Controlling the layout during a conference
Conference participants have a range of options available to them to control aspects of the conference layout and how they receive presentation content. They can:
- Change the layout of an ongoing conference.
- Toggle multiscreen participant display for dual-screen endpoints.
- Control how presentation content is displayed when using an Adaptive Composition layout.
- Toggle the display of participant names when using a Connect app.
The layout used in a conference can be changed dynamically during the conference by the conference participants.
See Conference layouts and speaker names for full details about all of the available layouts and how to configure the default layout settings for a conference.
Note that any layout changes are applied to all participants in the conference. Not all layouts are supported on dual screen endpoints; these endpoints will revert to displaying the 1+7 layout in place of unsupported layouts.
Host participants on video endpoints can change the layout currently being used in the conference by sending DTMF/keypad commands to the conference.
By default the layout changes every time the endpoint sends *8 to the conference, and it cycles through all of the available Pexip layout types in this order: 1+7, Adaptive Composition, 1+21, 2+21, 2x2, 3x3, 4x4, 5x5, 1+0, 1+33.
The ability to change the layout, the layouts that are used, the sequence in which they are displayed, and the DTMF keypad control used to change the layout, are all customizable via themes.
In addition, participants on Cisco endpoints can also use the Pexip Layout Controls macro.
Host participants on Connect apps can dynamically change the layout during a conference and they can also show/hide participant names:
- Webapp3: From the top right, select and then select Meeting layout. This opens an overlay dialog from where you can dynamically change the layout of the meeting — just select the layout you want to use. To enable or disable participant names, select Meeting settings and toggle the Show name labels option.
- Webapp2: From the top of the side panel in the client, select and then select Change layout. An overlay dialog opens from where you can select a layout and control the display of participant names.
Bespoke client applications could also make use of the transformLayout function in the PexRTC client API.
If you have a dual screen endpoint you can display conference participants across both screens, allowing you to show more participants than if you have a single screen. This display mode is currently only available for the following meeting, layout and endpoint types:
- Conferences hosted in a VMR or Virtual Auditorium.
- Calls into a Microsoft Teams or Google Meet conference.
- Where the conference layout is 1+7, 1+0, 2x2, Adaptive Composition or Teams-like
- Available to SIP and H.323 endpoints.
The same layout format is used on both screens. If a participant starts presenting, the second screen shows the presentation content. In-conference indicators are displayed on the primary screen only.
Multiscreen participant display is used automatically on endpoints that are known to have dual screens
You can disable multiscreen entirely by adding "disable_multiscreen": true to your themeconfig.json file.
You can toggle multiscreen display mode on and off by a using a DTMF keypad command sent from the endpoint. This command defaults to *9 but it can be customized via themes. This command can also be used to apply multiscreen display mode to a dual screen endpoint that has dual screens but the additional screen has not been detected.
When toggling the multiscreen mode, it only applies to the endpoint sending the enable/disable command, and not to all participants in the conference.
If you are a meeting Host and want to view an unsupported layout on a dual screen endpoint, you can use this option to disable dual screen on the endpoint, and then use the layout option to cycle through the conference layouts. Note that if you do this, the selected layout will appear on the dual screen endpoint's main screen only.
For more information see Using a DTMF keypad to control a conference.
When using Adaptive Composition or the Teams-like layout
Note that if the call bandwidth is less than 1.2 Mbps then the presentation is always sent as a separate stream.
When the presentation is received in the layout mix:
- The person presenting is shown alongside the presentation. Note that the "presenter" is the participant that the artificial intelligence driving the layout has decided is the person who is actually presenting (this is based on activity — such as speaking frequency — and not necessarily the device/person that is physically sharing the content).
- A maximum of 12 other video participants are included in the layout, as well as the presentation content.
- If the "presenter" is a group of people, then the presentation occupies the entire top row and the presenter group is shown in the bottom row instead, plus up to 8 other participants.
- The presentation is pillarboxed or letterboxed to fit into its position in the layout.
- The presentation segment has its own framerate regardless of the source framerate of the presentation stream. For example, even though the presentation input stream is 5 fps, the framerate of the presentation in the layout could still be 30 fps.
Dual-screen endpoints automatically receive the presentation stream on the second screen, and the primary screen shows the video participants.
The presentation mode can be toggled between receiving it in the layout mix and receiving it as a separate stream by a using a DTMF keypad command sent from the endpoint. This command defaults to *4 but it can be customized via themes.
- Single-screen endpoints receive the presentation as part of the layout mix by default, and it always resets to this mode when the endpoint joins a new conference. However, within a conference, the current state is remembered if one presentation stops and a new presentation starts.
- When toggling the presentation mode, it only applies to the endpoint sending the enable/disable command, and not to all participants in the conference.
- It does not apply to SIP endpoints with multiple screens — they always receive a separate presentation stream.
See Determining if an endpoint has single or multiple screens for more information.
This currently applies to the Connect desktop app and Connect Webapp2 only.
When receiving presentation content in an Adaptive Composition layout, the presentation stream is shown as part of the layout mix (replacing some of the other video participants), providing the client is receiving video at a medium or higher bandwidth setting (otherwise it is displayed as one large separate stream).
You can toggle the presentation content between the "in mix" and "separate" streams via the maximize and reset buttons in the bottom-right corner of the presentation.
Each Virtual Meeting Room and Virtual Auditorium can be configured to show the names of the participants in a text overlay along the bottom of their video image. See Showing the names of active speakers and participants for full details about how to enable or disable participant names by default for a conference, and how the display name is determined.
Host participants using a Connect web app can dynamically show and hide participant names during the conference:
- Webapp3: from the top right of the screen, select , and then select the tab. Toggle Show name labels on or off.
- Webapp2: from the top of the side panel, select and then select Change layout. An overlay dialog opens from where you can select a layout and control the display of participant names.