August 10th, 2020 by admin
Video conferencing has become a common meeting modality for businesses today. Bringing together people from multiple locations, the business benefits of adopting video conferencing are numerous. From managing remote workers to building stronger teams, this technology can transform day-to-day operations. To reap the full benefits of video conferencing, however, certain elements must be in place.
Video conferencing shares video and audio between users by capturing the analog video and audio data, compressing it, transferring it over the internet to the other users, decompressing the data, and then translating it all back into analog video and audio for the receiving users. All parties involved in a call must have the appropriate hardware and software for video conferencing to work effectively. Without the following elements, video conferencing will likely not be successful:
- Internet: The data for video conferencing must be transmitted over a network. Therefore, a high-speed internet connection is necessary for smooth calls. High-speed internet will help ensure users don’t experience latency issues that result in delayed and/or glitchy video and audio.
- Video-Input: Each person or team involved a video conferencing call must have a video camera or webcam that is connected to their computers. Users can also use projectors and interactive whiteboards. The device should have a relatively high resolution so that participants can see one another clearly.
- Audio Input: Each user must have a microphone to capture their audio. The microphone can be on their computer, a headset, an external microphone, etc. Microphones should be high quality and placed in a location where it can capture and produce clear audio.
- Video Output: After a video is transferred from one user to the others, it must be displayed. Therefore some form of video output is necessary, such as a computer monitor, projector display, or some other type of screen or monitor.
- Audio Output: Similar to the video output, the audio also needs an output after it is transferred from the speaker to the other users. The audio output might take the form of external speakers, headphones, or built-in speakers on the device being used (e.g., computer, laptop, mobile device).
- Echo reduction/cancellation software: This software enables video conferencing to occur in real-time by reducing and canceling audio echoes and delays, resulting in clearer audio that minimizes the risk of misunderstandings.
- Codec: Codec refers to the coder-decoder technology that compresses the video and audio data into the digital packets that are sent to the receiving users and then decompresses the data so that the users can see the video and hear the audio in real-time.
In addition to the technology involved in video conferencing, there are also important office and managerial elements that promote effective calls.
- Training: As with all new technology, employees must be trained in how to use it properly. Without training, they may be hesitant to try video conferencing or may not utilize it as effectively as possible.
- IT Support: Audio and video feedback and other issues can be common with video conferencing. Having IT support available can help address these issues quickly so participants can get back to their call.
- Guidelines & Protocols: Having a set of video conferencing guidelines, processes, or protocols that all employees follow will help calls run more smoothly and reduce the need for IT support. This is especially useful when using integrated video conferencing systems (i.e., when the system is housed in a conference room and used by multiple employees).
- Management: For integrated video conferencing systems, companies must actively manage the environment. This includes maintaining a schedule for the video conferencing room; ensuring the room is arranged appropriately; monitoring the video conferencing hardware, software, and/or network to make sure it is always working properly and replacing equipment when needed; and encouraging adherence to protocols.
With the above technology and office elements in place, companies are bound to have a smooth experience adopting and using video conferencing.
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