What is Video Conferencing?
Video conferencing is a live form of visual communication between two or more people who are physically distant from each other. Simple video conferencing involves the transmission of images, text, and audio between two separate locations.
More complex forms of video conferencing involve the transmission of motion video images and high-quality audio between two separate locations. Video conferencing is becoming a more prominent form of communication with the advancements in technology.
How It Works
Video conferencing allows for face-to-face meetings with two or more individuals without being present in a single location. The technology is very convenient because it allows for face-to-face interactions without the difficulties of coordinating and physically meeting. It is beneficial for cross-city and even cross-country communications.
Video conferencing stands out from other forms of telecommunication because you can see the other participants. Face-to-face interactions generally develop stronger rapport and relationships. The conferences can be conducted from anywhere, at any time, with the advent of mobile devices such as laptops, tablets, desktop computers, and even smartphones. Software-based video communication platforms are used to transmit the participants’ communication over the internet.
Video conferencing works through two stages:
First, the video and audio are captured, and the data is compressed into waves of frequencies and amplitudes, which capture the sound and visual data. The data is compressed further into digital packets, which allow the information to be transferred more quickly over a network connection.
Then, during the transfer, the data is transferred and received by a computer, and the data is decompressed and converted back into audio and video, displaying on the recipient’s screen.
Video Conferencing in Business
Video conferencing is incredibly beneficial for businesses since individuals and companies can conduct business via video conferencing without spending extra money on travel costs. Cross-border teams can work collaboratively through video conferencing more conveniently.
Video conferencing offers a wide range of uses in the business world. For example, a video conference meeting can be held between a CEO and multiple employees, allowing top-level executives to communicate very personably with many employees through video conferences.
Other Uses of Video Conferencing
Video conferencing is helpful for remote learning as well. Many students are discovering that they can learn effectively through video conference training. It allows a teacher or instructor to provide live training from anywhere in the world to students that can also be anywhere in the world. It can be revolutionary for providing education for disadvantaged communities or countries.
Components Required for Video Conferencing
The following components are required to establish a video conference call:
- Internet connection for both participants
- Two or more video cameras or webcams
- Two or more microphones to input audio
- Two or more screens, monitors, TVs, or projectors
- Two or more speaker systems to broadcast audio
- Acoustic echo cancellation (AEC) software that can reduce audio delays
Downsides of Video Conferencing
Although there are many benefits of video conferencing, there are some limitations. Examples are:
1. Reliance on a stable connection
One limitation is that video conferencing relies on a stable network connection. Among large groups of people, it may be difficult to establish a strong connection, and there may be lapses in communication if any of the software or hardware participants are using ends up malfunctioning. The stability and quality of video conferencing can fluctuate with the speed and reliability of network connections among the participants.
2. Lack of personal connection
Although being able to see the participants in a video conference is advantageous over simply making an audio phone call, it still may be difficult, especially within a business context, to build rapport with other individuals through a video conference.
An essential part of communication is body language, not just from the face, but from the entire body of people. It is an aspect of video conferencing that is lacking. Furthermore, it is difficult to make conversations on a more personal level through a video conference.
For example, in an in-person scenario, it is possible to enter into several separate conversations among a group to discuss more personal matters. However, in a video conference, only one person can speak at a time, which makes conversations more one-sided and impersonal. Some forms of video conferencing feature “breakout rooms” so that participants can break off into smaller groups to confer. However, it is still somewhat inconvenient.
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