Benefits Of High-Definition Videoconferencing Are Worth The Cost

With new advancements in technology being released every day, it is no wonder why companies have been taking advantage of the latest trends in communication technology. Videoconferencing, in particular, has made technological leaps and bounds and is as close to in-person conferencing as it gets. High-end video equipment allows for dynamic, face-to-face interaction, but that is only one of the many benefits of high-definition videoconferencing.

Historically, traveling was a prerequisite for maintaining business relationships and conducting conferences and meetings with out-of-town clients. However, this time-honored ritual is becoming all but obsolete with recent improvements in technology. Fortunately, with high-definition videoconferencing, you can reduce travel costs without sacrificing that personal connection that may be crucial to your business relationships. This progressive meeting style saves companies money on travel expenses, such as plane flights and hotels. This can make an immediate difference in the annual travel budget for any business, making videoconferencing services a great investment.

While travel costs are the easiest expenses to calculate, high-quality videoconferencing may potentially save companies money by increasing workforce productivity, as well. As opposed to other non-verbal forms of communication, videoconferencing in high-definition allows for crystal clear visual cues. This is crucial when many phone-conferencing and online-conferencing methods can lack body language; which may be imperative to understanding statements and questions fully. Not only can messages be misconstrued and lost in translation, recipients may be spending much more time than needed interpreting them. In business, time is money and is something that should never be wasted, especially when there is a better option readily available.

Videoconferencing has experienced many challenges in the past do to the quality of video recording devices heretofore available. Simply streaming live video through a webcam is not going to provide the same clarity and real-time communication of a face-to-face conversation. In fact, the lack of visuals can turn out to be distracting. It may also cause the meeting to start on a negative footing. Videoconferencing with a webcam or any other lower-end device can also degrade sharp movements and precise gestures that a speaker might need to convey emotion and feeling. A speaker also might want to display a diagram or give a presentation in real-time, which may not be possible with low quality videoconferencing technology.

It is clear that the benefits of high-definition videoconferencing outweigh the financial commitment. This holds especially true considering the visual clarity and real-time transmissions available with modern videoconferencing technology.

High Definition Video Conferencing (HDVC) – A Brief History

True video conferencing has been with us since the 1970s when AT&T first developed their video telephone technology. However, the possibility of interconnecting studios and locations had been around since the first development of television when two sites could be connected using close circuit cameras linked by a coaxial cable or radio.

Systems were in existence in Berlin in the 1930s to enable the Post Office to link its various sites, and NASA space missions in the 1960s were linked by VHF and UHF communications. It was also common for remote, live television reports to be made using bulky transmission trucks to enable video conferencing.

The early video conferencing systems used existing telephone technology and were slow, producing poor quality images and they were also very expensive. They required special conferencing rooms to be constructed that could be used for video links, these needed bulky cameras and special sound equipment to function properly.

It was only in the 1980s that the introduction of ISDN and digital transmission made true video conferencing a realistic, viable proposition. Even then the equipment was still slow and expensive. With frame rates still running at around 15 frames per second, making pictures jittery and blurred. The last developments in the 1980s ensured that smaller and faster boards were designed that could fit into the CPU of a desktop computer.

Real headway was made in the 1990s when internet protocol and video compressing made video conferencing more widely available. When systems such as Skype came online in 2003 it brought the idea of video conferencing to the attention of the general public, this opened the way for a wider acceptance of this type of communication.

Today’s high definition video conferencing systems mean that television quality production and perfect sound is possible at an affordable cost for most people. This increase in speed, quality and the reduction in size and cost have opened up the market completely. It is no longer the privilege of the boardroom but keeps families together, even when they live apart and enables long distance teaching and medical procedures to take place throughout the world.

Nowadays technology such as Vidyo are fully integrated into desktop computers and can run using off the shelf peripherals such as speakers, webcams and microphones bought on the high street. The architecture behind the system also means that even when using your desktop computer you can achieve HD video calls as easily in your own home as you can in a high-tech office.

The Use of Video Conferencing

A video conference is a kind interaction through devices, which allow two or more people in different places to remotely communicate simultaneously. It is also called video meeting or audio-video remote meeting. It’s different from a videophone because the technology is focused on the conference not the individual.

The most primitive type of video conferencing equipment is the television. Though the transmission of information was one way there is feedback after transmission. The cycle of information and the process of feedback is fulfilled by the television that qualifies it as a video conferencing equipment.

Since the development of digital telephony and internet based services like software, such as NetMeeting, MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and other instant messaging web plug ins that allow transmission of messages real time through the internet. The Internet has become the most important tool for video conferencing and other instant messaging services.

Because of the sheer speed that the Internet has within it self and the ability to transfer information real time most of the web based video conference centers puts most of its resources online.

Because of the advancement of Internet technology it has been possible over the years to have simultaneous videoconferencing among three or more remote points. These remote points can be anywhere in the world and the remote locations need not have a special set of equipment or software.

There is a bridge though that connects all of these remote peripherals on to the network and that is called the MCU or the Multi Channel Unit, it allows different computers to run the same format code to et communicate in one network.

There are MCU bridges for IP and ISDN-based videoconferencing. The MCUs used as bridges on IP and ISDN connections are most of the time pure software, and others that can be found in other forms of connections are a combination of hardware and software.

An MCU’s type is determined according to the number of simultaneous calls and conference participants it can handle, its ability to carry out information exchanges, shared programs, shared documents, shared application and other different kinds of sharing peripherals available on the conference. One god thing about MCU’s is that it can be a complete stand alone software for conferencing since it does not need hardware acceleration because it is purely software accelerated.

Because of the needs and the technology available to meet those needs, video conferencing has been more than a necessity for education, medicine, law making, and business.

For education the impact of video conferencing to it and the system can be seen easily. Because high speed Internet connection is becoming a much-needed part of modern curriculum, video conferencing has also been part of the next step towards modernization of the school system. Because of video conferencing special lecturers can now remotely conduct lectures, teachers can be on location and still deliver the lesson and correspondence between schools can be easily done through video conferencing.

Videoconferencing classes also adds to the possibility of a conversation in the scenarios such as a live conversation is needed between people in different countries. A visual information is an important component of the telephone conversation, the parties of the conversation can’t physically come to the same location.

The expense or time of travel is a consideration because these situations calls for something drastically fast and efficient.