What is a Video Conference (video conferencing)?

A video conference is a form of communication involving both audio and visual connections between two or more people. Video conferences are commonly used to allow face to face meetings between parties in separate locations. Connecting to a video conference requires a webcam, a microphone, a monitor, a sound system, a codec for audio/video compression and of course, connection to a network.

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Simply, video conferencing allows real-time audio and video transmission but, as it has been commonly integrated into office UC systems, it also often entails additional collaborative features such as screen sharing, remote control, presentations and whiteboard.

Modern video conferencing technology allows such meetings to be taken place with as little as a smartphone and an internet connection. Alternatively, users may wish to use a more traditional setup with a monitor, webcam, and microphone as well as their network connection, to hold meetings through their PC via web conferencing software or their open-standards browser.

Technologies such as WebRTC allow such communication to occur through an internet browser such as Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Opera. This means that meeting participants can join the video conference without needing to download any additional software or plugins – a great solution for remote workers or for meetings with external parties.

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Point to point video conferencing works in a similar way using video telephones, VoIP or PSTN lines that might be employed by the conferencing system. Video Conferencing protocols are governed by the ITU-TSS Standard H261 and its successors.

Video Conference Benefits

  • Save time and money spent on travel by holding meetings online.
  • Benefit from the advantages of face to face communication, such as non-verbal cues.
  • Ensure better, more efficient collaboration between colleagues.
  • Hold meetings on the go.
  • Ad-hoc meetings are no problem, no matter where attendees are.
  • Strengthen relationships with colleagues, clients and partners.
  • Make remote working easier and more productive.