What is video conferencing?
A video conferencing system consists of a terminal (from conventional PCs to telepresence systems), a video conferencing server (responsible for conducting group video conferencing sessions), peripheral equipment (cameras, microphones, mixers, echo cancellation systems, etc.), and infrastructure (video processing, content transfer, integration with outside solutions).
Ways to Implement Video Conferencing
There are three main models for implementing a video conferencing system:
- The dedicated solution is fully controlled by the customer and running on his network.
- The cloud solution, where the video conferencing service provider provides the infrastructure from the Internet, and the company uses its own terminals (usually a PC).
- Hybrid. This method involves the use of both models. For example, a company uses an internal video conferencing system for communication within the company and a cloud service for connecting external subscribers or holding large video conferences when the capabilities or capacity of their system are not enough.
Benefits of video conferencing
- Saving time. Videoconferencing allows you to meet with remote employees, partners, and clients without leaving the office. No travel time to the meeting place or business trip.
- Ease of use. You can make calls and participate in conferences from a workplace or a meeting room using special video conferencing equipment, a computer, or a smartphone.
- Scalability. The number of participants is limited only by the capabilities of the videoconferencing infrastructure and your needs: you can communicate with one subscriber, a group of participants, or create a webinar that will be seen by thousands of people.
- Realism. Video communication conveys much more emotions than a telephone conversation – this is important in order to establish contact with the interlocutor and resolve business issues. In addition, video communication does not allow distractions and focuses only on communication, as in a face-to-face meeting.
- Safety. Modern videoconferencing systems allow you to work in closed networks without connecting to the Internet, therefore, providing maximum data transfer security. When connecting to the network, TLS protocols are used, which allow you to securely encrypt information.
Where is video used?
Comfortable communication with colleagues, partners, and clients, wherever they are.
- No need to spend time and money organizing business trips.
- Clarify work issues, and hold meetings and business meetings without leaving your office.
- Use collaboration tools and make negotiations more efficient.
- Communicate from the office, meeting room, coworking, from home, or on the street.
- Use special videoconferencing equipment, a computer, laptop, tablet, mobile devices, and Android TV to participate in conferences.
Video communication opens access to education in the best educational institutions in the world for everyone.
- Listen to lectures and study with teachers from all over the world via video call.
- Distance education gives people with disabilities access to a full-fledged education in the best educational institutions.
- Students will not be left behind: Collaboration tools allow you to submit additional materials, give assignments and check them.
- The student no longer needs to waste time traveling to the tutor – online classes will give the same high result as a personal meeting.
- Learn whenever you want – take refresher courses, learn foreign languages and listen to lectures while driving home or at dinner. Video calling opens up endless possibilities for self-development!
Video communication opens up new opportunities for the examination and treatment of patients, and also allows you to effectively train young professionals and improve the skills of experienced doctors. Telemedicine is a new word in medical practice, but it is already helping to save the lives of patients.
- Online patient consultations and real-time remote examinations save patients time on a trip to the hospital and also help to reduce queues for appointments by several times.
- Not all patients who require long-term follow-up can visit the hospital in person. The task is simplified thanks to video communication: the specialist can examine the patient online and make personal appointments only if necessary.
- Videoconferencing technologies allow live broadcasts from diagnostic centers or operating rooms. This allows medical students and doctors to learn from the experience of colleagues and gain knowledge directly from the best specialists from around the world.
Video communication in recruitment allows you to search for a position of specialists from all over the world and conduct interviews in the most convenient format. No more wasting time and extra money on interviews.
- Invite specialists from other cities and countries for interviews – with video communication, distance is no longer a problem.
- Remote employees no longer need to be blindly selected: video calls and collaboration tools can completely replace a face-to-face meeting and make sure the candidate is competent.
- You do not need to look for free space in the office and additional laptops – you can conduct an interview right from your office or even from home.
- Record the interview so you can watch it again later and give it to your manager. This is much more effective than just talking about the merits of the applicant.
Communications in the public sector are associated with high costs for business trips and telephone calls – both domestically and abroad. Video conferencing will help solve the problem of high costs and convenience, which is a full-fledged alternative to a face-to-face meeting and is more effective than phone calls.
- Video calls with agencies in other regions and countries are much cheaper than roaming phone calls.
- Creation of convenient communication between management and subordinates both in one department and between branches.
- Video calling and collaboration tools make meetings more convenient and productive.
- Saving time on trips around the city and business trips.
- Secure transmission of information, the ability to work in closed networks without an Internet connection.
To gather with friends or relatives for a cup of coffee in a cozy, relaxed atmosphere, it is not at all necessary to leave home. Especially when there is dank weather outside or relatives live in another city or even a country. To organize personal communication, it is not at all necessary to purchase an expensive solution. It is enough to connect to a cloud or mobile video conferencing solution via the Internet, the presence of headphones/speakers, a camera, and a microphone.
- Communication with relatives and friends from other cities and countries.
- Cozy homely atmosphere.
- The ability to gather several participants in one conference at once.
Video conferencing modes
Video communication involves both communication between two people in the “point-to-point” mode, and group conferences with an unlimited number of participants. Depending on the goals of communication, various types of videoconferencing can be used to help achieve maximum efficiency.
Video conferencing mode in which only two people participate in a conversation. At the same time, collaboration tools can be fully used: text chat, screen sharing, file transfer, and others.
Symmetric video conference
This video conferencing mode is designed for three or more participants who can see and hear each other at the same time, and also have equal opportunities when using collaboration tools. The number of participants in such conferences is usually limited to a few dozen for the convenience of the users themselves
Role video conference
A mode in which participants are divided into two types: speakers and listeners, where each of the listeners can become a speaker (with the permission of the conference organizer). The host of such a conference himself appoints speakers and can remove them from the video platform at any time. Listeners can see and hear speakers and leave comments in the text chat. Role-playing videoconferencing is most often used during briefings and meetings, when turn-by-turn speeches are more effective than general conversation.
Videoconferencing for Distance Education
A special “Video lesson” mode, in which all participants (students) will see and hear only the speaker (lecturer), and he will see and hear all participants in the video conference. Students can communicate with each other only using a general text chat.
A type of video conference in which the speaker broadcasts to a wide audience of listeners, while he does not see or hear them. Other participants see and hear only the presenter and can communicate with him and each other via text chat. The video conference is broadcast over the RTSP protocol to content delivery servers or CDN services.
A webinar is a type of group conference that any user can join by clicking on the connection link. You can watch it from a browser or client application, and the owner can start broadcasting the performance to expand the audience. In addition, the webinar can be recorded and sent to users who could not watch it online.