TechLinkHD offers several new and innovative features that may need to be explained. Over the next few months as more classrooms are converted, the Information Technology division will be creating individualized training. In the mean time, take a look at the overview training. If you are interested in scheduling a training session, please contact Angie Newsome.
In the coming weeks, as we learn how the system is utilized, we will announce tips and techniques that will address issues and make the transition to High Definition an easy one. Check out the tips below:
Tip #1 - Assistance
If you need assistance during your TechLinkHD session, simply say "Operations Technician, I need assistance". Technicians are standing by to assist you if necessary.
Tip #2 – Sound
In an effort to streamline sound, the committee that was created to determine the classroom configuration for the new HD system decided that an open microphone system would work more efficiently and be more consistent with a normal classroom environment. Users no longer have to “press the button” to talk or be heard. Instructors can now conduct classes as they would in a standard Face-to-face scenario.
Sometimes, however, instructors may not want to hear all sound coming from external campuses. This sound may include class activities where you have people talking or papers rustling across the different campuses. For example: there may be small group sessions working during class time within the campus classrooms that would need to be muted to keep from interfering with the other groups. The new TechLinkHD allows instructors to mute sound from the Control Panel located on the teaching podiums. With the use of three buttons (Master Mute, Instructor Mic On, and Remote Sites On), instructors can toggle sound settings as desired.
Master Mute – will mute all sound (even the instructor and the originating classroom microphones).
- Master Mute (green border) – when this is showing, all sound is recorded and/or broadcast
- All Audio Muted (black border) – when this is showing, all sounds are muted
Instructor Mic ON – will mute the instructor microphone
- Instructor Mic ON (green border) – when this is showing, the instructor microphone is recorded and/or brodcast
- Instructor Mic Muted (black border) – when this is showing, the instructor microphone is muted
Remote Sites ON – will mute all sound coming from external sites
- Remote Sites ON (green border) – when this is showing, the remote site microphones are recorded and/or brodcast
- Remote Sites Muted (black border) – when this is showing, the remote site microphones are muted
When the new TechLinkHD system is utilized to bridge two campuses, the sound works as anticipated.
Notice that when sound is muted for multiple sites, there is still the possibility of noise disruption between Campus #2 and Campus #3. It is always a better practice to manage the classroom environment than to disable communications between classrooms and between the students and faculty. Students in a muted classroom would have to gain the attention of the faculty member and be sound enabled in order to participate within the classroom environment.
Tip #3 - Media
Because the Feature Selection Committee wanted to bring the technology at the Health Sciences Center into the 21st century, all technology associated with the new TechLinkHD system is designed to produce High Definition quality media. Supported technologies include:
- Blu-ray discs
Although HD-DVD and VHS are not supported, the Blu-ray player will up-scan or enhance any regular, original DVD.
If there is a need to display content from a VHS tape, it is possible to connect a VHS player to the TechLinkHD system; however, content presented via this method will result in Standard Definition output, like that of the old TechLink (HealthNet) system.
Tip #4 - Mixed Rooms
Over the next few months as we implement the new TechLinkHD system, there may be times when mixed rooms will need to be scheduled in a single session. A mixed room session is one where there is a room with old equipment and a newly upgraded room scheduled together in a Broadcast scenario. In this instance, the sound and video quality may be somewhat degraded. The Classroom Support personnel will be able to tell you if this is the case.