BEARView Collaboration and Conferencing resource

Scalable Conferencing in BEAR View

About BEARView

The Video conferencing system (BEARView) is located in the European Research (ERI) building (top floor) room 346/347.  The ERI is building G3 on the Edgbaston campus. Unfortunately the room is not signed within the building - it is the last room on the right on the top floor at the end furthest away from Pritchatts Road.

The suite is able to accommodate 12 seats. The suite can be used for research collaborations, large-scale international conferencing including shared access to visualisations and interviews with remote candidates for, for example, PhD vivas.

To find out more about this resource and to request a discussion with IT Services to see if this could be of benefit please open a call with the IT Service Desk using the "Make a Request" option and choosing "Make a general request" from the right hand side.

BEARView as a collaboration and conferencing resource

Many research projects involve other sites, both in the U.K. and abroad. BEARView offers a resource that is unique on campus to facilitate interaction between members of distributed research projects by:

  • the Powerwall display which, with its 8 square metres surface, allows ample space for the display of multiple video windows, shared desktops and PowerPoint presentations from all participants
  • desktop and PowerPoint slideshow sharing enables all participants to share one or more desktops, for example to work collaboratively on a spreadsheet, and to share a PowerPoint slideshow with all participants
  • scalable IP-based conferencing which just requires a standard IP connection with no need to book dedicated connections. A free endpoint client is available. Unlike other services which are primarily designed for 1-1 calls, the application (Visimeet) used in BEARView scales to hundreds of connections with sophisticated audio and video codes and other options to involve sites with different connectivity and requirements in one conference
  • hardware echo cancelling enables the use of desktop and wireless microphones - no need for headsets; just sit round a table and talk to each other and other participants. The surround sound speakers add high-quality audio to the conference
  • PTZ (point, tilt,zoom) HD cameras enable optimal video transmission for scenarios ranging from small videoconferences to distributed research seminars and classes
  • DCV (Desktop Cloud Visualisation) offers peer-to-peer collaboration on a remote-rendered model. IT Services offer a GPU-based remote render server which is accessed by a free desktop client and enables many clients to access and manipulate a common model. These clients can then explore such a model by, for example, rotating and zooming it without having to ask one site to manipulate the model with the rest as passive observers. Since the rendering is carried out on the highly-specified render server and just the OpenGL graphics stream is transmitted to the clients there is no need for any of the clients to have access to the data and the performance will automatically scale with the bandwidth that is available to each client. When combined with a multi-site conference this provides a unique way for groups to explore and discuss model output from their computations
  • BEARView Bookings: Video conferencing and the BEARView suite can be used for a variety of purposes, including: presentations, lectures, vivas, meetings, distance learning, conference participation and so on. Here are a few examples of how videoconferencing has been benefiting research and researchers at the University of Birmingham.

Last modified: 25 May 2017