A small view on video conferencing and its equipment

The video conferencing is the interactive tool incorporating the technology of audio, video and computers with communication technology to allow people in different location to hold meeting on real time.  Documents, sounds and pictures can be shared by a group all at the same time, either via free video conferencing facility online or video conference in a business setup.

The first type of audio video conferencing goes back 1960’s when the company AT & T introduced their picture phone and to see the person on the other end of the line at the World Fair in New York.  This device made it possible to speak to each other and see each other at the other end of the line at the same time.  Video conferencing will be sold for $160 a month in 1970.

Video conferencing devices process and compress audio and video signals so these signals can be transmitted over different existing telecommunication existing all over the world. 

The technology is fairly complicated and hard to understand but the video conferencing basics are that video and audio signals get sent to a device called a codec (meaning a coder and decoder). These signals are processed by the codec and passed on to other people who are in connection with the codec via computers or a video screen.

The definition of video conferencing is that three more sites except for a sender can connect at the same time through a video bridge called a Multi-Point Control Unit (MCU). This bridge ensures that data such as sound and images will be transmitted correctly via the so-called codec, to other people using the video conferencing system. Devices needed to establish a video conference are:

  • A codec device
  • A camera
  • A speaker
  • A microphone
  • A monitor to display images
  • Compression software processing the images and sound sent by the codec
  • A telecommunication network

Most phone companies offer digital networks capable of supporting videoconferencing.  Some of the important tools for video conferencing include Microsoft Live Meeting, GoToMeeting, Central Desktop.  Adobe Acrobat Connect, Ready Talk, Yugma and Glance.  There are many other tools available which can be selected by the factors and the required needs.  Adobe Acrobat connect is the popular video conferencing tool.  It is compatible with both windows and Mac Operating systems.  At a time it is possible to do video conferencing with 15 people.  It also provides white board capabilities.  Another tool is Acrobat Connect professional.  It is actually rebranded version of Macromedia Breeze.   With the help of this tool you can do video conferencing with 2,500 people maxmum.  Another video conferencing tool Central Desktop.

It has got a number of features. It includes wiki style editing, tracking of project status, and document archiving. By using this tool you can conduct web meetings with 10 attendees maximum. It supports almost all browsers. But in order to conduct the web meeting you require Java Runtime v1.1 or higher. It is also integrated with popular Instant Messaging networks like MSN messenger, Yahoo messenger, AIM and ICQ.

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