Videoconferencing tools and tips

The Nevis research building has various pieces of equipment to use in local and remote videoconferencing. If you're going to use a room, please make a reservation.

Library (room 115)

The A/V (audio-visual) computer is a Mac Mini. It is intended for video conferences with Vidyo, Zoom, Skype, or any other telecommunications program. Microsoft Office and Apple iWorks (including Powerpoint and Keynote) are installed for presentations.

Mac Mini A/V computer

To use the computer, you will need the TV remote and the keyboard and mouse in the A/V cabinet:

  • Turn on the TV with the TV remote (red button, upper left-hand corner).
  • Press INPUT on the TV remote until the text reads INPUT2A in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
  • Press any key on the keyboard or move the mouse to wake the computer from sleep. (If the computer is not on, push the power button on the rear right-hand corner of the machine.)
  • If you need to login, the password for the Nevis account is higgsino
  • Use the volume control on the TV remote to adjust the volume. The Mac Mini's volume control is disabled in favor of the TV's volume control.

A/V computer microphone

The computer microphone is one made by Logitech, with a square base and a curved pillar.

To mute the microphone, press its button. A green light means the microphone is active; no light means it's muted.


If there are any problems with the software, feel free to reboot the computer. So far, no significant problems have been seen using this system.

Using your laptop

It's often more convenient to use the TV as an external monitor for your laptop. There's an HDMI cable extending from beneath the TV screen that you can plug into any laptop with an full-size HDMI socket. There's a 3-way HDMI switch for adapter cables for other port types; ask WilliamSeligman if you need one. Use the TV remote's INPUT button to switch the TV to INPUT2B. Set your laptop to mirror its display, or use the TV as an extended desktop as you prefer.

There's also a VGA cable extending from the back of the TV. You can use it if you have an older type of laptop or adapter. Use the INPUT button on the TV remote to switch the TV to PC.


To use the projector (if it's there; it's often taken to the Hamilton House at Nevis):

  • Slide back the lens cover at the front of the projector.
  • Turn on the projector by pressing the power button, under the red indicator light.
  • Connect your laptop to the projector. There are cables available, for VGA and HDMI connectors. (If you have a computer with a Mini Displayport, you'll have to bring your own converter cable.)
  • If the projector doesn't automatically display your laptop's screen, press the Input button (up-arrow) on the top of the projector.
  • When all the talks are done, press the power button twice to turn off the projector.


This is a large three-panel microphone, with a telephone keyboard on it. This is part of the standard Nevis phone system; the number is 914-591-2875. To use it, dial the number then hit the green button (or hit the green button and dial the number).

If you want to host a phone conference using the speakerphone (or any other phone in our phone system, there are detailed instructions in this PDF file.


See the instructions for the Nevis wireless network.

On a bookshelf near the TV cart, there is a hub with an ethernet port available for those laptops without wireless cards, or with very old cards that can't handle WPA encryption. Any laptop made after 2005 should work properly on the Nevis wireless network.

It is not faster to connect your laptop via a network cable in the library! The wireless network is capable of speeds up to 130 Mb/s (300 Mb/s for the 5G networks); the cables are connected to a switch whose maximum speed is 100 Mb/s.


Links to PDF files for the equipment in the library:

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Topic revision: r17 - 2018-03-05 - WilliamSeligman
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