Tips and Training >> Definitions >> Videoconferencing

What is Videoconferencing?

Videoconferencing is the use of communications technologies to enable a session in which users can see and hear one another simultaneously. Generally, the products and software that enable this are called videoconference products although some of these products may be solely for displaying images, producing audio, or transmitting information. When integrated together as a single system, all of these components form a videoconference system.

Videoconferencing in practice includes using microphones, cameras, software and hardware to both transmit and receive images between two or more locations. This can be between participants that use computers only as their videoconference equipment or between users that use entire conference rooms with multiple displays, cameras and microphones to conduct the videoconferencing session.

Reliability of Videoconferencing

Videoconferencing takes a number of forms including connections between computer users, connections between set top systems and even "Telepresence systems".

Software products such as Skype and FaceTime can be easy to use but because they depend on computer or tablet configuration and network connection at the time of the video connection, they can be unreliable. Although videoconferencing sessions can be arranged and conducted quickly and at low cost using these software based products, ensuring the successful transmission of both video and audio between locations generally requires some advance preparation and possibly engineering.

Alternatively, reliable videoconferencing can be achieved between engineered systems that are set up, tested and prepared for each meeting session. Engineering generally includes a keen focus on network bandwidth, physical connections to displays and network and audio systems. Telepresence systems, for example, are highly engineered and generally produce both excellent video and audio quality for each videoconferencing session.

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