Video Conferencing

Guide to video conferencing services and equipment

Video conferencing has added a whole new dimension to business meetings. The impressive technology allows users not only to connect with audio but also to see the person they are meeting with. Being able to read body language and put a face to the people you're meeting with is valuable in all sorts of meetings, particularly those that involve new-client soliciting or sales.

Video conferencing may seem like a big investment at first, but it can often provide savings in the long run. The ability to hold face-to-face meetings via video conferencing cuts down on the need for travel and accommodations for employees, which can save a business a lot of money.

What Is Video Conferencing?

Video conferencing (also known as Internet video conferencing because an Internet connection is required to transfer video) is a type of telecommunications technology that adds a video component to the audio. A video conferencing system allows groups to communicate from different locations through both audio and video, making video conferencing the next best thing to meeting in person.

Desktop video conferencing is an option, but most often, companies choose to use projection screens or televisions for the video component. Other equipment that may be necessary includes speakers, a microphone and a data transfer method, such as an analog or digital telephone network.

Using Video Conferencing

If you want to use video conferencing in your business, it will be a two-step process: finding video conferencing equipment and working with a video conferencing service. You can choose to buy your equipment, or you may be able to lease it through the company providing your video conferencing services. Depending on the frequency with which your business takes part in teleconferences, buying your own equipment can be cheaper in the long run, but you'll also have to handle issues like maintenance and servicing. With leased equipment, the service handles those problems for you.

When choosing between video conferencing services, look for features like round-the-clock support and easy-to-use interfaces and software, as well as technical specifications like ample bandwidth, crisp audio and high-quality video. Be sure to ask for a demonstration of the equipment before you sign up, and ensure that the equipment will work just as well in your office or boardroom environment.

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