows 7, just plugging in a wire is not enough, because it will still default to wireless if it is available. On many laptops, there is a physical switch to turn off the wireless radio – turn it off and ensure all of your traffic is going through your wired connection. On a Mac, on the top right of the Finder screen, turn Airport off.
  • Quit other applications besides PVC to free up CPU processing.
  • In our testing, the PC client seems to deliver better video than the Mac client, in general. A Mac running Fusion or some other Windows emulation is okay, but still not as good as a regular PC.

All of these tips will help you generate better video of yourself to send to other PVC participants. If their video looks poor, pass these suggestions along to them!


Use the call control buttons

Once you have started a PVC call, a window will come up showing meeting participants. Across the top of the window, you will see the following controls; explanations of each button's function are shown below:

PVC call control buttons.png

PVC call control layout.png
Layout: Clicking directly on the icon will change from showing participants in equal-sized squares to showing the current talker in a larger window with others in smaller windows. Clicking on the down-arrow allows you to limit how many participant windows you see at once on your screen (this doesn't affect anyone else's view - just your own). The highest number you will see will be 8, but you may also see a lower number, depending on your PC's CPU speed and your Internet connection speed. Regardless of how many participants you can see on a screen, your view will always switch to show the person who is currently talking.

PVC call control fullscreen.png
Full screen: Click this button to fill the screen with the video window. The buttons at the top will disappear after a moment, and reappear when you move your mouse. Click again to change to a partial screen.

PVC call control share.png
Share: Click on the down-arrow to see a list of documents currently loaded into memory and available for you to share. Choose one to share to all meeting participants. You can also choose to share your display, which means whatever you have on your screen will be shared. Click directly on the icon to stop sharing.

PVC call control toggle.png
Toggle: In PVC, all participants in the call can share content from their PC at the same time. You have the ability to choose whose content you want to see, or none at all. Click on the down-arrow to select the content to view, or select None. Your selection affects only your view; others can see what they choose to. Clicking directly on the icon rotates between views.

Useful tip: When you are viewing content being shared by others, you can double-click directly on the content, and it will open a new window that shows only the content full-size, which you can then maximize. This allows you to see the content better if it appears too small on the regular meeting participants window.

PVC call control selfview.png
Self-View: This button allows you to see yourself as you are being presented to others in the call. It's a good idea to select self-view so that you are aware how you look (are you centered in the camera, is your lighting adequate, etc.) Clicking this button rotates between three views: 1) your window is the same size as the others; 2) off; 3) small picture-in-picture window on the lower right.

PVC call control speaker.png
Speaker: Clicking on the down-arrow allows you to change the volume of other participants' voices on a PVC call. Clicking directly on the icon allows you to mute and unmute their audio.

PVC call control mic.png
Microphone: Clicking on the down-arrow allows you to change the level of the microphone audio on your PC. If other participants tell you they can't hear you very well (or too well!), adjust the slider up or down. Clicking directly on the icon allows you to mute and unmute your microphone. This can be useful if you have background noise that may disturb the meeting, or if you need to sneeze.

PVC call control privacy.png
Privacy: This button mutes your video being sent to other participants. Nothing will change on your screen when you click this button (other than the button turning red), but other meeting participants will no longer see you. Click again to unmute.

PVC call control unused.png
Unused buttons: These buttons are not used in our implementation.

PVC call control config.png
Configuration: This pulls up a window that allows you to change the configuration of your PVC call and see status. The options are:

  • Status: See notes on status of current call. Clicking on "Show Conference Status" will show you, among other things, your CPU utilization.
  • Attendees: See a list of all current attendees on the call.
  • Network: Network settings (you generally should not need to change anything here).
  • Devices: A very important tab! Here, you select what devices you will use as your speaker, microphone, and camera. If you have speaker and microphone devices that say "Recommended", you'll generally get best results by selecting them. If your speaker and microphone selection have the potential to create echo, check "Echo Cancellation." For more info on proper audio setup, click here.
  • Video: In general, we recommend that you select "Best Quality (recommended)." If you have a fast enough CPU (generally quad-core), and the right kind of camera (such as the Logitech C910), you can select "Advanced / 720p30" for the highest possible video quality.
  • Options: Includes language selection, whether to automatically start the VidyoDesktop software when you start up your PC, auto-answer on/off, join/leave tones on/off, and others.

PVC call control endcall.png
Disconnect: Hangs up the current call.


Share content on a PVC call

Sharing content on a PVC call is quite simple. Having logged into the portal and started your call, click on the down-arrow on the PVC call control share.png Share button to see a list of documents currently in memory on your PC. Select one to share with others on the call, or select Display if you want to share whatever is currently showing on your display.

When you select a document, it will become the top window that you see. This will allow you to work interactively with the document as you share it - for example, you can advance PowerPoint slides, or navigate through web pages. Other participants will see whatever you are doing on your screen.

Click directly on the button to stop sharing.

Useful tip: When you are viewing content being shared by others, you can double-click directly on the content, and it will open a new window that shows only the content full-size, which you can then maximize. This allows you to see the content better if it appears too small on the regular meeting participants window.


Invite people who don’t have PVC accounts to a meeting

Click here for detailed instructions on how to invite a guest to a PVC meeting. Please be aware that there is a cost incurred by Church HQ for each computer that joins a PVC meeting, including guests, so please use this resource wisely.


Make My Room more secure

Every PVC user is assigned a personal meeting room. By default, all meeting rooms are open - any PVC user can join another user's meeting room, even if the owner hasn't joined.

If you want to secure your meeting room, you can set a Room PIN. From the PVC portal, click on Settings / My Room. Enter a Room PIN into the field, and then click Save down below. Then, when you invite others to your meeting room via email, include the PIN in your email to meeting participants, and only they will be able to join by entering the PIN when prompted.

If you feel your room link has been sent out and used quite a bit and it's time for a change, click on Create New. The old link is now gone forever and won't work anymore.


Change languages in the PVC portal

After logging into the PVC portal, click on Settings (top right of screen), then Language. Select your desired language, then click Save.

You can also change language settings in the Account Settings page. Click on Account Settings (bottom of PVC portal screens), click on your preferred language, then click Set Preferred Language. This will change the language settings on both the Account Settings pages as well as the PVC portal itself.


Control my meeting


Dial out to phones from PVC

In addition to calling other PVC users, you can also dial from PVC to phones. This allows you to add participants who don't have access to a computer.

There are two ways to dial out to a phone from PVC:

  1. From the PVC portal, click into the white address lookup bar and type the phone number in the following format: 99{country code}{full phone number including area code}. So, for example: 9918015551212. This will establish a point-to-point call between PVC and the phone (probably a less common scenario).
  2. To add a phone participant to a multi-party PVC call (more common), click on My Room / Join Room (this assumes the call is happening in your own PVC meeting room). Once the video window comes up and the call is established, switch back to the browser window where you are logged into pvc.lds.org, and click on Control Meeting (upper right part of the screen). Click on the green Add Participants button. This will bring up a white address bar. Type in the phone number using the same format shown above, and click on Connect. You can continue to add more phone participants by repeating the process. When finished, click Done. You will then be taken back to the Control Meeting screen, where you can mute and unmute participants, disconnect them, lock the room, etc.

Make calls between PVC and Church video conferencing systems

For PVC users who have reason to interact with Church HQ personnel, it is possible to make calls between PVC and the standard video conference rooms at Church HQ, which are equipped with either Cisco/Tandberg or Polycom video conferencing equipment.

Calling from PVC to a conference room
Simply click into the white address bar in the PVC portal, and begin typing the name of the conference room in the same way that it appears in Outlook. For example, typing CR-ROB-2 will bring up all conference rooms on the 2nd floor of the Riverton Office Building. Click the room you wish to dial, and then click Call Direct.

If the conference room or system you wish to dial is not in the directory, but you know its E.164 number, click into the white address bar, enter 9{E.164 number}, and click Call Direct.

Calling from a conference room to PVC
From the Crestron touch panel, select Video Conference. Touch the red X to put away the directory. On the video conference control page that you see next, touch Dialing on the right side. Enter the PVC number, using this format, and then touch Dial:

  • 9{PVC extension} - calls PVC user directly
  • 9{PVC extension}* - calls PVC user's meeting room

Your PVC extension is:

  • Workforce user: your 5-digit phone extension (we made your PVC extension match your phone extension by default).
  • Non-workforce user: randomly assigned extension - look next to your name on the top left of the screen after you log into the portal. You can take off the 101 at the front of the extension - not needed in this dialing scenario.

Other questions


I just got a message about new software. What is that all about?

On October 27, 2011, PVC was upgraded with new system software. Some exciting new features have been added. You will be required to update your client software, which is very simple. Just follow the on-screen instructions, and then log in using your same LDS Account username and password.

Click here for details on the new features and how to use them.


What Church positions are allowed to have PVC accounts?

Click here for a full list of positions which are authorized for a PVC account.


Why aren’t bishop’s counselors, ward clerks, Relief Society presidents, and other positions authorized for PVC?

At the ward level, we authorized only a couple of positions - bishop and ward executive secretary (for branches, branch president & clerk). While we would have liked to authorize more positions at the ward/branch level, the number of potential new users was more than the system is ready for right now.

Certainly, there are some great potential uses for PVC for ward leaders. Our recommendation is that you have your bishop and executive secretary sign up for accounts, and then when you want to have a ward council, bishopric meeting, or other similar meetings, the bishop or executive secretary can send out an invite to the participants with a link to their meeting room URL. Those participants can join as guests without having PVC accounts. That way, everyone can still participate. Click here for detailed instructions on how to invite a guest to a PVC meeting.


Does PVC work on an iPad, iPhone, or Android device?

PVC now supports iPads and iPhones (referred to generally as iOS devices), and Android devices.

For iOS devices, download and install the Vidyo app from the Apple app store - search for the word Vidyo (direct link).

For Android devices, search for VidyoMobile (you need to type that full word) in the Google Play app (direct link) and install it.

On either platform, you will be presented with a login screen that asks for portal name, username, and password. Click here for details on what to enter.


Who pays for the costs associated with PVC?

Church HQ has paid for the cost of implementing the PVC infrastructure, including hardware and software licenses. Therefore, there is no cost to ecclesiastical leaders for usage of PVC.

Local units and users are responsible for providing their own:

  • Computers
  • Internet connection
  • Web camera
  • Audio device

The statement from the September 19, 2011 letter from the Office of the Presiding Bishopric reads:

"This (PVC) makes use of low-cost web cameras and microphones connected to the priesthood leader’s own laptop or desktop computer to make video conference calls. Local priesthood leaders are responsible to acquire the necessary hardware if they choose to use this technology (estimated cost is between $100 and $200 USD). Wards and stakes may acquire the equipment using Local Unit Budget (LUB)."


Why are Utah-based leaders not automatically authorized for a PVC account?

At this time, Utah-based stake and ward leaders are not automatically authorized for PVC accounts. Because these leaders generally live in close proximity, they have less need to communicate over long distances via PVC. If Utah-based leaders feel that they have a legitimate need for PVC, they may request an account on an exception basis by contacting the Global Service Center (GSC).


Why should I use PVC instead of Skype, which I’ve already been using?

There is no specific requirement that you have to use PVC. Many leaders around the world have already discovered Skype and use it for meetings and other communications. Using Skype is acceptable; however, there are some advantages to PVC you may want to consider:

  • Security: PVC is much more secure than Skype. Skype is a public application that anyone can use. PVC requires LDS Account log-in and can only be used by those who are in approved positions. In addition, with a new system software upgrade that should be in place in 2012, all PVC audio and video streams will be encrypted.
  • Video quality: The vendor's software that we use for PVC (Vidyo) contains some industry-leading video processing algorithms that deliver high-definition video over consumer-grade Internet. In general, you will find the video quality on PVC to be much better than on Skype. Skype has only recently added video capabilities, so it is a newer venture for them.
  • Multi-party calls: PVC handles multi-party calls much better than Skype. You can have up to 100 participants in a single meeting in PVC. On your screen, you'll see up to 8 participants at once, but the screen will switch to show the video of whoever is currently speaking.
  • Integration with Church video conferencing systems: For those who need to interact with Church HQ or other Church field sites with video conferencing systems, it's very simple to make a call between PVC and those systems. Skype does not offer that capability.

Skype does offer very good audio, since that's where they started. Skype even works well with built-in microphones and speakers on laptops, which we do not recommend with PVC. If you have the proper audio equipment with PVC, however, your audio results should be very good.


Can PVC be used for very large interactive training meetings (for example, between 2-3 chapels full of people)?

Yes, it can. There are a number of ways to set up this type of arrangement, ranging from relatively simple to reasonably complex. Additional details on how to do this will be coming soon.


How many PVC participants can join into the same call?

The system is capable of handling up to 100 participants on the same PVC call. We currently limit users to 20 people per individual meeting room. If you need to hold a meeting with more than 20 users, please contact the Global Service Center (GSC). Obviously, you won't be able to see dozens of people on your screen at the same time. The system will display up to 8 people on screen if you have enough Internet bandwidth and a fast CPU on your computer; otherwise, the number could be lower. If you have more people in the meeting than you can see on the screen, the view will change to show whoever is currently talking.


Troubleshooting


I am getting an "Authorization problem with VidyoConferencing system" error. How can I fix this?

In some situations, PVC users are being incorrectly redirected by our infrastructure equipment to https://pvc.lds.org (one of the most notable places is when you click on the "Log in" link on the Welcome page that you see right after you sign up for an account). This https link will give you this error, and is not where you want to go.

Instead, you need to go to http://pvc.lds.org. The best way to fix it may be to just manually type it into your browser and then bookmark the site.

We are working to correct this redirect issue, but this is something you can do in the meantime to eliminate the error message.

On some PC's, another fix that has worked is to uninstall the Vidyo client (Control Panel / Programs), then when you download it again, right-click on the install file and Run as Administrator.


I am getting audio echo on my PVC call, but I have the right equipment. Why?

The PVC 2.1 upgrade that occurred on October 27, 2011 included some new audio processing algorithms. It seems to have negatively affected audio performance in a few specific situations. The most noticeable scenario is with Logitech USB headsets, but echo could possible occur with other audio peripherals.

We have talked to Vidyo about this issue, and they are working to resolve it as soon as possible. They also continue to work to improve their overall audio performance, and we expect to see those results in their next release of software.

If you have a Logitech headset, and other people on your PVC call are hearing their own voice, try the following:

  1. Turn off the Auto Adjust Microphone Level setting (on the Vidyo client, click on the Configuration gear wheel PVC call control config.png, select Devices, and uncheck this box).
  2. Turn down the microphone level on your Vidyo client (microphone button PVC call control mic.png at the top of the screen).

I just got a message about new software. What is that all about?

On October 27, 2011, PVC was upgraded with new system software. Some exciting new features have been added. You will be required to update your client software, which is very simple. Just follow the on-screen instructions, and then log in using your same LDS Account username and password.

Click here for details on the new features and how to use them.


I went through the software upgrade process, but the PVC page (using Firefox) doesn't look any different. Why?

We have noticed a bit of a bug relative to using the new system software (upgraded on October 27, 2011) with Firefox, either on a PC or Mac. For some reason, the Firefox browser cache keeps a copy of the old PVC page and doesn't replace it with the new one. You can tell if this is the case if you still see Log Out on the top right part of your screen (that option was in the previous version but went away in the new version). In order to properly view the new page, you need to manually clear your cache.

To clear your cache, do the following:

  • In Firefox, select Tools / Options.
  • Click on the Advanced icon (top right), then the Network tab below.
  • Click on the Clear Now button, then click Okay.

The next time you log into PVC, your screen will reflect the new software.


Why do I get “Invalid name or password” error?

When you first come to http://pvc.lds.org, if you just try to enter your LDS Account username and password without first signing up for a PVC account, you will get this error. Just having an LDS Account doesn't mean you're an authorized user - you need to sign up first. Click on "Request an Account" and enter your LDS Account info on the next screen.

You have to be a member of the Church workforce or hold one of the authorized positions to be authorized for PVC. Also, leaders in Utah are currently excluded from automatic authorization. If you qualify, you'll see a Welcome screen. If not, you'll get a message telling you why you were not authorized.

If you do hold one of the authorized positions and are still denied, please do the following:

  • First, check with your ward or stake clerk to ensure that your current calling is accurately reflected in MLS.
  • If that still doesn't work (it generally should), contact the Global Service Center (GSC), and they can help add you as a PVC user.

I get an "unsafe" error installing the PVC client with Norton Internet Security. How do I work around this?

If you get an error message from Norton Internet Security that the Vidyo Desktop Installer .exe file is unsafe and you are unable to launch it, please do the following:

1. Make a new folder on the desktop and name it Vidyo.
2. Launch Norton and go into Configure > Firewall > Exclusions and select the folder Vidyo, adding it to the exclude list.
3. Re-attempt download of the .exe, only this time save it in the folder Vidyo on the desktop.
4. Once downloaded, run the .exe. If prompted by Norton to allow or trust the program, select "Allow or trust this program all the time" option.
5. Once Vidyo desktop is installed, navigate once again into the Configure > Firewall > Exclusions and select the newly installed Vidyo desktop program to allow it full access.


I get an "unsafe" error installing the PVC client with Internet Explorer (IE) version 9. How do I work around this?

If you are using Internet Explorer version 9 and get an error message that the Vidyo Desktop Installer .exe file is unsafe and you are unable to launch it, the quickest workaround is to use a different browser. Firefox and Chrome should work fine and not give you this error.

IE 9 has the SmartScreen filter feature enabled by default, which blocks you from downloading an .exe file.


This page was last modified on 27 November 2012, at 15:06.

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