Practical Videoconferencing Examples
Wave3 Session Call Overview
Session, from Wave3 Software, is one of the newer SIP clients on the market
today. Session provides complete virtual collaboration functionality: audio and video conferencing, instant messaging, data and application
sharing, and multipoint conferencing. And Session clients are
available for both PCs and Macs!
Wave3 is aggressively upgrading and enhancing their products,
so watch the Wave3
website  regularly for current product information. In particular, Wave3
and the Internet2 Commons have partnered for the Internet2
Commons Real Time Communications Pilot . This includes 30-day trial downloads
of their products along with 4-way multipoint and a longer-term subscription
Initiating Session and making the connection.
When we first start up the software, we see the main
If we are using the Internet2 Commons Pilot, we will be asked
for our account and password (thereby enabling us to use the multipoint and
sharing tools as well.)
Upon login, we can simply click on an entry in our contact
list or enter a SIP URI
establish the connection. We can
even establish the connection via a clickable H.350 directory. A "call
history" with scrolling is
available in the green shaded area and can be used as a redial feature later as well. The
default connection is an audio/video call, so the next thing we should see
is the video window for Jeff.
lower left corner of the main Session panel provides a set of presence status indicators
Here we indicated that we are ready for calls
via . We can also add custom
messages through the last entry. For example,
if we are preparing for a demo, we may not want to receive any calls from
others until after the demo. Here we add a "In a Demo" status to the menu,
saying that we are limiting contact only to messages.
This brings us to the instant messaging feature. Specifying our contact as
above and clicking on the messaging icon will
establish a messaging/chat session with Jeff.
The chat session can occur independently or in conjunction with
a videoconference. When in a multipoint conference, you can establish separate
chats with each participant. The chats then appear as separate tabs (by name)
in the Session IM window (thus conserving on the desktop real estate and number
of open windows.)
Preferences and Settings
We are able to modify our audio and video components through various
preference/setting windows. First we can take a look at the top menu bar. (Mac
Session will initially use whatever audio and video settings
that have been set in the System Preferences (Mac) or Control Panel (PC.) We
may want to tell
Session a little more about our environment or to use different components
with Session. We do this using the Preferences panel under the Session menu.
The Preferences window consists of four tabs or panels. On the
Session preference tab, we can set things such as how and where our name is
displayed, size and location of video windows, position and format of messaging
windows, and how much log information we want to see.
On the Calls preference tab, we can set auto-answer, number of
rings, and certain ports. We can also check a box that tells Session we'd like
to choose some call options when placing a call.
The "Display outgoing call options window" selection will cause
a "Place Call" window to appear whenever we click on the .
This allows us to enter a call subject, select a call with audio only (default
is audio and video), or to disable the video from one direction or the other.
The Media preference tab allows us to specify bandwidth settings,
enabling Session to optimize the call. We can also choose our audio and video
devices. Session supports its own optimized Wavelet video codec along with
H.261 and H.263 for interoperability with other SIP clients. Various frame
rates and picture sizes can also be selected. Audio is "Hands Free" by default,
but a "Push to Talk" capability is available and can be selected by unchecking
The Privacy preference tab allows you to define allow and block
lists, along with several actions to take when allowing, blocking, or handling
Going back to our menu bar,
under Actions we can choose Show
Local Video to check our positioning, lighting, etc.
The resulting window will look something like this. Note that
this is the "small" view. Medium and large views can be selected from the popup
menu under the icon in the lower right.
We can further optimize our audio and video using the various control windows.
Using the audio control window,
we can choose our audio source and actually hear our audio as we talk. We
can set the volume and gain as needed before making our call. Likewise, using
the video control window,
we can change the input source and adjust the color, image settings,
Application and Data Sharing
Wave3 has partnered with Pixion to provide application and data sharing through
their PictureTalk product. See the PictureTalk
Application Sharing Overview for an example of use.
Closing the connections
To close the Session call, just click on the hangup button
in the upper right.
To end the instant messenger session, simply close the window. Remember to