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Voice Over IP or Telephone Communication

During a live satellite broadcast the CADE Virtual Classroom participants can speak with the instructor or presenter. When a presenter calls on a participant, typically a Voice over IP connection is made to the CADE Audio Control server in the studio. The speaker output of the Audio Control PC is routed into the audio mixing equipment at the studio, mixed with the participant's voice, and uplinked to the satellite so everyone in the broadcast can hear the conversation and share the knowledge being transferred. 

Voice over IP 

Voice over IP (VoIP) is the preferred solution for sending participant audio to the instructor or presenter during a live broadcast. It doesn't require an additional telephone line or incur long distance charges to use. When the instructor or presenter calls on a participant, the connection is immediate. There is no waiting for a phone line to be dialed and telephone line connected so the flow of the broadcast is not interrupted and as natural as possible.

Audio from the Virtual Classroom PC is highly compressed and transferred over the inter/intranet connection at a very low bit rate (about 3.6kbs) so there is a minimal effect on available bandwidth. Additionally, CADE uses a Push-to-Talk scheme so the audio is only being sent while the participant is talking and in doing so, further reducing the load on the communications network. There may be hundreds or even thousands of people participating in a broadcast, but only one person will be talking at any given time so the overall impact on network traffic is extremely low.

Telephone Communication - POTS/PBX

However, many companies today still have extremely limited bandwidth on their wide area networks, the links between their offices, stores, or plants. Such limited resources means these companies cannot afford to have even the smallest amount of data added to their corporate networks and need another solution for sending the participant's audio to the instructor or presenter.

To meet this need, Learn.Net has integrated a POTS (Plain Old Telephone System) or PBX solution into its CADE product line. In this situation, CADE incorporates and external, TAPI standard telephone device that connects to the Virtual Classroom computer via a serial port or USB. An external connection means PCs don't have to be opened to install the equipment and external devices are also easier to move to another PC. Note, the device is NOT a modem and users cannot use it to connect to an Internet provider and in doing so compromise the security of the network.

The POTS/PBX option is used exactly the same way as the VoIP approach. When a participant raises their hand and is called upon by the presenter there is no apparent difference. However, with POTS/PBX the telephone number of the studio is passed to the Virtual Classroom, which in turn dials the phone number and connects the participant to the studio and subsequently the presenter and the viewing audience. Participants still use their CADE wireless remote controls to talk to the presenter, but over a telephone line rather than VoIP. The remote sends audio to the receiver, through the audio connection into the mic jack of the sound card in the Virtual Classroom PC, and then to the TAPI telephone device.

Mixing Both POTS/PBX and VoIP 

It is possible in one broadcast to have participants using both types of communication, POTS/PBX and VoIP. In the studio, the CADE Audio Server receives the audio from either the inter/intranet connection or the POTS/PBX call.

In both cases, it routes the audio into its sound card and out through the speaker jack to the audio mixing equipment in the studio. In this way, it is possible to mix both types in a single broadcast depending on each individual remote location's needs.

Broadcast Automation ] Scripted Video Routing ] On-Demand ] Wireless Controls ] Two-Way Video ] Active Directory ] Audio Recording ] Custom Reporting ] PocketPC ] [ VoIP or POTS ] Pay-Per-Use ]

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