What is Video Conferencing?

What is video conferencing?

Video conferencing is a communication technology that integrates voice and video to connect the remote users with each other via internet as they are in the same room. Each user needs a computer, microphone, web cam and a broadband internet connection for participating in the video conferencing. Users at both the ends see and hear each other in real time allowing natural conversation. Many communication companies have been dabbling in video conferencing technology.

Good bandwidth is needed for high quality of the video conferencing. Video conferencing got more popularity with the release of Microsoft Net meeting. Now currently there are a numbers of companies that are promoting the video conferencing software.

Video conferencing is very appealing to the educational and business sector. Video conferencing made it possible to bring the users closer (virtually face to face) hence saving the cost and time. Many universities have adopted video conferencing as an educational tool. Businessmen around the world use video conferencing to keep in touch with other people.

Video conferencing is in more demanding phase and more video conferencing applications and technologies are in the development and improvement process. Eventually video conferencing will allow the creation of the virtual cities, online places where people can work together without the need of physically present in the same premises. Using a computer, video camera and a broadband internet connection, you can establish a video conferencing connection.

Video conferencing is a very useful communication method because it can save the time and traveling cost of the people. A video conference between two people is known as point-to-point and among the more people is known as multipoint conference. Besides the audio and video transmission between the people, videoconferencing is also used to share the documents, computer displayed information.

More improvement is being made in the videoconferencing applications by which people can work and manipulate on the same documents and computer applications at the same time. IEEE gives standard and guidance for the development of videoconferencing. The H.320 standard tells that how video conferencing operates over ISDN telephone circuits. The H.323 standard tells how videoconferencing operates over the Internet (TCP/IP or IP).

The quality of the videoconferencing depends on the characteristics of the circuit between the conferencing sites. In H.323 world, a high quality conference needs about 768Kbs of bandwidth. In the universities and college campuses a higher bandwidth connection of 10Mbs is required.

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The Basics of Video Conferencing

Modern business operations all share the same rapidly depleting commodity: Time. When time is leveraged, productivity and output invariably increases within a business organization. Technology continues to provide workers and businesses with new tools to help leverage time. Video conferencing could prove to be one of the most important time leveraging business tools of the 21st century.

Once a luxury for only the largest companies, video conferencing is beginning to change the landscape of how businesses communicate with both employees and clients. In its simplest form, video conferencing allows two individuals to be thousands of miles apart yet still effectively communicate as if they were in the same room. Systems in use today can now connect multiple parties across multiple continents – in real time with excellent and high quality video and audio.

The Origins of Video Conferencing

Video conferencing capabilities originated in the 1970s. Similar to every other technology in use today, video conferencing has changed dramatically since first being developed. Early proponents of video conferencing technology had no standards or protocols to rely on. This fact made a teleconference via video an expensive proposition – one that only huge companies and government agencies could afford. In a time where cell phones were still a decade away for most consumers and businesses, video teleconferences were few and far between.

Today, affordable networks and systems are widely available across the globe. Interoperability of video teleconferencing systems is virtually guaranteed now that standards and protocols have been clearly established.

Specific Standards and Protocols for Video Conferencing

To make any technology usable for the masses, standards and protocols are required to insure systems, software and hardware are ubiquitous across the board.

To help guarantee video teleconferencing compatibility between manufacturers, the International Telecommunications Union developed and defined a series of video conferencing standards. In place since the mid-1990s, current standards are defined in terms of H.3xx.

H.3xx are “umbrella” recommendations for video conferencing. They include the protocols for coding video/audio, multiplexing, signaling, and control.

The core H.3xx recommendations are as follows:

H.320 – Narrow-band video conferencing over circuit-switched networks (N-ISDN, SW56, dedicated networks) H.321 – Narrow-band video conferencing over ATM and B-ISDN H.323 – Narrow-band video conferencing over non-guaranteed quality-of-service packet networks (LAN, Internet, etc.) H.324 – Very narrow-band video conferencing over the general (dial-up) telephone network H.310 – Wide-band (MPEG-2) video conferencing over ATM and B-ISDN H.323 is a standard for audio, video, and data communication over IP-based (Internet Protocol) networks.

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PC Video Conferencing – Using The Computer As A Conferencing Tool

One of the best and the latest technologies in the area of video conferencing is PC video conferencing. This is the most cost effective method of video conferencing as all one needs is a web cam and a microphone along with an internet connection. Unlike other systems where an entire unit has to be set up such as video output devices and cameras the PC video conferencing, also known as desktop video conferencing, brings video conferencing right into your homes. IT experts have been working round the clock to develop the best PC video conferencing software all over the globe. Everyone seems to claim that they have the most advanced PC video conferencing software ever developed. However, you can be the best judge of their claims.

PC video conferencing software was Lunched a few years ago and is better known as P2P video-conferencing technology that integrates text chat, screen and document sharing and full session recording while remaining extremely easy and simple to use even for the people who are first timers to PC video conferencing. This Windows based software can be adapted to other operating systems such as Linux and Macs. Though PC video conferencing software is developed for few large and very prestigious corporations it is available for the large consumer market as well.

It is falsely believed by the man in the street that if PC video conferencing software doesn’t strike home fast and get a footing in the domestic market or gets new some funding from the government you won’t be able to buy PC video conferencing software for your own private use. But here is where they are all wrong. PC video conferencing software is available free for download on many sites on the Internet. PC video conferencing software is becoming so common that even the students in school are using it every day from out of cyber caf├ęs and even their own personal PC’s at home.

PC video conferencing software is a browser-based video conferencing application that requires a simple installation via an Internet Explorer active-X plug-in or a FireFox extension. If you don’t have the PC video conferencing software installed on your PC you can do so by going to the more popular sites such as Yahoo and Google or Skype and download their free versions of the PC video conferencing software. The downloading and installation is fully automated and you just have to sit back and watch the computer do it’s work. Once you have installed the software and are connected to the Internet you can take part in any PC video conferencing program on the Internet, of course you have to have access to the conference with a username or password.

Once launched the PC video conferencing software is very compact and simple to use. The few and simple controls PC video conferencing requires you to know are all easily accessible from the screen of the video window and they allow the user to freeze the video, mute the microphone or to access a simple menu containing access to the other key features of PC video conferencing.

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Be Confused No More – A Definition Of Video Conferencing

You forever hear the term but do you really understand it? The definition of video conferencing can be stated as the integration of audio, video and peripherals for the simultaneous communication of two or more persons who are connected by a particular telecommunication line.

In video conferencing, synchronized images and verbal communication are transmitted between two or more locations. Now that we have videoconferencing defined, how does videoconferencing work?

Why Video Conferencing Works For Many

For video conferencing to work, you would need microphones, video cameras, the necessary computer software, hardware and peripherals, along with the transmission lines for sending video conferencing information amongst video conferencing participants.

When holding a video conferencing event, a codec translates the analog information received by the microphones and video cameras into digital information, which is then transmitted to another codec that translates the digital information back to the original sounds and images, which the video conferencing participants can understand.

Video conferencing used to be more expensive than it is today, because T1, ATM and ISDN lines were used for video conferencing, and all of these were very costly. However, the emergence of the Internet has provided a cheaper solution for video conferencing, using web video conferencing. As a result, video conferencing has become more present in small businesses.

The problem with video conferencing is that the conversion of information from analog to digital format can result in the decreased video quality. The compression ratio is the most important factor in video conferencing. The higher the compression ratio, the faster the video conferencing information is transmitted, but the lower the video quality.

Video conferencing can be used for communication among groups of people. Video conferencing is also very useful in education. Video conferencing can make learning more fun, and video conferencing can work for different learning styles. Video conferencing also allows experts from remote places to talk in classes.

Video conferencing is the wave of the future. Make video conferencing work for you, know more about video conferencing, and make a step forward on improving your conferencing services.

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Why Video Conferencing in Educational Institutions?

As we open and peep into the News headlines every alternate day we see that all the nations small or big are implementing Video conferencing in important activities. There has been a drastic change in the approach of the political leaders in using Video Conferencing as a tool to acquire instant vision of the news as it happens. As Video conferencing is the only tool which can help to see and interact with the people in news instantly. Now it is to reiterate that Video Conferencing is becoming a common tool every where, whether it is much popular political leaders or health care of common man. Society where fast technology like 3G is being implemented and mobile video conferencing is more taking shape, schools play an important role where molding the children with trending technology becomes a responsibility.

The time is fast approaching that educators have to decide and plan how to use Video Conferencing, as they move ahead to implement educational videoconferencing programs.

As the child of today has to be proficient in diversified fields, the time, staff and the resources have to work in integration in order to make many concepts clear to the students. As the resources are scattered around the country and across the countries the sending the children to all the places is not possible as it involves expenses as well as time-consuming. Implementing Video Conferencing in Educational System as a powerful weapon can bring about awareness of skills and training programs for children through people who are proficient and are far of places from their class rooms.

Certain skills which are essential but are not covered in the syllabus can be made possible by Video Conferencing.

Personality Development: Presentation, speaking, memory techniques interacting with people and body language are the skills which are never taught at remote village schools and neither we can find any teacher who can train the children in these skills. Ultimately though the child is extraordinary in his academics he fails in presenting himself. These skills can be made available for the children at remote places by connecting remote schools through Video Conferencing for the classes.

Personal care, Health and Hygiene: There are many school dropouts in remote schools. It becomes major responsibility of the teacher working to ensure that the children are regular to school in what ever condition they are. Though the teacher tells them the importance of personal care and hygiene he /she cannot insist upon personal neatness with fear of child dropping from school. By implementing Video Conferencing and making the children interact with other children in various parts of the country, they get motivated and they understand the important of being hygienic. Here mission of the teacher becomes easier as he doesn’t talk but Video Conferencing talks every thing what he wants to say.

Collaboration of Videos, Audio and Content: Important subjective video, audio classes and the documents prepared are very difficult to find and identify. Once a set is made it can be shared across all the schools along with experts explanations through Video Conferencing as interactions and discussions on the topics with experts only can clear the doubts of children which is not possible in a normal schooling.

Role models: Children learn by seeing people who are already successful. They keep role models in their mind and love to see and interact with successful personalities. Very few lucky children have the chance to interact with such personalities. If the successful people interact with children through Video Conferencing many schools which are remote and cannot even afford to come out of their village will be able to see their dream come true to interact with their role models which brings about new confidence in them, which helps in molding them into a great citizens of the nation.

Inter school competitions: Arranging a competition and participating in a competition requires the children to go to the venue leaving their regular classes. But if it is academic competition other than sports all the academic competitions can be held in all the schools by connecting them through Video Conferencing where the children can see and interact with other children of different schools and have the same feeling as if the competition is in the same room.

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