Technician's Website
Support Group Marcel Krenz
Technician's Website
Support Group Marcel Krenz
Technician's Website
Support Group Marcel Krenz

DFNconf
  1. DFNconf (Pexip)
    6.1. Connection and Video Quality:
    The conferences held with DFNconf shine with very good and sharp video quality.
    The webcam stream can be used up to 720p30fps with a maximum upload speed of
    2464 kbit/s. The sound has good quality with a slight background noise. During our
    test we couldn’t identify connectivity issues. The conference was stable, lag free
    and without package-loss to the provider. In the conference system the user can
    choose from four different upload speeds characterized as low (256 kbit/s), medi –
    um (576 kbit/sps), high (1264 kbit/s) and maximum (2464 kbit/s). We recommend
    the use of the maximum setting to stream your webcam picture at a resolution of
    720p. A higher resolution might cause stutter or lag during the meeting and was
    not tested. The displayed traffic for the average upload was about 1.1 Mbit/s
    whereas the download speed was slightly lower than 0.9 Mbit/s. Those numbers
    may vary using different hardware.
    6.2. Functions:
    Besides the classic functions to deactivate cam, mute sound, mute participants in –
    dividual and the possibility to share your own screen (fullscreen or single program
    windows, testet in Firefox, Chrome and Pexip infinity client) pdf and image files can
    be uploaded and presented inside the tool. The use of a separate window for better
    visibility is possible and we found that feature to be very useful especially when us –
    ing big monitors or extended desktop on two screens. There are no tools however
    to comment or draw markings onto a presented file. The file sharing is limited to
    file sizes of 100 MB. The chat inside the DFNconf tool is combined with an event
    log. The chat can be opened as sidebar on the left side of the screen. DFN confer –
    ences come with a streaming option to webcast to a wider audience and a separate
    chat on the stream webpage.. The tool therefore can be used to stream podium dis –
    cussions or lectures. The stream is recorded as .mp4 video file and the host can
    access and download the records via the organizer login. Please remember only to
    record meetings with all participants informed and agreed into it. The records are
    auto-deleted from the DFN servers a fortnight after the meeting.
    6.3. Usability/Interface:
    The GUI is designed very intuitive and the main functions can easily be accessed
    through the main panel on the bottom in the middle of the screen (fig. 1). Addition –
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    al functions are stored in the sidebar on the left side of the screen. During our test
    two issues could be identified. The volume control is kind of hidden below the main
    panel as a green bar under the controls. It is a white blob which appears only when
    hovering the mouse over the bar. Another major flaw of the browser version is the
    accessibility of the settings for bandwidth control and cam self test only be ac –
    cessed after disconnecting from the current session with the red disconnect but –
    ton on the main panel. . These settings usually are displayed before the start of the
    conference in the application. If no bandwidth is manual set the application is try –
    ing to adapt to the maximum available.
    6.4. Accessibility:
    The DFNconf can easily be accessed through the browser. This was tested with
    Firefox and Chrome Tests with Opera Browser showed some trouble granting the
    browser access to microphone and webcam. The tool can also be used with a client
    that can be downloaded here:
    https: //www. conf .dfn.de/anleitungen-und-dokumentation/pexip/zugangswege/pexip-cl ient/
    Following this link a client branding with presets can be found on the bottom of the
    webpage. This client branding changes a few presets in the client for the use in
    DFNconf. Settings like bandwidth control and cam/audio self test (fig. 2) can be ac –
    cessed before the session starts using this client. Conference rooms can easily be
    opened over the “Veranstalter-login” here: https://www.conf.dfn.de/einrichten. You
    simply have to login with your FHI account since the tool is exclusive to science in –
    stitutes in Germany. Conference rooms are open for multiple days, can be accessed
    via a link and should be secured with a pin number. Applications are available for
    desktop installation (Windows, MacOS and Linux) as well as smart devices (iOS and
    Android). The IPad application was part of the test and performed well. Connecting
    with the Pexip Infinity client only requires the room id and not the weblink. Alterna –
    tives to take part in a meeting are Skype for business or SIP clients and on the
    phone with audio only.
    6.5. Pricing:
    Setting up a meeting on this platform as a host is restricted to scientists working
    at institutes who are members of the DFN (everybody at the FHI). However every –
    body can follow the invitation links and join meetings without registration from all
    over the world. There are no charges at all but the institutes membership in the
    DFN. Access to the host login is secured with the FHI credentials
    6.6. Data Protection:
    DFNconf is an on-premise installation of the Pexip service, run by the “Deutsches
    Forschungsnetz Verein” a non profit association for and of the science community
    in Germany (membership list: https://www.dfn.de/verein/mv/mitglieder/). The fact
    that the conferences can only be accessed with a valid link or through the institute
    login makes it a convincing alternative to commercial solutions. Hardly any data
    should be stored on their end, all parts of the service are run on servers inside Ger –
    many at the DFN or science institutes.
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    6.7. Conclusion:
    High streaming quality and clear good audio as well as the possibility to present
    files and stream the conference make DFNconf a convincing conference system.
    The tool is free to use and the data flow is not stored or traveling to a commercial
    provider. All core functions needed are provided and can be accessed relatively
    easily on a wide base of clients. Based on our test we can definitely recommend it.
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    Figure 2: Setting that can only be accessed through disconnecting
    from the current session inside the
    browser but