Tips and Training >> Definitions >> Endpoint

What is an Endpoint in Video Conferencing?

Video conferencing systems that users control to make calls are generally called "Endpoints" or "Endpoint systems". This is an important distinction because an endpoint is where physical and logical connections to audio systems such as speakers and microphones are made. Additionally, a video conferencing endpoint must be connected to a display in order for video conference users to see and hear one another.

Endpoints are the "end of the line" for the video conferencing connection and this is quite different from other components of a video conferencing network such as gateways, or MCU's which are in the middle of video conferencing connections.

Can an Endpoint be Software on a Computer?

Yes. A video conferencing endpoint requires a codec such as an H.264 or H.263 codec. It also requires a network connection that supports multimedia such as an H.323 or H.320 connection to IP or ISDN lines. Plus a video conference endpoint requires three very important additional items: a microphone, a speaker, and a display.

A computer can, and often does, have all of these components. Polycom's PVX software for Windows based PCs and X-Meeting for the Mac enable software clients on computer to act as video conferencing endpoints.

What are some Hardware Endpoints?

Some example hardware endpoints are:

  • LifeSize: Room System
  • Polycom: HDX 9004
  • Tandberg: C-40
  • Sony: PCS-XG80

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