Q

Sametime meeting recording

Recordings of meetings seem to be prone to problems, especially with audio and video. Checking with other Sametime users, we have heard that no one uses the audio/video recording features. Is this a real problem with the software or is it a problem with most people's network?

The quality of audio and video in a Sametime meeting is almost completely reliant on the underlying network infrastructure, given that the Lotus Instant Messaging server, or LIM server, meets (or hopefully exceeds) recommended infrastructure requirements.

Recording a meeting also relies on the quality of the inbound "feed" during the storage and recording of meetings. An important point to remember is that the Sametime server acts as a transmitter, receiving inbound audio and/or video and then relaying that information to the other meeting participants. So it is not only your internal network bandwidth that you need to consider, but also the bandwidth available to participants, especially if they are outside your own LAN.

As an example, my "test" LIM server (P4, 3ghz, 1GB mem) running on my internal LAN (Gigabit) runs like a dream, recording and running video and audio between participants flawlessly and in real time -- with every whiteboard addition, screen sharing input and file share visible and audible. However, when you add a dial-in user to the mix (an extreme example to demonstrate), their contributions are dramatically slower and of lower quality when compared to the other meeting participants.

In my experience, if you are going to record audio and/or video in a meeting -- usually this is for later playback purposes -- make sure the connection to the server is on the best available network to ensure that the inbound "feed" to the LIM Server is of sufficient capacity to provide a high quality capture.

One last tip: If the purpose of the recording is to explain the content of a presentation -- and the addition of a participant's happy, smiling face does not contribute to the effectiveness of that presentation -- I, personally, would not use the video component.

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This was first published in May 2005

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