the tech

This briefly outlines the two options for joining a Channel Talent schools videoconference/webinar. Whichever is chosen a test with Channel Talent is necessary prior to taking part in a live session. Sessions are group/room based rather than individuals at separate pcs/macs.

Option 1: H323 VC Equipment

H323 is the best option as it is designed specifically for room based connections and the sound and video quality is usually high once the network connection is set up. There’s a variety of different manufacturers and models ranging from Polycom, Tandberg, Aver, etc. but these are all compatible with JISC’s v-scene platform that Channel Talent uses. If the equipment exists at the school, but hasn’t been used recently, then it is worth trying it and testing with Channel Talent. If not, then, until the concept is proven with teachers and students, it is probably worth connecting using a pc (See Option 2). Examples of H323 equipment:

Option 2: PC Connection: v-scene desktop

JISC also provides a free desktop client for joining VCs/webinars via a pc. The following link gives you the option to test the v-scene desktop which will involve downloading a free plug in.

The test room offers the chance to test your connectivity and you should be able to see and hear the v-scene video feed as well as yours. The client has been designed so that it is firewall friendly but it is worth checking the port information below and using the test room to make sure the connection works. Additionally v-scene has identified an occasional conflict with Sophos anti virus software which it is currently investigating*.

v-scene Desktop (VidyoWeb) Port Ranges
v-scene Desktop has been configured to allow the use of a single TCP port, 443, if the user is behind a restrictive firewall or NAT configuration. All traffic is tunnelled over this port via our proxy server. This means that anyone using v-scene Desktop must at least have port 443 open for TCP traffic. Depending on your network conditions, there may be a slight degradation in performance if using this option.

The following additional firewall ports can also be manually opened, which may increase the call quality:-

TCP: 80, 443, 17990, 17992                                    UDP: 50,000 – 65,535

*Some firewalls require an increase in UDP timeout to avoid unexpected client disconnections.


Once you are satisfied that you are able to make the connection then please make contact with Channel Talent to arrange a room test. This will test the hardware and the audio and video quality achieved in the room you intend to use for the actual session, or at least in one similar.


Using the v-scene desktop for a Channel Talent session places importance on the hardware used, especially the microphone. It is really important that we avoid echo within the session and that we ensure your students can be heard. If we can get a good quality video image from the webcam, this is even better.

Some examples of hardware that schools have used are shown below although there is so much out there that it is worth running a test with what you have and then seeing if any different hardware is required. We have found that the v-scene built in echo cancellation works very well and so many webcams with built in mikes are working effectively.;55331;2389&gclid=CIWRufPh5cACFY_ItAod9BsApA

* If v-scene desktop is a problem for any reason, there is another free compatible alternative which can be explored called Visimeet