"

by John Cristofano

Created

April 8, 2011

Adobe Connect 8 Service Pack 1

Today, we’ve begun upgrading customers using the hosted version of our product to Adobe Connect 8 Service Pack 1 (SP1). For customers already on version 8, SP1 will provide new user experience enhancements based on valuable feedback since the release of Adobe Connect 8. If you have not yet been upgraded to Adobe Connect 8, you will be upgraded directly to Adobe Connect 8 SP1 per our migration schedule. For information on the timing of your upgrade, please visit our migration center here. On the right-hand side of the page, mid-way down you can enter your Adobe Connect meeting URL and learn more about when your server is expected to be migrated.

Adobe Connect 8 SP1 introduces enhanced web conferencing functionality, highlights of which include:

Enhanced Attendee List Pod
The attendee list pod now enables users to easily identify the number of attendees under various roles, such as hosts, presenters and participants, as the categories now show numbers next to the attendee groups. The default behavior is now to have the groups expanded and you can now easily identify mobile attendees (as displayed in the image below) by the phone icon next to their name. Also, all authenticated users are displayed with an attendee icon in a yellow shirt, while unauthenticated users (guests) will have icons with a blue shirt.

Layout Bar
A new layout bar (see image below) allows for a host to easily manage and switch between meeting layouts. The layout bar is now defaulted to be located on the right-hand side of the screen but can be docked on the left or right. At the bottom of the layout screen are simple icons a host can click to go into prepare mode or to add a layout. The layout bar shows up whether or not the Presenter Only Area is open but can be hidden if the host does not want to use the feature.


Q&A Pod
Presenters can now replicate the Q&A pod in the Presenter Only Area. In the top right of the Q&A pod, click on “pod options” and select “Move Presenter View to POA” (see image below). The Q&A pod will now show up in the Presenter Only Area with presenter view. This allows hosts and presenters to easily view the incoming questions and answer while the meeting is in session.

Application Blacklist Capability
The ability to control information being shared with participants is critical in a web collaboration environment. This new capability mitigates the risk of human error by allowing the administrator to pre-define a list of applications that can’t be shared with meeting participants. It provides the ability to:

• Select applications that are prevented from being shared
• Grey out/hide these applications during secure desktop sharing
• Prevent such applications from being part of any meeting recording

Breakout Rooms
New, increased capacity enables a maximum of 20 breakout rooms for up to 200 people and improved breakout notification for participants. Note: for meetings with an integrated audio provider, the number of breakout rooms is limited by the number supported by the respective audio providers.

H.264 Video
With SP1, Adobe Connect now supports the use of video formatted for H.264 via a share pod. The new functionality allows for larger video file playback and stunning-quality video.

Videos may use this format:

800×496
1:1 (1/2 for screen cap only)
H.264
Progressive
Square
Main
3.1
VBR, 2 pass (multipass if available)
536 kbps
650 kbps
(every 3 sec)

Audio
New functionality introduced in SP1 makes the use of audio even more simple. All conference audio is now managed from the Audio menu. If you are using integrated audio or a universal voice provider (telephone and VoIP), you will see the “Start Meeting Audio” option to initiate audio functionality within your Adobe Connect room (see image below). If there is no audio profile associated with the meeting, you will not see this option; you can still use VoIP for such meetings. As a host, you determine which audio features can be used during your session. Choose “Using Computers” to broadcast from your computer microphone or choose “Using Phone” to connect to your telephone audio conference. Select both if some of your presenters will be using their computer microphone and some will be on the telephone.

Additional Usability Enhancements:

• Persistent display of important notifications ensures that hosts and participants never miss out on an important event in the meeting
• Hosts can access a single info icon to see all pending notifications and take actions on them
• Revamped Presenter Only Area (POA) allows presenters to view the complete meeting room and its content even while using the POA
• Hosts can now provide the whiteboard as an additional advanced participant right for increased collaboration

We hope you’ll enjoy the enhancements of Adobe Connect 8 SP1. And, again, please check out our migration center for additional information and to look up the expected timing of your upgrade.

As always, we look forward to your thoughts in comments or on Twitter @AdobeConnect and @ConnectSupport.

Amy Brooks, Adobe Connect Event Producer

Update 4/13/11: Release notes for Adobe Connect 8 Service Pack 1 are now available on our web site. You’ll find them here.

Update 4/21/11: New resources about Service Pack 1 have been added to the connectusers.com site here. They include a feature overview document and two video tutorials.

Adobe Connect is a web conferencing platform, powering complete solutions for web meetingseLearning, and webinars, on any device.

COMMENTS

  • By Patrick - 2:39 PM on April 11, 2011  

    Does the enhancement in video apply to multi-point video? If so, does it provide some sort of interoperability with existing VTC devices that supports H.264? Thanks.

    • By Adobe - 5:49 PM on April 11, 2011  

      Patrick: Thanks for your comment. Adobe Connect 8 supports integration with H.264 video conferencing systems via SIP/RTP. This feature, available to license customers only for now, was launched in November 2010 with Adobe Connect 8. The new H.264 enhancement in Service Pack 1 means users can upload Flash-based video files encoded in H.264 in the meeting Share pod.

      • By Patrick - 8:17 PM on April 18, 2011  

        Thanks for the quick response. Just to clarify, it is H.264 AVC standard right not SVC?

        • By Adobe - 3:47 PM on April 20, 2011  

          Hi Patrick – you’re correct, it is AVC and not SVC.

  • By Charlie Arehart - 4:27 PM on April 11, 2011  

    Great stuff, Amy. Thanks for sharing.

    Is the list above exhaustive? Or might there be any release notes page with perhaps still more details, including “fixes”.

    I ask because I had a pretty rough time in Connect 8 where often when I tried to enable/disable my mic (as organizer, such as when I was turning the session over to a presenter), my Connect session would lock up for up to a minute (I couldn’t speak, hear, or type) . It’s not 100% recreatable so I can’t confirm myself if the problem is now “gone”.

    Was it a known issue, at least? And would you know if it was resolved? It would be really excellent news if so, and a total cherry on top of the ice cream of what’s new in 8.1. :-) Thanks.

    • By Adobe - 6:13 PM on April 12, 2011  

      Hey Charlie: Thanks for the comment and question. The issue you mentioned is not a known issue and therefore was not on the fix list. That said, as mentioned in the post audio functionality has been simplified in Service Pack 1, especially when combining VoIP and Universal Voice. If you do continue to experience this issue, please let me know the details so I can escalate. My email is abrooks [at] adobe.

      We do expect to publish release notes for Service Pack 1, and will update this blog post to note when available.

      • By Charlie Arehart - 7:01 PM on April 13, 2011  

        Thanks, Amy. I can report that at least so far, in two different rooms I’ve got, I’ve been able to freely enable and disable the mic with no problem.

        And as a tip for others perhaps still on 8 (before the SP), I don’t know if this is new in SP1 but I see now that there is an option to “mute my microphone” (on the drop down for the mic, after you have enabled it). If that was there before, then folks with the problem I report here may want to at least use that rather than just clicking the mic icon (which disables it). Wish I’d noticed it before, if it was in fact there. :-)

        • By Adobe - 11:50 PM on April 13, 2011  

          Glad to hear it, Charlie, thanks. And the “Mute my Mic” option was, in fact, introduced with Adobe Connect 8 and remains in Service Pack 1. Also, in an update to the blog post we’ve now included a link to the Release Notes for SP1.

  • By John K. Olesen - 10:32 PM on April 12, 2011  

    Hi Amy,

    Just missing the “layout bar” image…

    • By Adobe - 10:54 PM on April 12, 2011  

      John: Good catch…we’ve updated the post to include the “Layout Bar” image. Cheers.

  • By Brian Coll - 7:37 AM on April 14, 2011  

    We have had the same issue on our hosted Adobe Connect 8. When providing Mic access to other users on VOIP, there were a lot of issues. Some attendees could not hear, others were ‘kicked’ out of the room. Generally there were a lot of issues with multiple audio sharing. One way audio from host to participants worked fine.

    Am surprised to hear that this was not a known issue for SP1.

    Brian

    • By Adobe - 4:08 PM on April 14, 2011  

      Brian: thanks for your comment and this info. We would be interested to hear more details about what you’ve experienced. Please contact Adobe Connect Services at 800-422-3623.

  • By Kostas Zapris - 8:50 AM on May 5, 2011  

    I can confirm all the issues mentioned by others as well. Especially the audio and mic setup of our rooms have gotten us in some very embarrassing situations. Our client is the European Commission and most of the participants are members of the managing authorities of all the EU member states. Imagine having all these people (max. 17-20 people per session) from the ministries invited and having the sound cut off every 2-3 minutes, mics not working, people ‘kicked out’ from the session all the time and yourself in the middle of the storm hoping that earth will open up and swallow you. Please try to assist me on this because we had some really bad comments from our clients.

    Another thing is that adobe should reconsider withdrawing all those annoying questions from the tech. department. You want to ask something quick and urgently and you have to answer 1 million administrative questions before really getting to the point of your issue.
    It really makes you think twice if you want to ask for support again.

    • By Adobe - 7:24 PM on May 5, 2011  

      Kostas: Thanks for your comment and feedback. We’re sorry for the experience you described. We will reach out to you offline to gather additional details.

  • By Axel Gibmeier - 7:46 AM on May 13, 2011  

    Thanks for the information about the service pack – especially the export of Q&A to the POA and the layout bar will help me – only I can’t find the Service-Pack for download anywhere. I googled for 5 minutes now with all kinds of search terms (“Adobe Connect Add-In Update” / “Adobe connect add-in service pack 1″) but didn’t find a download anywhere…

    What do I have to do to install service pack 1?

    Axel

    • By Adobe - 5:45 PM on May 13, 2011  

      Axel: Thanks for your comment and question. And glad to hear your reaction to the Q&A and Layout Bar enhancements. If you have a hosted deployment, please visit our migration center here. On the right-hand side of the page, mid-way down you can enter your Adobe Connect meeting URL and learn more about when your server is expected to be migrated. If you have a licensed deployment, we expect to share more details soon on when rollout will begin for customers; we will update this blog post to note this.