IP or H.323 videoconferencing allows people to connect their videoconference equipment over the internet.
IP video conferencing (IP VC) is video conferencing over the IP network. Often referred to as H.323 conferencing, it has quickly become the standard for video conferencing in most higher education environments. Video Conferencing over an existing IP network is the most cost effective way to communicate with good quality real time audio and video.
Recent advances in the telecommunications industry allow high quality audio and video to traverse IP networks everywhere from the best corporate network to the small school house in the country.
The best selling feature of IP VC is that after your existing network is up and running, the cost of real time audio and video communication is limited to how much you want to spend on your video conferencing equipment. Once the equipment is installed and configured, the cost of conducting a video conference is over.Other benefits of H.323 can be better audio and video. Much work has been put into this standard to make it the standard of the future. When specific attention is paid to network design, this standard is very stable also.
Today, you can start an IP videoconference anywhere and at anytime from your desktop, from a room down the hall, or from any room on campus where there is a decent network connection.
Personal H.323-compliant videoconferencing systems start at just a few hundred dollars.
A typical business-quality videoconference runs at 384 Kbps (Kilobits per second) and can deliver TV-quality video at 30 frames per second. So in theory, an ordinary hard-wired Ethernet connection would work, and often does, when the the shared Ethernet subnetwork is not busy.
Cable modems and DSL connections also work, although you can not always guarantee that the commodity Internet the regular Internet that most people outside of academia and research institutions use, will be able to sustain the minimal bandwidth requirements.
Videoconferencing system components
H.323 is an umbrella standard that specifies mandatory and optional requirements, as well as four major components: terminals, gateways, gatekeepers and multi-point control units.
The main components of a basic videoconferencing system are:
a video camera : preferably, a pan, tilt and zoom (PTZ) camera
.Some applications may require multiple cameras or a document camera, like an Elmo.
a video display : which for personal computer systems is just your monitor, or large monitors, or for a room-based system, a computer projector (if NTSC (TV) monitors are used, opt for models with S-Video ports (for best quality) and picture-in-picture (to see yourself and the remote site)
audio components : without audio, the conference is useless, microphones and speakers, or a headset for personal use, you need simultaneous two-way (full-duplex) audio, preferably with echo cancellation
the codec (compressor/decompressor) : the codec is the heart of a videoconferencing system, prefer hardware codec over software-only codec.A hardware codec is essentially a board that you install on your personal computer, or one that comes built-in on some products
the user interface :the user interface is typically very intuitive, allows you to interoperate with other H.323 terminals, provides a "dial" menu, address books and aliases
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