Video Conferencing -- Will it Work for My Company?
One of the wonders of modern technology is the ability to use audio and video services to facilitate discussions between people in different locations.
This ability, known as video conferencing, can be a major convenience in a world where communication across the globe is necessary.
It can be vital when individuals need a face-to-face conversation, when visual cues not present in telephone communication may be of importance, or
if a physical meeting is difficult or impossible due to travel considerations or time constraints. It is not ideal in every situation, so it is important to
consider its downsides in addition to its benefits.
A Little History
Video conferencing has been possible since television was invented. Simple systems have been around since the 1930's, such as the German Reich
Postzentralamt network in Berlin. NASA developed a much more complex mechanism during the first space flights, but it was too expensive and could
not be used for business meetings.
The use of telephony, which would have been ideally suited for such meetings, was difficult to implement since the picture quality was low and it was
difficult to compress the size of video for transmission. Finally, in the 1980's, digital technology made it possible to use telephony for
videoconferencing. This was done over the Internet in the 1990's, and services such as NetMeeting and Skype allowed people to communicate
Systems for videoconferencing consist of input and output devices for both audio and video as well as a channel for data transfer (usually the Internet).
Cameras, computer monitors, microphones, and speakers are often sufficient to conduct a successful videoconference. A company that conducts only
occasional videoconferences may be outfitted with a desktop system, which consists mainly of several add-ons to its existing computer systems.
The business that has more frequent videoconferences, however, may want to consider a dedicated system used solely for the