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Conferences Without MCU


Point-to-Point Connection

The term "point-to-point connection" (P2P) denotes a conference with two devices in the area of videoconferencing. These systems must be able to communicate with the same protocol. This prerequisite is met by all systems which conform to the ITU H.323 or H.320 standard. In general, all VC devices by the manufacturers Cisco, Polycom, Lifesize, Tandberg or Sony fulfil this requirement.

If the same systems, devices or software is used on both sides, a P2P connection can be established. However there is a possibility that a proprietary protocol is used that is not compatible with the DFNVideoConference service.

Within the DFN, these connections only need IP address of the remote site. The IP address is entered into your own device and the connection is established. For this purpose, registered gatekeepers should be deactivated.

Even if the infrastructure of the DFNVideoConference is not needed to establish the P2P connection, it is recommended to involve the Multipoint Control Unit (MCU).

There are two advantages:

Connections with Users who are not Registered in the DFNVideoConference Service

Connections with partners who are not registered in the DFNVideoConference service can be divided in 3 subgroups:
    (1) Domestic institutions without access to the academic network (e.g. companies, members without X-WiN connection)
    (2) Foreign institutions not using the Global Dial Schemes (GDS)
    (3) Foreign institutions using the Global Dial Schemes (GDS)

In case of (1) and (2) using Skype, GoogleTalk, WebEx or similar products alternatively is often requested.

The DFN association does not provide support for these systems/software. Using these systems is mostly prohibited in German academic institutions or only allowed within strict standards.

If a video conference with such a remote site is required, it is advisable to use a freely accessible, but ITU standard-conforming client. A detailed instruction for installation and set-up of such a program can be found here.

As an alternative, the use of the WebConferencing service by means of Adobe Connect should be considered.

In case (3), it should be possible to establish a connection easily. The service DFNVideoConference is based on the GDS and is integrated in the international gatekeeper infrastructure. The call numbers of the participants are very close in structure to our national video conference calling numbers. The use of IP addresses as a calling number is possible. In the realm of H.323 communication, the possibility of active firewalls must be considered nevertheless.