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The reason for the connection could be personal, business, academic etc. Video conferencing was first deployed by the company AT&T in the early 1970s using their Picturephone technology.

Apart from enabling the live exchange of video, and audio, it also enables you to share resources and simultaneously work on documents, spreadsheets, 3D objects, images etc.

Physical presence cannot be possible all the time, let it be for personal, or business reasons. That’s where Video Conferencing is of such great help. Without the need to physically be present in all the meetings, you can make yourself available at different locations throughout the world.

Types

Just like physical meetings in person, conferencing can take various forms from a head-to-head meeting where two people work on resolving an issue to a formal meeting where a few more people collaboratively work on a project.

There could be two kinds of Video Conferencing calls:

  • Point to Point – A simple call involving just two parties/studios with no intermediary equipment.
  • Multipoint – Where more than one studio is involved. This type of call needs a centrally controlled Multipoint Control Unit (MCU) also called a ‘bridge’ to act as the hub of communications. During the videoconference, the picture is switched between sites according to the audio signal of the current site, in ‘continuous presence’ all the participating sites are shown by dividing the page into smaller frames.

Equipment

The basic equipment required for making a Video Conferencing call would be:

  • A PC/Laptop with a fast internet connection
  • A good quality webcam that can be connected to the PC through a data cable. The webcam usually comes in-built in laptops.
  • A good audio input/output device which again is mostly in-built.

There are quite a few companies that supply leading Video conferencing Equipment from LifeSize, Polycom, RADVISION and Tandberg.

Need

Globalization is the current trend and hence the need for people to meet up from different parts of the world regularly has become very common. This is where VC comes to the rescue and makes it possible for people from separate corners of the world to get in touch as if they were just sitting to next each other.

Video Conferencing can be used for many varied purposes.

  • Instant face-to-face communication from any corner of the world
  • Conducting live Interviews and Recruitment
  • Various consultancy services
  • Training purposes for Multi-National companies
  • Holding meetings across the globe for research, and scientific purposes
  • Working and resolving real-time issues that may arise in organizations
  • Conducting online lectures simultaneously for different Universities

Benefits

Video Conferencing largely helps in

  • Saving time as it reduces travel time
  • Cutting down costs as there is no need to physically travel from one place to another
  • Faster and better decision-making
  • Instant sharing of knowledge, data
  • Increases Productivity and improves communication.

There might be a few things that should be taken into consideration while Video conferencing

  • Getting familiar with the equipment
  • Being able to troubleshoot in case of any breakdown
  • Being able to choose the right type and best equipment available
  • Having to update the equipment on a real-time basis
  • Preparing the necessary articles needed for circulation among the people
  • Making sure that the required people attend the Conference without fail
  • Making sure that the Conference time is suitable for all as a multi-point conference would involve the participation of different time zone countries

Video Conferencing is regarded as the ‘in-thing’ these days and is sure to gain more popularity in the coming years. Leading companies that are involved with Video conferencing are BT, Mvision, and Video Nations etc. Please visit their websites for further details.

I use and highly recommend GVO Conference Video Conferencing Software. Taking time when choosing a provider GVO Conference Video Conference Software is my recommendation.

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