Advanced Photon Source

An Office of Science National User Facility

Video Conferencing Services at APS

There are two primary video conferencing services available at APS: BlueJeans and Polycom. The Polycom systems are generally dedicated for conference room to conference room communication - essentially, one Polycom system will connect to another. Bluejeans, on the other hand, provided the ability for individual users to remotely connect in to a video conference with no special equipment beyond a computer and headset microphone. BlueJeans does have the ability to bridge to a Polycom system, which will be discussed below.


The following links are also available from the Argonne BlueJeans page:


Polycom Video Conferencing at APS

APS has three fixed location Polycom video conferencing systemslocated in Building 401, room B2100, Room 3100B and B5100A and one portable system  which can be used anywhere there is an APS network jack connected to the videoconferencing subnet 164.54.57.  Any jack can be connected to this subnet by IT. Use the Argonne Help Desk to reserve the portable system.

The rooms can be reserved by using the APS Conference Room Calendars page.  

Room 2100 is a Polycom Realpresence Group 500 system (
Room 5100 is a Polycom HDX system (
Room 3100B is a Polycom VSX7000 (
The portable system is a Polycom  VSX7000 (


Quick Guide to the Polycom HDXSystem (pdf)
Detailed Guide
to the Polycom HDXSystem (pdf)

Quick Guide to the Polycom VSX7000System (pdf)
Detailed Guide to the Polycom VSX7000System (pdf)

Quick Guide to the Polycom Realpresence Group 500 System (pdf)
Detailed Guide to the Polycom Realpresence Group 500 System (pdf)

The systems are managed by the Information Technology group. 


MultiPoint Videoconferencing Service

APS systems belong to the ESnet Collaboration Scheduling Service for Video and Audio Conferences. ESnet'sServiceprovides multi-site video conferencing via TCP/IP with Web-based scheduling and resource management. 


APS Video Conference Facilities
401 Facilities
Portable System
Video Conferencing Yes
Audio Conferencing Yes
H.323 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Screen Projection Yes
 SmartBoard +Video Projector
Codec Polycom Realpresence Group 500 Polycom VSX7000
Polycom HDX
Polycom VSX7000
# Monitors 2 2 2 1
Seating Capacity 20

Equipment and Technology
The 401 systems have two large video monitors and usually display the local audience as well as the remote audience. The portable system has one large video monitor. Each of the cameras is a high-quality model with remote control pan and zoom features. All systems have an automated tracking camera which is able to track the presenter's movement intelligently and permits eye-to-eye conversations throughout the videoconferencing.
The systems come with a microphone designed to work best with a small group of people.
There is a SMART Boardavailable in B2100 This is an interactive whiteboard which can save your notes to a computer and control your PC applications directly from the Board's large, touch sensitive surface.  See:

Planning a Videoconference
  1. Determine the time and length of videoconference. The session should not be more than 1 1/2 to 2 hours in time. Long sessions will cause fatigue among the participants.
  2. Prepare agenda,materials, graphics and visual aids and distribute the materials early.
  3. Arrange for seating and prepare identification tags.
  4. Make early contact with the remote counterparts to work out the details of the videoconferencing. 
  5. Request for technical information from the remote counterparts about their videoconferencing sites. 
  6. Test the link before the scheduled conference to familiarize yourself with the equipment.

Tips for Videoconferencing
  1. Dress appropriately. Avoid very intense colors clothing, such as reds, as they tend to "bleed" on screen. Shirts and blouses in pastel colors look better than bright whites. Avoid also all light or all dark clothing. The camera's automatic brightness control will be tricked by these. If you are wearing too much light-colored clothing, the camera will automatically darken the picture, making your face appear shadowed. 
  2. Arrive at least 15 minutes early for a brief orientation. Become familiar with the equipment and all the peripherals you will be using.
  3. Begin on time and open by introducing participants. It is a good idea to introduce yourself to others on the call. 
  4. Speak and move naturally. Maintain eye contact with the people on screen as you would if you were meeting in person. There is about a half second transmission delay, so pause briefly for others to comment.
  5. Avoid distracting movement such as tapping a pencil, turning back and forth in your chair, wiggling your foot, chewing gum, etc. The microphone is very sensitive and any noises made on your end will be amplified at the other end. If you need to shuffle papers, sneeze, move the microphone, etc., use the MUTE button until you're done.
  6. Encourage participation and ask questions. 
  7. Control and moderate the progress and pace of the session. Time management is important. Keep conference focused, direct non-agenda items to future meetings.
  8. Conclude on time, allowing a few minutes for wrap-up and good-byes