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Ultra Experience: Audio and Video FAQ

Date Published: Sep 05,2017


CategoryProduct:Help & FAQs; Version:Ultra Experience
Article No.: 000040454
Product:
Collaborate - Ultra Experience
Document Type:
User Documentation

Document Summary:

This FAQ answers questions regarding audio and video setup and usage for Collaborate with the Ultra experience.

Document Details:

Audio and Video Overview:

You must give the browser permission to use audio and video to participate in a session. This is necessary so that you are seen and heard.

It's OK if you're not ready to do this right away. You can set up audio and video at any time in Settings.

By default, you are hidden and muted after you complete the setup. Click the microphone and camera icons to begin full meeting participation.

Audio and Video Configuration

When you launch a session for the first time you will be prompted to setup your camera and microphone. The Audio/Video Setup allows you to setup Flash or WebRTC with permission to use audio and video. Once permissions are set, the Audio/Video Setup will allow you to see if your microphone and camera are working.

You must complete this setup at least once, then you will not be prompted again unless you clear your cookies and cache in the browser.

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The setup is slightly different with WebRTC browsers(Chrome and Firefox) vs the Flash browsers (IE and Safari). In Chrome the audio/video setting are controlled by Chrome and are therefore allowed through Chrome. With Safari and IE, the audio/video settings are controlled by Flash and the Flash control panel will be shown.

Chrome permissions can also be accessed again by clicking on the "Video Camera" icon on the right side of the URL bar.

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Clicking on "Manage media settings...", will take you to the page showing websites that have audio/video permission in Chrome. Clicking "Done" on this page takes you to chrome://settings/ where you can scroll down to the Media section and change the  Microphone/Camera again if needed.

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Firefox permissions can be accessed by the "Video Camera" icon to the left of the URL bar.
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If you access the setup via Flash you are shown Flash Permissions instead:
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Allow and Remember should be selected to keep the Flash permissions in place. Clicking on the Microphone and WebCam "tabs" on this page does allow you to change audio/video input preferences.

If you have already completed the initial permissions check you can access the Audio/Video Setup again by clicking on the My Settings Icon and then choosing Audio and Video Settings > Set Up your Camera and Microphone.

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You can now run through the Audio/Video Setup again, and select different audio/video inputs if you need. This functionality is the same in Flash or Chrome.

Do I need to use a headset?

Headsets are still preferred as they do the best job of making sure the mic is optimally placed for you to be heard, as well as blocking out background noises fully.

Does Collaborate with the Ultra experience have echo cancelling?

Yes, Collaborate uses the built in echo cancellation algorithms that are built into WebRTC and Flash

Does Collaborate with the Ultra experience have teleconferencing?

Yes, Collaborate users can dial into the session and initiate the connection between the session and the teleconference bridge. To use this functionality, select:

Your avatar > My Settings > Audio & Video Settings > Generate Number > Call the number listed > Enter the personal identification number (PIN)

For more information on teleconference phone number please review our help documentation, here.

Up to 25 participants can call into a session from their phone. If the maximum number of participants has been reached additional users are not given a phone number to call.

How many talkers and videos can be supported in Collaborate with the Ultra experience?

Audio

Collaborate employs modern design to optimize the in-session experience for all users.

The audio, video and application sharing infrastructure in Collaborate is based on WebRTC technology. With WebRTC, all presenters, moderators and participants can turn their microphones and video cameras on at any time. Collaborate will dynamically prioritize the video and audio streams to display. Presenters and moderators can always mute participant audio, if necessary.  Collaborate accomplishes the dynamical prioritization by "rating" the speakers who have their mics on. Only the tops 5 speakers will have their mic feed actually being heard in the session at anyone time. If someone out of the top 5 talks, it can take about a second for the new interface to increase their score and push their audio through. This functionality means that a user replying with a very short answer like "Yes", may not be heard. We recommend using the chat functionality for classes over 5 where short answer maybe necessary.

Video

Google’s Chrome browser supports all of the functionality necessary to run a full-featured Collaborate session through it’s support of WebRTC. With Google Chrome users will see their own video and up to 4 others in the video conferencing layout. The 4 others are always the most recent speakers. So for larger sessions, the 5 in view will dynamically change. Support for additional viewable videos is under consideration for future versions of Collaborate with the Ultra experience.

The video conferencing layout also has a follow the speaker feature where the active speakers video is displayed larger than the others.

Mozilla Firefox (version 55+) also uses WebRTC and supports all functionality needed to run a full-featured Collaborate session. With Firefox in video conferencing layout users will see 3 videos, their own video plus 2 other speakers. 

Other browsers (Internet Explorer and Safari) are fully supported but are limited in functionality due to their current lack of WebRTC support.  In these browsers, the video conference layout will display 2 videos in the video conference layout - the user's own video and the active speaker's video.

 


Document Link:

https://en-us.help.blackboard.com/Collaborate/Ultra/Moderator/030_Get_Started/Call_Into_a_Session

The information contained in the Knowledge Base was written and/or verified by Blackboard Support. It is approved for client use. Nothing in the Knowledge Base shall be deemed to modify your license in any way to any Blackboard product. If you have comments, questions, or concerns, please send an email to kb@blackboard.com. © 2019 Blackboard Inc. All rights reserved