Video conferencing for your business
We will talk about the types of video conferencing in depth in this review, as well as the basic equipment needed to perform it professionally.
Since the coronavirus pandemic, video conferencing has become a staple of many businesses. In addition to Skype and Zoom, various platforms have appeared that have begun to offer communication with minimal delay and good quality video signal.
The biggest advantage of this type of connection is that you can meet with anyone anywhere with an Internet connection. After the COVID-19 epidemic, it turned out that this is also a safe way to communicate for those who are at risk for health.
Video conferencing has a wide range of applications:
- You can pass a preliminary interview using this technology.
- It is a convenient way of individual and group training;
- If you have a business, then you can showcase products and services in this way;
- With the help of video conferencing, it is easy to conduct webinars and business meetings.
About 10 years ago, this type of communication was available only to large corporations. Now you can take part in a video conference simply by pressing a button on your smartphone. Communication via VoIP is free.
How does this technology work?
During a video conference, files with information are compressed and transferred.
Voice and “picture” are transmitted using AV and appear as continuous amplitudes and waves.
AV over IP stands for Audio-Visual over Internet Protocol.
This refers to the transmission of audio, video, metadata and control signals over a network cabling infrastructure (e.g. WAN, LAN, 5G network, public Internet).
Traditional analog AV environments use point-to-point (or "baseline") cabling and matrix switchers to carry AV data.
In comparison, AV over IP uses Ethernet cables and network switches to transfer the same data.
This greatly increases the I/O throughput.
It is important to understand that AV over IP is not a transition from analog to digital transmission, but a transition to packet traffic. This traffic requires encoding (audio-visual data compression) because today there is not enough bandwidth to transfer raw material quickly.
How the data is transmitted
To do this, AV over IP workflows will use encoders (replacing regular AV transmitters) and decoders (replacing AV receivers) on the network switch endpoints.
Otherwise, the overall workflow for analog and AV over IP is pretty similar.
However, AV over IP is much less of a problem. A multifunctional Ethernet cable is able to replace many (though not all) previously used cables: SDI, S-Video, composite video and others.
There are various ways to transmit audio and video over a network, currently there is no single dominant standard.
When transmitting, codecs unpack the file and the person on the other end sees and hears the interlocutor. The quality of the connection depends on the bandwidth and how the files are compressed.
To prevent noise and echo from being heard, “acoustic echo cancellation” is used. It also helps to avoid delays in the transfer of audio files.
5 types of video conferencing
1. Multipoint or group - when more than two signals from different points are synchronized.
Such a video conference requires a bridge based on an MCU (Multipoint Control Unit). They are usually used by large companies that are able to invest in the purchase of video servers to provide their employees and customers with reliable and secure (encrypted) communication channels.
2.Integrated video communication unites both remote and those located in the same territory with each other. In this case, the codec and hardware are placed together.
3. External videoconferencing is convenient for communicating with customers or suppliers who are far away from you.
4. Point-to-point is an affordable type of communication since it does not require a bridge. To get started, all parties need only a network and equipment. An example of such a network is Skype.
Video conferencing equipment
To make everything go perfectly, try to get a microphone, a good camera, find software that will suit you in terms of tariff and quality. You will also have to make sure that your internet connection is fast and uninterrupted.
Check how the speakers work. Think about which display (computer or TV) you will display the image on.
Let's dwell on some elements of the equipment in more detail.
The codec can be called both the “brain” and the “heart” of the entire system. With the help of this component, audio and video information is encoded and transmitted to the data transmission medium, while at the other end the codec receives the information, decodes it and provides it for output.
The codec largely determines the capabilities of the conference: support for such functions as multipoint conferences, encoding audio and video in certain formats, connecting additional equipment, etc.
You can use a small camera that mounts directly to the monitor, or pick up a camera with a remote control that can pan, tilt, and zoom.
If you have a group video conferencing system, and several people participate in it, you should take care of the sound.
If you are broadcasting from a large hall, consider that there may be an echo, try to use special software to improve the sound, and also provide all speakers with additional microphones, if possible, so that everyone is comfortable.
In a video communication system, the display medium plays a significant role in perception. It would hardly be appropriate and efficient to use a 14” monitor in a hi-end system that costs several tens of thousands of dollars.
The display means should correspond to the objectives of the conference.
For personal video conferencing, an ordinary computer monitor is sufficient, unless, of course, the system is already integrated into the monitor. Group video conferencing systems should have a large monitor, or preferably several.
You can also use LCD and DLP projectors, plasma panels, LCD TVs and monitors, CRT-based monitors and TVs.
Be sure to consider the choice of display medium, as the convenience of conferencing will largely depend on this.
Most video conferencing works well with a network connection between 64 and 128 Kbps.
The higher the requirements for the quality of video and sound, the wider the bandwidth required for the conference.
Modern systems allow IP (H.323) or ISDN (H.320) connections. When using ISDN, it is possible to use one or more BRI or PRI lines, but this usually requires additional equipment. Thus, advanced models operate at speeds up to 2 Mbps (PRI) - 4 Mbps (IP).
When choosing a video conference, it is very important to correctly assess the capabilities of your data transmission channel and the profitability of its use (note that with a connection speed of 2 Mbps, an hour of total traffic can be about 1 GB).
If a connection needs to be made between an IP and an ISDN system, then a special gateway may be required.
Benefits of video conferencing :
- Presence effect;
- Reduce costs, reduce travel expenses and save time;
- Collaboration Optimization
- Performance improvement .
You can use videoconferencing technology to improve productivity and build strong relationships with business partners.
You can do this with free services, but they do not guarantee you image quality and signal transmission without interference. If you are planning to conduct negotiations at a high level, take advantage of a reliable platform with instant technical support.
Callaba Cloud is a professional tool for organizing live broadcasts with ultra-low latency and high video quality (HD, Full HD, Ultra HD, 4K and 8K video).
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