Essential Guide

Unified communications technology basics

A comprehensive collection of articles, videos and more, hand-picked by our editors

Types of video conferencing

Understanding the types of video conferencing best suited to your business is important when you're considering implementing video conferencing equipment and systems. These include telepresence, room-based, desktop and hybrid video conferencing solutions and services.

If you're thinking about implementing video conferencing, it's important to understand the basics. That starts with the types of video conferencing best suited to your business. The major types of video conferencing equipment and systems include:

  • Telepresence most closely simulates a live meeting. Large screens mounted on the wall or above conference tables show people at life size. Similar furniture, directional acoustics and cameras mounted at eye level make it seem as though participants are sitting around the same table and looking at one another. Some sophisticated systems incorporate 3D and holographic images with virtually invisible screens to create very convincing "immersive experiences." Because of the complexity involved, many vendors who offer this equipment also offer telepresence support and service, either directly or through partners or resellers.
  • Room-based video conferencing systems include large screens that are fixed to the walls in a meeting room. Alternatively, some vendors offer screens mounted on carts that can be moved to wherever they are needed.
  • More on video conferencing decisions

    What are your video conferencing requirements?

    Determine the video conferencing quality to deliver

    Choosing video conferencing signaling infrastructure

    Where should you locate video conferencing  MCUs?

  • Hybrid video conferencing systems combine elements of multiple types. Telepresence and room-based conferencing often overlap and can be used differently depending on the environment. Vendors can sometimes provide integrated systems in which different business applications or user groups in a company utilize different video conferencing equipment or software, based on their needs.
  • Service-based video conferencing is a fully managed product often available from telecom carriers, who have a great deal of control over the underlying network infrastructure. You can also purchase subscriptions to Web-based video conferencing over the Internet. Many equipment vendors offer managed services for their products, but this requires an additional contract and is often provided through a partner.

Before you investigate specific products and vendors, you'll also want to discuss cost considerations for video conferencing. Because costs vary greatly, depending on the system you choose to implement and the scope of your installation, budget should be agreed upon early in the research process. Remember that cost can also be affected by the video quality requirements you define, as well as any changes you may need to make to fulfill network design requirements for video conferencing.

This was last published in October 2010



Find more PRO+ content and other member only offers, here.

Essential Guide

Unified communications technology basics

1 comment


Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: