What is Video Conference

Making a resilient and scalable video conference solution can be a lot of work. Whether you are making an enterprise-class video conference setup or a small video conference setup, you will find everything you need right here.At TechPillar.com's Video Conference category, we have covered all the video conferencing OEMs, a list that includes top brands such as Polycom, Cisco, Lifesize, Avaya, Vidyo, Smart, Huawei. These brands have become trusted over time because of their expertise in a wide variety of Video conferencing products like Video room based Endpoints, MCU, Tablet/Phone soft clients, personnel workspace clients, Immersive Telepresence solutions  and much more.

Within this long list of brands, you'll be able to find video conferencing products for all your Video communication requirements, like Endpoints, MCU, Personnel workspace clients, Immersive Telepresence and more. If you're building a scalable video conference solution, you'll want to be sure you have the proper components to make a resilient, scalable and secure video architecture including Video Endpoints, Screens, NAT/Firewall traversal gateways, MCU, and proper bandwidth.

Need help to find the right video devices? Our featured subcategories of Endpoints, MCU, Personel Workspace and Immersive Telepresence make it easy to find the perfect addition to your enterprise video network.

Video MCU

Video MCU

A multi-point control unit or MCU is a video conferencing hardware device that bridges different terminals involved in multi-point video conferencing. This multipoint control unit connects mul Read More

Mobile Video Conferencing

Mobile Video Conferencing

Among different video conferencing solutions, desktop and mobile video conferencing apps are quite significant. A desktop and mobile video conferencing app ensures true mobile collaboration with ad Read More

Video Conferencing Endpoint

Video Conferencing Endpoint

Now, any meeting room can be upgraded to a video meeting room with the help of an advanced video conferencing system. Even those who do not hold a technology degree can set up a video meeting room Read More

Immersive Telepresence

Immersive Telepresence

Telepresence is the next generation of video conferencing that creates a lifelike audio and video session between different locations. With life-size video images and life-like audio quality, telep Read More

Frequently Asked Questions

The quality of a video conference primarily depends on the characteristics of the network connection between the conferencing sites. In the H.323 world, a high-quality conference (excellent audio and video) needs about 768 kbps (kilobits/second) of bandwidth on a switched network. On campus, this is possible since most network connections are 100 Mbps (megabits/second).

 

When a video conference includes an off-campus site then the type of network connection, the bandwidth between sites, and firewalls must be considered.

General rules for bandwidth: 

Bandwith

Network

Quality

768 Kbps

Internet2, on campus

Excellent

384 Kbps

Commodity Internet, ISDN

Maximum good connection across the commodity Internet or through an ISDN

256 Kbps

Commodity Internet, (use only if 384 Kbps not possible)

Audio okay, video barely full motion

128 Kbps

Commodity Internet (use only if 256 Kbps not possible) 

Audio marginal, choppy video

 

 

In general term, Videoconferencing (or video conference) means to conduct a conference between two or more participants at different sites by using computer networks to transmit audio and video data. For example, a point-to-point (two-person) video conferencing system works much like a video telephone. Each participant has a video camera, microphone, and speakers mounted on his or her computer. As the two participants speak to one another, their voices are carried over the network and delivered to the other's speakers, and whatever images appear in front of the video camera appear in a window on the other participant's monitor.

There are three main types of video conference solutions for businesses: - point-to-point, multipoint and streaming.

  • Point-to-point (sometimes referred to as single call) is a direct connection between two locations. It’s like a telephone call, just with video.

 

  • Multipoint lets three or more people or locations take part in the same video conference. Multiple parties can meet through HD video in a meeting room, from a desktop at work, from a home computer, or even over a smartphone or tablet when on the road.

 

  • Streaming connects your video conference to others who may choose to view the meeting on a remote computer or mobile device using software instead of hardware. You can even access the video conference at a later time via a web browser.

At a slightly more advanced level, it is possible to provide the ability to share content from a device during a video call. The quality and type of content that can be shared depends on the rate of data exchange during the call.

A video conferencing bridge (also called a Multipoint Control Unit or MCU) is a hardware system that is able to connect multiple videoconferencing systems together into a single conference.

A video conferencing bridge receives digital video and audio signals from codecs in a designated conference, processes and resends digital video and audio signals back to all the codecs. Multiple conferences involving many locations can be conducted simultaneously. Many bridges can provide advanced features such as continuous presence, people plus content or dual streams, transcoding, and transrating.

Mobile video conferencing software is used for connecting users to video meetings through their hand-held mobile devices. Video conferencing software for mobile devices is widely used in today’s fast-paced work environment. This software converts a smartphone or tablet into a video conferencing device that needs only the internet connection to connect you with live meetings.

The software supports several participants through the mobile device, making group conferencing easier than before. Most of the mobile video conferencing software offers the real-time sharing of video content that makes it even more useful for business collaborations.

The four major types of video conferencing systems are:

Desktop Video Conferencing: Desktop video conferencing software extends video communication beyond the traditional conference rooms with dedicated cameras and monitors. Now mobile professionals can connect to any meeting through desktop video conferencing. With all software and hardware components of a video conferencing system fitted at your workspace, you can interact face-to-face with a distant client right through your desktop or laptop. This way, desktop conferencing software meets the need of collaboration in today’s global work environment efficiently.

Mobile Video Conferencing: Mobile video conferencing software is used to connect users to video meetings through their hand-held mobile devices. Video conferencing software for mobile devices is widely used in today’s fast-paced work environment. This software converts a smartphone or tablet into a video conferencing device that needs only the internet connection to connect you with live meetings.

The software supports several participants through the mobile device, making group conferencing easier than before. Most of the mobile video conferencing software offers the real-time sharing of video content that makes it even more useful for business collaborations.

Room-Based Video Conferencing: Room-based video conferencing comprises small, medium or large meeting rooms with the support for multiple screens. The content from laptops and other connected mobile devices are projected on a large screen, and cameras are fitted at each seating area to capture the expressions of attendees. Microphones and active speakers ensure outstanding voice quality.

Immersive Telepresence: Immersive telepresence is used to simulate live meetings with a large screen mounted on a wall. With directional acoustics and cameras fitted at eye level, the impression of all participants sitting the same room is created. As it simulates a live meeting, it seems as if all participants are sitting around the same table and talking to each other.

With the use of high quality laptop-based video collaboration tools, you can easily connect to a video conferencing from anywhere. You have Polycom RealPresence Desktop for Windows and Mac OS X, and Huawei TE desktops among others for video collaboration. Different video conferencing software solutions are also available, such as, Zoom Cloud Video Conferencing, Microsoft Skype for Business, Lifesize Cloud Video Conferencing, Google Hangouts, Cisco Spark, Cisco WebEx, etc.

Top video conferencing video conferencing solutions for growing businesses are:

  1. BlueJeans
  • Easy, compatible, affordable
  • System agnostic, frustration-free content and video sharing
  • Cloud-based, scalable and secure.

Feature Highlights

  • 25 participant virtual meeting room
    100 participant optional service
  • Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Web Browser, Telepresence and H.323/SIP room systems, Lync, Google Talk, and audio dial-in
  • 1080p HD video and content for desktop clients
  • Three video layout choices, nine participants maximum on screen
  • Group text chat, meeting recording, desktop sharing, synchronous video playback, Outlook and Google Calendar integration.
  1. Cisco WebEx
  • Helps users work globally but meet personally by video conferencing and screen-sharing for your organization.
  • Promotes teamwork as members can meet in person, across the world
  • You can have your own video meeting room.

Feature Highlights

  • Meet-me virtual meeting room
  • 500 video-enabled plus 500 audio-only WebEx users. CMR Cloud service subscription add-on for up to 25 (H.323/SIP) video endpoints
  • Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and Blackberry clients
  • Toll-free audio available at extra cost
  • Maximum video resolution of 720p
  • Four video layout choices, maximum of seven participants on the screen
  • Meetings can be recorded
  • Chat, desktop sharing, markups tools, whiteboard, Outlook integration.
  1. Lifesize
  • Promotes presence-based point-to-point calling and multi-party escalation with Lifesize clients, Icon and 220 video systems.
  • Shared user and meeting directory
  • Basic video support via WebRTC. (no data)

Feature Highlights

  • 25 participant virtual meeting room
  • Windows, Mac, Android, & iOS clients, WebRTC, H.323/SIP room systems & audio dial-in
  • 720p HD video up to 60fps, wideband audio
  • One video layout choice, nine participants maximum on screen, drag & drop participants 
    in layout
  • Chat & desktop sharing
  • Direct dial point-to-point calling & meet-me virtual meeting room.
  1. Polycom
  • Supports all of your organizations video conferencing requirements
  • Cloud can be your first foray into video collaboration or you can add cloud to an existing deployment.

Features Highlights

  • 25 participant meet-me virtual meeting room
  • Windows, Mac, Android, & iOS clients, H.323/SIP room systems, Lync, Sametime, Google Talk, Facebook, & audio dial-in
  • 1080p video and content
  • Eight video layout choices, maximum 16 participants on screen
  • Desktop sharing, chat using CloudAxis client
  • Offered via (13) Polycom resellers/channel partners.
  1. Lync
  • Helps in getting real-time presence information—including photos, availability status, and location—and enhanced instant messaging (IM) to connect efficiently and effectively
  • Promotes making voice calls through your computer to other Lync or Skype users in your organization or in other organizations that use Lync or Skype.

Feature Highlights

  • 250 participant virtual meeting room
  • Windows, Windows Mobile/RT, Mac, Android, & iOS clients, and audio
  • 1080p HD video and content
  • Four video layout choices, maximum five participants on screen, drag & drop participants 
    in layout
  • Presence, IM/chat, desktop sharing, whiteboard, integration with Microsoft Office apps 
    including Outlook
  • Direct point-to-point calling & meet-me virtual meeting room.

 

Video conferencing is transforming businesses all over the world in nearly every industry. Companies have relied on web and audio conferencing to collaborate for too long. Video conferencing is more productive, cost-effective, and more engaging, than any other form of technology. That is why it is perfect for businesses of all sizes. The use of video conferencing has the potential to increase productivity and efficiency by reducing unproductive travel time, preventing meeting delays, creating shorter and more structured meetings and allowing for greater reach of a message. Video conferencing also allows for an increased number of participants. It is often difficult to get information to everyone at the same time, but with video conferencing, all individuals who need data can get the information when it is easiest for them.

Here are the three reasons why a business need video conferencing:-

  • Conduct business faster: - Video conferencing done right means that you can instantly reach any of your colleagues or business associates no matter what systems they use. So make sure your system is multi-lingual and speaks all video languages, including Microsoft Lync, and all standards-based hardware and software (H.323/SIP) i.e. Cisco, Polycom, Lifesize etc. Only then can you be sure that you have a future-proof communications environment.

 

  • Save Money and Productivity: - Using planes, trains and automobiles is an expensive business. Allowing teams to meet in a virtual environment cuts costs and saves time, it really is as simple as that. But make sure that your chosen video solution offers both a formal scheduled meeting set-up as well as the ability to jump on a multiparty meeting instantly. Ideally, your video system should just work and not require any complicated set up or expertise.

 

  • Add Quality to all meetings: - There is no shortage of inexpensive or free video conferencing options. Skype and Google Hangouts are great, but you’re reliant on a good Internet connection and on systems that can be glitch and unreliable. When you need your video conferencing systems to work the right way, every time, it’s important to opt for solutions that can be trusted to deliver the highest quality sound and video.

Video conferencing saves travel time and money. Participants can see and hear all other participants and communicate both verbally and visually, creating a face-to-face experience. PowerPoint and other on screen graphic, as well as other cameras are also available presentation options. People downtime is reduced and productivity gains are achieved by removing the logistics of flight preparations, airport delays, hotel stays, and all the other inconveniences of business travel. In distance education, video conferencing provides quality access to students who could not travel to or could afford to relocate to a traditional campus. Video conferences can also be recorded and made available in a variety of ways, e.g., DVDs, streaming video. Besides distance education, other applications include meetings, dissertation and thesis defenses, tele-medical procedures, and online conferences.

People use video conferencing when:

  • a live conversation is needed;
  • visual information is an important component of the conversation;
  • the parties of the conversation can't physically come to the same location;
  • The expense or time of travel is a consideration.

The hardware used is a video coding / decoding card (CODEC) which is installed in a Pentium based computer along with a video camera, microphone and speakers. A dedicated bandwidth of 128 Kbps or more is required over a wide area network for transporting audio and video information between the two CODECs. This network could be over an ISDN line or a satellite based leased line. Video is displayed on a TV screen and "hands free" audio communication is done using microphones and speakers. CODEC compresses the audio and video and then sends it over the high-speed link. This sound and moving image is reproduced at the remote end by another CODEC. All video conferencing systems work in a full duplex mode i.e. encoding and decoding in both directions simultaneously.

 

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