Rethink How You Troubleshoot Soft Codec Conferencing Systems

Pete Coman, Master Systems Designer at PTS, asks AVI-SPL Project Engineer Holly Clausen, CTS, discuss how troubleshooting for conferencing systems has changed in a recent Conferencing and Collaboration Power Hour with AVIXA. Watch the full conversation here.

Pete Coman: We've obviously seen an increase in the popularity of soft codecs. Has supporting these systems become harder or easier when compared to traditional video conferencing systems? 

Holly Clausen: I think that's a really interesting question, Pete. In my opinion, we've basically just had to change the way that we were thinking about these. We've changed from a hardware-based solution to a software-based solution.  

So while we have all spent the last 20 to 30 years really mastering these cable terminations and cable pulls, understanding how these signals get from point A to point B, now we're having to rethink how we troubleshoot. Look at the codec itself, or the conferencing platform, and see what settings we need to change, what gear we're pairing with this solution.  

In a way has gotten more difficult. But it has led us to be needing to be more creative, especially on the design side. 

Pete Coman: Okay, so you get a call, and there is a problem at the client site. And you've actually got to resolve it. What do you do? What are you looking for? 

Holly Clausen: If somebody is calling me, they've already gone through level one where they verify that the connections are solid, they verify that everything's powered on. I think that we as AV professionals need to look into is what has changed in the system, right? As we know, code doesn't change on its own.  

So when you walk into a system that you know was working yesterday or a few days ago, and you see that now it's not working the same, you need to look at what other aspects of the AV system could have caused this. For example, if you had any blips and power, a power blackout or a brownout, really anything can cause these devices to get out of sync.  

Maybe your IT department has released a new update with the network that could cause the IP addresses to change. And now your systems can't communicate. These things that we set once and forget, we need to not overthink. So when we go back into the system, just make sure that you're looking at the simple issues understanding exactly what it is that's happening with your system. 

Workspace trends are moving towards smaller, more flexible spaces, with more remote working over the long-term according to AVIXA’s IOTA report. Corporate technology managers and integrators can get the latest on key developments and trends for the digital workplace in AVIXA’s monthly Power Hour. Join AVIXA for the next Conferencing & Collaboration Power Hour: Facilitating Collaboration for Remote Workforces on June 7.  


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Annette Sandler

Annette Sandler has worked in live events for over 10 years delivering creative, connected experiences. As the Director of Content Development for AVIXA, Annette curates in-person and digital content that shines a spotlight on the power of AV technology and integrated experiences. If you have a story to tell about AV technology, you can reach Annette at asandler@avixa.org.