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Video Conferencing

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What Is Video Conferencing?

When you call for a conference, everyone is expected to arrive at a designed
time and place to discuss an issue and resolve it. But if the people you need
to speak with are in different states or countries and those cost of getting
them to come is quite expensive, you have to try something else like video

But first, what is video conferencing? Basically, this is a system that allows
you to conduct meetings or trainings in different places simultaneously. It
incorporates audio, video so you are able to talk and send data which takes
away the barrier of distance that separates these individuals.

To make video conferencing possible, you need to buy the equipment. You also
have to choose the method of transmission because the one you might be using
may not be compatible with the other person.

These include the Codec unit, the camera, microphone, video display, network
connection, stands and equipment charts if these will be mobile or stationary,
NT-1 and chicken feet.

Most of these are self-explanatory so we will just focus on the Codec, NT-1 and
chicken feet.

The Codec is considered to be the "brain and heart" of the video conference
system. This is what compresses everything so you can send and receive messages
on real time which can be viewed on the display device.

The NT-1 on the other hand is an electronic device otherwise called an terminal
adapter that converts ISDN to your IP format. There is also the NT-3 version so
instead of using one line, you will be able to use three.

The chicken feet also known as acoustic echo cancellers are equipment that is
usually hung from the ceiling. Basically, what this does it's add both clarity
and depth to the resonant frequency response of your audio sub system.

But the most important which you have to understand is the network connection.
There are two protocols namely the H.320 and the H.323. If the one you are
talking with is using a different one, it will be impossible for you to talk
with one another because while the first uses ISDN lines the latter which is
much simpler uses IP lines similar to what you use to browse the web.

The good news is that you can still talk to the person on the other end using
the older system by using a bridge that is able to handle these mixed protocols.

The advantage of the new system is that you can transmit for multiple uses when
the old one can only handle one. The newer version is also cheaper and faster so
you get to talk in real time.

How much will you have to spend to get your video conferencing system up and
running? Personal users will spend less than $500 while corporations could
spend $100,000 or even more. You just have to shop around and see which one is
able to fit your needs so you get value for your money.

The video conferencing system of today is one of the highlights of living in
the digital age. No longer do we have to send a message and wait for awhile to
get a response when you can get a reply right then and there which increases
productivity and saves time and resources.

The Definition of Video Conferencing

Executives in companies hold meetings regularly to see how each department is
doing. If you are working for a large company with offices in various locations
in the US, you can pay for airfare and travel expenses or do something better
with the money such as employing video conferencing.

The definition of video conferencing is simple. This allows two parties to talk
with one another and send data. The system enables you to see and hear the other
person which is as some say, the high tech version of using the telephone.

Video conferencing can be used for a lot of things. Private corporations can
use it to make their employees more productive, schools can use it to train
students who can't come to school and can only learn through distance
education, build relationships with people you have never seen for a long time
and so forth.

If you think that video conferencing goes from just one point to another, you
are mistaken as you can talk to others at the same time. This enables you to
spread your message globally and get to see who you are talking to.

Perhaps the beauty of video conferencing is the ability to communicate with
others in real time. It is like watching the news as it happens but this can
only happen if you use a higher bandwidth so the feed is not interrupted.

You will also need a higher compression system to transmit and receive which
also varies depending on the kind of system that you will be getting.

But in general, video conferencing itself takes places in the internet from PC
to PC. You don't have to buy an expensive one if you are using this at home.
All you need is a camera, a microphone, a modem and the software that can
easily be downloaded for free from the web.

There are two types of video conferencing systems. The first is called
proprietary and the is standards based.

If you choose to use proprietary, applications can only work through a single
vendor since it can only be accessed through closed API's. This means that it
is not compatible with the applications of other vendors. The standard on the
other hand is more flexible making it better to use compared to the latter.

The network connection is done through a integrated digital services network
(ISDN) or through Internet protocol (IP) lines. ISDN is very common in Europe
because it is much easier and less complex than the IP's but those of us who
live across the Atlantic think differently.

Many of us see that using this network connection is more convenient because
you are assigned your own IP address so you are sure that information that is
sent or received is secure.

You just have to get one from your internet service provider (ISP) so this can
be made. You then hand this over to the other party that you will be talking to
or vice versa so you can get in touch with one another.

The definition of video conferencing is simple. It is new way of talking to
another person or party since you don't only hear them but also get to see how
they look like. The only thing you have to do is get the hardware and software
you need so you will be able to use this system to your advantage.

How does Video Conferencing Work

People are always hesitant about change. For business owners -- who want to
utilize and take advantage of the benefits of modern technology -- it can be
hard for them to introduce and explain video conferencing to their employee
majority will resist the idea. This is because some people in the company --
especially those who have been working there for so long -- are not open to the
world of new routines and adjustments especially involving technology. But,
there is still a way to do this -- by explaining how does video conferencing

In layman's terms

To make people understand what is video conferencing, you must make them
understand how it works. Basically, video conferencing refers to a
communications technology where video and voice are integrated to be able to
connect to other people or users that are in other areas. The idea behind it is
to break the barriers in communication by creating a way where in people in two
different places can talk and see each other as if they were in the same room
at real time. Real time refers to the duration where conversation in updated
and the parties can exchange thoughts and communicate without so much delay.

For a video conferencing to work, each party should have a personal computer
with high memory, a web cam, a microphone, and a broadband Internet with
high-speed connection. These pieces of equipment are the basic ones that are
needed for a simple videoconference. In more sophisticated areas and business
set-ups such as offices, more pieces of video conferencing equipment are being

These include video, wall mounts, table tops microphones, and such. They also
have more complex video conferencing systems and avail of video conferencing
services to ensure hassle free communication during meetings.

Unlike in the voice-only technology, video conferencing enables people to
natural conversations using a good bandwidth. A
good bandwidth is quite important for video conferencing because it makes
seamless voice and video streaming possible.

When it comes to options, there are different types of video conferencing where
people can choose from: the "point-to-point" or the "multi-point". The
"point-to-point" video conferencing is considered as the most common and basic
type that is being used by so many users worldwide. It uses individual IP
addresses and connects two different users from different places directly. This
type of video conferencing is quite popular in home set ups and in some other
small offices. "Point-to-point" video conferencing also serves as a form video
phone to many. However, it can only connect two personal computers.

The "multi-point" conferencing, on the other hand, come is several variations.
It has a reflector and a multipoint connector unit (MCU) that serves as
"multipoint bridge" that enables two or more three or more users. Here, a
central hub is used to connect users and can also serves a "stand-alone" device
or as a computer server itself. In multi-point, room systems as well as
roll-about systems can be added to the personal computers themselves.

In more technical terms, the "IEEE" standard serves as a guide to the status
and development of video conferencing. Here, there are two guides: the H.320
standard that says how the process operates using ISDN telephone circuits and
the "H.323" that explains how video conferencing operates using an Internet
(TCP/IP or just IP).

Understanding how video conferencing work primarily depends on the willingness
of the person to adapt to changes. If you think that your employee is not into
understanding it, it will be better not to train him or her because it will
only be a waste of time.

How Should you Explain Video Conferencing

If you are one of those who are having a hard time how to explain video
conferencing, you can start by studying the process on your own. You can
research and get information by browsing the Internet, computer books, and
Information Technology magazines.

Once you have done this, you can explain video conferencing easier. To make
people understand what is this new technology and means of virtual
communication, you must:

1. Explain the definition of video conferencing.

By definition, "video conferencing" refers to a relatively new means of
communications technology that involves voice and video in connecting users
that are the different places. Here, all the parties involved will be talking
to each other face to face -- as if they were all in the same room. People who
will videoconference need a personal computer, a web cam, a microphone, and a
broadband Internet connection to be able to make the virtual communication work.

Here, the participants or users can hear and see one another in real time,
thus, allowing normal conversations like that those of voice communications
technology -- only both parties can see and hear what they people is saying or
doing at the same time. A good bandwidth is required for video conferencing to
work and it's a must that the computer has high-fidelity streaming voice and
video to be able to maximize its fullest potential.

2. Explain the need for video conferencing.

To be able encourage people to adapt and accept the new technology, it is a
must to explain the need for video conferencing after explaining what it is and
its technicalities. This will make the people -- specifically the employees --
realize the need for it. One of the foremost reasons that you can point out why
you should use video conferencing is for practicality. Instead of going to
meeting physically and travel to places, people can just use video conferencing
to explain that needs explaining.

Although telephone calls or emailing would do, it is better to video
conferencing because it adds more impact to the transaction or to the business
at hand. For sales people, this is also beneficial since they can see the
person involved when doing a business, video conferencing will open the doors
to more opportunities and produce more results. And since your business set up
needs a live conversation, the employees should understand that visual
information is an integral factor of the entire conversation process.

3. Show how it works.

Although you have explained how it works when you explained what is video
conferencing earlier. Some people might not get the hang of it right away.
Aside from verbal explanation, it will be best to show them how it works and by
re-explaining all the parts of the process. The first that you need to do is to
explain is how people from different places can make conversation for a meeting
or conference all at the same time.

So, what you can do is demonstrate it to them and show how it works. Set up a
video conference with another person and invite at least five or ten people to
witness it and participate in the conversation if possible. During the video
conference, show how the visual and audio transmission of messages are done.

You can also show them how the process of sharing documents, displaying
information in the computer or from the whiteboards.

The Aim of Video Conferencing

There was a time we had to send a telegram so someone will receive our message.
Eventually, the telephone was invented until we now have a web. As you can see,
the development of technology has made it easier for us to communication which
happens to be also the aim of video conferencing.

But what is video conferencing? It is a technology that enables users to see
and hear one another in real time so people can convey their message and get a
response. For this to work, you will need a camera, microphone, speaker, a
processor and the software. You can buy each one separately or get a set that
offers this in one package.

The aim of video conferencing is different depending on what industry this will
be used in. For instance, those in education use this medium to promote distance
learning to those who can't afford to attend regular classes to get a degree.

The justice department has used this to get the testimonies of witnesses so
they no longer have to be brought to court to testify against a suspect.
Hospitals use video conferencing to talk about the condition of a patient so
something better can be done to help them recover from an injury or illness.
While corporations use this medium to make business decisions.

Firms that conduct market research can tabulate the responses that have been
given out by the respondents so the results will be released quickly.

Surely, you have heard of online dating. But video conferencing takes it
another step forward as you get to see and talk to people that have potential
instead of just reading their profile and looking at their picture.

Aside from talking, you can also do file sharing so two people can view the
same document and make changes instantaneously. If something is unclear and you
have to write it down, you can use the white board thus making this technology
work for you as a virtual board room.

But in order for more people to enjoy video conferencing, more research has to
be done to make it better than it was before. You have to remember that 10
years ago there were not that many people who were interested in getting it
because it was too expensive to purchase. Now, you can get a reasonable package
for less than $10,000 and use it as often as you need.

Just to show you how far video conferencing has gone, people can now use it to
playback previous sessions, browse the web, send SMS messages and view slide

Regardless of how it is used, the aim of video conferencing is still the same
and that is to get in touch with someone that could be in another state or
country. It builds and fosters relationships, increases productivity and
reduces the cost often incurred when an employee has to travel on a business
trip that costs the company money.

Given that it video conferencing has benefits those who have not taken
advantage of this technology must do so but this can only happen if they are
able to determine the aim of video conferencing that is applicable to their
setting. If they don't want to buy one yet, they can try it out as some places
offer this for use to the public.

The Advantages of Video Conferencing

There was a time that people had to send messages via a telegram or through the
post office to get their message across. The telephone changed all that when you
simply have to call the other party. Now that we are in the digital age, we get
to hear and also see the person and this is perhaps just one of the many
advantages of video conferencing.

So what are the other advantages of video conferencing? For one, it increases
productivity. This happens as offices in various places are able to talk with
one another to brainstorm and make fast decisions.

Second, video conferencing saves money because you don't have to pay for the
airfare or traveling expenses for one employee just to get the work done.
Studies have shown that it reduces fatigue and stress brought about fro the
travel so you don't feel pressured when a job needs to be done there.

Very close to money is that video conferencing saves time. You don't have to
sit on an airplane or drive a certain distance just to meet someone when you
can have the conversation in the boardroom and talking to the person on the
other end as you seen them through the screen and hear them through the

Apart from the corporate world, educational institutions can also benefit from
video conferencing as students who want to earn a degree through distance
learning can use this medium. Instead of just listening to the lecture being
given by the instructor, students will be able to ask questions thus enabling
visual participation.

Video conferencing can also be used to transmit files and documents. There are
companies that can provide what is known as real time information exchange so
you don't need to use the fax machine anymore or send these through email.

The healthcare industry can also use this technology to their advantage. This
allows both the doctor and the patient to review the examinations that have
been done and also send this information to colleagues in other places if the
hospital or clinic where this was conducted does not have the proper facilities.

The law can also benefit from video conferencing as witnesses can give their
statements before the court without compromising their safety. A good example
of this was used a few years ago when some Afghans gave their testimony
regarding a military inquiry into an alleged incident.

In all of these examples, you can see that it increase productivity and saves
the user both time and money.

The only thing you need are the equipment to make this happen and the technical
support that goes with it to make sure everything is working.

There are a lot of companies that provide this service. In fact, you can even
download one into your computer as there are a few free services available like
Yahoo messenger and Skype. Corporations on the other hand need something better
as the free ones mentioned have limitations in what they can do for the person.

This new technology has evolved after years of research and development. Given
that there are a lot of advantages associated with video conferencing, we have
to make the most of it. If you haven't tried it yet, perhaps this should be
introduced where you work especially if it has offices in other states.

The Different Types of Video Conferencing Systems

Video conferencing systems have evolved. There is one there that can surely fit
your budget and specifications. To help you along the way, here are four of the
types that are being used to day by government offices and private corporations.

These are namely telepresence conferencing system, integrated conference room
system, set top video conferencing system and desktop conferencing system. Let
us discuss each of them.

The telepresence system literally enables you to be in a meeting with other
people located in other places. There are two types around. One is the portable
or roll about and the immersion that is room based.

This type of system consists of a high definition codec coupled with flat panel
screens and high definition audio. The price tag for those who are interested
will be from $60,000 to $300,000 each which depends on the size and
capabilities of what you decide to purchase.

But the most common used is the integrated room conferencing system that is
used by offices and in some schools. There is a centralized location for the
codec and the associated hardware. It also comes with a main camera, displays
and peripheral video sources with multiple features. It is much cheaper than
the first one mentioned as this is available from $10,000 to $100,000 each.

Set top video systems are designed to sit on a monitor. They are small and are
easy to move around should this be needed in another room when you are
conducting a meeting. It is quite affordable given that vendors usually sell
these from $3,000 to $20,000 a piece.

The last is the desktop video conferencing system that is the cheapest one
around and used by people working at home or keeping in touch with friends and
family members. The system is priced between $250 to $400 each and despite its
size, you are still able to do voice, video and application sharing.

For those who don't to shell out cash, you can download software like Skype or
Yahoo Messenger. You just need to buy the camera that has a built in microphone.

When you buy any of the four types of video conferencing systems mentioned, a
technician that works for the vendor will set this up for you. Once installed,
it is very easy to operate because it is user friendly so you don't have to
worry about anything when this has to be operated.

Videoconferencing systems have a lot of benefits to the user. For one, you
don't have to travel anymore if you want to speak to someone face to face when
you can have the meeting done in the conference room.

This of course amounts to savings since you don't have to pay for airfare,
traveling expenses and you no longer have to deal with the stress associated
with travel.

So which video conferencing system should you get? This depends on the size of
the room, the number of participants per site, the system or format you will be
calling, its data capability and the preferred system integrator to put this all

Once you are able to figure that out, it will already be easy for you to shop
for the right one that your company will be using for the long term.

The Use of Video Conferencing

A videoconference 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

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 videoconference 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

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

Web Video Conferencing in the New Millennium

Are you in need of something that can boost your business by more than half and
still be able to save on the cost of production? Do you want to be able to
monitor your factories and met with your staff on a regular basis though you
are miles away from corporate? Web videoconferencing allows you to work on
these things without having to worry about cost and impact on the business.

All that you need to do is just a website away. The need for expensive
equipment has also been taken away since all the equipment you would need is
inside the Internet and all of it is waiting for you. So let's start web

So how exactly does web videoconferencing works? Well, like the name suggests
its videoconferencing through the web or the Internet. A participant needs a
computer to start off and Internet access. Basically that's all you need. Other
things that may or may not be necessary are web cams, web conferencing software
and a website to conduct the virtual meeting. Usually websites may refer to
URL's that act as the conference room for the meeting.

There are different kinds of web videoconferencing and different kinds of
purposes. First one is the web meeting (web videoconferencing), this usual kind
of web conference that let's participants interact in a controlled Internet
environment. Usually CEO's and business executives have web meetings when they
are out of town and on business. Not only can they visit their site often they
can keep close tabs on people. Usually Web conferencing allow people on the go
to keep up with the requirements of the office.

Live video is another kind of conferencing over the Internet or what young
people call video chat. live video or video chat is just like text chatting
only it's done through the web cam. Just like web video conferencing live video
is more or less like it in purpose and setup. While web videoconferencing uses
software to support the video format of the live video this is because of the
limited number of formats that can be streamed over the web.

Another kind of web conferencing tool is VoIP or Voice over the Internet Phone.
The concept of VoIP is no longer new to us. Some people have started using VoIP
software and sites as their primary phone for business, personal and technology
use. Because of it's virtual endless capacity to call inside and outside
countries and not to mention computer call functionality.

That means even without a regular or mobile phone people can communicate
anytime anywhere. Now if you apply that to whatever your web videoconferencing
needs that you have, you are sure to get your money's worth.

And lastly a dedicated Internet website that would cater to all the web
conferencing needs that you have. As the name mentions it is a dedicated server
that acts as the conference room of your company and a gateway for all other
video conferencing you will have even outside the company.

Since this is a new tool for your company to use in it's quest to become one of
the best in the world, it would be wise to master all the requirements and the
processes of web videoconferencing to reap the best results from it.

Business Video Conferencing

To achieve successful business video conferencing, reliable and quality video
conferencing system and systems are a must. Having quality systems and
equipment will ensure that there will be faster, more efficient, and hassle
free communications with the parties involved during business video

Most of the vendors in the industry today offer systems and equipment for
business video conferencing that has a lot of different features. In fact,
majority of them doesn't even require software for installment and other
hardware for purchasing. Most of the providers offer equipment and system that
are easy to use that enables the administrator to start business video
conferencing anytime and share documents as well as presentations to as many
people possible.

The benefits of business video conferencing

Modern technology has brought people two major benefits -- money and energy
conservation. Due to easier access to technology and communications using
various inventions such as video conferencing -- people in almost all fields --
has been evolving and continue to expand on their respective industries.

Today, people -- especially those who are on the business side -- are lucky
enough to take advantage of the benefits instigated by the web as well as the
multiparty video technology such as business video conferencing. In fact,
utilizing the rewards of technology such as business video conferencing is much
easier because more and more providers offer various products with different
features and price brackets.

Now, majority of the provider of business video conferencing offer new
generations IP-based software that are more efficient, effective, and cheaper
compared to the older generations that use hardware-based systems in video
conferencing. These IP-based business video and web conferencing can now be
maintained by just using off-the-shelf and cheap video and audio systems that
can literally purchased wherever you are. Though these IP-based business video
conferencing, the reach can be broadened and there are more alternatives or
options that enable administrators and people to connect to anyone globally for
as long as they have a personal computer or handheld devices that are integrated
with a web cam as well as of fast connection online.

Through the business video conferencing, manager and business executives can
even cover and explore all the possibilities of their businesses without having
to worry about expenses and safety.

Basically, the major benefit of business video conferencing is saving up on
money because people who have business meetings and presentations won't have to
travel to places in order to meet clients. Aside from that, business video
conferencing could lead to:

- more interactive and better communication without worrying about the time for

- decreased cost for traveling and long trips specially for those that have
  regular sales presentations, training and business meetings;

- decreased operational costs through the elimination of IDD or charges for
  long distance calling as well as local calls for meetings and other business

- faster meeting with the many customers less the monetary expense;

- increased reach to as many resellers, agents, and costumers as possible;

- improved customer retention that will lead to productivity;

- can boost the employee's morale because his or her work is easier due to high
  tech means of communication;

- lesser life risks upon travel both by the agent or the business executive;

- closer telecommuters that are in separate offices and braches; and

- improved productivity among employees despite natural calamities and other
  natural phenomenon.

Just make sure that you have conducted a research first before choosing systems
and pieces of equipment for business video conferencing.

Video Conferencing Equipment you Need for Your Office

In the market today, there are so many vendors that offer almost all kinds of
video conferencing equipment. Majority of them -- if you're a techy and are
knowledgeable about IT stuff -- are of high quality and can be compared to
those that are made by more popular vendors. However, not all of them offer
quality products so you have to be really careful in choosing and buying your
video conferencing equipment.

What you need for video conferencing

Aside from the personal computers with updated versions and high capacity
memory and Internet service connection, there are many things that you will be
needing for effective and hassle free video conferencing. One of these is the
server hardware. Here, the minimum requirement for a server should at least be
Windows 2000 or newer version. It should also have a clock speed of 1.2Ghz and
RAM with 256 MB memory for the application to work efficiently. Bear in mind
that the server should have a static IP address along with port 80 that is

Another important video conferencing equipment is a web camera. If you have
budget, opt for Logitech web cams because these are ideal for any monitor size
and laptops screens. Good choices include QuickCam® Pro 5000, Logitech
QuickCam® Ultra Vision and from QuickCam® Pro 9000.

Headsets are also necessary for video conferencing for audio purposes. When it
comes headsets, updated drivers are necessary. Opt for those that are ideal for
a mobile presenter during a session. Ideal options include Plantronics Audio
.610 single-ear USB, Plantronics DA-40 USB to headset adapter, Plantronics
Audio .470 USB, and Revolabs Desktop Solo -- USB.

A tabletop speaker or microphone is also important for video conferencing
equipment to make the communication easier. If you are buying one, opt for
those that have built-in echo canceller so noise or any sound that can
interrupt the conversation.

You will also be need speakers but there is no technical requirement for this
because any decent and working speakers are fine.

To ensure that that video conferencing will be hassle free, a conference room
setup is needed because it links to two separate parties. You can choose from
either standard conference room solo mic or from the standard conference room
setup that has a converge mixer. Also, make sure that in your room set, there
will be a wall mount. The most typical one that is used is the WM-30B wall

A video is also a significant video conferencing equipment because it will
enable to record the whole meeting or conversation Today, the most sought after
choices for a video is Sony EVI-D70 because it is ideal for standard desktop and
laptop users. If you're buying one, opt for those that come with a tripod
designed for it to ensure its safety.

Aside from making sure that the device is placed on a sturdy holder, buying a
video that comes with a tripod will also help you save some money. Video
Capture is also important to achieve a good video conferencing. Opt for those
that are compatible with the video such as the Viewcast Osprey 210 because they
are compatible in terms of image and audio performance.

Before buying video conferencing equipment, bear in mind that not all can be
compatible with one another. In fact, majority is not compatible for office
systems like Vista and XP. Make sure that you check manual or research which
are the best brands that will be compatible with one another.

If you know what is compatible with what, you can save money, time, and effort.

Video Conferencing Justification

When companies have to buy something, it has to be approved by management. With
the cost of air travel going up, it is only right to justify the use of video
conferencing since it is more affordable to do so in the long term.

How do you justify that? Most companies use numbers as their basis in making a
decision so if you look at the expense report and notice that a huge chunk is
spent on traveling, they will realize that they can cut cost here and use the
money saved somewhere else.

But doesn't video conferencing equipment cost a lot of money and isn't the
system very complex? For a time but this has changed. This is because vendors
no longer use ISDN lines and they have now shifted to IP networks. This is the
same system used by the Internet thus making it easy to integrate with other

For those who are concerned about how much it costs, the price of video
conferencing equipment has gone down through the years making it more
affordable for businesses.

A decade ago, a video conferencing system costs $75,000 or even more. Nowadays,
you can find one for less than $10,000. Other accessories like a webcam will
cost you less than thousand.

As a result, it is no wonder that a consumer report has shown that there was a
22% increase in sales of the equipment in 2006 versus 2005. So although you may
need a lot so this can be installed in each office, in the long term it doesn't
because you already have the system in place which is not affected by the price
of oil in the world market.

Another way to justify the need for this technology is to do a study by
interviewing those who have gone on business trips in the past and ask how well
it went. Previous reports have shown that traveling takes a toll on your body
due to fatigue and stress. By the time they get to where they are going, their
mind is not focused with what needs to be done thus decreasing their

You can also argue the other benefits of video conferencing like the ability to
increase the sales and product development cycles, improve the quality of
communications, better delivery of training and coaching to the other offices
as well an improvement in the quality of the work after a staff meeting.

There have also been other improvements both in audio and video quality so you
get to communicate with the other party in real time. But the best part about
such systems is that they are user friendly since most of the systems currently
available are menu driven so you don't need to study a manual inside out and no
special expertise is needed.

When management has approved your request, it is time to go out shopping for
the right system. Ideally, you should get one that has an audio and video
channel but the latest is the kind that allows multi-media communications. This
allows the user to send and receive data in a dual stream IP environment.

Do I need to say more to help you justify the need for video conferencing
systems? Maybe not so do your research and use the system to your potential.

What to Look for in a Video Conferencing Facility

Any room in the office can become a video conferencing facility. This is
because you only need the right hardware and software so people will be able to
talk with other parties.

In terms of hardware, the video conferencing facility must have a camera. It
should be able to record real time video at the same time produce real time
output so you can immediately respond to questions and give comments.

You will also need a microphone so you can speak into this device and your
message comes out through their speakers.

Voice and sound can only be compressed if you have a processor. There are many
of them around so you just have to pick the right one that is compatible with
the video conferencing software that you plan to install in your facility.

You will also need gateway which happens to be the network device that connects
your network to the web. Some of those available have a firewall so again, it is
up to you if you want get a system that has this feature.

If you don't want to buy the hardware mentioned separately, you can invest in
an integrated video conferencing unit that already has the entire package.

Ideally, you should use the H323 version in the video conferencing facility.
This is because of its compatibility with other systems.

For those who don't want to spend on a video conferencing facility, they can go
to venues that offer this service. You have to make a reservation in advance so
no one will take the slot that you wish to use.

Since most meetings do not take too long, many of these places charge by the
hour. If you have to cancel or reschedule the meeting, you should call them at
least 24 hours before so you will not be billed for the time that you reserved.

Places that have these video conferencing facilities include hotels, colleges
and other training centers. You can look in the directory or online so you get
to see how it looks like before using it as this place might just be your
regular the next time you need to have another meeting.

The biggest benefit of having your own or going to a video conferencing
facility is not having to spend on airfare and travel expenses just to attend a
business meeting. This is as technology allows you to meet "virtually" with just
about anybody wherever they are in the country or in the world.

As a result, other sectors have begun using this technology as well such as the
justice department, schools and hospitals since this medium can have 5 to more
than 50 people in attendance during a hearing, a meeting or in an online
training session.

A video conferencing facility has the capabilities of reaching a worldwide
audience thanks to its ability to go through IP networks, ISDN (Integrated
System Digital Network) phone lines, firewalls, routers and Codecs
(Coder/Decoder). You can invest in one or reserve a slot in a place that offers
this so you can schedule a meeting.

Does this mean people do not have to travel anymore to meet each other? The
answer is no but it will reduce the number of times you have to go there
personally when issues have to be settled.

Maximizing your Video Conferencing Facilities

As more people are using video conferencing to do conduct brainstorming,
meetings and trainings so too are the number of video conferencing facilities
all across the country.

Some of these video conferencing facilities can be found in hotels and
universities. You have the option to use 3 ISDN lines to connect to another
party even if it is possible to do so using just one or two. The reason why
three are used though is to enhance the audio and visual quality that is
assuming that whoever you are talking to can accept all three.

The video conferencing facilities in some cases are open 24 hours a day 7 days
a week and charge on an hourly basis.

The rates vary depending on who will be renting the place so if you are a
student, it going to be much cheaper than the one that a corporation has to
pay. Weekday rates are also much cheaper than during weekends.

With the price you pay, you also get a technician to make sure that everything
is running smoothly. This person will come in handy should you be interacting
with more than three sites simultaneously as he or she will make sure that
there is a bridge connection.

People who will be renting a video conferencing facility should reserve early
so no one else will take their scheduled time. To avoid paying for the slot
allotted should there be a cancellation, you are advised to inform them.

To maximize the time in any video conferencing facility, someone should be
designated as moderator so the lecture or the objectives of the meeting are not

The setup of video conferencing facilities varies at each location. You will
have the basics like a camera, microphone, screen but the processor or codec
available depends on what they have chosen to buy and serve to the public.

If you are worried that people outside will hear what is happening inside, no
need to worry because most of these facilities are soundproof.

For those who are happy with the video conferencing facility they have rented,
you can ask the administration if there is a discount should this be used on a
regular basis. Some give this generously while others don't.

As for payment for the use of video conferencing facilities, the bill will only
be given to you after the conference has been concluded. This is because
although they know how long you will be using it, there are times that you may
have to extend beyond this time which they can honor as long as no one else
will be using it.

Given that there are a lot of video conferencing facilities around, what should
the basis be for choosing one venue over another one? Aside from price, you
should check what kind of equipment they use, if this is compatible with the
version that the party is using, if you are able to send and receive data as
well as the ability to record the meeting so this can be later reviewed.

If the video conferencing facility is up to standards, then you can see how
things work out and decide whether or not to use them again in the future. If
you are not content, look in the directory or surf online because there is sure
to be another venue that can offer something better so you can maximize the time
you have during your video conference.

How to Look for Video Conferencing Equipment

Video conferencing equipment that is used in one location is different from
another. If you plan to get one for the office, you should decide whether to
buy a PC based system, a portable, a rollabout or an installed system.

Just to give you an idea, a PC based system can accommodate one or two people,
the portable is good for two to eight, the rollabout is for three to fifteen
while the installed system can be used by 20 or more participants.

You should also get the right sized monitor so everyone will have a good view
of whatever is projected on the screen. Most video conferences use a 20 or 35
inch monitor but since this is still small when there are many people, the
solution is to get an LCD projector.

When you have decided which one to get, the next thing you have to be concerned
about is the bandwidth because the faster it is the better so you are able to
compress audio and video signals and connect in real time.

Most video conferences today use two ISDN lines at the same so if you don't
want to see any blurred movement, it is best that these transmissions move at
768k to 1.5 megabytes per second.

The codec is considered to be the most important of all the equipment in video
conferencing. When you are looking for one, you should make sure that it is
compatible with the other versions in the market.

You should also check if the system you get supports full duplex audio and
digital echo cancellation so you get to see and hear the other party clearly.

In order for the presentation to be a success, you need to have multiple
monitors and projectors. This will let you see the other party and a preview of
what you are showing next. This will prevent any mistakes and make sure that
everyone is listening to what you have to say.

But some people can use just one monitor instead of two. They just have to make
sure that the monitor they have has a picture in picture feature so get to see a
preview of what will be shared next.

In the event that you will be talking to more than one party, you must also
have a bridging system in place.

As for the camera, there are different types to choose from. You can get
multiple cameras to show different sides of the presentation if you have to
move or better yet get the robotic version that will automatically follow you.

The document camera is considered to be the a must in video conferences so that
aside from seeing your face on the screen, people will be able to see the visual
aids that you have prepared.

Lastly, you may want to have a phone line so if you have to take a call, you
can do so during the presentation. But if you will be talking to a lot of
people as well, this can also be done through the bridging.

The price of video conferencing equipment varies but the prices these days are
more affordable than they were 10 years ago. People have noticed a huge growth
in 2006 versus 2005 and this is expected to continue as more people are willing
to use such a system.

Online Video Conferencing

Online video conferencing can only work after you set up your computer with an
Internet connection and a few other items. These include camera, microphone,
speakers and teleconferencing software so you are able to talk to each other
and send data files.

The ability of this technology to share data enables both sides to see the same
thing and input revisions instantaneously. This is known as document sharing or
collaboration that happens to be a standard feature in most online video
conferencing packages today.

For those who want more than point to point document sharing, there is multi-
point document sharing. This means having three or more participants work on
the same thing all at once. The best part with point to point or multi-point is
the fact that the users do not have to stop what they are doing during file
transfers so they can carry on with the rest of their work.

Another feature with online video conferencing is real time chat. You may
already be familiar with this if you have ever used IRC or yahoo messenger in
the past as it allows you to send short text messages. If you are speaking to
one party and have to respond to someone else, you can use this without cutting
anyone off.

Similar to document sharing or collaboration is whiteboard. Here, you can share
documents, edit texts, make graphical diagrams and a whole lot more. You can
make corrections by clicking or writing something so everything is accurate.

Other features of online video conferencing programs include online
directories, special dialing options, and address books. Again, this depends on
the package you choose to get if your company is willing to invest in such a

The most expensive thing to buy when you are looking for an online video
conferencing system is the audio and video system. This is because you want to
see and hear the other person clearly. Also, the more expensive versions don't
use that much of your computer's processor.

When searching for the ideal system, talk to different companies and providers.
This will enable you to compare their prices and what comes with their packages.

The best part about online video conferencing is that it is easy to use after
it has been installed. Just be sure that your processor surpasses the minimum
requirement so the software is able to run properly without any glitches.

As for your network connection, make sure the company is using LAN (local area
network) or a high speed cable modem. After all, you want to talk to the other
party in real time as well as send and receive files.

Last but not the least is the online video conferencing software you will be
using. If you choose one system, make sure it is compatible with those provided
by other companies so there are no limitations to what you are using.

Surprisingly, compatibility issues extend to the hardware category as well so
keep that in mind when you are shopping.

Online video conferencing allows you to work from different locations without
having to pay for airfare and travel expenses that cost a company thousands of
dollars a year. If you are not sure yet about getting such a system, you can
check out venues that offer this kind of service.

Financial Costs and Benefits of Video Conferencing

Video conferencing has been one of the most sought after technologies that are
being used today not only in home setting but also in medium to large scale
businesses. If you are one of those who are planning to take advantage of this
relatively new means of communication, two of the major factors that you should
consider are the financial costs and benefits of video conferencing.

More and more people are now into video conferencing because they are finally
seeing its benefits and advantages. However, no matter hoe advantageous video
conferencing is, there will still be major things to be considered to ensure
that you will benefit more than you have spent for the technology.

Financial cost of video conferencing

Video conferencing refers to a means of communication that enables two or more
people to a conversation in a real time. It involves the use of a high capacity
personal computer, a web camera, a microphone, and high speed broadband
connection to the Internet. Aside from these video conferencing equipment that
have been mentioned, essential tools for making a video conference work are the
equipment to be used, the video conferencing systems, and the video conferencing
services offered by various people that are in the field of Information and

When it comes to financial cost of video conferencing, you will need to prepare
or set budget for it. Before making any decision, make sure that you yourself
understand everything about it. Don't be overwhelmed too much by its
convenience because you might be paying more than what you need and expect.

The major factor for financial cost in video conferencing is how much would the
equipment would cost. Since you will be getting transmission -- both audio and
video -- in real-time, you need high capacity personal computer that would
amount to $500 to $1000 depending on the brand its specifications. Since video
conferencing involves face to face meetings, you will be needing a web camera
to capture the image/s and send it back to the other party.

A typical webcam can cost from $100 and above depending on its size and
capability. For voice communication, you will need microphones that can either
be tabletop or wireless that would range from $150 to $300 depending on its
capabilities and brand name. Other major expenses would include a video, a wall
mount, and speakers which don't require too much sophistication and budget.

Aside from video conferencing equipment, another major cost for video
conferencing is the need for high speed lines or ISDN to ensure that there will
be efficient, fast, and hassle free communication. You can look for video
conferencing providers online that can suit your video conferencing needs and
offer packages and discounts for you to choose from. The price of video
conferencing services could amount from $200 to $1000 depending on its timely

Benefits of Video Conferencing

Although video conferencing would cost you a lot of money from the installation
process to the equipment, services, and system requirements, these cannot amount
to the benefits you can get for your business.

The major benefits of video conferencing include ensuring that there will be
increased productivity because people don't have to spend so much time
traveling for meetings and conferences. A lot of savings in terms of
eliminating travel costs and allowances in lengthy trips during meetings.

It helps save a lot of time because people can transact businesses without
having to spend so much time getting to the place of the meeting and ensured
safety of the people involved because they will no longer have to risk their
lives during travels just to close a deal or meet a client.

These are just some of the benefits of video conferencing. If you are a
business owner, it is always best to conduct a study or a research first about
the financial cost or benefits of video conferencing to ensure that you are
making a good business move and decision.

Video Teleconferencing, the Basics

Is there a difference between video conferencing and video teleconferencing?
The answer is no because it is the same thing. The system enables two parties
or more to communicate with each other and see each other face to face.

Making a call using this system is very similar to a telephone call. Once you
make a connection, you are able to see the other party then talk to them or
transfer files also known as document sharing or white boarding.

This works by compressing video systems with the help of codecs that provide
high quality picture and sound at no extra cost to the user. Aside from the
codec, the user will also need a monitor, a camera, microphone, speaker and the
network connection.

With the tool in hand, you are able to use the time you have more productively,
save millions of dollars in travel expenses, have shorter meetings and make it
easy to call one whenever it is needed as well an increase your connection with
the outside world.

You also won't have a hard time looking for a provider when there are so many
around. You just have to decide to decide whether or not you will be
transmitting this either through ISDN (integrated services digital network) or
IP (network protocol). For your information, most companies in the US use IP
networks compared to the latter.

Despite its advantages, there are some who are skeptic about the idea of video
teleconferencing. This is as some people find it hard to organize one when the
group is scattered in different time zones. If this is not done properly, the
anticipated goals or objectives will not be met. Also, there are things beyond
their control like technical problems that could interrupt the meeting.

But despite these concerns, this has not damaged its potential and popularity.
The federal government and some educational institutions have approved funding
to be used by other schools, colleges and libraries. It has also been used in
the healthcare industry and judicial proceedings.

This helps train students, provides assistance to colleagues in the medical
field when there is a situation that requires the advice of those experienced
in the matter and provide testimony to those being tried for crimes that have
been committed.

For offices that cannot afford video teleconferencing or unsure about getting
one, they can first try using it by going to a facility that allows guests to
use it. Given that the meeting will not take that long, you are usually charged
an hourly rate. It is best to make a reservation days in advance and cancel at
least a day before to avoid paying for the reserved time.

Video teleconferencing is one of the newest things that are being used today.
Corporations are encouraged to use t o it because in business, this could mean
the difference between their survival and success in the market.

How management acts on a situation is up to them since this is merely a tool
just like the telephone or email to get your message to other members of the
organization, clients and suppliers.

Everyone should remember that the success of any meeting regardless if this is
video teleconferencing or in another form depends on the moderator or the
host's to make it interesting and make sure everyone is paying attention.
Otherwise, you are simply wasting your resources in getting one that costs

Video Conferencing Tools That You Need

What is the difference between video conferencing equipment and video
conferencing tools? When we talk about equipment, we are referring to the
hardware and software that is used to make this happen. But when we talk about
tools, these are things that you can add to enrich the video conferencing

How do you enrich this experience? By using software programs that can do more
than just let you see and hear the other person.

A good example is when you are talking to someone and then another person comes
along. You don't want to end one conversation just to begin with another so the
best thing for you to do is to chat with the other party by sending text

Another tool is the ability of the program to have an interactive whiteboard so
both sides can see the same document and make changes instantaneously. This is
useful when you are finalizing the paperwork of any project that will be

Sometimes, you want to express to people how you feel and instead of seeing
this in your face, you can do this by using emotional icons or emoticons.

It will also be cool to have a video conferencing tool that allows you to surf
the web. This will be useful when you need to put in additional information or
have suddenly found new ones that should also be mentioned.

Majority of the video conferencing tools can be found online and downloaded
into your computer. Some offer a 30 day trial and charge around $20 to $30

Some examples of these include Acrobat Connect Pro formerly known as Breeze,
Horizon Live Classroom, WebEx, Microsoft Live Meeting and Marratech. You can
try your luck to see if there are freeware tools around as well so you can use
these tools for free. Some examples of these include Web diagnostics, AB Cam,
Motion Detection and Instant Translator.

Since there are quite many and it is really hard to pick one, narrow down your
choices by asking friends and family who have used this before or read reviews
that have been posted. Eventually, you will be able to find the right software
that has the video conferencing tools you are looking for so can get the most
out of this system.

When downloading any of these tools, make sure that your PC meets the minimum
requirements that are needed to make it work. Otherwise, you are wasting your
time getting something you can't use in the first place.

Many people perceive video conferencing as a virtual trip that can take you to
different parts of the globe. This is perhaps because you connect with people
not only in the US but also in other countries making distance no longer an

The video conferencing tools mentioned can do a lot for those that use this
medium to finish a project, conduct in house training or make a business
decision. Of course these tools will not function on their own since you have
to learn how to use them. The best part about any of these is that they all
user-friendly so you don't have to attend a class to learn how to use the

You just have to be patient and eventually, you will be able to use this to its
full potential.

Video Conferencing Technology in Todays World

There was a time talking on the phone was the fastest way to communicate with
internal and external customers. This has changed thanks to video conferencing
technology because you don't only get voice but visual as well.

During the early days, picture and audio quality was not very good. With the
latest improvements in technology, these barriers have been overcome and more
people are already using it.

The biggest benefit of video conferencing is that it reduces the cost of
traveling. No longer do you have to fly off somewhere to have a meeting when
you can do all that in the conference room. This can also be used by law
enforcement to get the testimony of a witness, to teach students who are
enrolled in distance education and a lot more.

Video conferencing technology is not possible unless you have the proper
equipment. These include the Codec, the camera, microphone, network connection,
stands or charts, terminal adapter and the acoustic echo cancellers. Let's talk
about each of them.

The Codec is one of the most important components because this is what
compresses the information sent and received you are able to understand each

The camera is what you look into so the other party is able to see you while
the microphone is what you speak into so they can hear you through their

The terminal adapter is needed so you can transmit data into the required
format so just like the Codec, you will be able to communicate with the other

Lastly, is the echo canceller that is usually hung in the ceiling that is
designed to provide clarity and depth to the resonant frequency response of
your audio sub system.

Since its inception more than10 years ago, some of these machines are much
smaller and more efficient than their predecessors. The price of the equipment
has also gone down so you are sure to find something that is very affordable
for your budget.

Once the technician from your desired provider installs the system, you can run
this machine on your own as it is very user friendly.

But despite the trend, there are those who are concerned about this technology.

For one, since you see the person on the other end and vice versa, some are
concerned that no eye contact gives the wrong impression that you are not
interested in what the individual on the other end is saying. The same goes for
body movement as some people believe it or not, are not comfortable being in
front of the camera.

These issues will be overcome in the future as companies who are providing
video conferencing technology are coming up with ways to solve it or after the
user gets used to talking to someone while in front of the camera.

Video conferencing technology has an impact in business, education, law
enforcement, in medicine and other fields. You have probably used it also at
home to talk to friends and loved ones because there are software applications
that allow you to do the same thing.

Using video conferencing technology does not only save money but it also
increases productivity and at the same time builds relationships because it
breaks down boundaries caused by distance and time zones. It is truly one of
the marvels of the digital age.

Video Conferencing System, What you Need to Know

Some of the video conferencing system available today enables the use to add
capabilities that will make the presentations and conferences more powerful.
From the typical face-to-face conversation with the other parties, reliable and
fast video conferencing system will ensure that these will be more efficient and
effective. Some video conferencing system also enables you to communicate with
the world while maintaining some privacy.

Finding the right video conferencing system

For a video conferencing to be hassle free, efficient, and fast, one needs a
reliable video conferencing system that offers the proper service and will give
beneficial results.

For those who are looking for a reliable video conferencing system, they must
first conduct as research about the video conferencing systems that are
available in the market. Browsing various sites in the Internet can do this
research. Here, there are literally thousands of resources and information that
can give you an idea what to expect.

Aside from online research, you can also get information on video conferencing
system by reading computer books and Information Technology (IT) magazines.
Here, there are individualized articles that explain a specific topic. Choose
those that talk about a video conferencing system because those are the ones
that have in depth information on the topic.

Another means of getting information on video conferencing systems by asking a
friend or a person you know who is knowledgeable on it. People who are into IT
have wider knowledge about it can give you honest reviews and comments on the
video conferencing systems available. They can even refer a specific vendor or
provider of video conferencing system, which can help you save time, effort,
and money on researching.

If you still don't know what you need, you can start by understanding what is a
video conferencing system fully. Once you know what is it and how does it work,
you can proceed to the next level and choose from the videoconferencing systems
available on the market. The following are just some of the video conferencing
systems that you can choose from:

- Profile Series. This video conferencing system has a complete HD group system
  along with a flat panel display, slim and classy that is perfect for any

- Edge Series. This, on the other hand, has easy-to-install group HD system
  that is ideal for flat panel displays that ensures superior performance.

- Set-Top Series. It has easy-to-install group systems, which are ideal not
  only for flat panels but also in standard displays.

- Centric series. This video conferencing system is considered as persistent
  lasting tool right any desk because of its productivity and flexibility that 
  is created for individual workspaces.

- Public Series. This video conferencing system is a fully-integrated solution
  that is created to work on spaces that are public. Here, information on
  products and services can be tapped from the experts.

- Industry Products. These video conferencing systems are created healthcare,
  education, public safety and others tat are of priority because it enables 
  fast system that aids real time training and decision making.

- Integration Packages. These are integration-ready video conferencing systems,
  which give superior interoperability along with mountable racks, portable
  systems, and codecs.

- Portables. These systems are quite ideal for special events, presentations,
  and demonstrations because its features are fully functionality and handy.

- Video Telephony. This type of video conferencing system has the benefits of
  call management systems as well as of those visual communication systems.

Understanding Video Conferencing Software

With the emergence of virtual meetings, more and more people are still finding
ways to improve the system. These people are IT technicians that continue to
develop systems wherein people can benefit from faster and more efficient means
of communication. In virtual communications, IT experts are more into developing
better videoconferencing software because this is the major indicator how
reliable the service would be.

Video conferencing software refers to the software that is used to communicate
virtually. These come in different sizes and speed depending on the creator. In
the Internet today, there are so many most reliable sources of video
conferencing needs. Majority of them offer a complete package inclusive of
reliable video conferencing software that is compatible to all integrated

These sources are also offer complete multi-vendor management that has a
secure, fully-integrated browser that is web-based. Its applications provide
complete management of video communications and its systems as well as other IP

Aside from providing video conferencing software, majority of the vendors also
offer scheduling devices that serves as a scheduler for that user or its
administrators. This involves a "time zone aware" and provides strong
"point-to-point" as well as "multipoint" scheduling capabilities such as
elimination of forward calling, intelligently planning of schedule, resource
assignment, and calls establishment as well as re-routing of calls that are
missed or failed.

When you download or buy video conferencing software, it also comes with a
reporting device that has strong reporting using graphics. Through this, other
formats can be integrated and formatted using tracks and service levels.

Choosing video conferencing software

Reliable video conferencing software is an integral part of successful video
conferencing. This is why you have to be very careful in choosing which video
conferencing software to use and where to buy it. Make sure that before you buy
any video conferencing software, you conduct a simple research first for you to
have an idea which one will suit your needs.

Research can be done by surfing the Internet and browsing various websites that
talk about video conferencing as well as video conferencing software. Usually,
the websites that contain these pieces information also suggest vendors where
you can buy. When browsing, take note of the name or names of possible vendors
and their links.

Once you get a considerable list of vendors, you can visit the link and look
for yourself what each and every one of them has to offer. If you want to get
opinions, you can visit the site's testimonial page or create your own forum.
You can also attend a crash course or online class on video conferencing or
read from resource materials such as computer books and IT magazines for more

When buying video conferencing software, look for the one that include
integrated flawlessly, has full features, and has multiple parties. Since this
will be a solution wherein all participants and presenters connect to it using
one web browser, other parties -- those who wish to be seen -- should use the
industry standard that involves using a USB web cam.

Another major consideration in buying video conferencing software is that it
should have the capability of managing all aspects that include audio video
conferencing and its size, quality, and its frame rate.

These are very important considerations because you need a reliable system
during meetings and get things done as soon as possible.

Video Conferencing Setup 101

With the rising price of oil in the world market, companies have to cut down on
certain expenses in order to show a profit. You can cut down the number of times
that an employee travels on business trips and instead have a video conferencing
facility setup that accomplishes the same objective.

But how do you setup video conferencing? The easiest way of saying it is simply
by buying the equipment, having it installed and letting someone in the office
take care of it. But it is not that simple. There are things you have to aware
of first so you are able to purchase the right system.

Let's first talk about the devices that are used to make this work. There are
three types namely desktop, small group and learn group. Naturally, the prices
of each one varies but the common denominator is the fact that they can be used
over ISDN or IP.

When you have chosen which of the three you want, the next hurdle is to work on
the bandwidth. A T-1 for instance fives you only one line of communication. What
if you need to speak with different offices simultaneously? For that you will
need a T-3 or higher.

If you are having problems with your IP network since it is not able to handle
the additional traffic, the best thing for you to do is to get circuit switched
networks or to deploy additional IP bandwidth capacity.

Earlier, we mentioned ISDN and IP networks. What is the difference? ISDN stands
for integrated services digital network. IP on the other hand stands for
Internet protocol.

Video conferencing through ISDN happens as you are able to integrate both
analog or voice data together with digital data over the same network. This
means you are able to encompass frame relay service for high speed data in
large bursts.

This can also be done using your IP network which is very similar to how you
are able to browse the web. In the US, more people use IP's compared to ISDN
but in Europe, this is the exact opposite because it happens to be much cheaper
than IP's.

When you are budgeting how much will be needed for video teleconferencing
setup, you have to break down the fixed acquisition costs from the recurring
costs. The fixed cost depends largely on how many units you will be ordering.
There is also the license that you have to get that is $250 to $40,000 each and
if you are a very large company, you might just exceed $100,000 per package
since you also have to consider the hardware and software components needed.

Is it worth all that just to have video conferencing? A lot of people say yes
because their employees are more productive, decisions are made quickly and the
company saves money.

In fact, private companies are not the only one using it as the government, the
education and the healthcare sector have also taken advantage of this to conduct
hearings, teach children and help patients.

If you want to know more about video teleconferencing setup and how much it
will cost, go look for vendors and ask them for an estimate. After comparing
the quotes from various companies, surely you can find the right one that fits
within your budget.

How to Choose Video Conferencing Services

Some of the reliable vendors and providers of video conferencing systems and
services include Aethra, which come up with modern effective video conferencing
service as well as equipment, the Alcatel-Lucent which is an established
provider of voice conferencing services such as data, voice, and other video
communications to thousands of applications, programs, and devices, that
requires a network, and so many others. You can find a list of reputable and
reliable vendors and providers of video conferencing services on line.

By surfing the Internet and by browsing some of the websites that offer video
conferencing services, you can get details first before you finally avail of
any services out there.

How to choose video conferencing services

Just like in buying video conferencing equipment, choosing video conferencing
services requires a lot of planning, research, and preparation. If you are
planning to avail any video conferencing services, make sure that you have
conducted a simple research about the vendors that offer them because by doing
this, you will have an idea what to expect. Aside from conducting a research on
video conferencing services, consider the following tips in choosing which one
will suit your video conferencing needs:

1. Ask the opinion of the people involved. If you are in an office setting, it
is best to ask for suggestions from your staff. By doing this, you can get
various ideas which will determine what are the best services for you
communication needs. If you are doing business at home, ask your spouse what he
or she thinks about it and get some suggestions. Asking for the opinions of
people involved also means that you are getting their approval. If they are
okay with the video conferencing services you have chosen, this will ensure
harmony and cooperation from all parties.

2. Have a budget planning. Availing video conferencing services can cost
thousands of dollars. To avoid spending too much that what you should spend, it
is best to have your budget planned. Once a budget is set, your options will be
limited and you can choose which is the best for you and for your budget as

3. Ask meetings from several vendors and providers of video conferencing
services. You can list down five to 10 vendors/suppliers/providers of video
conferencing services and set for a short meeting. Here, you can gauge the
willingness of the provider and you will have an idea what to expect from each
and every one of them. Before going to the scheduled meeting, make sure that
you have listed all the questions that you have in mind. The answers to these
questions can help you make wise decisions later on. You can also get
quotations and estimates from the video conferencing services they offer.

4. Inform the provider about the set up of your office or organization. By
doing this, the provider of the video conferencing services will be fully aware
what are the needs of your office and business set up. You can even ask the
provider right away if they can provide the video conferencing services that
you need.

5. Have an idea what is/are the limitations of the video conferencing services
offered to you. This is very important to know from the very beginning because
these will determine the success or failure of your future business

What you Need to Know About Video Conferencing Service

When you want to conduct a video conference but do not have the equipment in
the office to handle it, don't worry because there are places that offer their
video conferencing services to those who need it.

You can check out a number of hotels or in universities that are near your
office is. Given that video conferencing is one of the trends these days, most
of them make sure that they use state of the art equipment and tools so you get
value for your money.

Some of these include the use of multiple ISDN lines instead of just one as
this improves the audio and visual quality.

When you are looking for a video conferencing service, find out what are their
operating hours as some are open only during the day while there are others
that offer this 24/7. Naturally how much they charge is also important because
you don't want to spend too much the first time you are trying it.

If you like the venue and the service they provided, you can probably ask for a
discount as you will become a regular here. You could get lucky and get 25% to
50% the regular rate they offer but again, this can only happen if you are
happy with your first experience with them.

While some video conferencing services charge on an as is basis, there are
others who will even offer a technician to help you use their system. Having
someone there will make you feel at ease should something go wrong in the
middle of the presentation since he or she could fix the problem at once and
the meeting can continue.

Billing for video conferencing services is on an hourly basis so you only pay
after you business has been concluded.

Since there are a lot of people who use video conferencing services instead of
buying one of their own, it is advisable to get in touch with whoever is charge
of the place you will be going to days in advance so your slot has also be

If the place is booked, you must wrap up 5 minutes before so the next group can
also prepare. If you have to cancel, call the video conferencing service again
so you don't have to pay for the time allotted.

More people are beginning to see the benefits of using video conferencing. This
allows you to save money instead of paying for airfare and other travel expenses
just to have a meeting at the same time makes those working or teaching more

This is the reason that those involved in healthcare have also begun using
video conferencing to communicate with other experts when it comes to finding a
cure for a disease or in other research areas. In fact, the judiciary has even
used this to get the testimonies of witnesses.

Video conferencing equipment could cost you $100,000 or more and if you do not
use it regularly, it is not worth buying. Instead, you can rent it as there are
those who offer video conferencing services at affordable rates. You just have
to find them, make an inquiry, reserve a slot and then use it.

Afterwards, you be the judge if you want to use them again in the future or not.

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