WebEx setup recommendations
Setting up and quickly testing WebEx should take 15 minutes, but can take up to 30 if something goes wrong. So, it is strongly recommended that one reserves the room and arrives 30 minutes in advance.
You will get the best video connection by using a wired ethernet connection to the computer running the WebEx meeting - otherwise, you will not get HD video and the audio might have noticeable pauses from "jitter" in the network connection. If you want to have multiple mics via multiple computers in the same room, you want to have all plugged into ethernet to avoid a delay for one device, which will produce an echo.
All audio devices should be set up, including plugged into the power source they will use, before joining the WebEx meeting. Otherwise, the meeting might misbehave when something is unplugged briefly or plugged in. For any microphone, don't forget to boost the microphone pickup level at Control Panel -> Manage Audio Devices -> Recording tab -> Right-click the desired microphone and go to the "Levels" tab, and move it to "100" if necessary. Press OK and close any open dialog boxes.
Your power management should be set to high performance, including have the computer to "Never" "Turn off the display" and "Never" "Put the computer to sleep".
If you are using a Blue Yeti mic, you want the microphone to be pointed upwards. If you are using omnidirectional mode to capture the whole room, it should be placed in the center of the room (or maybe slightly away from the loudest people in the room). When planning this, remember to have your computer within 16 feet of the intended microphone placement (the maximum USB 2.0 length per spec). If you are using the cardioid mode on the Blue Yeti mic (upside-down heart), the mute button and volume knob should be pointed towards the speaker.
You do NOT want your camera on the same table as the laptop or where people are sitting, because it will pick up vibrations as blurry shaking. Microphones, particularly boundary microphones, should also not be placed at tables where people are if at all possible, unless the person knows not to tap their fingers, slap the table, write, type on a keyboard, etc.
Purdue users have a default meeting room at https://purdue.webex.com/meet/(username)/ that can be accessed by guests. The host Purdue user must be in the room in order for other people to join, and logged in with their Purdue username and password using the "Log In" button in the upper right corner of the meeting page.
When joining the meeting, there is a option to "run a temporary application" at the bottom. This option has all of the in-meeting functions of the plug-in, and is the recommended way to participate if you don't already have a plug-in installed.
After joining the meeting room, select "Call using my computer" (or you might be brought straight to a screen for selecting and configuring audio). Be sure that your intended microphone is selected, and that it not default to a built-in microphone. The "Automatically adjust microphone level" option is very slow to respond if your meeting will have multiple people who speak at different volumes - the quieter people will probably not be heard. We recommend having the volume high and using compressor/limiter software such as mcompressor to automatically lower the volume of loud people.
After configuring the audio, you might need to press a button for the audio to start. Your audio is successfully connected when there is a filled blue circle with a computer screen and a phone on it labeled "Connected to Audio". If it is not filled and instead says "Call Using Computer", you need to click inside the circle to reconnect.
If you have a smartphone and headphone, you can easily join the meeting as a guest at https://purdue.webex.com/meet/(username)/ to verify that your audio is transmitting. If you have a second laptop, you can have one laptop be logged in as you (with or without an ethernet cable) as an "moderator" laptop, and the other laptop be logged in with a guest account as the "camera" laptop (with the microphone and video camera connected). The "moderator" laptop can then set the "camera" laptop as the presenter, and manage the meeting including muting attendees, responding to chats, and viewing a large image of what the "camera" laptop camera is showing (since the "camera" laptop can only see a miniature version of its own video feed).
Important: Saving your participants' eardrums
In the "Webex Meeting" application, we strongly recommend opening the "Participant" menu, and select "Mute on Entry" to make mute the default for people as they join. The "Entry and Exit Tone" is a good option to turn off, in order to prevent the "doo-doot" when people enter and leave the meeting. This is especially important if your source audio is faint, and thus participants are likely to have their volume turned up to the max.
Recording the Meeting
There are 3 ways to record meetings: recording it from a client computer with dedicated software (such as Camtasia), recording it on the server, and recording it on the client or host computer using WebEx.
Recording it from a computer using dedicated software takes a little more effort to set up and requires a separate software license/installation, but Camtasia is available for no-cost licensing on Purdue-owned computers and this method produces the highest-quality recording. If you try to record a tall video (participant video stacked on the chat window), there have been instances of it being cropped to a height of 720p without warning. In a pinch you can use the "moderator" laptop to do this, but you will definitely want an ethernet cable connection in that case.
Recording it on the server using the button in WebEx is simplest. Videos are automatically uploaded to https://mediaspace.itap.purdue.edu/my-media, but the video will be very small (poor quality, very pixelated, 120-240 pixels tall). If the meeting is primarily webcam video, this is a horrible option since most people will appear as pixelated blobs and any text being presented via the webcam will be completely illegible.
Recording it on the computer using the button in WebEx is slightly more complex (but still simpler than using Camtasia). It automatically records everything in the primary WebEx window, including mouse movements. It provides better video than the server recording, almost as good as Camtasia, but requires the WebEx player to view the WRF format - this is available at https://www.webex.com/play-webex-recording.html. If you convert to WRF to WMV (the only standard video you can export to), the quality suffers, so this is not a good option if you plan to share the meeting using a web platform such as YouTube or MediaSpace (which usually preserves the video's quality only if you use MP4, and won't even accept WRF).
Checklist for meetings being run outside of your office
- Ethernet cable
- Laptop's power cable
- Microphone (and USB extenders/cables, power cables as needed)
- Video camera (and USB extenders/cables, power cables as needed)
- HDMI or other video cable if presenting on a projector
- Surge strip (with all these power cables, you will probably need extra outlets)
Last modified: 2018/05/22 15:28:58.880199 GMT-4 by
Created: 2017/10/17 14:46:1.565831 GMT-4 by oesten.e.nelson.1.
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