How To:
   Share Media Files

 
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Playing a movie while video conferencing

Nefsis screenshot, playing a movie file while video conferencing.For sharing movies and recorded video among multiple viewers, there's no better online delivery method than a video conference. It reduces travel costs, allows immediate interaction, and gives the presenter valuable feedback and cues from the audience.

But there's more to sharing rich media effectively than just playing a file. How can a presenter keep all participants synchronized with the movie? How can HD video run in an online meeting without taxing bandwidth? How can all participants see the movie on computers running different software and hardware configurations?

Business Applications


When do most business users need to share media? Usually in sales and customer service applications where product demonstration movies and training films are involved. Media sharing is also used in telemedicine for online radiology consults and remote clinic support where digital media is reviewed online. There are also many TV, film, ad campaign, software and online gaming applications where dispersed teams must review films and creative work-in-process.

Video conferencing technology is a big step up in helping distributed teams converse and collaborate in real-time, and live media sharing is a nice boost anywhere digital media is involved.

The Problem:
Reliable, Synchronized Video is Impossible Using Separate Tools


The first big technical problem in sharing media over a video conference is distributing the media. Traditionally, the presenter makes the media file(s) available to all participants via e-mail, shared network drive, FTP, CD/DVD, or some other way of pushing a file to them. This is cumbersome at best for average-sized media, and problematic for large, HD files. Then, once participants have the files, they must ensure that they are running a compatible, up-to-date media player so that the file will play correctly on their computer; if not, they must take the time to install updates. This error-prone process places the burden of preparing for the video conference on participants, and participants do not like to prepare.

The next big problem is that, even when everybody has the file and the player with which to run it, the presenter has no way of synchronizing everybody's player with simple commands like play, pause, cue and stop. Participants launch the video at different times and control it at their own desktops, so the presenter loses control of the experience and the online meeting. The presenter also loses the connection to the audience and the opportunity to gauge audience reaction that is critical in sales and training presentations.

As an alternative, presenters can share the player application running from their own desktop and thereby show the visual component, but this results in a very choppy presentation and the complete loss of audio.

Another problem with using separate tools is security. It is easy to secure an online meeting via SSL, but sending content via unsecure email, FTP or other cleartext means creates vulnerabilities.

Nefsis Solves These Problems:
Security & Synchronized Video are Built-in


Nefsis solves the problems of file distribution and synchronization by playing the media from within the secure virtual conference room, using the same connections, network paths and software infrastructure as the rest of the conference.

Nefsis trans-codes the movie from its source media file format (.wmv, .avi, mp3, .mov, etc.), sends it from the presenter's computer to the secure cloud-based virtual conference server (VCS), and then plays it in the Nefsis conference room. Participants see and hear the content over the same TCP/IP connection and through the same Nefsis software without any additional player or codec. The shared media file is synchronous across multiple participants, but more importantly, synchronous with live audio and video in the conference, too.

Nefsis automated real-time throttling maximizes the quality of the video conferencing and movie sharing experience, while ensuring that there is adequate CPU power for other applications and that nobody's Internet connection is over-saturated. Participants with poor Internet connections see fewer frames per second or lower quality images, but they do not spoil the high-quality experience for the rest of the audience.

In summary, online meetings become much more productive and efficient, especially when it comes to sharing product demonstration movies and training films.

  • presenters no longer need to distribute media files
  • participants no longer need scramble to download large media files or verify a player before joining the conference
  • presenters have complete control over video playback - e.g., start, pause, rewind, seek - while keeping the media synchronized (participants can adjust volume and zoom)
  • presenters maintain a stronger connection to all participants, who remain more engaged in the online meeting
  • better online meeting security

How to Play a Movie File

The presenter starts the video conference and ensures that all desired attendees appear in the Users pane:




The presenter clicks on Media File, then selects the desired video for the conference:





The presenter clicks the play button, and participants see and hear the video exactly as the presenter sees and hears it. To control playback, the presenter can move the progress slider, select video size, click play/pause and choose high/medium/low video quality:





Participants may adjust size on screen and volume, but cannott control playback:





Presenter can make a participant another presenter, who can share a media file and control playback from another computer:





Multiple presenters can share multiple media files in a conference room at a time. Nefsis appends each presenter's name to the name of the media file on the tab:




Media Sharing FAQ

What file types are supported?  The most common file formats are supported. This includes: WMV, AVI, WAV, MP3, MP4, MPG, MOV and others.

What are the technical requirements?  The presenter's computer — only the presenter, not the participants — must be able to play the file with Windows media player, have DirectX installed, and have digital rights to use or play the content. Participants need only be in the meeting room.

What media players do my conference participants need?  None. When they click into a Nefsis meeting room, they have everything they need. Nefsis takes care of everything else.

What are low, medium, high and custom quality settings?  Medium is the default setting and is generally used for corporate applications. Low is used when some participants are on shared T-1 or home office Internet connection. High and Custom are specialized settings for customers who have adequate bandwidth, HD movie files, and who want the highest fidelity possible. Related pages: Online User Manual - Share Media

What about bandwidth?  Nefsis will automatically grey-out settings that your current CPU and bandwidth are not capable of supporting. Nefsis automated CPU and bandwidth throttling also makes adjustments to video conferencing quality, media sharing quality and bandwidth consumption in response to real-time changes in each user's Internet connection. Related pages:
Bandwidth | Nefsis Bandwidth Monitor | Nefsis Scalable Video & Automated Throttling Technology


Conclusion

Synchronized video and convenience for participants are vital to successful online meetings, especially those that use training films and product demonstration movies. Nefsis advanced technology can share media files and play movies as a built-in feature of the virtual conference room, without requiring participants to run a separate media player. Nefsis synchronous communications technology lets you see the audience reaction crucial to good presentations.

Nefsis trans-codes the movie from its source media file format (.wmv, .avi, etc.), sends it from the presenter's computer to the cloud-based virtual conference server (VCS), and then plays it in the Nefsis conference room. Participants see and hear the content over the same TCP/IP connection and through the same Nefsis software without any additional player or codec. The shared media file is synchronous across multiple participants, but more importantly, synchronous with live audio and video in the conference room, too.

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