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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Media Equipment Use

Event Set Up

Technical Support

MM/SR University-Scheduled Classroom Access

MM/SR University-Scheduled Classroom Support

Video Services

Streaming Media

Consultation Services

Video Conferencing Services

Questions and Answers

Media Equipment Use (back to top)

I'm a student who is a member of a club and want to check out a PA system and a projector for my club event this weekend. Can you help?

If your club is related to core instruction and academic purposes and has the designation of Club Type: Academic, Honor, or Professional or a Club Affiliation: Sports Club., you have access to the equipment. You will need the approval of your faculty advisor via the appropriate authorization process. Multiple quantities of high demand items , e.g. laptops, cannot be checked out without CT staff review and approval.

I'm a student and I want to checkout a PA system, CD player and 5 microphones for a panel discussion we're having next week.. and a friend of mine knows all about this stuff.

CT will be happy to explain how the equipment works and will give you a PA Use Guide. However, if on-site technical support is required, e.g., if you have problems setting everything up, you will be charged at published tech support rates. CT may request your department or club account number at the time you reserve the equipment to cover costs for "unplanned" technical support.

I'm a faculty member and would like to borrow a camcorder for a week. Can you help me?

Normal checkout duration is a max of 5 days. However, exceptions are considered for conferences/presentations where travel or logistics preclude timely return of the equipment. You will need to contact an MRC manager for checkouts longer than 5 days.

I'm a staff person and need to borrow a PA system for a department event Friday evening. How long can I keep the equipment?
You may check out the equipment for a maximum of 5 days. Over the week-end check out is from Friday to Monday with the week-end counting as 1 day.

Can I check out just a wireless mic?
Yes, but without a speaker, it would be useless. Please visit one of our Media Resource Centers for details about sound systems.

I want to use a wireless mic in 03-213 for my meeting.
There is already a wireless mic in 03-213. But before you can use it, you need to have an orientation in order to learn its location and operation. This orientation with a CT technician is required prior to your event. Last minute orientation requests are subject to the availability of the technicians.

Can I connect a projector and laptop computer wirelessly?

The short answer is, "Yes," however there are many “gotchas” and the process is not “plug and play.”  CT continues to recommend use of a VGA cable to connect a projector to a laptop. If you’re interested in trying out wireless connectivity, following are some steps you’ll need to take and related information:

  • Your projector must be wireless capable (like the Epson 1715c).
  • You will need to load special software on to your laptop (available on the company web site).
  • Depending on your computer’s video card it may only work in the dual-monitor mode instead of the clone mode.
  • You will need to set up the computer to recognize the projector.
  • Ad Hoc mode (on the projector) is the simplest way to connect.  This allows you to connect to the projector wirelessly, but not to the internet at the same time.
  • Infrastructure Mode will allow for dual wireless connections but requires you to register your MAC address with ITS/Net Admin to address Cisco Clean Access permissions.
  • The projected image over wireless has only a slight lag for PowerPoint but is not recommended for video due to latency.

How do I report lost or stolen equipment?

Contact CT immediately (756-6765) and provide a copy of the completed Equipment Loss Report to CT and Cal Poly Police. Also refer to the Cal Poly Property Control Procedures for reporting Lost or Stolen equipment. Lost or stolen equipment will be charged to the user at the current replacement cost.

Event Set Up FAQs (back to top)

I'm a student rep from a club and would like to have CT set up a laptop, projector and PA for our event. What do I need to do?
CT does not provide delivery and setups for students, but will show you how to hook up the equipment at the time of checkout. "How to" and troubleshooting guides are also available (click here for online documents). Be sure and ask for one regarding the specific use of the equipment you are checking out.

I'm a faculty member who is sponsoring a fee based workshop and would like a laptop and projector set up for the event. Can you help?
If your event is scheduled by University Scheduling, you will be charged normal equipment set up rates and the equipment is available at no charge. For all other events, you should contact Conference Services to reserve the media equipment and arrange for technical support. The easiest and lowest cost solution is to schedule your event in a campus-standard SmartRoom.

I'm a staff person and have been asked by an instructor in my department to arrange having a laptop and projector set up in their classroom on M/W/F's from 10-11am during the next quarter. Can you help?
You may make the equipment reservations for the required dates at either Media Resource Center and pick it up yourself or arrange to have a student assistant pick it up for you. Or, to save time and money, have your faculty person contact your department scheduler to request a Smart Room for those classes so that only a laptop will be needed for each class.

Technical Support FAQs (back to top)

I have a new Apple iPad and need assistance using it in a Smart room or Multi-media Classroom.
CT staff will assist faculty or staff connect iPads to the installed media system in campus standard Smartrooms.  If additional support is required, users will be referred to their department technical support staff.   See the following link for useful tips/tricks developed by the CTLT for use of your iPad for presentations:  " iPad Projection - Guidelines for Projection from an iPad."

I'm a staff tech who supports our department lab which CT converted into a SmartRoom last year. The projector keeps shutting off and I cannot determine the cause. Can you help?
Yes. CT provides on-site technical support for all colleges and departments at published rates. Give us a call (756-6765) on the phone from the room as we may be able to help you diagnose the problem over the phone and avoid on-site tech support charges to your department.

MM/SR University-Scheduled Classroom Access (back to top)

I'm a student from a club and would like to schedule a meeting in the Rotunda (03-213). We need to use a mic and want to do a PowerPoint presentation.
You'll need to contact your faculty advisor and ask them to schedule the requested room via University Scheduling. View the room use policy and the rates for use of the installed computers. All users of Multimedia classroom are required to attend a brief orientation prior to the event. NOTE: 03-213 is the only campus MM room available for club use. See room use policy page for details.

I'm a faculty member and would like to schedule 2 or 3 classrooms, depending on seating capacity, for a conference next month. We really like the two rooms with the computers and carpeting in Bldg. 10. Can you help?
If your conference is a Cal Poly sponsored event, you should contact University Scheduling to schedule the rooms. There are use/scheduling restrictions on specific room types. If your conference is fee based or non-state affiliated, you should contact Conference Services.

I have an event scheduled in Chumash Auditorium, can you help me with the sound system?
Please contact the Epicenter for technical assistance with any equipment in the UU.

MM/SR University-Scheduled Classroom Support (back to top)

I've been in SmartRooms previously and have not used equipment other than the overhead transparency projector. I have the same needs again this quarter. Do I still have to attend an orientation?
CT is constantly in the process of upgrading and replacing older equipment. Some of the new equipment may not operate quite the same as you have expected. We would still like to meet with you to review the room's equipment, as well as to hear any suggestions you may have.

I teach in a department lab, why is the oldest audio/video equipment installed in my lab?
University-scheduled lecture rooms serve the majority of the overall student body and therefore have priority on the newest equipment. Many departments have opted to purchase their own equipment for department-specific spaces and/or upgrade these spaces into SmartRooms. Check with your department head for details .

Video Services (back to top)

I have some video footage I would like to make into a video presentation. Can CT help me?
Yes. CT has digital video editing equipment you can use to create a video presentation. You can add titles, transitions, special effects, music and narration to give your video a professional look.

Can my finished video be burned to a DVD?
Yes. Your finished presentation can be recorded to VHS or MiniDV tape as well as DVD. CT has the recording equipment in Bldg 2, rm. 9 to do this.

I would like to make a copy of a VHS tape. Can I do this at CT?
Yes. CT has self service tape duplication stations where you can copy from VHS, MiniDV, or DVD to VHS, MiniDV, or DVD. Reservations are not required, the machines are open on a first-come first serve basis.

I need to put a video clip in my power point presentation. How can I do this?
Your file needs to be encoded. It then can be saved to CD or DVD to insert into your presentation. Bring the video clip (under 30 min.) on VHS, mini DV tape, or DVD to CT, Bldg 2, rm 9. Fill out the Digital Video Encoding form (.pdf) and leave it for encoding. The process takes anywhere between 2 days to a week depending on the work load.

I need to make multiple copies of my senior project which is on CD (DVD). Where can I go to do this?
Operations and Productions Support , a division of ITS, provides this service. View the OPS website.
Questions?-Contact OPS at 756-5512.

Streaming Media (back to top)

What is video streaming and who can have video streamed on campus?
Video streaming is a digitally encoded file that is uploaded to a server so that it can be seen on the internet. Only faculty and staff can have a file streamed from the Cal Poly Media Server. See Cal Poly Media Server for more information about the service and setting up an account.

How do I get a video clip onto my Cal Poly web site or PolyLearn (Moodle) page?
Your file needs to be encoded by bringing the video clip (under 30 min.) on VHS, Mini DV tape, or DVD to CT, Bldg 2, Rm. 9. Fill out the Digital Video Encoding form (.pdf) and leave it for encoding and streaming. Please read the MediaServer Account Request form for more information.

Consultation Services (back to top)

We would like the Smart Room equipment installed in one of our Department labs. What do we do? Who do we contact? How much does it cost per room?
CT can provide project management for department SmartRoom upgrades. Please call 756-6765 for more information.

We are planning on remodeling our Department labs next January. Can you help with sound, acoustics, lighting and media?
Please see our Consulting page.

Our department wants to purchase an LCD projector. How do we know which one is best for our needs?
Contact CT at 756-6765 to be referred to an CT staff consultant who can assist you with this or any audio/visual equipment selection that will best fit your department's use.

Video Conferencing Services (back to top)

Is there a charge for the use of Cal Poly's video conferencing facilities?
Cal Poly video conference facilities are available for academic or instructionally-related conferences scheduled by departments or colleges. Refer to the room use policy for details.

What is required for adequate desktop or group video conferencing? Can I use an inexpensive camera from the electronics store?
You will probably not be satisfied with the images or sound from one of the inexpensive USB "web cameras." These units require substantially more processing power from the host PC, do not include echo cancellation, and are generally not industry standard H.323 compatible. There also may be campus firewall issues with these cameras. You are welcome to check out a Polycom ViaVideo camera that meets these higher standards from CT or contact CT at 756-6765 for the latest recommendations.

Can I use the Video Conference room for a Webinar or Phone Conference?
General Purpose Conference Rooms rather than the video conference room can be used for Webinars or Phone Conferences, they are reserved though Universtiy Class Scheduling. A conference phone can also be checked out from CT's Resource centers. Dial out codes are obtained from your dept. telephone coordinator. Additionally, there are two campus conference rooms which can be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis through the Zimbra Calendar: 10-241, 47-24B. Contact CT at 756-6765 for assistance or questions about webinars and phone conferences.