Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Videoconferenceservice

FAQs

  • Why does the HU additionally supply us with BigBlueButton?

    BigBlueButton (BBB) is an OpenSource solution, hosted by the CMS of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Some users might want to make doubly sure that certain video and audio transmissions are especially secured. BBB can be used for such cases, where particular protective needs have been ascertained (e.g. job interviews, committee work).

  • Which features exist in a BBB meeting?

    Amongst others:

    • Audio and video transmission

    • Present your screen

    • Presentations

    • Virtual White Board

    • Breakout Rooms

    • Recording

    • Chat (public and privat)

    • Shared Notes

    • Closed Captions

    • Participants list and status

    • Polls (also anonymous)

    • Virtual Backgrounds

  • What do I need for BBB?

    A device for audio output, a microphone, a webcam, and an up-to-date web browser. A fairly current PC, Mac or mobile device is recommended - about 4-6 years after market introduction should suffice. A desktop client or mobile app is not provided.

  • Who can participate in a BBB conference?

    A BBB conference has to be created by a registered HU account. Participating in such a conference does not require a HU account or a registration. This includes guests which are not part of the Humbildt-Universität zu Berlin. An exception to this rule exists when you are responsible for a Moodle class. Then you can create BBB sessions inside the class module.

  • Can external persons host a BBB conference?

    No. An official HU account is required. Except when you are responsible for a Moodle class. In that case, you can create BBB sessions inside the corresponding module.

  • How many persons can participate in a BBB session at the same time?

    A BBB session can handle up to 300 persons. However, only 20 persons can send audio/video data at the same time for the meeting to remain stable. Depending on how high the quality of the audio/video is, this number can be lower. It is recommended to reduce the amount of senders and/or the quality, should the session show any performance issues.

  • How can I invite someone to my BBB session?

    Sign-in to BBB and click on the desired room. Under "Invite Participants" you will find a link. Copy this link and send it to the participants. The participants click on the link, choose a name for themselves and enter the session.

  • How can I participate in a BBB conference?

    The organizer of the conference has to provide you with a link. Click on the link and follow the instructions on screen.

  • How do I change my display name?

    If you are using a HU account, you cannot do this by yourself. Please contact us instead. If you are a guest click on the invitation link, and you can choose a name on the landing page, just before you enter the session.

  • How do I create additional rooms?

    Sign-in to BBB. On the overview site, click on the card "+ Create a Room". Provide an unambiguous name and set the rules for this room. Click on "Create Room" and the new room will be available. With the exception of the very first room, every room can be deleted at any given time. You can use the three dot menu for that.

  • How do I subsequently change the settings for a room?

    Sign in to BBB. On the overview site you can find a collection of cards showing the rooms that were created by you. Click on the three dots inside such a card and select "Room Settings" to set the rules for this room or "Manage Access" to give another HU user privileges for this room.

  • Can I use virtual backgrounds in BBB?

    Yes. Inside a session, click on "Share Webcam". Inside there, you can choose from different virtual backgrounds in the lower row of the window. Currently, you cannot add your own backgrounds.

  • Are BBB sessions limited in time?

    No. BBB sessions run as long as you like and the rooms stay as long as you refrain from actively deleting them.

  • How can I kick/ban troublemakers?

    Inside a BBB session, click on the name of a participant and choose "Remove User". A new window will open and you can (optionally) set a checkmark to permanently ban the user. This option persists until the entire session is ended and started anew.

  • Can I participate with a telephone?

    Yes. Inside a running session, open the public chat and scroll to its top. There you will find a telephone number. Use this number to participate via phone. It might be a good idea to ask the organiser beforehand, or another participant during the conference, to send you the number.

  • How does BBB handle data privacy?

    Our BBB instance runs on servers of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Thus it is subject to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

  • Is a BBB session encrypted?

    BBB sessions are encrypted during transport. However, not end-to-end.

  • Can I offer the services of sign language interpreters with BBB?

    Yes. Interpreters should be given the role of a moderator. To do that, a moderator (e.g. the initiator) has to click on the name of the interpreter inside the participants list and promote the person to moderator. Now the video of the interpreter can be activated any time (by themselves).

    Users can enlarge the picture of the interpreters by clicking on the corresponding icon inside the cam picture or by choosing a different layout type ("focus on video") inside the BBB settings (top right). Furthermore, there is an option for moderators to pin a webcam picture for everyone. Click on the name of the interpreter inside the participants list or cam picture and choose "pin". Pinned cams always stay on top for everyone. Only one cam can be pinned currently.

    In case you need more than one cam and are worried the pictures could be mixed up you - as a moderator - can click on the cogwheel symbol near the participants list and choose "Lock viewers". From there, please lock the option to share webcams and click on "apply". This way only the webcams of persons with moderator privileges are shown and clarity should be save.

  • Troubleshooting

  • What can I do when video and audio is stuttering?

    Please deactivate your VPN connection. Whenever possible use a cable bound internet connection. If that is not possible, reduce the distance to the WiFi access point. Close all other applications that tax your bandwidth.

  • I cannot be heard / I do not hear anybody

    First, make sure that you set up your audio device correctly within your operating system!

     

    When you enter a conference you will be asked how you want to connect to the audio session. Choose accordingly and do not forget to allow the browser/session to take control over the audio device. BBB also automatically presents you with the opportunity to echo test your device in every conference.

  • How do I test and influence my video transmission?

    Upon entering a session and activating your video, a small window will open up. Here you can check your video feed and decide which quality it should have. The higher the quality, the more bandwidth is being used. Try lowering the quality if you have performance issues.

     

    You can repeat this process by deactivating and reactivating the camera inside the BBB session, or by using the small arrow symbol on the option itself.

  • What can I do against unwanted echoes?

    Wrongly configured audio devices can produce such echoes. Asking all participants to use a headset can prevent the occurrence of echoes. Furthermore, please ask the participants to mute their microphones when they are not talking. Checking and correcting the settings of the audio devices inside the operating system can also help.

  • I cannot activate my camera / microphone

    Normally you will be asked whether you want to activate your camera and/or microphone at the beginning of each BBB session. It is possible that you have disallowed this permanently. Please check the browser's security settings. In some cases browser extensions can be the culprit. In this case, please ask your local aministrator for help or try to temporarily use a different browser.

  • I am getting the error 1007. What do I do?

    Please go through every point listed here, and check after every step if the error persists.

    • Reconnect to the BBB conference.
    • Restart the browser.
    • Update your browser.
    • Delete cache and cookies in your browser.
    • Delete the audio security permissions in your browser. Then restart the browser and set the permissions anew, if asked by the browser to do so.
    • Use a different browser.
    • Check if a VPN connection is established. If so, disconnect it and sign-in to the BBB session again.
    • Check if you are inside a special network (e.g. Verwaltung, Charité). If yes, please contact the person responsible for the IT for this location and inform him/her about the issue. It might be, that certain ports have to be unlocked, in order for BBB to be able to run smoothly (to the TURN server 3478, from the TURN server to the BBB server 32769-65535).