Testing with reflector sites

Testing your videoconference system and setup prior to a conferencing session is a very important step when preparing to deliver audio and video over the internet.

The University offers a reflector service to aid in videoconference testing. See a complete list of reflector test sites.

What are reflectors?

Reflectors consist of videoconferencing equipment that is specifically designated for testing. These sites are available to anyone using a videoconferencing unit (VCU) or videoconferencing software on their computer to test the functionality of their endpoint with another unit. Depending on the outcome, tests done this way can tell you a number of things.

Who is involved?

Reflector sites are setup by most videoconferencing manufacturers and support groups. The University of Saskatchewan has a reflector on campus and provides a list of off campus sites.  Anyone using either a videoconferencing unit or videoconferencing software on their computer can use these reflector test sites.

When are they available?

Reflector sites should be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. However, only one videoconferencing endpoint can connect at a time to a specific test site. If a site does not answer, try some of the other test sites or wait a few minutes before trying again.

Where are the reflector sites located?

Reflector sites are available on the University of Saskatchewan campus to enable you to troubleshoot potential campus network problems or test videoconferencing calls from off-campus to on-campus. Off-campus reflector sites allow you to test against equipment from different manufacturers, the status of the internet (off-campus) and the functionality of your videoconferencing unit.  See the complete list of reflector test sites.

Why use the reflector services?

  • Test the functionality of your unit: can it dial out and receive audio, video, presentations, and calls, etc.
  • Test the compatibility of your unit with other manufacturers and firmware versions (e.g., Polycom, Sony, Lifesize, Tandberg)
  • Troubleshoot possible network issues: can you connect to an on-campus or off-campus site?

How do I use it?

Review the list of reflector test sites and find one that meets your needs. Then, enter the dial string into the phone book on your videoconferencing unit. 

For example, the first off-campus test site is called "VTCTest." To connect to this test site, enter 71.14.2.158 in the box that appears on your unit when you select “Connect.” We recommend that you always use this site when testing a unit as it provides a very comprehensive test of your VCU's functionality.

Reflector Test Sites

  • On-campus Reflector

System Name: UofSTest: ITS
Dial String:  mirror.usask.ca
MAX Bandwidth: 4MB
CodecType: Sony PCS-XG55 with HD Camera
Location: UofS
Notes: The camera is pointed at the local screen which allows you to see what someone connected to you would see.

  • Off-campus: Third Party Reflectors

System Name: VTCTest: Produced by Gary Miyakawa
Dial String: 71.14.2.158
MAX Bandwidth: Unknown
CodecType: Polycom HDX 9004
Location: US
Notes: VTCTest not only checks video and audio (in both directions) it also checks for H.239 (Dual Video) and offers a call back feature.

System Name: VTCTest: Produced by Gary Miyakawa
Dial String: 71.14.2.157
MAX Bandwidth: Unknown
CodecType: Polycom HDX 9004
Location: US
Notes: VTCTest not only checks video and audio (in both directions) it also checks for H.239 (Dual Video) and offers a call back feature.

System Name: VTCTest Digital Video Loopback: Produced by Gary Miyakawa
Dial String: 71.14.2.154
MAX Bandwidth: Unknown
CodecType: LifeSize Team ver 4.1.1
Location: US
Notes: Digital Video Loopback

  • Off-campus : Manufacturer Supplied Reflectors

System Name: Tandberg : Canada Video Loopback
Dial String: 66.46.203.226
MAX Bandwidth: Unknown
CodecType: Cisco/Tandberg
Location: Canada
Source: http://www.tandberg.com/support/video-conferencing-online-services.jsp