Elements of Video Conferencing: An Overview of Technical and Office Requirements for VC

Posted by on July 15th, 2021 in Blog Posts, Unified Communications, Video Conferencing

Video conferencing has become a standard meeting modality for businesses today. Bringing together people from multiple locations, the business benefits of adopting video conferencing are numerous. From managing remote workers to building more substantial teams, this technology can transform day-to-day operations. To reap the full benefits of video conferencing, however, certain elements must be in place. 

Tech Elements

Video conferencing shares video and audio between users by capturing the analog video and audio data, compressing it, transferring it over the internet to the other users, decompressing the data, and then translating it all back into analog video and audio receiving users. All parties involved in a call must have the appropriate hardware and software for video conferencing to work effectively. Without the following elements, video conferencing will likely not be successful: 

  • Internet: The data for video conferencing must be transmitted over a network. Therefore, a high-speed internet connection is necessary for smooth calls. High-speed internet will help ensure users don’t experience latency issues that result in delayed or glitchy video and audio. 
  • Video-Input: Each person or team involved in a video conferencing call must have a video camera or webcam connected to their computers. Users can also use projectors and interactive whiteboards. The device should have a relatively high resolution so that participants can see one another. 
  • Audio Input: Each user must have a microphone to capture their audio. The microphone can be on their computer, a headset, an external microphone, etc. Microphones should be of high quality and placed in a location to capture and produce clear audio.
  • Video Output: After a video is transferred from one user to the others, it must be displayed. Therefore, some form of video output is necessary, such as a computer monitor, projector display, or other screen or monitor type. 
  • Audio Output: Like the video output, the audio also needs an output after being carried from the speaker to the other users. The audio production might take external speakers, headphones, or built-in speakers on the device (e.g., computer, laptop, mobile device). 
  • Echo reduction/cancellation software: This software enables video conferencing to occur in real-time by reducing and canceling audio echoes and delays, resulting in clearer audio that minimizes the risk of misunderstandings.
  • Codec: Codec refers to the coder-decoder technology that compresses the video and audio data into the digital packets sent to the receiving users and then decompresses the data to see the video and hear the audio in real-time. 

Office Elements

In addition to the technology involved in video conferencing, important office and managerial elements promote effective calls. 

  • Training: As with all new technology, training on how to use it properly. Without training, they may be hesitant to try video conferencing or may not utilize it as effectively as possible. 
  • IT Support: Audio and video feedback and other issues can be familiar with video conferencing. Having IT support available can help address these issues quickly so participants can get back to their call.
  • Guidelines & Protocols: Having a set of video conferencing guidelines, processes, or protocols that all employees follow will help calls run more smoothly and reduce the need for IT support. This is especially useful when using integrated video conferencing systems (i.e., when the system is housed in a conference room and used by multiple employees).
  • Management: For integrated video conferencing systems, companies must actively manage the environment. This includes maintaining a schedule for the video conferencing room; ensuring the room is arranged appropriately; monitoring the video conferencing hardware, software, and network to ensure it is always working correctly, replacing equipment when needed; and encouraging protocols. 

With the above technology and office elements in place, companies can have a smooth experience adopting and using video conferencing. 

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